Thursday, January 07, 2016
It appears that RCA Secret is changing in 2016. The RCA secret website has been updated so firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the sale in London will apparently take place in April. We hear, although this is not confirmed yet, that the exhibition will be between 7 and 15 April with presumably the sale on the following day? The sale in Dubai is still in March (16th to 19th to be precise) so this opens up all sorts of possibilities for collectors. Will anyone be tempted to fly to Dubai to buy cards there, then return to London for a second set? It wouldn’t surprise me if some committed collectors do just that. No mention of the potential Hong Kong sale.
Secondly there is a bald statement on the website that RCA secret is “changing” with “more chances for collectors to snap up the cards they love”. What do we think this might mean? One change which appears to be taking place is that it appears that RCA secret is back in the Gulbenkian Galleries in Kensington, rather than it’s recent home in Battersea. But that isn’t a change that gives collectors more chances to snap up the cards they want….
Well this blog wouldn’t be this blog without indulging in some mindless speculation. I can assure you that none of this comes with any inside knowledge at all. Here are some possibilities we have thought of:
1) The sale is extended. I’ve been saying for some time that given the number of cards in the sale and the fact that the number of purchasers has reduced over the last couple of years it would sensible for the college to increase the number of days that the cards are on sale, perhaps combining this with (2) below. This would give those who can’t attend on the sale day (or either can’t or don’t have the inclination to queue) to pitch up on day 2 and buy without all the hassle.
2) After, say, 12noon on sale day, collectors are allowed to purchase any more cards they want – I totally agree that the limit of four cards gives everyone the chance of buying what they like but once the queues have died down it makes sense to relax those limits and allow collectors to buy more cards if they want. Everyone is a winner from this and I can’t see any downside.
3) Sales of cards is split. Day 1 of the sale is for cards numbered 1 to 1500 and day 2 for cards number 1501 to 3000. Can’t see this working in practice and it would be a nightmare managing 2 queues.
4) After the sale is finished unsold cards are sold online on a first come first served basis – again there would seem to be no downside to this provided the college can set up a suitable online purchasing solution and have the resources to manage sending the cards out to purchasers. Collectors who are overseas get the chance to buy cards they wouldn’t ordinarily get and the college sells more of the artwork. They could even put on sale unsold cards from previous years.
5) Unsold cards from Dubai get imported into the London sale – this would seem to make sense give the difference in dates between the two. Again very little downside.
6) Some cards sold by auction method rather than flat price– I for one would be totally against such a proposition. Whilst it may prove a money spinner for the college it flies in the face of everything the sale stands for. Contributing artists I suspect wouldn’t like this either.
7) Places in the raffle are auctioned off – again I would be against this for all the reasons in (6) above.
8) Raffle tickets are sold online – this is probably inevitable at some point however it would be essential to ensure that (9) below is followed as much as possible.
9) The raffle is better policed – there have been numerous stories about people buying multiple sets of raffle tickets under one buyer number or even turning up and holding themselves out as a raffle winner when they are not the name of the registered buyer. To stop this the college should ensure that only one set of raffle tickets can be bought against one buyer number – this shouldn’t be too hard to do in this computerised age. In order to buy those tickets you should have to produce photographic ID that matches your buyer name. They should also insist that raffle winners turn up with photographic ID. If their ID doesn’t match the name of the registered buyer then they should be refused admission. No exceptions.
10) Other changes to the raffle – bigger number of raffle winners, more chances to buy tickets, places offered to sponsors, on social media etc. Apart from (9) above I think the raffle works well and should be kept.
So there you go a few thoughts that occurred. Maybe you will have others or thoughts on the suggestions above?
Posted by pezlow at 9:14 PM