Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tactics shmactics

Well the colleges announcement about the changes to RCA secret has certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons hasn't it.

Like all these things there are I think good points and bad points.  Let's start with my view about the good points

1) the sale is back in Kensington.  I think this is just because of the many years of shared memories about Kensington and the years of camping but for me Kensington will always be RCA secret's home.  I do really like the site in battersea and it's actually much more convenient for me but the lack of a tube station near it may well have affected attendance in the last 3 years.

2) the later sale date means it should be a bit warmer.  Here's hoping

3) the sale lasts longer than a day.  I've been saying for some time that the college should make the sale last for more than 1 day to maximise sales.  This makes total sense.

Now the negatives:

1) no raffle - this will I think inevitably mean much longer queues for the start of the sale depending on what happens with drip feeding in cards later in the week.

2) the drip feeding of cards - instinctively this feels unfair especially when combined with a set limit of 4 cards per person (see below).  It will be very hard on people who don't live in London and are travelling in.  When do they come?  And for all of us - do you queue from the start or do you take a risk and buy later into the week knowing that your favourite cards might be gone?  An element of chance has been introduced that simply doesn't feel like cricket.

3) the limit of four cards per person.  By all means limit the first sale on Sunday to four cards per person but once that is done, especially with the drip feeding of cards, why not let buyers buy another four cards later on in the week?  I really can't see any downside to this and it would increase the colleges revenue as well.

4) collection later.  I want to buy my cards, turn them over and find out who did them.  I don't want someone else telling me who they are by.  I like the big reveal, it's a major, major part of the excitement for me.  I like seeing all my friends immediately after the sale and showing them what I bought and seeing what they got.  I like holding my card and looking at them, working out how the artist made them.  I want to do that after the sale not in a weeks time when I have to make a special trip just to collect.  And I certainly don't want to have to trust my hard won masterpieces to the vagaries of Royal Mail.

What's everyone else's thoughts? 


Gerard Darby said...

Sadly I don't think it has been thought through. If the objective of drip-feeding cards is to discourage the queue perhaps it will do this (though I envisage there is now the possibility of even more of a queue on the first day) but it may also reduce sales as many of us can't take time off work during the week on the off chance that a postcard we like will be introduced at a later stage. With the new plans we now have to come to the college twice as it is - once to purchase a card and then to collect it (I too agree that trusting the postcards to the post isn't an option).

I also find it slightly disrespectful to those artists who are not major names but are donating their work (and time) that some may not have their work introduced at the start with the consequence that they do not get sold simply because people have already used their four card allocation.

I agree that Kensington is a better site for the sale and Sunday a better day.

John Decade said...

i totally agree .
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yorick said...

I mostly agree - being a collector from Germany, I came to RCA for a day/weekend only, which was very convenient. This will not be possible anymore. Not much of a problem for this year, but I am not sure if I will return post 2016 if these regulations stay in place.
I really dislike the rather drastic increase in prices - I started off with 35 quid when I attended for the first time - and 55 quid is certainly not affordable art for everybody anymore. I am convinced this is one of the reasons why they didn't sell that many cards in the last years; so I'm glad they froze prices (at least!).
Personally, I also would have liked the option of buying another set of cards at a later point, especially with the introduction of the drip-feeding thing.
I also agree that the new/old venue in Kenington feels more like the original thing - however, despite being far from optimal (lacking tube cennectability, construction site, annoying neighbours) I liked the venue at Battersea more (und er the condition that the coffee machine at the garage is working)

pezlow said...

Thanks for the comments all, I agree about the price increases but at least they haven't gone up again this year. Yorick that is real commitment travelling from Germany for the sale. Do come and find me and say hello in the queue.