Classic Posters - The Art of the Deal
only a few copies that have survivedAND it is part of a series or importantvenue, then you can more or less counton these posters appreciating in value.For example, posters featuring apopular band like the "Grateful Dead"can generally be counted on to go up invalue, so that is another approach.And last, and perhaps most dangerous(and most seductive), is to try and figureout which posters as 'works of art' will bemost collectable and thereby valuable. Itseems to me that we all feel that we cansee the beauty in these items andtherefore buy them on that basis. I knowI do. And we can agree that we all havedifferent concepts of what is beautiful.Simple probability theory would suggestthat we can't all be right, but perhaps wecan, more or less.
Negotiation is no-doubt an art. Buyerand seller tend to dance around a price,neither wanting to be the first to drawblood - to dare offend the other. But weall manage to get around to the nitty-gritty sooner or later.A typical trick of the unscrupulousnegotiator is to try to pin you down andhold you to a price, before you haveagreed to it, to kind of draw you into asituation, where they can declare:"Deal!," and hold you to it. One way toavoid this is to announce up front thatyou will not be held to a price until yousay to the other: "We have a deal."Anything and everything up to that pointis all foreplay. You must say: "I agree tothis," and the other person has also tosay "I agree to this." Then you have adeal.Many times these negotiations can goon for hours, days, weeks, months, andyears. I know of collectors who havebeen trying to strike a deal for years ona particular piece.One way to determine a price is to havea third party that both seller and buyeraccept as an authority look at the itemand suggest what they think it is worth,at least as a starting point fordiscussion.But always keep in mind the differencebetween retail and wholesale. Is theexpert quoting the price he would buy itat or the price it would sell at? I had oneproblematical deal, where we had twoexperts, one who was quoting the retailprice and the other the wholesale price.Of course, the seller wanted to go withthe retail price and the buyer with thewholesale price.A rule of thumb is that if you only arelooking for the big killing, you don't wantto trade, buy, and sell with other postercollectors or dealers. Instead, you wantto find an ignorant rube, who does notknow what these things are worth.If you are going to work with thecommunity of collectors, than you hadbetter resign yourself to getting a fairdeal, perhaps occasionally a good deal,but probably not a fantastic deal. Onecan build a great collection, one thatappreciates in value on getting fair andgood deals. These things do increase invalue, particularly if you exercise care inselecting which posters to invest in,paying attention to scarcity, the bandsinvolved, and the artistic value of thepiece.And you will find better deals on postersif you look for those that are out of themainstream a bit. If you are going afterthe rare Family Dog posters, beprepared to pay for them, becausethese things have an established value.