Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Park West Art "Auctions" New Guarantee? Regent Come On Now!

The Wall Street Journal's Market Watch reported today that Park West Art Galleries announced it is markedly changing the way it does business...sort of.  It has put in place its "40-40-40 Guarantee".

Supposedly purchasers can obtain a refund within 40 days after receipt of the art work. The refund will cover the full purchase price, less the buyer's premium up to a maximum of $1,000 per piece, and less any shipping costs if applicable.

For up to 40 months after being invoiced, purchasers are also supposed to be able to exchange any work purchased for any other work in the Park West Gallery collection of the same or greater price. Purchasers that exchange items are to be credited with the amount paid for the work purchased, including buyer's premium and excluding shipping and handling, with the only charges being shipping and handling and any price difference when the exchange is for a work of greater price. (Exchanges must be made directly with Park West Gallery by phoning 1-877-440-0630 and are not allowed at auction.)

It has been reported that the information will be prominently posted at its art auctions (yet more stuff hanging around Regent ships we don't want to look at!) and its website.  Now, I was just looking at the Park West website and not only is the 40-40-40 Guarantee not prominent; the information is not anywhere to be found on the site...FAQs, press releases, etc.   UPDATE:  The information is now posted on Park West's blog at http://www.parkwestportal.com/2008/09/park-west-gallery-introduces-enhanced.html .
 
I don't care if Park West has been around for 40 years, or it gives me 40 days to change my mind, or it gives me 40 months to trade up to another overpriced piece of art. 
 
WAIT A MINUTE!  What I a great marketing ploy.  I can hear it now:  "Your protection is absolute.  Take your piece home.  Enjoy it.  If after 40 days you are not sure, you have another 38 months to put your purchase toward the piece you wanted to buy originally...but, of course, it will be much higher (as this art does have a history of greatly appreciating, though - of course - nothing is certain).  So why compromise now?  You have our 40-40-40 Guarantee.  Purchase the piece you really want.  Enjoy it for 40 days without risk and never worry about having buyer's remorse."  And Park West now just pushed another sucker..I mean satisfied customer...to buy something even more overvalued.
 
What the heck is it still doing on Regent?