Sotheby’s and Christie’s Race to Find New Art Collectors

A quarter of all auction sales were made to first time art buyers this year. An inside look at Sotheby’s and Christie’s global quest to identify and recruit more.

Ever wonder how auction giants Sotheby’s and Christie’s market themselves to continuously grow and recruit more interested art buyers?  The auction houses that have dominated the industry cleverly send out personal invites to groups of collectors from all over the world.  Most recently, Christie’s invited a group of collectors from China to a guided tour of the Museum of Modern Art, provided VIP tickets to a local art fair, and treated them to a swanky dinner at the Rockefeller Center ballroom of Christie’s.  The group took the bait.  In the same trip, the group of collectors “placed bids on at least half the top 10 priciest pieces in what became a historic, $745 million auction”.  Heck, I’d buy from them too.

If you’re thinking about starting an art collection, you can bet “the world’s biggest auction houses already know who you are, and exactly how much you might spend to own a masterpiece”.

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