After a day in the sun, a few cold ones, why not invest $100 grand in something you know nothing about? That may sound ridiculous, but some cruise-goers turned fine-art collectors while on vacation are learning the hard way that people trying to sell you something may not be entirely truthful, so we’ve decided to give you some practical advice on buying art on cruise ships.
The Detroit Free Press reported today that Park West, an art dealer in Michigan, is facing charges of racketeering, fraud, and violating consumer protection laws by selling fake artwork, using phony certificates of authenticity, and greatly overstating the value of art for sale. The company operates on Norwegian Cruise Lines and up until this year, Royal Caribbean.
I feel bad for the people who were ripped off on the ship, especially since by virtue of being a vendor on the ship, a reasonable person would expect they are a reputable company. However, at some point, you have to put common sense into play.
For one, if you’re a 60-year old nurse from Indiana working three jobs, it probably isn’t a good idea to spend $48,000 on art while on board your Royal Caribbean cruise on a whim. One woman did, and found out the Dalí signatures had been forged.
Secondly, if you’re an auto-body shop owner from New Jersey, it probably isn’t a good idea to use your kid’s college funds to spend $100,000 on art which you know nothing about. One guy did, and got burned when he found out the art was fake or contained forged signatures.
So here is our advice: Spend as much money as you like on art, as long as you’re buying it because you like the way it looks and you believe the price is worth it.
Vacation is not the time for making investment decisions with life altering consequences. Do I even have to say, “if it sounds too good to be true….”