It’s important for collectors to understand some of the various market manipulation techniques in existence, not necessarily so collectors can use them, but more importantly to make sure they’re not used on the collector.
Harry Rinker tells how traveling museum exhibitions can be manipulated in his (should be award-winning) book, How to Make the Most of Your Investments in Antiques and Collectibles.
Harry talks about many of the pertinent techniques in the section on “Museum Exhibits,” which is listed in two chapters: “Market Triggers: Spotting the Trends” and “Market Manipulation.”
Before listing some of the techniques necessary to manipulate prices by using a traveling museum exhibit, let’s delve into why it’s done.
Why do traveling museum exhibits manipulate prices?
The people who benefit the most from this type of manipulation are professionals and investors. The people who commonly lose are the collectors and uninformed public. They lose money because they don’t understand the master manipulation plan devised by the “pros.” They are naively under the impression that everything is happening naturally.
This is why this type of manipulation is so successful and profitable. The idea behind this type of manipulation is so the public and collectors will buy at the high prices that the investors and professionals have successfully run-up. The material the naïve will be buying comes from the manipulators who dump at the top.
So basically, the goal of the manipulators is to raise prices as high as possible by creating a collecting frenzy, and then dump their holdings on the unsuspecting at the top.
How are the prices manipulated?
Now, on to some of the techniques used by the manipulators to accomplish their goals:
- Above all else, publicity and credibility is the key to a successful traveling museum exhibition. Credibility is attained in this type of manipulation by using major museums in large cities as places for the exhibit to stop and be admired by the public. It’s very important to try to get the traveling show launched as a major event. The exhibition must get immediate recognition in national publications.
- It’s important to keep the exhibit moving. The more it travels and the more publicity it gets in each location, the more people are attracted. The show must attract media attention for at least several months in each city it visits.
As Harry writes, “As the exhibition travels, each appearance will generate new publicity opportunities. A successful exhibit will attract new collectors over a period of a year or more.“
A traveling show lasting a year or more is important since it gives prices a good amount of time to run-up. About three to six months after the show has started, it’s important for the manipulators to test the market for strength. Selling some material at auction will test the market’s strength. At the same time, it gives the manipulators an opportunity to get back some of their initial investment capital.
Remember, selling into the market through auctions and testing the price performance for strength is important to manipulators since they want to dump their material as near to the top as possible for maximum profits.
These are just some of the extreme basics to manipulating traveling museum exhibitions for profit. For a complete understanding of the procedures, read How to Make the Most of Your Investments in Antiques and Collectibles by Harry Rinker.
All Credit Card Collector readers should buy Harry’s book, study it and then send him a thank you letter. Also, tell all your collecting friends to buy a copy. Better yet, buy them copies as gifts. Harry’s book is the best investment a collector can make!
Copyright Greg Tunks, 1990