Did you see Banksy's latest prank?
The elusive street artist set up a stall in New York's Central Park on the weekend, which, to most passers by, appeared to be offering reprints of Banksy works for $60.
Of course, this being Banksy, the works of art were highly valuable originals.
The stall, manned by a disinterested looking elderly gentleman, took a grand total of $420 for the day, having attracted just three customers.
As well as having his fun, Banksy was no doubt making a point about the commercialism of art, a commercialism that he is well aware of - his Keep it Spotless auctioned for $1.9m in 2007.
I want to make two further observations on this stunt.
The exception that proves the rule
Firstly, it reminds us that authenticity is everything when it comes to successfully buying and selling collectibles.
"If it appears too good to be true, it probably is," goes the saying. This episode is the exception that proves the rule.
Buyers are savvy and suspicious these days, and rightly so - the collectibles market is full of fakes. We offer a lifetime money back guarantee of authenticity on every item of our stock.
Buy what you love
Secondly, Banksy's stunt shows that when it comes to art and collectibles, the old mantra that you should "buy what you love, not solely for profit," holds true.
The Chicago man who purchased four authentic Banksys from the stall on Saturday because he needed "something for the walls" did so because he liked, or at least, didn't object greatly, to the street artist's work.
Today he has four artworks valued at a combined $120,000. Yet even if they weren't worth anything, he would still derive enjoyment from them.
And there's a deeper point to be made here.
Some people do buy collectibles solely to make a profit, but there aren't many of them. And if you don't have the sufficient passion for the sector, I'd imagine it's an extremely difficult thing to do well.
To successfully buy and sell collectibles, to know what is a bargain price, and to understand the trends of the market - that all demands time. Time to develop the necessary expertise in the field, time to immerse yourself in your subject.
And that kind of immersion can really only come from a deep lying passion in the collectible field, whether it's art, stamps or autographs. This will sound slightly corny, but coming into the office never feels like work for me, because collectibles is something I love.
Approach the collectibles sector as an enthusiast and you will often find that the opportunities to buy and sell successfully will follow.
And if you have the enthusiasm for collectibles, but not sufficient time to track down the right pieces at the right price, get in touch with someone who does.
That would be us. We pride ourselves on sourcing the world's finest collectibles.
Call: +44 (0)117 933 9500
Thanks for reading,