Consumer reviews and reports on scam companies, bad products and services
Galerie Concorde
Galerie Concorde Fails to honor their agreement to resell artwork Montreal, Quebec
3rd of Nov, 2010 by User911171
I have been a client of Galerie Concorde since 1999. They have proven to be nothing more than deceptive telemarketers and have been perpetuating the same scam since then. My relationship with them began with a cold call from Nigel Goddard. He touted the opportunity to make significant profits by investing in artwork. He convinced me to buy a Peter Max piece, "Marilyn's Flowers I", citing the tremendous success he had had by dealing in works by the artist. He emphatically told me 'not to fall in love with the piece because I'll need it back'. He went on and on about how the only way that he made money was if I allowed him to resell my piece. He told me that within 6 months or so Galerie Concorde would resell the piece for me and that I could expect 30% - 40% gains, due to the tremendous demand for pieces from quality artists like Max. After the purchase Nigel continued to call, telling me how the value of my piece had gone up and that I should invest in additional pieces to take advantage of the extreme bargains that he was able to offer me. He finally convinced me to buy another Max piece, 'Liberty 2000 II', in September of 2000. He continued to call regularly after that pressuring me to buy more and more artwork. Each time he would tell me that my pieces had risen in value and I was already 'in the black'. Finally I told him that I'd like to sell both pieces and take the profit. That's when all of the lies and deceit really began.
In January of 2002 when I asked Nigel to sell the pieces he informed me that he had to put my pieces into the database and that they would be resold when they reached the 'number 1 position'. I told him that this was already well beyond the 6 month period that he originally stated that I would be holding the artwork. He said not to worry and that the pieces would be sold quickly. At this point I was told that my pieces were worth $5725 and $6375, respectively. The database system seemed a little questionable to me, but I didn't have any choice, so I agreed to have the pieces put in the database. On January 30, 2002 when I spoke to Nigel again, my pieces were at the 7th and 9th positions.
I continued to call Nigel for several months to ask when my pieces would be sold. Each time he informed me that my pieces were moving up in the database and that they were also increasing in value. Some of the numbers he quoted were:
November 27, 2002; 5th position for both pieces, $6075 and $7250 current value for each piece.
March 24, 2003; 3rd and 2nd position, $4725 and $5925 current value.
May 1, 2003; 1st position for both, $4450 and $6175 current value.
When I spoke with Nigel after both pieces had reached the supposed number 1 position I asked him when the pieces would be resold. He started to change the subject and went on about how building a bigger portfolio would be in my best interest. He stated that I could achieve bigger profits by having a 'package deal' to offer someone. I told him I wasn't interested in purchasing any more artwork and that I wanted him to resell my 2 pieces as he originally agreed to do when we first conducted the transactions. Nigel then suggested that I should wait until after the war was over so that I could maximize my profits as he claimed that the art market would skyrocket when the war was over. I told him that I wanted my pieces resold immediately as was agreed to originally.
On June 18, 2003 I called Nigel again to ask him what was happening with the sale of my pieces. He informed me that he was negotiating with 3 different buyers and was trying to get me the best prices. He told me that he was doing this just for me as he ordinarily would take the first offer for a piece. He told me that a sale should be completed by the second week in July.
On July 23, 2003 after not hearing from Nigel I called to find out why I hadn't received a call telling me that my pieces had been sold. He told me that the deal he had been working on fell through. I asked him how the deal could fall through if there were 3 different buyers all interested in the pieces. He claimed that the market was getting tougher and that they were still trying. He even went so far as to claim that the SARS breakout was affecting their ability to resell artwork! He then told me that he was working on a deal to sell my artwork to a cruise ship that was purchasing a lot of artwork. He told me to check back with him in October.
On December 16, 2003 I called Nigel to find out the status of my pieces. He went on again about needing to lower prices to attract more interest and that they were having trouble competing with internet dealers. I asked him how he was obtaining the prices that he was quoting me for the value of my pieces if he was having so much trouble selling anything. He claimed that the market value was obtained by looking at their similar sales of other pieces. I asked him if they were selling 'similar pieces' why weren't they selling mine, since I was number 1 in the database. He really didn't provide any answer but assured me that I would be 'very happy' when the pieces were sold and I'd be sorry that I hadn't purchased more artwork. He went on to try to sell me more 'bargain basement priced' artwork that they had recently acquired from an estate sale. I re-iterated that I wanted him to sell my artwork as was originally agreed to.
On December 19, 2003 I called Nigel again to emphasize that I was expecting him to resell my pieces. He talked more about the opportunity to buy under valued artwork and reap large profits. I really had a hard time staying on the phone with him as he continued to try to push me to buy additional artwork. He finally said that there would be a better chance at selling my pieces if one of them was removed from the database. His explanation on why this was beneficial was just nonsense. I told him outright that under no circumstances was he to remove either of my pieces from the database. He then went on to say that with the upcoming holidays not much business would be conducted and that I should check back in February.
I next called Nigel on March 12, 2004. He could only provide more excuses as to why he hadn't sold my pieces. I asked him if they were still selling artwork. He said 'oh yes, we're moving some wonderful pieces'. So I asked him why they weren't making an effort to move my pieces. He claimed to be still trying, but he said that I should try to sell the pieces through newspaper ads or something similar.
I knew at this point that they never had any intention of reselling my artwork. There was no reason to. They were making their money by buying the artwork directly from the artists' studios and selling it to their clients for a huge markup. There was no advantage to reselling a piece for a 5% commission when they could sell new pieces for a 100% - 200% markup.
On April 4, 2004 I called and asked to speak to the owner of Galerie Concorde. I was put in contact with Harold Sendel, who I was told was the managing director. I recounted the entire multi-year experience of trying to get Galerie Concorde to abide by the original agreement. He told me that there was a large number of pieces that were up for sale and that was lengthening the process. He told me that he would take over my file and handle the resale of my pieces.
I called Mr. Sendel again on August 24, 2004 to get an update. He told me that they still had a large number of pieces up for sale. He said that there were currently approximately 18,000 pieces up for resale, whereas they normally have around 4,000. He did say that they were doing about 2,300 - 2,800 transaction per year. At that point I asked him why my pieces weren't a part of those transactions. He provided no meaningful answer. He was quick to point out that my pieces were currently valued at $4025 and $5175, respectively!
I told him to lower the prices somewhat if that's what it took to get them sold. He said that in order to do that the pieces would have to come out of the database because the prices were regulated! I knew this to be totally untrue and that if the pieces were removed from the database they would have absolutely no reason to sell them and I would have no recourse. I told him that I did not want the pieces removed from the database and insisted that he could lower the prices in order to sell them. He made up more excuses on why he couldn't do that. Again he suggested that I try using newspaper ads to sell the pieces.
I next called Mr. Sendel on June 2, 2005. He provided more and more excuses on why my pieces still hadn't been sold. He did again point out that my pieces had current prices of $3775 and $5025. I again asked him why he wasn't offering the pieces at lower prices in order to sell them. He said that he could do that if he looked 'off-market' for a buyer. I told him I didn't care what he called it but to just sell them. I again asked him why if they were continuing to do telemarketing for sales of artwork that they weren't specifically trying to sell my pieces. Mr. Sendel had to gall to tell me that they didn't do telemarketing. I then asked him how it was that my whole relationship with them began with a cold call from Nigel and I also pointed out that Nigel had cold-called my wife within the last few months!
After several years I decided to revisit the issue and try to get Galerie Concorde to honor their original agreement and re-sell the artwork. I called on November 1, 2010 asking for Mr. Sendel. I spoke with Stanley Kowalski who informed me that Mr. Sendel had left the business within the last year. He immediately launched into a speech about how the art market varies over time and that back in the 1960's there was a huge change in the market as people looked at art as investments. He went on for several minutes before I could ask him if he knew why I called. I explained to him the whole history and how I was deceived by Galerie Concorde into buying artwork that I was stuck holding onto. I asked him point blank if they were still selling artwork and he told me they were. I asked him why after over seven years of being 'number 1' in the famous database why my pieces were never sold. He told me that the database was now closed and that there hasn't been much demand for pieces like mine. I asked him what specific steps they had been taking to sell pieces 'like mine'. He said that there really wasn't anything they could do if there weren't buyers. Again I asked him if they were still selling artwork, then obviously there were buyers, then why weren't my specific pieces being offered to them. He got offended and basically asked me what I did for a living and asked my how I would like it if he told me how I should be running my business. I told him that I always welcome suggestions for improving my business and that I also always honor any business agreements I make. He then point blank told me that they aren't dealing with the 'secondary market' anymore and are only dealing with the 'primary market'. I asked him to explain that more clearly. He said that reselling pieces from people like me is the secondary market, but buying newer pieces from artists and selling them to new clients is the primary market. So I asked him if he was telling all of the people that he was now selling to in the primary market that there would never be a secondary market for them to resell their artwork. Obviously he didn't answer. He was clearly annoyed that I was pushing the fact that they never honored their agreement with me. He tried to get off the phone. I asked him one last time if Galerie Concorde was going to sell my artwork as originally agreed. He told me 'no', they can't help me. I then told him that I would pursue other remedies.
So that's where we currently stand some 11 years after first dealing with this organization. It has become quite clear to me that their whole method of operation is one of deceit and fraud. They sell artwork with inflated claims of profit opportunity and promises of an easy resale of the artwork within a short timeframe. My opinion is that then never intended to resell any artwork for their customers, but to only continue to sell them more of the same.
Comments
3103 days ago by Be Careful
I purchased a Peter Max painting and the paint still smelled fresh as if it were painted that month. After reading articles that Peter has said in his own interviews about how much time he spends on the road and in interviews, I can see why that it is impossible for him to be painting all his own works. And every image I see, hes holding many paint brushes in front of a painting and never has one paint stain on his shirt yet the paint is all over the table, brushes and floors but Peter remains spotless as if it were just a studio image set up.

My friend bought some Peter Max paintings from a Canadian marketing company after being told they would increase in price and he would make 30% returns when in fact he got scammed and his paintings are worth far less then he paid and for that matter now he is also questioning weather they are in fact really painted my Max himself.

Art fraud is one of the great scams of all time and this is just another cycle of fraud that if you calculate the time frames and actual statements by Peter himself you can see it is impossible for him to paint what is being sold.

Maybe the signatures are his but the art is not and YES that O'Neill painting that is nothing more then a huge computer printout with some brushstrokes around the back round is far from art. I guess people are just to amazed with Peter max, they are blind to the facts. I ended up trading my Peter Max art and some cash for a neighbors Honda scooter for my son to use to get to work, it needed some slight repairs but I think I got the better deal.

You are right: FC, Peter Max would have to paint 500 originals each week to keep up with what is being sold if hes touring each weekend and interviewing 20 times per week. Even if they had canvases on an assembly line and he painted them as the canvases passed him, his arm would fall off and would have to work 24/7. I now am convinced that he is not painting his art. I am sure those who are doing it will be exposed.

These interview facts do prove the original post.

here in Peter Max own words he actually ADMITS that its impossible to paint what hes currently selling
IMPOSSIBLE!!!

"Its just an amazing thing that I was so lucky to get popular, Max says. I do probably 20 interviews a week. I love it. Its one of my highlights of the day."

“I travel so much, 25-30 weekends a year, ” he continued. “Sometimes it’s one city in a weekend, sometimes its five or six in a row. But to see my fans it’s all worth it.”

Nearly every weekend, Max visits a show of his work. On Friday and Saturday, he’ll be at a Hilton Head Island art gallery to meet with the public.

“I love to travel, ” he says.

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