Don’t eat that banana – it may be worth a fortune!

You may have heard in Sunday’s news bulletins about the piece of ‘art’ worth in the region of £100,000 that was destroyed by a gallery visitor.

The piece of art in question, entitled ‘Comedian’, was created by Maurizio Cattelan and comprised a ripe banana affixed to the wall of an art gallery by a piece of gaffa tape. The saboteur calmly removed the banana and ate it.

If today was 1st April you would think I was having you on. But it’s not and I’m not! Apparently, red faced stewards at the gallery have since replaced the banana with a fresh one, arguing that the £100K price tag is a reflection of the artistic concept rather than the actual banana used.

I do not profess to be an art critic, but must confess that when I saw this story I felt that the world had gone mad. It did make me think, however, about value and pricing in the context of running one’s own business.

How do you value your services?

One of the most difficult things I’ve found since establishing my own business is deciding my value and therefore how much to charge customers. Too much and I may lose the business; too little and I am undervaluing my skills. I have come up with a formula which seems to be working, but I’m still a bit nervous when sending in my quotations.

My father, who was an antiques and collectibles dealer until he passed away several years’ ago, once advised me that something is as valuable as someone is willing to pay for it. I think this is very true.

However, why anyone would be willing to pay in excess of £100,000 for a banana affixed to a wall is beyond me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you go about valuing your services? Would you pay £100,000 for a banana – or do you think the creator of ‘Comedian’ is having a laugh?

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