I had an experience with this with my own work. In the area that I live we are constantly having fundraising events supporting various charities and organisations. As a well-known artist in the area I was used to being constantly asked to donate artwork for these events. In some instances my work managed to be sold as part of an auction process, for more than the retail value which was due to the highly enthusiastic crowd and probably as a result of the excellent quality wines that were had during the evening.
But it’s not always like this. There were some events where I noticed my works were being bundled together with far too many other auction items, resulting in my work not achieving the kind of price that I was comfortable with. I think what happened with some of these events, was that people just became too focused on quantity and not quality and as a result some really good pieces of art were compromised.
I am without consulting the local regional Gallery director for his opinion about how I should handle this matter and was advised to just simply stop putting my art up for auction in these local events. This was not easy for me to do because these events were being run by very good friends and many of my contemporaries continued to work up for auction at these events, so in some ways I felt like I separated myself, but it was necessary for me to protect the integrity of pricing scale of my work.
I still continued to send the odd piece to one of the capital cities in Australia or another and sometimes internationally, to be donated or auctioned at a gala event, however I knew that in those cases my work would fetch somewhere close to the retail value.