Buying art online can be a difficult process. For newcomers, the process of purchasing artwork online can have a steep learning curve. Whether you are looking for abstract artwork or watercolor paintings, these tips will help you find the artwork you want while keeping you stress-free.
Have a plan.
Before you even begin browsing art for sale online, it’s necessary to find the intended space for the painting, photograph, sculpture or whatever piece you are considering. Know the room in which you intend to place your new artwork so you can judge how it will affect the current style and feel of the space. Be sure to measure your size limitations, brainstorm some styles and colors, and set your budget before delving into art gallery and dealer websites. Having a gameplan before you begin searching for artwork makes the whole process easier and helps you visualize what piece will work best for you.
Learn reputable galleries and trusted sources.
Before you consider buying a piece, conduct research about the source. Read reviews about online art galleries and dealers to better understand previous customers’ experiences. Learn whether the artwork is curated by art experts or being sold by individual artists online. Judge whether galleries are reputable by researching their affiliation with art fairs and international art organizations, especially nonprofit organizations such as the Art Dealers Association of America. If you can’t gauge whether you can trust a gallery or dealer even after extensive research, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Always know the return policy.
You should always be able to return any artwork you purchase online. It can be difficult to judge art based on pictures on a computer. Reputable online artwork galleries and art dealers know this and almost always will accommodate you. Check their return policy before purchasing to know how long you will have to return the artwork, how you will ship the item back, and whether the gallery will cover the shipping costs.
If you do not absolutely love what you bought, send the artwork back. There’s no use keeping expensive artwork that doesn’t meet your expectations or doesn’t completely blow you away. Credible dealers understand how difficult it is to buy artwork online. They will help you with every step of the online art buying process to make sure you get the best experience.
Purchasing art online can be a big investment. If you are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on original artwork, you should feel confident in what you are buying. You should never be uncertain about any aspect of the artist, the work, or the art buying process.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions to galleries and to the artists themselves. When did the artist create the work? How is the art being shipped? Does the work come framed? Is the online picture an accurate representation of the color and texture of the painting? Sometimes it can be difficult to determine specific details of the art without seeing it in person. Be specific with your questions and have your questions answered before making the purchase.
Expensive isn’t always better.
Just because a piece of art is expensive does not mean it is right for you. Some expensive paintings from world renowned artists might not fit the style of the room where you plan on displaying them. Learn to recognize whether the context of the art makes sense in your intended space.
If you find a piece you love but is out of your price range, keep looking. You can often find similar original artwork at much lower prices if you search for it. You might even discover an unknown artist whose work you love. That feeling is priceless.
Spend a good amount of time browsing numerous galleries and artists online before deciding what you want. Don’t feel intimidated by the large selection out there and rush into a purchase you’ll regret. Take the time to find a piece that’s perfect for you.
Here’s a tip: save pictures of your favorite works you find online. Once you’ve collected your favorites, compare them to each other and eliminate options one by one. Soon you will have a much smaller collection to choose from and it will be easier to choose the perfect artwork for your space.
Buy the art you love.
The most important part of buying artwork online is you! When it comes down to it, the only thing that matters is whether or not you love the artwork. Don’t worry about whether or not a painting is common or obscure, prestigious or unknown, expensive or affordable. Buy the art that makes you happy and adds something special to your space. Find something that inspires you and connects with you personally. If you’re going to be spending money on art, you might as well buy what you love!
Image source: Wild Beaty acrylic painting by Khrystyna Kozyuk
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