How to Buy Artwork

Buying Artwork Tips

This quick “How to Buy Artwork” guide will explain how to buy artwork online. Purchasing artwork online is easier now than it’s ever been. The number of internet art sellers is huge, and obscure artists have more exposure than ever possible before. This makes art collecting easy, affordable and more rewarding, because you’ll be able to see and experience more new and unknown artists online.

How To Buy Artwork Online

Let’s start with a step-by-step how-to guide for buying art online. Before you buy your painting or print, you’ll want to make preparations and measurements. Even after your art is bought, you won’t quite be finished. By the way, if you want to see how to hang artwork, check out our article “How To Frame Artwork”.

  1. Learn the Size Artwork You Need – Measure the space or spaces on your wall where you want to hang new artwork. Keep these various measurements handy to refer to when you are browsing online for new art. Even the best piece of wall art will be no good to you, if it doesn’t fit into your living space.
  2. Get a Good View – Look at online art on the biggest monitor screen at the highest resolution possible. You want as much visual information about your print or painting before you make a purchase.
  3. Search Before You Buy – Even after finding a piece of art you like, keep searching and make a list of art pieces you like. When you find a work you enjoy, take a look at that artist’s other works, to see if you enjoy other even more. The more you search, the more likely you are to find the piece work of art for you.
  4. Get a Price Range – Figure out the price range you want to stay in when buying artwork. Most online artwork websites let you browse by price range. This way, you stay within your art budget, but don’t waste inordinate amounts of time searching through art you’ll never buy.
  5. Select Art Parameters – Consider using other parameters when you browse for artwork online. The great thing about online art shopping is you can quickly search via artist, genre, style, time period, popularity or a host of other settings. The more you know about what you want to buy, the quicker and more rewarding your art search will be.
  6. Frame Your Art – If you want to buy framed artwork, make certain you are purchasing framed art before you finalize your sell. Most sites offer art pieces in either framed and unframed options, and often unframed is the default setting. Many collectors enjoy framing their own artwork, but if you don’t have time to pick out your own frames, buy your art print framed already.
  7. Set Shipping Options – Most online art sites have different options for your shipping policy. If you need the work of art there by this weekend, you’ll have to pay extra for expedited shipping. If this art will go on your wall for years to come, simply buy the standard shipping and know it might be a week or two before it arrives.
  8. Note the Return Policy – Buying artwork on the internet is not quite the same as buying art live. So when the print arrives, you might find that you hate the piece. If you are the type who quickly changes their mind about art, take a close look at the online art seller’s return policy.
  9. Watch Out For Scams – Buy from the big, well-known online art dealers at first. You’ll likely be giving out your credit card information, so stick with the reputable companies when you are starting to purchase art online. If you have a desire for more adventurous art searches or more obscure internet artists, at least perform due diligence. Before you give out your credit card information to a site or an artist, Google to see if that site or artist has scammed people in the past. For instance, if you are purchasing art from John Smith, google the words “john smith artist scam”.

Buy Artwork Online – How To Buy Art

If you have the patience to search through new artwork, there are dozens of great sites to buy artwork. I would suggest you stick to the well-traveled art sites at first, until you begin to learn the online art business a little better. Here’s a list of sites I would suggest starting at.

Buy Art at Art.com – Has over 500,000 prints in 4 different art styles (fine art, decorative art, vintage art and photography). Also, the site has easy-to-navigate links for many different subjects, including scenic art, abstract art, people, places, art for children, botanical art, architecture and world culture — just to name a few. Also, you can search the art prints by artist, so you can search through Van Gogh art, a Monet gallery or through the works of Klimt.

Shop eBay.com – If you prefer original artwork by lesser known artists, browse eBay for their art auctions. You can find prints and original artwork by famous contemporary artists, but if you are interested in affordable original art to hang on your wall, you can support a less-established talent and purchase affordable art through the e-Bay system.

Shop Around – For those who want to support competitors of Art.com or EBay, shop around at rival art websites like art-exchange.com, barewalls.com or buy-original-art.com. These art sites offer a wide range of paintings and photographs, and give you options to shop for the best price.

Buy Original Art – This site lets you discover an artist with information on arts fairs and events, fine art magazines and editor’s choices. You’ll be able to browse through art regional or ethnic art like African, Maori, Mughal, Gutai or aboriginal, or styles such as Cubism, Bauhaus or Pre-Raphaelite art. Those wanting to set the proper mood for your scene can search through Art Deco, Gothic Art or Celtic art. In other words, Buy Original Art is made to help you find new and interesting artwork.

Check Out Barewalls – is another online art seller, where you can search for nice additions like tapestries, calendars or tin signs. Go to Barewalls’s “idea center” for art suggestions, or view the “What’s Hot” menu to see what the latest trends in internet art buying are. Barewalls Online Art also has advanced search functions, so you can browse by artist, style, subject or collection. You can also sign up for the Barewells Newsletter.

Try the Art Exchange – features a masters collection and a section devoted to new artists. ArtExchange likes to feature their favorite or recommended artists, so you can browse through their “current exhibitions”, “featured artists” and “artist spotlight” segments. The Art Exchange site also allows you to search through categories like artists (both sellers and publishers), designers (of originals), designers (of custom framed prints) and dealers, whether the deal is a framer or a gallery. Besides having over 100,000 works of art for sale, Art-Exhange over a large collection of free screensavers.

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