Five tips for buying art online

Thankfully, we have the internet at our disposal now that we are at home a lot, allowing art lovers to hop from gallery to gallery and discover new artists. But buying art online can also seem challenging. We are here to help and have put together a brief guide to buying art online!

Tip 1: Start with what you know

To avoid getting discouraged in your online search, it is useful to choose a familiar starting point. This way you can choose to search for work of an artist who you've been following for a while, have bought work from before or who you recently saw at a fair, in a gallery or in a museum. Useful places to start your search are GalleryViewer, Artsy and Patty Morgan. Here you can often see which work of this artist is available, what the prices are and at which gallery you need to be to buy the work. Chances are that this gallery represents other artists who also appeal to you: another starting point in the journey to your new acquisition. And don't forget Instagram!

Tip 2: Check the specs

One of the first things you notice when you see a work of art is probably the use of materials. Even if you don't immediately recognize it, this information is often indicated. Some works come ready to be installed, such as an oil painting, other works may need to be framed (such as photographs or work on paper). This can be quite expensive when done properly: you probably want to go with museum quality glass to protect the work from UV rays and to minimize reflection. Know what the material is, how to care for the work and what additional costs you may be looking at!

Tip 3: The price is right

The great thing about watching (and buying) digital art is that you can immediately see the price (range) of the work. This transparency is very convenient because it immediately gives you the information you need as a potential buyer. However: don't be discouraged if the price of a work of art is not within your budget. Many artists work with different materials which makes their price range incredibly diverse. Check with the gallery if there might be other work available: a different size, different material or a work in edition might be a better fit. In general, an oil painting is more expensive than a work on paper by the same artist, and an edition is also cheaper than a unique work.

Tip 4: Size matters

Paying attention to the size of the work is not only smart when comparing prices, but also when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. When you see a work hanging in the gallery, you immediately have a visual frame of reference: you can estimate whether it fits in the place you have in mind at home for it. Online, all works are approximately the same size image, while in real life they can differ by several meters. Take out your measuring tape and make sure it fits!

Tip 5: Take the plunge

It's thrilling to buy art online, but can be a little scary! Do you want to learn more before you start? Young Collectors Circle gives you all the information and tools you need to start your collection: from a Crash Course Collecting about art history, the art market, materials and techniques and presenting art at home to visits to galleries, studios, fairs and private collections. Check here for more information!

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