Buyer’s Guide: Buying Art Online

WRITER BRIONY DOWNES SHARES HANDY TIPS FOR COLLECTORS LOOKING TO DIP INTO THE LIMITLESS WORLD OF ONLINE ART BUYING.

Mary Donnelly, Untitled Landscape. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 81 x 103cm.

Mary Donnelly, Untitled Landscape. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 81 x 103cm.

UNLIKE THE CONTAINED SPACE of a bricks and mortar store, buying art online appears limitless, with a vast array of pieces to choose from. But collectors are often cautious about online purchasing, afraid that the artwork will appear differently when it arrives than it did on screen. Whether buying directly from the artist or from an online gallery, here are a few key points to click your way to the perfect artwork.

Filters Needed

Have a strong idea of what you are looking for and apply search filters to narrow your options. To start, think colour palette, size, medium and budget. If you go in knowing what you want and what kinds of textures will sit together, you’ll find no shortage of options to decorate your space.

Keeping it Real

As with any online purchase, it is crucial to know the origins of an artwork and to trust the source you’re buying it from. Ideally, the online store will work directly with the artists to ensure each work is authentic. For instance, the pieces that populate Art Edit’s own online store are uploaded by the artists themselves, of all whom have been selected by our in-house editorial team for quality. Once you start looking to buy a work, quick and effective communication via email and phone is also essential so that you can arrange the details of the postage and handling and ensure your new artwork arrives safely to its destination.

Online Economy

Buying art online can be economical in more ways than one. Having no street frontage means an online store spends significantly less on rent, a saving often reflected in the price of artworks listed online. With less storage space required, online galleries will often request an artist pack and send their work directly to the customer, reducing handling and postage costs considerably. Others, such as Art Edit’s own online store, will be able to provide shipping entirely free of charge.

Size Does Matter

It sounds like a no-brainer but when shopping for art online be sure to check the size of the work you are buying and confirm it will fit in its destined location. As an art lover, it’s easy to be bowled over by an artwork only to realise it’s the wrong size on delivery. Some websites will show the artwork in an interior setting with furniture for comparison, allowing buyers to get an accurate idea of three-dimensional size and shape. If you are wary of buying sight unseen, ask the store or artist to send you a selection of high-resolution images over email. These will allow you to zoom in to see the details of texture and colour up close.

Put it to the Test

To see for yourself how easy it is to buy art online, head over to the Buy Art section of our website, where you’ll find a comprehensive selection of works from artists that have been hand-picked by our editorial team!

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