Colecting or investing?

The first thing that is essential to keep in mind is that collecting art and investing in art are two different things. There are collectors who are dedicated to buy art from an investment perspective specifically looking for a financial return. In this case, it is important that the investor asks for advice from an art market expert. If we buy art from a collecting point of view, we would say that the buyer must remain faithful to his intuition and aesthetic preferences.

Although art has been introduced on our daily basis, and we know all the details about the vibrant market sales, the truth is that the art world can be quite intimidating, especially when we realize that we actually don’t know as much as we thought.

Doubts and fears

The biggest responsibility of the art market globalization has to be necessarily attributed to online art sales platforms. The facility that each of us has in accessing artworks produced by geographically and culturally distant artists, and in acquiring this paitings, sculptures or photographs, brought a brutal proliferation to art’s business. But this democratization is kind of bittersweet, leading to a series of mistrust  and fear,  typical of a process that is still, for many, a new experience. Is the quality / price relation fair? It’s an original artwork or a print? How is it possible to know if the arte sales website is reliable?

With the variety of offers available, it is absolutely normal that, in a moment of acquisition, we feel confused and, eventually, end up quitting the process.

Shairart‘s tips to buy art

Thinking about all the doubts that arise on a moment of purchase of an original artwork through an online art platform / website, we have prepared the ultimate guide with all the considerations that you need to take into account:

  1. The first question is: Where to start? To make it easier not to lose focus, set the maximum amount that you wan t0 spend, conducting your research from there.
  1. Always choose artworks that you really like, and that you believe to be a good investment. If an artwork deal seems too good to be true, consider that the oportunity can be strange. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a good deal.
  1. Inquiring about the art world will always be a real plus, so visit exhibitions, fairs, biennials, galleries and museums whenever possible.
  1. As in any substantial purchase, it is important to do a prior research when you buy art. Do some research on the authenticity of the works, the artist’s career and previous sales.
  1. Explore the background of the artist: either you find an artwork that interests you in an auction, an online ad or a website, explore the most you can about the author. Pay attention to his biography and professional path. Does he have an education degree? Has he been awarded? Are his exhibitions local, national or international wide? This information will also help you realize if the stipulated price is appropriate.
  1. Investigate on the seller. Is the website from an art dealer? A gallery? Are you contacting directly the artist? Is it selling contemporary art? Don’t feel intimidated to ask how long the person / entity has been in the market. Looking for sales history and names is what customizes the relationship and that is a a very important step.
  1. Find out more about the logistics and shipping policies of the entity or artist you are working with. Especially when it comes to long distance shipments is necessary to realize the conditions. Will they send the work dismantled? Is the transportation insured?
  1. Pay special attention to artwork dimensions. Seeing an image on a screen can induce in absolute error.
  1. If the provided photos raise you any doubts, contact the artist, gallery or website, so that they send you more pictures.
  1. Defining what to buy can be the most difficult task of all! Do you want to buy a large format painting? Are you a fan of illustrations? Are you looking to buy an oil or an acrylic painting? A work of modern art or contemporary art? Do you prefer abstract or figurative works? Is your preference sculpture? Consider the characteristics that you really want, and cross them with the available budget, seeing what artworks match with the profile.
  1. The online art sales websites have diferente payment possibilities, such as credit card, bank transfer, paypal, among others. Choose the method that you feel more confortable about, knowing that, for example, paypal ensures the refund of the purchase value, in case of any problem.
  1. If the work is identified as an original, it must be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
  1. About the insurance, clarify what situations are insured. If you receive a damaged artwork, you should immediately get in touch with the artist / entity.
  1. Even if the artwork doesn’t meet your expectations, by law you have 14 days to return it, whatever the reason.Be sure, however, to check the list with the return / cancellation periods applied in the European Union.