6 Tips When Buying Art Online
Buying art online is for many art investors more convenient and less stressful than buying it in person from artists, galleries, or auctions. It's also easier, because when it comes to online auctions every buyer is equal and has a fair chance, even if he or she is new to the art world and doesn't have any connections. But buying art online is not risk-free, which is why you will want to consider the tips below.
- Buy only from reputable sources. Good galleries and auctions have professionally designed websites with powerful shopping cart solutions, are featured in the media and on blogs, and display a physical address and a phone number.
- Know the shipping costs. Sometimes shipping is free, but not always. Transporting a large panel from say China to the UK is no cheap affair.
- Prefer artworks that are less likely to get damaged during shipping. Investing in African ivory sculptures is less risky than investing in Japanese porcelain, as far as the shipping is considered. That's not to say that you should avoid the latter, only that when buying art online you should always try to pick the most resistant items.
- Keep an eye on foreign markets. In recent years China has overtook the US to become the world's largest art market. South America and Africa are also worth watching. And you can always buy art from Hong Kong to avoid taxes and royalties.
- Focus on fresh new talent and on mid-career artists, as these have the greatest potential for growth. Most artists who sell their artworks online are young, so finding promising youths shouldn't be too hard.
- Get help from an art advisor and a financial expert. Just because you buy art online doesn't mean that you can do all the research yourself. The web provides a wealth of information about art investments, but much of it is superficial and of little practical value.
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