Owning the right piece of art is an incredibly powerful thing. Art that strikes a chord with you can instantly change your current mood, transform your worldview, and drastically affect the look and feel of your home, bringing it to life.
Since finding the right artwork has the potential to have such a big impact, making sure you get right pieces is vital. However, buying art isn’t always easy.
Buying art in-person can be a difficult process for a handful of reasons. To start, there are art galleries with sales people hovering over you, chomping at the bit, to sell you anything and everything in the gallery so they can hit their sales goals and receive their commissions and bonuses. And to top it off, sales people can pressure you to thinking and feeling a certain way about their artwork.
Plus, most art galleries mark up the prices of each piece unreasonably high. Sure, buying art is an investment, but most art shouldn’t cost as much as a car. For original paintings or drawings, a price like this may be justified, but for reproductions, this is almost never the case.
We’ve even seen print reproductions from local artists selling for +$5,000. Most of the time, pricing like this is just unfair.
So instead of an in-person art gallery, you try buying online where you run into another set of problems…
The first problem any online art buyer runs into is getting a good understanding of how any given piece will actually look in person. Sometimes digital images aren’t high quality, or the colors won’t be accurate. Second, even if the images are high quality and accurate, sometimes art will simply look and feel different in-person than it does online.
Last, buying art online often happens without getting your questions answered quickly. Instead of a hovering salesperson in a physical art gallery, customer support for online galleries can frequently be nonexistent. This is NOT what you want when deciding to invest in artwork.
That’s why we’ve have created these these tips to help you in your online art buying journey.
1. Money back guarantees are a must have.
As mentioned above, getting a good look and feel for art online can be tough. This is why you should only buy from online galleries that offer a money-back guarantee or in-home trial. You deserve the right to try the art in your home to see if it’s what you thought. If not, you should be able to send it back.
Trust us when we say that you do not want to get burned by an online gallery that locks you into a purchase with no chance of receiving a refund.
Pro tip: 30 day money-back guarantees are best! Look for online galleries that offer full refunds within 30 days of purchase so you can get all of your money back if the artwork is looking different than you thought, or if you simply changed your mind.
2. Make sure there is quick and helpful customer support.
Online art buying should never be guesswork. And just because you don’t want salespeople breathing down your neck in a physical art gallery, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever need help while deciding which piece to buy. That’s why you should look for online galleries that have quick and helpful customer support.
Pro tip: Nobody likes to wait on having their questions answered, so look for online galleries with live chat customer support! Most online galleries offering live chat will have icons in the bottom-left or bottom-right corners of their website so you can speak with a customer support agent ASAP.
3. Only buy pieces produced with the best quality materials.
Identifying the best quality materials for artwork and their reproductions can be tricky. To make matters more confusing, there are many high and low quality brands and materials that can look similar to the untrained eye.
Instead of going through all of them, a simple indicator of production material quality can be explained by an online gallery’s warranty for the items they sell. The better the materials used, the longer a warranty is likely to be.
Pro tip: Look for a lifetime warranty! Online galleries using the best possible materials for their reproductions and originals should always offer a lifetime warranty.
Why? Because the highest quality materials will last a lifetime (and usually a lot longer), while cheap materials won’t. Cheap materials will start to yellow or fade over time, unlike high quality materials.
All art should be a family heirloom, so look for a lifetime warranty that will ensure it.
4. There should be plenty of buying options for prints, as well as an option to buy the original if available.
Every art buyer has different buying preferences. Look for online galleries offering unframed and framed prints and canvas prints in a variety of sizes and frame colors. Plus, if an original version of a painting or drawing hasn’t been purchased yet, there should be an option to buy it too.
Pro tip: If the style and size you’re looking for isn’t available, ask their customer support to make it for you! Online galleries should be able to custom make the option you prefer with ease.
5. You must absolutely love the art.
Most importantly, you have to absolutely love any piece of art you buy - there’s no way around it! It’s simple. Look for something that connects with you emotionally, invokes curiosity, and inspires you. If artwork isn’t doing that, don’t buy it! Save your money, keep looking, and move on to the next piece that does.
Pro tip: We mean it. If an artist’s work doesn’t take your breath away, don’t buy it! Just don’t. Even if you kind of like a piece, or think it may grow on you one day, don’t buy it!
You should be in love with every single piece of art you buy. If you couldn’t imagine a particular piece being the centerpiece of your home decor or collection, stay away! Please, please, please, don’t settle for anything less.
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