How to buy art online: An informative guide

Online trade has become increasingly important and is an essential part of today's art market. Online art stores offer a range from wall art to decorate your home in an individual style to highly sought after and unique collector's pieces. The spectrum spans from trash to high valued blue-chip artwork.

To get a comprehensive overview, we recommend to check out our how-to guide before you start buying online fine art.

  • Before you begin searching for art online set yourself a fixed budget.
  • Make sure that the offer in question is indeed art, with the potential to increase in value, and not mere decoration.
  • Research all online art purchases thoroughly. Don't hesitate to contact Art Investment for dummies for free professional art collector advice.
  • Purchase only when a secure payment method and a detailed return policy are provided.
  • Once you have located a genuine work of art, proceed without hesitation, otherwise, the piece may no longer be available.

Two Contemporary Art pieces at art exhibition
The secret art fair, Paris 2020

Finding art online

When searching the art online marketplace you will find artists whose careers are as diverse and exciting as the variety of their nationalities and styles.

Since art buyers and art investors can get in touch with artists and galleries in just a few clicks, finding a trustworthy online art portal to enrich your art collection or decorate your four walls has become more convenient.

Collectors have new opportunities. It is possible to visit virtual art venues and art exhibitions that are not tied to a specific city or country. Art can be bought online in real-time around the world.

Reputability of an art online store

Marilyn Monroe Collage on computer rear panel
Sensual twist, Jans Bock-Schroeder - SOLD

A key criterion is the range of art that a quality vendor offers. Online art stores with the largest selection are not necessarily the best. However, a reasonable variety and diversity in the assortment is a positive indicator.

Your preferences and imagination determine which online art store is the most fitting for you.

If you buy art objects on the Internet, make sure that prices are clearly formulated, that terms and conditions, privacy policy, delivery conditions, and shipping costs don't contain hidden contractual clauses.

When choosing an art online retailer, the customer service level must be excellent. Transparency is equally important.

Online art market statistics

Abstract contemporary art by Jans Bock-Schroeder
High Fashion + Fine Art, 80cm x 109cm | Jans Bock-Schroeder 2016

Online art sales ($ million)

According to the Statista Research Department global online art sales amounted to approximately 4.82 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, up by four percent over the previous year. Online art sales are forecast to increase to a total of 9.32 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.

Online art sales chart

Research Method: The global online estimation of this survey is based on available sales figures as well as sales estimates obtained from a study of the most prominent online sales platforms for art and collectibles. These online sales platforms do not represent the entire population of online art and collectibles sales platforms. It is to be expected that the estimates will be on the conservative side. All Data Specification without liability. Source: Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2020

The 21st century will go down in history as the era of the online collector. What was unthinkable a few years ago is now a reality. Online portals have established themselves to the point that no renowned art gallery or art dealer can operate without them.

The online art market is diverse and broad

Pop art Simkscreen Print from the Series Jesus in New York by Likewolf
Jesus in New York, 1995 | 100 cm x 140cm - Edition 2/3

The five main players are online art galleries, curated social media channels, private dealers, auction houses, and of course, artist's platforms and websites that pitch their art directly to their clients via the Internet.

Buying art online has become mainstream in 2020, a trend that can be noticed in the consumer acceptance of millennials and emerging buyers on the market for modern and contemporary art.

The evolution of the online art market has reached a turning point and emerging artists can be introduced to the market without financial risks to see if collectors will respond. This is a great opportunity for art dealers to broaden their artist rooster, their collector base, and to translate virtual art presentations into online sales.

Many online art collectors have spent more than $100,000 on expensive art during 2020. Art collectors have been shopping online and making virtual appointments with galleries and artists in 2020 and will continue to do so.

Led by collectors from China, who have become the motor of the global luxury market, 54% of millennial art buyers and 60% of new art buyers stated 2020 that their level of trust in purchasing art online has grown.

Most international galleries have closed their spaces. The cancellation of major international art fairs such as Art Basel Hong Kong, Frieze New York, and Art Basel in Switzerland have changed traditional art deals forever.

Art's new digital presence

Pop art painting of a Ballerina at art exhibition
Ballerina, 80cm x 120cm | Jans Bock-Schroeder 2016

Geographical borders no longer play a significant role in the presentation and marketing. Today's art market has opened up to an unprecedented amount of potential customers.

People are confined to their homes, getting bored and eager to invest money in art. A digital future for the art market during curfews, lockdowns, and all the drawbacks of a pandemic is not only possible. It has proven to be an economic success for all parties involved.

Buying art online is both convenient and exciting. Learning to raise the relevant queries and using the right mechanisms through online acquisitions will allow you to build your own art collection with ease and confidence.

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