Art is a powerful tool that takes us to different places and make us feel different things. Sometimes, there’s a piece that just hits us in a different way, sparking our imagination or bringing some calm into our lives. It’s easy enough to search for different artwork, but it’s an entirely different matter to buy a piece of fine art online.
When you find a piece of fine art online that speaks to you in some way, you have to make sure you get exactly what you pay for and that it gets to you safely. That can be difficult when dealing with fine art, as the pieces themselves can be delicate, and you can always run into shady sellers online. Make sure you have a complete guide to buying fine art online and get yourself the pieces you want.
Look Into the Seller
Your first step is essential, and that is to look into the seller themselves. It’s easy when you deal directly with the artist and their official website; there’s a near guarantee you’ll receive original artworks and prints. But the problems of credibility appear when dealing with resellers and third-party companies; individuals who have no association with the artist in any professional capacity.
You must investigate their background, which you can easily do by searching them online. It’s easy to uncover dubious practices, so make sure you go into a purchase knowing that you’re dealing with professionals. This first step is critical to getting what you pay for; the age of the internet makes accessibility easier than ever, but it also makes fraud that much more common.
Check the Authenticity of the Art
Similar to the first point, you need to make sure that whatever piece you purchase comes with a certificate of authenticity. These certificates guarantee that the piece you buy is an original or an official print. For the most part, this provides you with an assurance of quality that the piece is not a low-quality reproduction of the original. This also comes into play when purchasing limited-edition photography, to give yourself peace of mind that you don’t get swindled.
Look through these online stores to see if the art you want comes with these authentic certificates, and if they don’t directly say it online, ask about it. Lies by omission are still lies, and there are sellers who won’t say whether they have an authentication certificate and will hope that potential buyers will assume that the piece they purchase is real.
When it comes time to pay for your art, make sure that the payment method that the seller uses is one that will keep your sensitive financial information secure. Data breaches need to be a topic of concern for buyers; you don’t want your credit card information leaking out to others.
You also need to question the seller’s credibility if they attempt to use a suspicious payment method. There are so many ways that online sellers can try and trick people into paying for art that they don’t intend to sell, so always follow your gut if you think you ran into a scam.
Shipping and Protection
One of the last, but most important steps to buying fine art online is how they give you the art piece. In most cases, you can’t simply drive to the seller’s location to pick it up; the seller needs to ship it to your home address. You always want to make sure they handle your piece as professionally and delicately as possible, providing adequate protection for your art during transit.
The seller should also provide a tracking number so you have an idea of where your piece may be. A seller can be reputable and professional, but if they can’t guarantee safe travels for your artwork, then you need to look elsewhere.
Insurance for Your Piece
Buying and selling fine art can be an expensive endeavor, which is why you need to make sure the seller has procedures in place to guarantee safety or reimbursement in the event of damage. Anything can happen during transit, and a single careless courier can significantly damage your piece before it gets to your home.
Make sure there are systems in place to mitigate the loss of a work of art if it suffers damage during shipping. If there are no insurance plans, then you’re essentially responsible for damages before the art even gets to you.
Ask About Return Policies
After you buy your artwork, it gets to your home in one piece, and you hang it on your wall, it may not fit with your home’s aesthetic. This can be a normal happening; falling in love with a work of art, only to find that it doesn’t have a place in your home for whatever reason.
Whether it clashes with your interior design, the print is larger or smaller than you hoped, or your feelings changed, you must prepare for the possibility of not wanting it. For these occasions, you need to know what the seller’s return policy is, or if they have one at all. Be aware of whether they offer returns up to a certain date or not at all; in either case, it will inform your purchasing decision.
Know What You’re Dealing With
Purchasing art online is convenient and gives you a wide variety of options, allowing you to pick something you love. But it can also create problems when you don’t know what to look for in a seller, leaving you vulnerable to deception. Purchasing fine art online means taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and guarantee that you get exactly what you pay for.
Sometimes that can mean walking away from a seller and giving up a piece that you had your heart set on. It’s all too easy to get emotionally attached to a piece, but don’t let that cloud your judgment if you think you’re dealing with a suspicious seller. Shop around, find a work of art you love, and always keep your guard up when you run into anonymous sellers online.