Congratulations on your decision to buy art online! You are about to join a new group of art buyers and collectors who are making an effort to work alongside artists to revolutionize the way art is bought and sold. Gone are the days when art sales and purchases were almost always brokered by brick and mortar art galleries, because thanks to the power of the internet and its ability to bring people together, selling art online and buying art online is just as easy and safe if you know what to look out for. When you buy your art online, there are some risks to consider. As with anything online, the anonymity of the internet attracts some shady characters, and so it is important when you wish to buy some art online, to do so only from a reputable established online gallery. Reputations are still powerful things, and you need to verify the identity of the artist / seller and the owner of the online art gallery website, and then you can rest assured that you are about to buy art online that is legitimate.
Finding a reputable online gallery or marketplace is one of the most important things you can do when you decide to buy art online. There are many different styles of online galleries and marketplaces and then dozens of each different style, so how can you be sure you are working with a reputable website and staff? There are a few things that you can look for before you buy any art online from a website-based gallery or marketplace. First, look for contact information or a contact form for the website owner or operator; if there is no directly obvious information identifying the owner of the website you would like to buy art somewhere online, never fear! Many people safeguard their information by keeping it out of the public eye, but if you use the contact form and explain why you would like to know, you should get a response back that will enable you to go from there. Also use the contact form to send a question or comment to the site staff and see what quality of response you get back; is it a form letter or is it plain that a live person wrote a response to you? And last, look around the net at some of the major review websites and see what both buyers and sellers are saying about their experiences of buying art online from that website.When you buy art online, it is important to protect yourself and your money. There are plenty of unscrupulous sellers and dealers out there in the world who would be happy to take your money for a misrepresented product, leaving you the buyer holding the bag so to speak. One of the best tools in a buyer’s arsenal is a healthy dose of skepticism, which means that you should always be suspicious of the claims someone makes and be cautious enough to verify all information in an item’s description before you try to buy any kind of art online from anyone, whether it’s a gallery or direct from the artist. Most importantly, you need to find out and verify these three things before you buy art online: First, the seller’s identity and if they are not the original artist, the identity of the artist as well. Next is the condition of the art; request as many pictures as possible as well as an independent report of the item’s condition if this is practical. And lastly, determine if the seller has any sort of customer satisfaction / return policy or guarantee that you can use to send the art back and receive a refund if there is a problem with the art.
As always it is important to remember the saying “Buyer Beware” when it comes to whether or not to buy art online; this does not mean that everyone is out to take your money for an inferior or misrepresented product, but rather that it can and does happen and a healthy dose of caution never hurts when looking to buy art online. Make sure to browse reputable online marketplaces and galleries and to always verify as much information as you can before you buy, and you will soon be on your way to building a full and satisfying collection of fine art.