FIVE DON’TS WHEN BUYING A PIECE OF ART
A FIRST-TIME BUYERS GUIDE FOR BUYING A PIECE OF ART
When buying a piece of art, especially for first-time buyers, the art world can seem like a vast ocean of ever-changing trends, styles, and prices, a mystical land of advanced degrees in art history and family legacies with collections stretching back generations. Don’t worry. You don’t need to be an expert to love a piece of art. So we’ve gathered some quick and un-complicating tips for new–and experienced–art collectors to help educate you on some of the more lucrative points of art dealing. Buying a new piece of art doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, so take a deep breath and keep these easy steps in mind:
1. Don’t be intimidated
It’s well known that some art galleries give off a somewhat terrifying first-impression. You walk into a room full of varyingly expensive pieces of art whose worth are dictated by a changing set of rules, most of which are whispered discreetly behind auction paddles and blue-chip works of art. We get it. Don’t be intimidated. Ask questions. Look around. Make yourself at home. Find out the price-range of the gallery, and of the pieces you’re interested in, and file all that information under “new art purchase.” If you find out the gallery is too pricey for your budget, don’t leave! Stick around and stare at all the artworks. Going to galleries can be a great way to find out what you like, and learn about your personal style. Ask someone in the gallery if they have a print of a piece you’re interested in, or a smaller work by an artist you like. Remember, you’re not bothering them by answering your questions- that’s what they’re there for!
2. Don’t buy to invest, buy something you LOVE
Most pieces of art will decrease in value as soon as you walk out of the gallery, so unless you’re dropping millions on a historic work of art, your best bet is to buy an artwork that you LOVE. Take the time to find your style. Choose from Modern Art, Post Modern Art, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Street Art, Graffiti Art, Neo-surrealism, Neo-pointillism, Op-Art, Photography and hundreds of other categories of Fine Art and Design. Each one has their own unique history and style, but the most important thing is to find a work you’ll want to look at every. single. day and buy it. You know the saying, “there is no ‘good wine’ or ‘bad wine,’ there is a wine that you like and wine that you don’t like,” The same applies for art. In the end, all the rest is nonsense. Buy for love, not status.
3. Don’t skip the gallery visit (if you can!)
Now that the world is full of wonderful online auction houses and online art databases, it’s easy to avoid the gallery walk-in and skip straight to creating your online profile and filling it with your gallery favorites without ever leaving your home or office. Keep in mind–one of the easiest mistakes someone can make is to purchase a piece based on only on its online profile. Even online platforms like Artsy recommend getting on the phone with the gallery, and, if they can, visiting the work in person. Says Legacy Russell of Artsy in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, “any legitimate gallery will get on the phone, and share with the collector as much information as possible…Artsy, [aims] to facilitate introductions between collectors and galleries—while many of these conversations begin online, they often deepen into offline relationships.” So, here’s our advice. Before you spend your hard-earned cash, try to see your piece in person! If you can’t make it to the showroom, call up the gallery who represents the artist, or owns the piece, and question them about size, color, and return policy.
4. Don’t spend more than you can
Before you buy, make a budget. Sticking to it isn’t always realistic, but when a gallerist asks you what your budget it, have one in mind. It should be a range of numbers within your means, with wiggle room for slightly pricier pieces. Be honest with your art dealer. They don’t want to sell you a piece you can’t pay for, and you don’t want to buy a work you can’t afford. So be practical.
5. Don’t forget the details
Once you’ve chosen your budget-friendly, well-researched, seen-in-person work that you LOVE, make sure you remember to consider all the details of the art purchase. What kind of frame will this piece go in? How will I ship it to my home? Does it need security? Does a professional need to hang it up or put it together? Do I have a place to put it? Do I need a certificate of authenticity? Am I purchasing from a trustworthy source? The buy is often worth the extra hassle, but make sure you consider all the details in your budget before purchasing a piece. Create a list of questions you’ll want to ask the gallery and have them answered one by one. Lots of galleries, like Eden Fine Art take care of the details for you. Act quickly on popular pieces, and last of all, have fun!
If you are interested in purchasing a new piece of art to your collection or maybe just thinking on starting your own art collection, feel free to explore our house of pop art and color, on our main Collection Page