||Where to Buy Art
|Where's the best place to find art to buy?
Here are some places to look, with their
principal pros and cons:|
- Pro: Personal service. Can keep you posted
about new works for sale by artists whom
they represent. More leisurely purchase decisions
than at auctions. Eager to advise you about
integrating art with your home décor.
- Con: Some can be stuffy and intimidating
to novice buyers. Not for bargain hunters.
Expect to pay top dollar in this low volume,
high margin business.
Auctions (in person)
- Pro: If the competition is light, you can
pick up a bargain.
- Con: Narrow time window (usually only a few
days) between inspecting an item and deciding
whether to bid. If you are impulsive, you
House Sales, Estate Sales, Flea
- Pro: If the seller is unsophisticated or
desperate to raise cash, you can get a bargain.
- Con: If the seller is a huckster, you can
get stuck with a fake. Lots of time needed
for driving around and picking through debris.
Some artists sell directly to
out of their studios (also called
- Pro: It’s fun and informative to meet the
artist and perhaps see him or her at work.
You may or may not get a better price than
if the same work were sold through a third-party
gallery. See our article about art pricing.
- Con: May be restrictive on forms of payment
Online Sellers (includes online
- Pro: Saves time. Offers great variety. Established
galleries and auction houses increasingly
post their sales catalogs online and accept
orders or bids online.
- Con: Cannot inspect items before purchase
in most, but not all, instances. Dealing
with unknown sellers can be risky.