Buying Original Art Online

Written By Jill Saur 11/16

In 2006, buying fine art online was considered to be the wave of the future by those who understood social media and societal trends. A handful of start-ups opened online galleries and to date, they represent thousands of artists from around the world. In 2013, Amazon announced it would be selling fine art online. They recruited a handful of brick and mortar galleries and partnered with the online art galleries to sell fine art through Amazon.

Buying original art online is no longer the wave of the future. It’s a thriving marketplace. Many are happily experiencing the delight of shopping for their new masterpiece from the comfort of their own home or business. And, they’re not just buying small pieces. 

Hiscox, the world’s largest insurer of artwork has the most thorough and accurate statistical analysis of art sales to date. According to their 2016 online trade report, the online art market (artwork selling for $10,000 or less) has continued to grow strongly, up 24% from 2015, to $3.27 billion dollars. Based on this trajectory, Hiscox says they expect the online art market to be worth $9.58 billion dollars by the year 2020. They report that ninety-two percent of current online art buyers expect to buy more or the same amount of art online in the next twelve months. Hiscox says that due to lack of technology skills, only twenty-eight percent of brick and mortar galleries worldwide are taking advantage of selling their artist’s work online.

According to a study I did this year of 290 high-end brick and mortar art gallery websites in the top art destinations in the United States, less than 10% show prices or have the ability for clients to purchase online. This can be very frustrating for people looking to buy art because they don’t want to call for pricing and they prefer not to give their credit card numbers on the phone. At present, original fine art and print reproductions are currently sold online by major art marketplace venues, business savvy artists working from their own studio/galleries who are in control of their own websites, and brick and mortar art galleries up to speed with current technology.

If you’re looking to buy original artwork online, you’re in very good company. I wrote this article to help you understand that it’s a perfectly fine and safe thing to do. One of the greatest benefits of buying art online is not being limited to the art galleries within your driving radius. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities from which you have to choose.

Please be sure to read my article titled, “What To Look For In An Online Gallery When Buying Art.”