Fact Checked

What Are the Best Tips for Buying Fine Art?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye

The first step in buying fine art is to consider the motive for doing so. A person should approach the task with either adequate knowledge or professional advisement. She should not be too intimidated or otherwise hesitant to ask as many questions as she feels necessary. The sales history of an artist's works and the seller's return policy are two types of details that should be investigated. Insurance coverage and the terms of that coverage also need to be considered before purchases are made.

Before an individual considers buying fine art, she needs to determine why she is doing so. If the purchase will simply be based on the desire to own a piece of art that an individual likes, the process will be much easier. If a person is planning to obtain art for investment purposes, then a substantially greater amount of care and concern must be exercised when making the purchase. To begin with, unless the individual has a knowledgeable adviser acting in her interest, she needs to learn about the art investment market.

When buying a piece of fine art it is important to also look at the frame.
When buying a piece of fine art it is important to also look at the frame.

An important stock of knowledge to have when buying fine art is the pricing and sales history for an artist's works. A prospective buyer should consider the prices that the artist's works have commanded in the past. When doing this, attention should be paid to sales of the same or similar items as the one that a person is considering. The interested party should also assess the demand and sales record for the artist's work over the short and long term.

The art market can be so intimidating that people often feel obligated to act as if they know things that they do not. When buying fine art, a person should never hesitate to ask as many questions as he believes are necessary, including those that he would inquire about when making other purchases. An ideal example of this are inquiries about a seller's return and refund policy. Circumstances sometimes arise where a person decides that the purchase he made was a mistake, and some sellers are much more understanding of these situations than others.

One of the factors that should influence how much a person is willing to pay for a piece of art is the type of artwork being considered. Works that are original or one of a kind, for example, should generally command higher prices than a reproduction. When an individual decides that she will make a purchase, there are at least two documents that she needs to prioritize obtaining. These are a certificate of authenticity and the sales receipt.

Before buying fine art, a person should consider insurance. Even if he has coverage through an existing insurance provider, such as a homeowner's policy, he needs to make sure that he is fully aware of all of the terms. This is true whether the art is for pleasure or investment.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


Great tips. Thanks for sharing them. I came across a great fine art collection at Fine Art Maya. Is it worth buying?

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • When buying a piece of fine art it is important to also look at the frame.
      By: Olivier DIRSON
      When buying a piece of fine art it is important to also look at the frame.