Top Five: May 21, 2020. Tips For Buying Art Online

by Glasstire May 21, 2020

Christina Rees and Brandon Zech walk you through the surprisingly unstressful process of buying excellent art online, at all price points.

“Have fun with it. Buying art online is an interesting adventure, and right now it’s going to a very good cause. Artists and galleries are hurting and it’s a good idea to support them if you can.”

1. There’s something for everyone


Giovanni Valderas

2. Cheap does not equal bad


Celia Eberle

3. Payment plans are your friend

Robyn O’Neil


4. Don’t be afraid to approach an artist or gallery


Emily Peacock

5. Don’t haggle


Gabo Martinez

(All artwork above is included in the upcoming Glasstire Auction.)


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Robert Boyd May 21, 2020 - 10:14

I have advice for online auctions: bid the minimum bid. If that’s the most you can afford, the worst that will happen is that you’ll be outbid. But it’s quite possible that you will be the only bidder. I’ve gotten work by Raymond Pettibon, John Waters and others with this strategy at reasonable prices that I could afford.

Charles Mary Kubricht May 21, 2020 - 14:53

Thanks for your tips about buying art online. I’d like to add to your conversation about buying art online. There are also some legit art platforms such as Artfare that are only for online buying and easy to navigate. Disclaimer: My work is represented by Artfare. One reason I believe Artfare has been successful with artists and collectors is because they saw a need and began as an online platform committed to the success of the artist. They only take 10% of the sale (galleries take 50%) and because COVID is affecting so many artists they didn’t take any commission for 2 months. The artist has the freedom to be represented by a gallery concurrently. They handle my promotion, billing, shipping, taxes, arranging studio visits (though right now the visits are done virtually). Everything is transparent. I once told a dealer who was representing me that I want the mystery in my artwork not my business relationship. The internet has challenged the artworld to be transparent.

It is problematic for an artist to sell out of the studio if they are represented or have a list of collectors. Since I moved my studio from Houston to Marfa and New York I have had visitors to my studio who asked for discounts. I never give discounts because I believe it is not fair to the people who represent me. I’m undercutting them and the work they have done to support me. Also, it is not fair to my previous collectors who, with justification, would resent that someone else paid less. I love the visitors but can’t give the discounts. That said, definitely ask the artist if they have something in your price range. You are right to say there is as much love put in a small artwork as a larger one.

When you buy artwork at auctions please buy as close to the retail value as possible or, even better, buy above. That keeps the value of the artist’s work up and supports the organization that you are benefiting.

Also, I continue posting my art on my Instagram and Facebook pages and encourage other artists to use any platform possible. There are loads of webinars led by arts organizations that help artists use the internet effectively. New York Foundation for the Arts is a great free resource. Posting online is not just about selling your work it is also about connecting with and supporting other artists. I’ve had amazing conversations with artists and art professionals from all over the world.

Stay safe. Stay strong. We are in this together.


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