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How to buy Art Online

Art is one of the most subjective purchases you'll ever make! It may be a cliche, but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Still, there are some things to keep in mind when buying art online, especially if you are bargain hunting on an auction site:

1) Know what you are buying.

Artistic items fall into several broad categories:

  • Carvings and sculpture - Three-dimensional artwork, which may be carved, molded, welded or otherwise constructed from wood, metal, marble, stone or other materials.
  • Digital Art - Artwork which was created on a computer. Digital art may be completely generated on a computer, or a photograph, drawing or other image which has been digitally enhanced.
  • Drawings - Hand drawn artwork in pastels, pencil, charcoal or ink.
  • Folk Art - Cultural and ethnic art, including tribal art and primitives.
  • Mixed Media (collages) - Artwork created with multiple techniques, such as a collage or a painting with 3 dimensional sculptural elements.
  • Paintings - oil, watercolor or acrylic on canvas, wood, glass, silk or other surfaces.
  • Photographs and photographic images - artwork created with a camera.
  • Posters - Bold, graphic representations often used for advertising and commemorating movies, events, stars of stage, screen, sports or music or other celebrities.
  • Prints - Types of prints include lithographs (prints made from a stone or metal plate), offset prints (the ink is transferred from a metal plate to a rubber "blanket" and from there to the paper), serigraphs (also called "silk screen" or "screen printing") and etchings (a chemical is used to the engrave the design into a metal plate, which is then used to make the print). Botanical (prints illustrating flowers and plants) and nature prints are currently enjoying a wave of popularity. Prints can be open or limited editions (meaning only a certain number of that print will ever be made).

If you are considering an expensive purchase, we advise you research the background, details and authenticity the item before you buy!

2) Read the item description

Note the item's condition and imperfections (if any), shipping charges and other conditions of the sale, such as shipping policies and payment methods. Examine all available photos and ask the seller questions if necessary. Is there are return policy or a guarantee? Check the seller's feedback. If they're a high volume seller, do they specialize in art, general merchandise or in another area? Some of the best deals can be found when a seller is auctioning off one or two items outside of their area of expertise.

Our conclusion? Buy what you like - but buy wisely!

Shop for Art !