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A beginner’s guide to buying artwork as an investment


Investments in the current markets are a bare essential. You can never be sure about how the market is going to react in the near future; such is the volatile nature of the markets. In such a situation, investment comes to your rescue. But what do you invest in? Shares, jewellery, real estate sound common enough! Well there is a very potent form of investment: Artwork. We will tell you all about buying artwork as an investment and how it can prove to be one of the wise choices you make.

Why it is a fine investment idea?

buying-artwork-as-an-investmentThat investment is the best where the returns are the most and this is an open secret. When it comes to artwork, the market researches show that the increase in prices of the artworks has been a whopping 1000% in the last 40 years. Even in more recent times the rise has never been less than 25% and more. These are clearly mouth watering numbers for any investor and this is what makes the idea of buying artwork as an investment a very smart one if you are willing to give at least some ten years to the investment.

Things to know before buying artwork as an investment


  1. The types of art: It is important to know what we exactly mean when we refer to artwork. This artwork consists of several things like drawing, photography, painting, prints, sculpture, mixed media and even the videos. In the general terms glassblowers of the potters who produce in large numbers are not termed artists due to their lack of uniqueness. But even some of them who have developed a signature style and given that unique touch to their work are referred to as artists. So know whether the creator of your artwork is an artist or a sculptor or simply a manufacturer. You need to know this in detail because later on this will determine the investment choice.
  2. Distinguish between originals and copies: Among the several instructions on what to look for, this is particularly important. You obviously know that the original painting is one that exists as a one-of-a kind. Naturally, they are much more expensive as a buy and if the investment is to be made this is the best choice for the high prices that it can fetch later on.

Prints however are copies but they are so rich in detailing and finesse that they too tend to fetch good prices. If you are investing in art on a budget, this is the path to adopt for you to start off your collection. Just note that there are some prints which do not appreciate in its value and as an investor you must stay away from such prints. If there is a limited edition print available or you find one which has been autographed by the artist you can be assured that you would fetch a good price later on.

  1. Giclees and reproductions: In today’s times the best quality of print that is available is the giclee. With some of these products you would also be provided with a certificate of authenticity and some would be termed to be of ‘museum quality’ and both would prove to be good investment options.

Reproductions are basically posters and they do not have a limited run in printing. While it can be a good choice for those on a tight budget and just starting out, it will not be fetching you high prices if that is your goal. 

How to buy?

Research-on-the-artistFollow the following steps with care and dedication so that you can make the best choice and avoid getting duped at the same time.

  • Research on the artist: This is no tough job in today’s times where the information is just a click away. Remember that the more interesting and potential the artist has, the better are the chances of his works paying rich dividends later on. The awards he received or his education and age and throw significant light in this regard if you are still wondering how to buy.
  • Research the artwork: This is tough job which is also very important before you plan to invest in the artwork. Know in great detail about the art and the artist, preferably from an expert. Obtain a certificate for authenticity as well just to be sure.
  • Be sure of the dealer: Much of the information in the art world is classified which makes how to buy a tricky prospect. But despite the handicap you have to ensure that the dealer is authentic and has good reputation. This will help you to avoid getting duped or from buying a fake artwork.
  • Be careful: Apart from what we told you so far keep an eye open at all times for possible frauds. The data and authenticity is often tampered with and you need to take care to ensure that such incidents do not escape your eyes.

Where should you buy the artwork for investment?


  • Auctions: While buying artwork as an investment people often tend to hit the auctions. Be sure to not get carried away in the bidding process and apart from that this is a reliable choice since the auctions usually mean many art buyers have assembled with enough information so that you don’t have to worry about authenticity.
  • Galleries: A great place to buy artwork is these galleries where exhibitions take place. Galleries usually have an individual focus which varies thus giving you a lot of options to choose from.
  • Art fairs and online: Exercise maximum caution while buying artwork as an investment from such places as your chances of getting duped are the highest here. Paddle8 and Saatchi Art are some reputed and authentic online places to buy your art from.
  • Remember to Maintain: This will only be a good investment if you manage to maintain your artwork. So make sure there is regular cleaning dusting and other necessary steps taken to preserve the artwork for a long time.

Final words

Investing in art on a budget is no mean task as most of us have no clue about what to look for. Now that you are well versed with its whereabouts, we are sure it would be simpler and more potent than before. We can’t wait for you to try out buying artwork as an investment and reap the rich dividends in the times to come.

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