If you are like most of the population, you would have never bought art from the web. That’s because most of us have our own view about shopping online. And one of them is “art should not be bought online”.
But, are these judgments valid?
Have you really thought about this?
Well, I agree that it’s a bit different from buying electronics or any other branded products from the web. But, is that enough to completely avoid online art shopping?
In this post, we will discuss some of these common misconceptions you have about online art purchase.
Misconception#1 – You Should Never Buy Art Online
I’ve a friend who is an avid e-shopper. He refuses to buy two things online. One is clothing and the second is fine art. He says both of these should be bought only from local stores.
What he says is this: you need to see, touch and feel them before purchasing these items. He says when you buy online, you are only viewing a screen-shot of a product and it won’t be an accurate representation of the original.
According to him, there is no way we could ensure the quality of an item when we buy online. Also, there is no guarantee that you will get what you paid for – the colors might change, finishes can be different etc.
So, what’s your opinion? Should we avoid buying art because of this?
Well, I somewhat agree with him, especially on the clothes side. That’s because, clothes are something we need to wear to use. If it doesn’t feel and fit well, we can’t use it. And there is no way we can truly guess these characteristics from a screen-shot. However, is this same with art?
You can understand the characteristics of art from the online product page. Apart from the creative side (which you can sample through screenshot), all other things are fixed with an art piece. This includes type or art, medium, size, types of paper used, quality of finishing and many other details. You can quickly learn about these from the product description. And once you understand these, you can judge yourself about the quality of the art.
You could also chat with online store representative to clear your doubts. On top of that , majority of online stores also offer 15-30 day money back guarantees. If you didn’t like a product you ordered, you could return it for replacement or refund.
So tell me, when online stores are offering these things to gain our trust, should we really skip buying art online?
Misconception#2 – Only Rich People Buy Art Online
I must admit that this somewhat correct if you are only thinking about original art. Yes, they costs thousands of rupees and are surely out of reach to common person. But, when you consider art as a whole, this is totally false. Why? Because, you have many choices to purchase affordable art. Take case of hand made reproductions and digital prints – they cost a tiny fraction of original’s price. Aren’t they affordable to everyone?
It’s actually very easy to buy art online based on your budget. Most of the online stores have price sliders. You can set your preferred prices and look for affordable art that suits you.
There goes your second misconception. Remember, art is for everyone and everybody can afford to buy art!
Misconception#3 – You Won’t Get Good Artworks Online
Some believe online art stores sell junk art. For them, real art sales only happens at art shows and galleries. Why? Because, that’s the place artists sell their art first. According to them, online medium comes last. If an artist has any unsold artwork, they will put online as a last resort and try to sell it.
Here, the artists sell their latest works directly to customers. In fact, they even encourage you to buy online directly from them and requests you shun galleries to avoid any additional commissions.
They also sell their creations at online art galleries and websites. If popular artists welcome selling online, one thing is certain – you could definitely buy good art on the web!
Misconception#4 – You won’t find New Artists Online
Are online art stores only for popular artists? Some believe that’s the case now. They say, web art stores are only good for buying popular art and you won’t find art from new artists.
But, is that correct?
It would have been true if you were talking about offline art galleries. Offline art galleries doesn’t usually accept art from any artist. An artist must be reputed to accept his artworks by a general art gallery. But, in case of online art galleries, that’s not how it works.
Online art galleries sells all kinds of art. From originals to reproductions. They sell art from long dead artists to newest young artists.
One reason for this is the wide reach online art galleries have. They are capable of selling art across continents. As they serve wide range of customers, they must also sell art of varying tastes. In order to do that, they need to sell art from both older and newer artists. And because of this, you will definitely find art from newer artists, especially with bigger art stores and galleries.
So, what you say now? Where would you find art from newer artists more? Online or offline?
Misconception#5 – Art is Fragile and Difficult to Ship
Glass is fragile and is difficult to ship, right? But, is that preventing people from sending glass products across the country? Then, how do they send glass items without damage? The answer is simple – they would use protective packaging to ensure the parcel reaches destination in one piece.
Similarly, there are many ways you could ensure protection for art packages. Online stores use plastic sheets and tubes to send un-framed art pieces. They use thermocol re-enforcements and high quality corrugated cartons to send framed artworks. This way, they can ensure safe delivery of their packages.
So, it’s not correct that art is fragile and difficult to ship. It may be fragile, but that does not necessarily mean, there is no safe method to ship these products.
Now It’s Your Turn
We trust we have now debunked some of your misconceptions. Do you have further questions about buying art online? What tips would you suggest to a newbie online art buyer? Share your comments here.