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Buy art online

It is well known that the internet has given us access to everything that happens in the world just by turning on the computer or consulting our smartphone, so we can be informed and also buy practically anything that comes to mind. Although art has taken longer to enter the online market, it has not been left out and there are already many galleries and auction houses that work partially or exclusively on the internet.

Currently, the global pandemic caused by Covid-19 has forced the reinvention of many businesses and the main change that it has driven is digital transformation and with this it is expected that by 2020 the market share of the sale of online art will triple to that of 2019. Specifically, last year it accounted for 9.2% of total sales in the art market and the forecast for this year is that they will reach 27%, according to the Inbound Capital report “Art’s Inevitable Digital Leap Forward (and why digital investors should care)”.

During the confinement, important online galleries and auction houses have not stopped working, and the sales or auctions have been in some cases a great success. The example that Art Market tells us in this article is the award of all the lots (25) of the anonymous artist Banksy made at the prestigious auction house Sotheby’s, for a total amount of $ 1.1M. In addition, they indicate that half of the buyers were new to Sotheby's and 30% of the bidders were less than 40 years old.


And it is that we already mentioned it in our previous post about the impact of Covid-19 in the world of the art: The harshness of this health crisis has forced us to see how many businesses and activities can continue and grow by making use of the internet and online platforms.

Despite this, there are still skeptics and doubts about the guarantees of buying art online and that is why we are going to try to reinforce in this post the main advantages of acquiring works of art through the network:


The main advantage if you decide to buy art online will be the wide variety of work to which you have access. Online galleries can contain thousands of works by hundreds of artists of various nationalities. This can be overwhelming, but quiet: there are filters. You can adjust the search according to price, style, artist, dimensions of the work ... so that you customize the experience to select among the works that suit your criteria and preferences.

There are also other online galleries that have a smaller sample of works since a selection is made previously within specific conditions, as is our case. At ArteActual we have carefully selected all the content that we currently have in our gallery: 39 artists and more than 1400 artworks.

This allows us to offer a wide variety, but at the same time we know each artist and their work well, so we can offer personalized advice to the buyer, accompany them throughout the process and study each case individually, such as looking for work outside. catalog or commissioned, as well as providing a large amount of work in decoration and interior design projects on a larger scale (hotels, offices ...).


New Artists Logo

Here it is easy to find emerging artists and artists who have a long history, but are not part of the select elite that access the large galleries and auction houses such as Christie's or Sotheby's.

It is incredible how many good artists there are around the world, and the digital medium allows us to consider their works and their various styles, something that was previously impossible to conceive through physical media alone. We have many more options at our fingertips, you may even discover someone who will become a highly sought-after artist in the future! Of course, remember that you always have your head and without being overwhelmed by the high number of works.


The greater the variety of artists, the greater the offer and possibilities. Thus, as a buyer, you can access high-quality works that also represent an investment, not necessarily a millionaire, if you decide to start your own art collection.

There is a lot of talk that digital media have much lower costs than physical ones, and therefore the prices are always lower. We cannot ensure that this is always the case, since the casuistry is very varied in both formats and, therefore, the impact on the final price as well.


Art is a safe value, yes. But so must the transaction. Today's payment methods are completely reliable, and paying attention to the same basic cybersecurity concepts that must be taken into account in any online transaction to ensure that the source is completely trustworthy, there will be no problem. You can see this short video of Banco Santander with the keys to any secure online purchase.

You can check how we comply with them in ArteActual, where we work with PayPal and bank transfer, always send us an invoice with the breakdown of the sale price and the certificate of authenticity of the work signed by the artist.

Of course, a work of art cannot be submitted anyway! And this is another point to take into account when buying art online: The artworks must be sent insured to protect both the artist and the buyer against any damage or loss that may arise during transport. But do not be scared, these setbacks are not common since insuring the work implies that the courier company will be especially concerned with the treatment of the piece, since it is the first interested in not having to compensate the client since the prices are, for generally, high compared to other types of shipments. Keep in mind that, in addition, the gallery or online auction house is due to the satisfactory reception of the work by the client, so that they will always have serious and professional shipping and courier companies.

Image: El Estudio del Pintor

Always check the shipping and returns conditions before making the purchase and if you have any questions, ask the gallery or auction house, they will clarify any question and advise you on what you need. You can check the ones in our ArteActual gallery here.

In any case, we want to emphasize that, although it is a fact that online platforms are a new artistic and cultural business model, we must take care of and maintain traditional commerce: galleries and physical auction houses. They are the ones that have brought art to our cities during all these years so that we can enjoy it before the technological revolution. We believe that both models are perfectly compatible and can and must coexist to continue spreading and making art in all its forms of expression available to the public.

We hope that this review of what we consider 4 fundamental pillars of online art sales has clarified your doubts (if you had them) or reinforced your confidence if you are already a regular online buyer. If, on the other hand, you miss something, leave your comment on this article to open a thread so that we and other readers can continue with this interesting topic.

Do not stop visiting us and contact us for more information or advice.

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