May 8, 2012 Leave a comment
If there’s one true thing that can be said about the art market today, it’s that it’s more diverse than ever. There are now more places and ways to buy virtually any type of artwork today. Best of all, the prices for art are diverse enough to allow lower net worth individuals to make sound investments. The advent of the Internet and its role in ushering in the information age has made it possible to both buy and sell art through the web, providing more opportunities to invest in art than ever before.
Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned art collector or a novice still collecting your first few pieces, there are a handful of basic rules to follow when investing in fine art.
For instance, although the Internet has made it easier than ever to buy artwork, it has also raised new issues that need to be taken into account. For instance, online sellers normally indicate a lot of information when describing a piece of art. The only problem is how to verify that information. Herein lies the importance of asking as many questions as you can to verify the authenticity of a piece. Sellers can be unreliable, since they’re likely to have typed in the information themselves. Your best bet is to approach an independent consultation to get expert advice with specific art pieces for sale. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to buy your art pieces from one source, and have it examined by another.
Take Down Everything in Writing
Taking down all information you can about the artwork transaction is a basic yet effective method of protecting yourself. Note down everything in writing, from information about the art piece, seller, price and return/exchange policies. The traditional method of having a signed document legally notarized will protect you, particularly when a need to go to court arises. Make a point to get as much information as you can about the seller. This will be useful for future purchases and questions about the artwork you may have already purchased.
Discuss Return Policies Thoroughly
You and the seller must have a clear discussion about the possibility of returning art. Oral agreements won’t suffice, so make sure you take down all relevant information in writing. Better yet, have a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist or seller. An original copy must be furnished to ensure the transaction is 100% ironclad.
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