10 Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making When Buying Art

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Artists and art dealers have a vested interest in convincing us that art is worth whatever price tag it happens to have. Allow me to offer you 10 pieces of advice based on my own experience as a collector, and save you from making (what I like to call) the ten most common art-buying mistakes:

1. Listen To The Artist

2. Write It Down. Always Make Notes On The Back Of Your Receipts.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate

4. Don’t Pay What You Can’t Afford

5. Attend Art Basel Miami Beach Or Its Equivalent In Your City

6. Visit galleries whenever they are open and look at what they show

7. Learn to distinguish between “good” and “bad” art – it will help you immensely when you buy paintings, drawings or photographs by artists who are not yet famous

8. If you don’t understand something ask the artist about it or have it explained to you by someone who does get it – but please don’t ask about the meaning of the work as if it were a riddle to be solved or a mystery that needs unravelling! There may not be

When buying art, there are some mistakes you might not even realize you are making. There is a huge difference between a piece of art that is good and a piece of art that is good value. The following tips will help you to work out the difference.

10. Not Being Prepared to Walk Away

When you know what you want, hold firm. You’ll find it surprisingly easy to walk away from that second glass of champagne or that third cupcake in the bakery window. And if it’s not immediately obvious what you want, don’t be afraid to walk away empty-handed. It’s more important to let your mind wander and return when you’re ready than it is to buy something just because the opportunity is there.

9. Being Intimidated By The Price Tag

Art isn’t meant to be an investment, but if you find yourself unable to purchase a piece because of the price tag, ask yourself whether you would pay the same for a similar item at a different store or if it were on sale? If the answer is yes, then go ahead and buy the piece of art–it probably isn’t too expensive after all!

8. Buying Too Large A Piece Of Art For Your Space

Don’t be fooled by artwork that looks

The most famous example of art forgery is a painting by Vermeer called The Boy With the Pearl Earring. It was sold at auction in New York in December 2003 for $30 million.

That sale, and the story behind it, have become a kind of morality tale. It is said to show how high-end art sales can be a scam played on collectors by clever dealers, auction houses and art experts.

The truth is more complicated, but with lessons for all of us who buy art.

You can buy art on a budget, and get it framed, but only if you do the research. You might not even need to do that, though. One of the reasons for buying art is for investment purposes.

**First of all, look at art fairs and exhibitions in order to find out what else is out there. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to afford a Picasso or Van Gogh during your first visit to an exhibition, but it’s important that you know what other artists are doing, and what their prices tend to be (and this will help with your negotiating strategy). Art dealers who buy and sell at exhibitions are often willing to negotiate on price, so don’t be afraid to haggle a little. And don’t be shy about buying multiple pieces of the same artist—that’s an excellent way to start a collection!**

As you’re looking at a painting, make sure you don’t let yourself be distracted by details. The best way to do this is to find a place where you can stand before the work and see it the way someone else would—as though you were standing in an art museum, not in a gallery or on a dealer’s living room wall. If you’re going to buy the piece, don’t focus on the artist’s signature (or lack thereof)—the piece is more important than who made it. If you’re going to sell it, think about how well known the artist is among people who buy art; if she’s just starting out, her work may be more valuable in ten years because she’ll be more famous.

Of course, these guidelines aren’t absolute—if it’s an unsigned Warhol but it looks exactly like his other pieces from that time period and sold for $5,000 (instead of $500), then maybe it’s worth buying. But in general, art buyers get themselves into trouble by focusing on details instead of overall impact.

1. The gallery owner has to make a living too, right? But the gallerist gets paid whether or not you buy anything. So if you’re not buying anything, they have no reason to be particularly nice or helpful to you. They’re not doing it to be nice.

2. If we’re talking about a gallery that represents artists of different levels of experience and reputation, they might have a lot of inventory on hand. If they have a show coming up and need to clear some inventory out in order to make room for the new stuff, they will try to unload the work by giving it away or selling it at a discount.

3. There’s always something else going on at the gallery that is more important than you are — whether it’s an opening, a party, an artist who needs to get paid or some other distraction — so don’t take it personally if you feel like your business isn’t being taken seriously.

4. Even galleries that do just one kind of work rely on repeat business from collectors, so if you walk in and start asking questions about prices, you’re probably going to get some attitude from the dealer — even if their prices are fair and reasonable — because they want you in their stable of regular clients who don

I’ve noticed that most of my clients are convinced that if they buy a piece of art for a certain amount of money, it will be worth as much or more in a few years. This is simply not true.

Consider the following purchases:

1) A $10,000 painting today (2010), will increase in value to $15,000 in three years.

2) A $10,000 dollar sculpture today (2010), will increase in value to $22,000 in three years.

3) A $10,000 dollar gold bar today (2010), will increase in value to $15,000 in three years.

All three have the same “appreciation” rate, but different “appreciators.” The first two appreciate because of the expertise and taste of art collectors and connoisseurs. The third appreciates because we believe that gold is money and has inherent value regardless of who is holding it. When we purchase art we are paying for the expertise and taste of an artist and/or collector–not for their opinion about the underlying intrinsic value or beauty of what they are selling. This is why art prices fluctuate so wildly and are so hard to predict over long time periods. They rise when there is a high demand

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