Would you buy art online? February 22 2023
Although millennials and new art buyers have shifted buying in the art market to online and are making headway in bridging the generation gap in the art world, the entire buyer-base for fine art has moved right along with them.
With the change brought about from the pandemic, buyers are not only more confident in purchasing works online but did so in record high numbers. The Hiscox Online Trade Report 2021 stated that consumer hesitancy about buying online had drastically decreased and that online-only auctions increased. Also, important to note was that the average price per purchase increased from $8,500 to $24,000 at fine art auction houses.
According to Artprice.com’s Contemporary Art Market Report 2021, 90% of the contemporary art sold at auction was under $20,000. Other online platforms and online-only galleries are also growing and benefiting from the overall increased level of buyer confidence.
The question that many new and established art buyers are now asking is how to narrow down where to buy. Major concerns for the online art market include the overwhelming abundance of art-market data coupled with finding art that meets the same quality that one finds from reputable galleries or from fine art dealers.
At Wall Fiction, we work hard to build trust within the art market by sharing our knowledge, partnering with reputable galleries, showing established artists’ work, and providing professional descriptions and images. As an online-only consignment gallery, word of mouth and online reviews and experiences from our consignors and collectors are key to our success. We aim to ensure a smooth and professional experience when buying art online where the process doesn’t always allow for in-person viewing.
In reading art market trends for online buying, Wall Fiction satisfies the top concerns on people’s mind and builds trusts with collectors and consignors.
When buying online look for these four things:
- Knowledge Sharing
- Artist Information and Formal Descriptions
- Price Transparency
- Seamless Customer Service
- Knowledge Sharing – Educating Our Buyers and Consignors
Wall Fiction carries extensive knowledge of the Canadian and International art market and the artists that trade within the various fine art markets. Sharing that knowledge by posting articles and art buying tips helps educate our buyers and consignors. Working in the industry and holding memberships in reputable associations ensures our buyers and consignors receive current market information and that our standards remain high.
Wall Fiction will often feature rediscovered artists whose names are not currently in the news but who offer solid buying opportunities for engaging quality pieces are art at affordable price points.
For the new collector, we offer an unpretentious and affordable entrance into art collecting. By learning and browsing curated art online without the pressure of feeling like you need to say the right things, you can start building a collection at your leisure. We’ve done the preliminary work for you.
For the seasoned collector, we provide an opportunity for both buying and selling. If after years of collecting and reshaping your preferences and tastes you find that you want a change, we can sell your work on consignment.
- Artist Information – Empowering Our Collectors
Wall Fiction provides a proper description of the artwork and the necessary photographs to ensure buyers have what they need to make an informed decision. We understand context is important: knowing about the artist’s history and career, the inspiration of the work or stories attached can spark connections.
In addition to biographical information, Wall Fiction takes possession of all the artwork we list for sale from our consignors to inspect it thoroughly and verify its condition. We realize that our buyers are relying solely upon our expertise.
Wall Fiction takes in artwork from consignors all year round and keeps our inventory of fine artworks fresh and exciting. All too often artwork posted on gallery sites or online art platforms is stale and out of date. The pieces are no longer available, the price is not stated, inquiries go unanswered, or the artwork information is incomplete. On Wall Fiction, every listing you see on our site is current and professionally described to fine art industry standards.
Every piece of art comes with a story. We make every attempt to investigate provenance – the history of ownership of the artwork – as well as the interesting stories they tell – be it a story about the artist, the subject matter or how Wall Fiction came to it.
In addition to the stories associated with each piece, we also believe that original art sparks ideas and conversation with those who own and display it and therefore has the ability to create new stories.
- Removing Barriers – Price Transparency
At Wall Fiction, we believe that seeing the price clearly stated removes barriers that have traditionally been put up by the art market. Transparency in price is a key enabler to building trust when buying online.
Because Wall Fiction works in the secondary markets, we work with qualified appraisers and advisors to research each work of art that comes in on consignment and to accurately assess past and current sales activities. This work behind the scenes allows us to offer competitively priced works of fine art to our buyers and provides a solid return to our consignors.
Although we do not keep the prices posted at which the artworks sold, our office is always happy to share that information via email or phone; just ask. This transparency and professionalism keeps both buyers and consignors coming back.
- Seamless Customer Service – Sales Process and Shipping
Wall Fiction deals with clients locally and internationally on a regular basis and takes proper care in the shipping and handling of artwork. If a collector is local, we’ll let them live with the artwork for a few days to see how it fits into their environment and existing collection. If a work is purchased and the collector changes their mind, we’ll take it back in on consignment and resell it for them thus allowing them to find the right piece without losing their investment.
When you purchase fine art at Wall Fiction, we package it and ship it directly to you right away. We’ll send our buyers tracking information and updates so they know when to expect their new artwork. With some works of art, we need to work with professional shippers to build custom crates or containers and, in some cases, drive it directly to where it needs to go. We can also assist in finding a professional art installer in your region.
Our business focuses on building relationships and a common passion for art. Within the last two years, we worked with two of our collectors on a regular basis to build their collections, beginning with works at lower price points to develop their knowledge and confidence. Now, both of our clients are confident in navigating and purchasing works from fine art auctions houses and established galleries across Canada on their own while they both continue to be buyers of artwork featured on Wall Fiction.
So, whatever the story behind the artwork and how Wall Fiction came to it, Wall Fiction takes art seriously and the information we gather on each piece is as accurate as we can find. We are art professionals who bring you the experience and training expected in dealing with fine art. We feature work that we believe will not only maintain its appeal but also its value.
The word fiction was created late in the 14th century as something invented and was derived from the Latin word fictiō – a fashioning and the word fingere – something to form out of clay. To us, art is fiction – something created by an artist’s hand and imagination, and the lives of the people who acquired it, hence our name: Wall Fiction.
Contact us to ask questions. In fact, asking questions is expected and we are happy to share what we know to assist new collectors navigate what many feel is an intimidating world.
 Sales amounts are shown for auction sales only because auction sales are publicly published whereas private sales by galleries, online or otherwise, are not made public.