7 Mistakes New Art Buyers Make and How to Avoid Them

Profile Rollieby Rollie LaMarche 
Rollie LaMarche is CEO and co-founder of Picture This framing & gallery, established in 1981, specializing in art, artists and award-winning picture framing

Art buying can be fun, enjoyable and a pleasure. With over 35 years of experience in the art and picture framing industry we thought it was time to share with you how to avoid common mistakes new art buyers make. Art buying can be a pleasant journey through life. The art you purchase today can be passed on to your loved ones for the future. Avoiding these mistakes will help you enjoy your art buying experience. Please feel free to share this with others.

7 Mistakes Report - Confused People - GraphicMistake # 1: No knowledge of what the artwork is

Is it an original? . . .a reproduction? . . .a poster? Knowing this will help you determine the value. The original is the one-of-a-kind artwork initially created by the artist. Buying a poster or reproduction at the original price is not good.

Mistake # 2: Buying from unscrupulous art sellers

This mistake is not easy to see, upfront, as these sellers may come across as your best friend. So, how can you tell they are dishonest?  Ask how long have they been around or (hint… hint) are they always moving around. Are they going door to door or on a ship (caution)? Find out their reputation in the community. What are people saying about them? Check that the testimonials have real persons’ names. If the offer looks too good to be true then it probably is.

Mistake # 3: Artwork is in bad or poor condition

What to look for: canvas poorly stretched or prepared so that paint falls off. Check whether the picture should have glass and if so that there is proper matting to protect the artwork. Make sure you can see the artist signature and that the number of the limited edition print is not cut off and inserted on the back of the frame.

Mistake # 4: Who is the artist?

Not knowing about the artist is a common mistake as knowing about the artist’s credentials can help you determine the value of the artwork. Also, the artist’s biography can give you more insight into who the artist is.

Mistake # 5: Buy for the wrong reasons

This mistake is where new art buyers are told to buy art because it will be worth more in the future. Where have we heard this before? Unless you have studied the economics of investing in art may we suggest buying art because you like it and if the art does go up in value . . . great, you win!

Mistake # 6: Artwork is poorly framed

We have seen this time and time again as new art buyers have purchased a beautiful piece of artwork but the framing materials contain a high acid content so the artwork gets damaged because of the poor framing. A reputable picture framing store will explain and show you what conservation framing is.

Mistake # 7: Don’t know what they want

Many art buyers do not know what kind or type of art they would like so they end up with something that really does not appeal to them. A reputable gallery will assist the art buyer by asking good questions and learning about your personal tastes to direct you to the right choice.

We hope that you can learn from these mistakes so that you can have a joyful art buying experience. Want to learn more about art to make smart art choices? Check out About Art 101

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.