The art market is still alive and has found a way of growth in the online market.
Thanks to the Internet it is easier to find new artists, new works, prices…
The internet facilitates the process of purchasing and makes the world of art more “democratic”, making more flexible a world which has traditionally been restricted to a certain cultural elite. Also investment return has become a great motivation for the online art market.
According to a recent study (*), ‘the online art market has increased from 1,750 million in 2013, to the estimated figure of 2,670 million in 2014.’ In a global market of 55,200 million dollars, online art sales represent a 4.8%.
The online art market doesn’t bring solely advantages: it also presents some risks and dangers, such as the inability to physically inspecting the work until it is received, which may lead to certain disappointment when the acquired item is not as expected; even worse, it could lead to problems of authenticity or forgery.
Another added difficulty of buying art online is the transport and the insurance coverage of pieces of art which suffer damage during transport.
There are several options for solving these risks:
Today technology allows the creation of three-dimensional and high definition information that can greatly alleviate the lack of a physical inspection.
It also provides various forms of certifications that, well managed, can make a huge guarantee: especially if they are issued by the artist himself/herself, by the publisher of the work in the case of limited editions, by an expert, by the agent of the artist …
The democratization of information via the Internet is also an important pillar; public users’ ratings can build a reputation which can be crucial for transfers, amongst others.
And finally, insurance: a qualified insurance for artworks can make a difference. Our advice is to always work with insurance specialists and, if possible, with the independent advice of a broker who will be able to offer the best insurance option.
All-risks coverage, payment of the agreed value of the piece in case of disaster, restoration and compensation in case of damage, breakage coverage, adaptability to the work of art, expert evaluators and restorers…, are some of the tools you can use to protect your artwork against any incident.
(*) THE HISCOX ONLINE ART TRADE REPORT 2015, available here.