Ask A Curator

5 Things To Look for When Buying Art Online

Buying art from an online gallery is one of the best ways to access today’s global art scene, yet it can also pose some challenges. Depending on the artwork’s country of origin, potential pitfalls can range from international shipping delays and language barriers to feeling uncomfortable about buying a work sight unseen.

To feel confident about the purchase you are making, it’s essential to feel you are in good hands. At Saatchi Art, our Artist Relations and Customer Support teams work closely with our artists and buyers to ensure the process of purchasing an artwork is as seamless and transparent as possible.

I asked Darcy Ryan, Artist Relations Manager at Saatchi Art, to share the 5 things you should look for when buying art online to ensure the best possible experience.

#1: Money-Back Guarantee

Know that you can return the work and be refunded. When buying online, you want to be 100% satisfied with the artwork you purchase. That’s why at Saatchi Art we give you seven (7) days from the date you receive the work to decide whether or not you’d like to keep it or return it for a refund.

#2: Shipping Insurance

Make sure you are fully covered in case something goes awry during shipping. At Saatchi Art, we pride ourselves on working with the best couriers in the business (DHL, FedEx, and UPS), who provide expert logistical services delivering artworks to and from countries all over the world. In the rare event that there are any delays, complications, and/or damage during transit, our buyers are completely protected by Saatchi Art’s insurance policy and will receive a full refund on their purchase. Furthermore, Saatchi Art will organize the pick up and return shipping.

#3: 24/7 Customer Service

Get the support you need, when you need it. At Saatchi Art, service is our #1 priority. We have a full-time support team to help assist with any inquiries you might have. Not only will your order be closely monitored by your personal Saatchi Art Sales Advisor, but you are also guaranteed an email response within 24 hours of your initial enquiry to any support member. You’re also welcome to phone our support line any time during business hours Monday – Saturday: 1-888-908-3886 (9 am – 5 pm PST).

#4: Secure Payment Options

Verify that your payment is secure and protected. Checkout at Saatchi Art is completely protected by our secured, payment processing solutions. Credit card and PayPal transactions are secured by our RapidSSL solutions software, delivered by a leading security certificate authority. SSL encryption protects transactions and confidential data in transmission so you can make your purchase with peace of mind.

#5: Commitment to Artists

Make sure the gallery you’re working with takes care of its artists. In addition to our stellar customer support, Saatchi Art’s commitment to helping artists make a living while pursuing their artistic careers sets us apart from other galleries. We’re proud to pay artists 70% of every sale we make on their behalf, which is more than the typical 50/50 split of traditional galleries. Our greatest pleasure is connecting artists and buyers, and helping artists find new homes for their works. We guide artists every step of the way to ensure their artworks are properly packaged and delivered to you in a timely manner and in perfect condition.

If you’d like some help finding art you love, contact our team of curators who offer a free Art Advisory service.

About the Author

Rebecca Wilson is Chief Curator and VP of Art Advisory at Saatchi Art. She was formerly a Director at the Saatchi Gallery, London, where she was instrumental in the launch of the gallery’s online presence. In 2007 she created New Sensations, a prize for art students which identifies and supports the most exciting emerging artists in the UK. Prior to joining the Saatchi Gallery, Rebecca worked for 14 years in book and art magazine publishing: she was editor of ArtReview, and before that deputy editor of Modern Painters. She has over 10 years of experience working with emerging artists.