7 Interesting Facts about selling art online

Individual artists can now compete with galleries.

I argue that galleries are struggling to compete with individual artists selling their art online.


Because only an artist can talk about their art. Only an artist can connect with their audience via sharing their creative process and compelling content.

There’s a level of personable authenticity a gallery can’t replicate in the online world.

Based on a survey of only 506 international art buyers by the British fine art insurer Hiscox. They found these 7 interesting facts about online art sales:

1. Art collectors and art buyers are already buying art online. 64% of collectors surveyed have bought art sight unseen through a website with little or no interaction with the artist.

2. Buying art based on a digital image has become the norm rather than the exception. 71% of art collectors have bought art online sight unseen. 89% of art is sold on the basis of a digital image only. Suggesting art buyers are confident in buying art without first seeing the actual work. Which opens up significant opportunities for an online art e-commerce market.

3. Price is not the barrier one might assume. 26% of the art collectors surveyed have spent $84,000 or more buying art online. 25% of these collectors would be willing to spend $84,000 or more on a single artwork in the future.

NOTE: It’s best to price your art for all markets. Have affordable limited edition prints and keep your original works priced high.

4. Art buyers seek to buy unique works online. Limited edition prints and photography are the most common online purchases. 45% of the art buyers surveyed have brought works of art sight unseen online. 59% of the art bought online are limited edition prints and photography based work.

5. Younger buyers increase the potential of the lower end of the online art market.Currently, 43% of the 25-29 year olds surveyed have bought art online (sight unseen). Furthermore, 67% of this age group said they were likely to buy art online in the next year. This suggests there is a new generation of art buyers emerging. Who prefer to use online channels when buying art.

6. All ages buy art online. Generational differences in online buying behavior is much less evident in the art market. 55% of respondents in the 65 year plus age group said they had bought art online. 82% said they had bought an artwork based on a digital image only. (See not everyone needs to walk into a gallery to buy art.)

7. Limited edition prints are a common first buy. Younger and first-time art collectors are drawn to artist websites. Limited edition prints are a common first buy for collectors. While almost half the buyers surveyed had spent more than $15,000 collecting art online.

The key point with these numbers aren’t the specific percentages or details. The biggest takeaway is art DOES sale online. And it’s easier for the individual artist to accomplish more than ever.

It doesn’t matter how “weird” or niche you think your work it. You don’t need the permission of a gallery or be the top listed artist on a popular art community site.

You can build your own platform (your art website and email newsletter) and sell the things you make in a natural and storytelling way.