todays economic environment and attitudes, selling art has never
been so difficult. Just ask you local gallery. If professionals are
having problems selling art, you can imagine how difficult it is for
private individual. Especially, if the artists work does not have
active presence on the secondary market. The secondary market is the
market for art that has been created in the past. This is sometimes
called dead art, although an artist does not have to be
dead in order to sell on the secondary market. The secondary market
is primary the art auction market, but also includes dealers that buy
and sell these artists.
There are many internet sites that provide
information on auction sales results. But a collector can secure basic
information by doing a search of the artist on one of the major search
engines such as Google. If the artist does not show up, you can be assured
that they do not have secondary presence.
If the artist does not have presence on
the secondary market, the prospects of selling the work are not great.
If the artist is currently represented by galleries, there is a possibility
that the gallery may be willing to take the paintings on a consignment
basis with a large commission. But galleries are reluctant to do this
because they are offering art that competes with the artist, who is
never happy to see this in their galleries.
If the artist does is not currently represented,
then the only real possibility is selling the work on a local auction
or an online auction such as Ebay. The prices that either alternative
generate are generally very low, and the collector might be better off
keeping the work for their own enjoyment.
If the artist does have presence on the
secondary market, the collector should investigate auctions that have
sold the work as well as dealers who represent the artist. Again, this
information is readily available on the internet at reasonable fees.
Some auctions sell certain artists at higher prices than others. Obviously,
those are the auctions you should place the artwork. Auctions commissions
run about 15% which compares favorably to the 30% or higher a gallery
may charge. Selling the work to the dealer may not bring the price that
may have been realized at an auction, but you have the certainty of
sale, which may not happen at an auction.
In summary, selling art is never easy,
but if the artist is on the secondary market the prospects are immensely
more favorable. If they are not, you are probably better off enjoying
the work yourself or possibly donating it to a charity.
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-- Never sell a piece of art to the person
who appraised it. Get a second appraisal. --
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