Art shopping is a year-round thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s for Christmas or just because shopping for art is perfect. What’s more perfect than having a nice piece of custom art hanging up in your living room. Shopping online has made things much easier. It doesn’t take long to hook a buyer through online advertising. You can just browse the art pieces that you want without leaving your home. Both buyers and sellers can benefit from making sales online. However, there is the risk of getting scammed when making purchases or selling. How do you know that you are getting the real thing? How do you know you are actually going to get what you paid for? Shopping online doesn’t have to be a minefield. Here are seven tips to help you buy custom art online the right way.
1. Always Do Your Research
Whether you are looking for a tattoo artist or trying to buy custom art online for your house, you always have to do your research. You can’t go into art shopping blindly. That goes double if this is your first time doing so. If you aren’t careful, you could end up getting scammed. There is nothing worse than losing money and not getting the piece that you paid for. Or worse, you get caught with stolen or damaged art in a scam that is too good to be true. When you buy custom art online, you have to be smart about it. Come armed with the information when you start your shopping. It doesn’t take long for you to pick up tips on how to make bids and get deals when you buy custom art online. You will learn to make educated decisions just by searching around on Google on reputable sites. You will learn what to look for with fakes and real art. You can learn if a piece of art has a fire damage claim that you didn’t know about. You can also know which online sellers are blacklisted. There are plenty of sites that can help you with your search. Reviews on certain sites will help you know what is legitimate or not. You will know what keywords stand out as red flags to you. You can even know if you can report stolen or fraudulent art pieces. Knowledge is one way to protect yourself and your money.
2. Check What Type of Site You are Looking at
Speaking of knowledge, you are going to need to look at the sites where you are going to buy custom art online. Sure there are places like Amazon and eBay. Those are fine. What if you don’t want to use those sites? There are other sites that you can try out when you are looking for the art that you want. It’s not too hard to look up the pieces that you want. You might even find sites that deal with art especially. There are even good pieces from the site of a local painter in your area. However, you are still at risk of getting scammed. You don’t want to be out a few grand when you try to buy custom art online and end up with nothing or a fake. Plus, there are also sites that sell stolen pieces of art and the victims would be none the wiser. How can you be sure that this won’t happen to you? There are some sites that will sell stolen art and the victim would be none the wiser. What can you do to protect yourself? As stated before, do your homework. There are plenty of sites that can tell you which ones are fraudulent or not. For example, RedBubble is one example of plenty of places where stolen art can be found. Reviewers can tell you if some sellers are scammers or not. If all else fails, you can try and look at videos on YouTube that can help you warn about sites that are scammers or have stolen art. Take the time to look through everything before you buy custom art online.
3. Get Everything in Writing
This applies to all deals. Even with car painting, you have to get everything in writing. Verbal agreements will never hold up in court if everything goes wrong. You have to be able to get everything in writing. Why is it so important when you want to buy custom art online? It’s just as simple as making some that you are getting what you pay for. Even with commercial painters, you have to make sure that you get everything in writing. If the seller is reluctant or angry when you ask them to write down everything, then you don’t want to do business with them. That is a red flag that they are trying to scam you. Now, it’s not enough to get a sale in writing. The phrase ‘read the fine print’ exists for a reason. Sometimes, you could get scammed without fully reading what is in the paperwork. Then you can’t do anything because you wrote your name down on the paperwork without even knowing. You have to look over it before it becomes official. Plus, having a bill of authenticity will help you prove that you have the real thing when you buy custom art online. If you do have a fake on your hands, you have to use the proof as evidence in a fraud case. This may all sound like too much for just a piece of art that you bought online, but it could happen. It has happened before too. In this day and age, you have to try and not get ripped off when you buy custom art online.
4. Keep Receipts and Paperwork
Let’s say that you aren’t happy with your purchase. You can try and return it. This isn’t always that easy to do. You have to be able to return your purchase in a short period of time. For this, you are going to need to have your receipts to be able to get your money back. Never throw away any important receipts, paperwork, and shipping information for the package. You will want to keep everything in good condition. Do not have anything spilled on them or wrinkled up to the point that you can’t read anything. If anything is messed up, you will not get to take back your purchase and you will be out the amount of money you paid plus shipping. Another thing you are going to need to keep is any papers of authenticity about the art that you bought. Request them if you have to. This will help prove that you didn’t get ripped off. If the seller refuses to do so or doesn’t have it, you will want to steer clear of that person. Granted, there is a chance that the papers could be faked. You will need to take the paperwork and the art to a professional to check and see if everything is real. It’s better to know right away so that you can figure out what to do next after you find out that you have real artwork or not.
5. Read the Reviews
This cannot be stressed enough. Sometimes, reviews can tell you everything you need to know when you buy custom art online. Even reviews on a funeral home can help determine if you want to do business with them or not. The same should be no different when you want to buy custom art online. What are the past customers saying? But some people will find that looking through reviews will take up so much time. There is an easy way to sort through all of those reviews. You can click on organizing the reviews by the number of stars. Are there more one-star reviews than five-star reviews and vice versa? Are the stars all evened out? Some reviews will leave warnings about the sellers themselves. Granted, some of them can be fake, but reviews are a good source to know what you are getting into before you click to buy custom art online. The customers will either sing praise and trash a seller or the product. Reading through reviews is all part of doing the homework before you buy custom art online.
6. Take Another Person with You if You are Meeting Up in Person
Sometimes, you will have to meet up with the seller to make the purchase. Maybe the seller can’t afford to ship their art through the mail. Maybe it’s too big to mail it off. The seller may insist that you have to meet up in order to make the exchange. Do not do this alone! There are too many horror stories about Craigslist meetings going wrong. Don’t be like that. It doesn’t matter even if it is about home building. It is never a good idea to meet up alone. Take someone with you to meet up with that person. This is a good time to give you some safety to meet up with someone in person after you buy custom art online. First, you want to meet up in a public place. Do not meet up at the seller’s house and don’t let them meet up at your house. There are so many things that can go wrong if you are in a private place. Meet up in a public place. It would be ideal if it was full of people. For example, meeting up in a well-lit parking lot or a crowded mall. Keep your cell phone charged up at all times. You might have to make an emergency call if things go wrong. Another tip is not to get out of the car until the other person gets there. You don’t want to end up walking into a trap without knowing it. Next, you will want to take someone with you. Again, safety in numbers is your best bet for meeting up after you buy custom art online.
7. Make Sure You Want What You Want
It takes a lot to make up your mind to buy custom art online. This isn’t something that you can get on a whim. You wouldn’t want to have a luxury home remodeling job and not be happy with the results. So, you have to be sure of what you want when you buy custom art online. This is your money that you are spending here. It would not be smart to end up wasting it so freely just because you can. Sure, designs might be cool at the time, but eventually, you might get bored with your choice. Putting the art up for sale can try and while. You might not even get the amount that you spent on it back. When you are shopping online, you ask yourself many questions. Why do you want this piece of art? Where are you going to put it? Is it worth making the purchase? Are you going to regret your purchase afterward? Take the time to sit and think about the piece of art you are looking at. You might want to bookmark the page if you aren’t too sure at the moment. Purchases like artwork sometimes take a while to think about. Sure, you can sell it off if you don’t like it. But why bother to lose the money in the first place? It’s better to save money and buy something than end up blowing your money on something you are going to end up hating three years later.
Content marketing isn’t easy for artists out there. Neither is buying art online. It can be a pain for any first-time customer. You could end up blowing your money on a scam and not even know it. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. These seven tips will help you not make any mistakes. Once you make the decision to buy custom art online, you will not regret your purchase when you put it up in your home.