Art Buyer Worries
As a buyer, I know that buying art is the most exciting event. As a buyer, I know that I enjoy every piece of part I have purchased every single day of my life as I give it admiring glances as I pass by. Every once in a while for no particular reason, a painting will just capture me for some moments while it and I enjoy each other.
In my sunroom, I have a transparent glass painting that takes up a whole window. When I eat meals out there, I have my painting to bring me peace and joy. Sometimes, when I am troubled about something, I just go walking around my home and look at the art, mostly mine, to take my mind off stuck and free it up to come to some productive solutions. Art is wonderful for that.
The buyers I serve are either collectors or first-timers. The collections come to art purchases confident and ready to be impressed enough to purchase or partner to create a commission. The first-timers come to art purchases excited, a little wary to scared to death they are going to make some kind of mistake that they will regret for a long time.
Here are the main concerns I have faced thus far with my buyers:
Is this right beginning for my collection?
How can I be sure I understand enough about purchasing art to make such an important investment?
What if I get it home and it doesn’t really look right?
How do I know that my investment is worth what I am paying for it?
How do I know that your paintings will increase in value?
What happens if I redecorate in the future and this painting doesn’t go?
Now, let’s have some conversation about these common buyer remorse fears:
For those buyers who intend to collect Post-Impressionist, Expressionist, and Contemporary art, we speak about their thoughts on the ideal collection they would like to build. Then, we look at where they intend to display their collection. Some decor goes better with one type of art. Some decor lends itself to a variety of art periods. Decor differs within the same home. Some buyers intend to decorate a room around a painting. Rarely do buyers come to me to purchase art I do not paint.
Again, the coach comes out and we speak about why they are making the art purchase. Most of my non-commission buyers purchase my art because they love it and want to own it. It is a spontaneous purchase or it is a “let me think about it and discuss it” purchase. On rare occasions, a few buyers ask me to put it on hold until they can save the money for it. Most of my commission buyers know exactly what they want painted and all we need to discuss are the details of size, surface, technique preferences, eventual painting home, and framing thoughts, including glass or plexiglass protection and the expense of non-glare and UV options (protects from ultraviolet rays which can cause fading over long periods of time). I am happy to answer any questions.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, although, so far, I have never had it happen. I offer clients the option of trading up for nine years, provided the painting and framing contains no damage. Beyond the deposit, commission clients do not have to pay for a commission they do not like. Again, so far, I have never had this happen. I have these policies in place to help clients feel that I am willing to stand behind my work and will be as flexible as possible.
I have found my buyers to be gallery goers and knowledgeable about fair prices. I am happy to let them know how I arrive at pricing. I price according to time, materials, and overhead expenses, just like any other sound business. My pricing answers the questions of what fixed and variable expenses are involved in making this piece of art the buyer is purchasing. That is the way it is right now while I am selling in a buyers’ market. When I reach the sexy moment when my paintings are selling at Sotheby’s, I expect to price them in a current Garro market price range, just like Thomas Kinkade does.
So far, my paintings have increased in value every year by some increment. I expect that to continue barring a major economic downturn. If it is within nine years from the date of purchase, as mentioned earlier, buyers can trade up.
I can tell you from personal experience, art collectors are basically happy people. Art brings an everlasting joy into one’s life that often lasts from purchase until death. And, even after death, that same art lives to bring joy to others. Unlike people, art can last thousands of years when properly cared for, and some can last even when the care was none too good.
Barbara, thank you once again for a wonderful article on fine art, filled with the usual excellent and practical advice for all of us.