Where to Sell Your Art

In today's market there are three main ways to sell your art – through an art dealer, an auction house or online. Here are the pros and cons of all three.

Art Dealers are people or companies that privately purchase and sell original works of art.
Immediate Outright Sale
Fair market price is determined and payment is made to seller.
• Immediate cash in hand
• Work sold “as is”
• Dealer provides insurance and makes transportation arrangements
• None, unless seller works with unscrupulous dealer
Seller consults with dealer and agrees on sale price. Dealer absorbs marketing costs and takes care of restoration if needed (deducted at time of sale). Dealer receives commission, ranging from 5% for major works, up to 25% for lesser works. Contract lasts 6-12 months.
• Price is predetermined
• Few up front charges
• Must wait for a sale
• If piece does not sell it is returned to owner (a rare occurrence)
Auction Houses publicly offer works of art to the highest bidder.
• May “have a good day” and achieve a great price
• Established auction houses have large clientele base
• Very high commission rates (approaching 40%)
• Multiple expenses, even if item fails to sell
• Fixed sale calendar
• Sale is one day only
• Work may not sell
• Failure to sell devalues a piece
• Private collectors often will not buy at auction
Direct on Internet (eBay, etc.) selling art through digital networks.
• No gallery space so little or no overhead
• Anonymity
• Sales may be low due to lack of interested clientele or from not having access to
  the most suitable markets/buyers
• Must pack and ship art
• Need to provide authenticity and guarantees to buyer