With collectors being much more careful compared to ever before, it stands to factor that anybody left in the art collecting game is counting his/her money a lot more meticulously than ever before.

While no person is certain in their efforts to earn money in the art market, I assure you that the following these easy to do mistakes  is a surefire to make sure that you definitely loose out!


  • Buying a poor painting instead of a great print.

Or for that matter buy a mediocre painting rather than a great drawing. It's much better, from an investment standpoint, to buy a great print, such as Inside Trump's Locker.

There's no doubt that it will appreciate at a faster rate than one of the many open-edition prints you find on the like of Saatchi Art and Etsy.

  • Allow auction houses to negotiate down your reserve price.

From the auction house's perspective, it's all about convincing consignors to accept the lowest reserve possible.

If, for instance, you put a painting up for auction and agree to a presale estimate of $600,000-$ 800,000, and a reserve of $600,000, you can expect a call a few days before the sale that will go something like this: "Look, we think your picture will do well, but given the economy, let's be on the safe side and lower the reserve to $500,000."

If your painting passes at $600,000, the auction house will field offers for it after the sale. If your reserve is already down to $500,000, you'll probably be offered $400,000 (or less). If not, you shouldn't have put it up for auction in the first place.

  • Accepting only a 10% gallery discount

For the purchase of works by contemporary art gods such as Brice Marden, Ellsworth Kelly and a handful of others, a buyer would be lucky to receive a 10% discount on any purchase from their galleries.

Superstars aside, accepting a standard 10% off on even a successful mid-career artist is a mistake.

Galleries generally work on a 50-50 split with artists they represent.

This means you should be able to get at least 20% off with a little negotiating. If for no other reason than that, galleries are likely to accept your 20%discount request.

  • Buying with your ears instead of your eyes.

Right here's a fantastic means to be taken to the cleaners. I'll always remember the moment the L.A painter Chuck Arnoldi informed me just how he went to a celebration when Eli Broad, the nation's wealthiest art collector, came by to greet and also finished their conversation by claiming, "See you at your studio."

The equally rich collector Douglas Cramer heard this fragment of discussion and also right away came close to Arnoldi asking for to do the exact same.

In this instance, Arnoldi was nice enough to inform Cramer that "nothing was afoot with his career," after which Cramer terminated his studio invitation.

Avoid hearsay, and instead focus on building a focused collection.

  • Buying from a blue-chip art gallery without being properly introduced.

An aspiring collector called Paul S. that constantly boasted to me about his art collecting trips to New York City.

He waxed poetically just how "Ileana" (Sonnabend) rolled out the red carpeting for him as well as exactly how lucky he was to get a Peter Halley from her.

The only issue was that it was a weak painting that had actually been declined by Sonnabend's higher-end better clients.

The factor of the tale is that if you intend to have fun with the big boys (Gagosian, PaceWildenstein, Marks, and so on), you had much better be damn certain that of their leading collectors suggests you.

Or else, you'll obtain the "not good enough to associate" policy.

  • Buy a work by an "in play" artist.

If you make a decision that you wish to get a Richard Prince "Nurse" painting, you could optionally place your investment right into California boutique winery's and also see them drop - at the very least you could consume the wine.

Richard Prince's "Nurses," initially provided at Gladstone in the mid-2000s, for around $85,000 to participants of the "club," reached over $8 million in 2007 (they have actually considering that hung back to under $3 million).

Now that Prince's value has run his course, the next artist "in play" appears to be Peter Doig.

Much better to be an independent thinker and place your cash right into an artist that's positioned for long-term as well as stable development - like Fred Tomaselli, Philip Taaffe or Christopher Brown.

  • Buying art that are unusually large in scale.

There's nothing harder to resell than a painting that's larger than eight feet in any dimension.

Oversize paintings become white elephants in the marketplace.

Only a small pool of potential buyers have the wall space to handle these often ego-driven paintings.

If you have a substantial wall that cries out for a massive work that makes a statement, you're better off buying two smaller works to fill the void.

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