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The Ultimate Guide to Buying Art Online on Budget

College students, professionals, young families and retirees all frequent art galleries and museums.

But can they afford their art collection?

The quick answer is, yes, they can.

Or are you still sceptical about your ability, financially, to own an original piece of art?

Today, it’s easier than ever to become a contemporary art collector or to fill your walls with original works of art simply.

Online art galleries and online art marketplaces offer an array of affordable art buying options. Art lovers can browse contemporary art galleries online from the comfort of their home, and affordable art is available for every taste.

With the number of choices available for buying art online, it’s helpful to have a plan. When buying art on a budget, remember the following tips:


Set your budget – including affordable framing if needed – but don’t exceed it

-Choose art galleries and marketplaces that stay within your budget range

-Buy what you like: don’t be fooled by trends

-Preserve your investment with archival storage

Setting your Art Buying Budget

Everyone can afford artwork! Consider the story of Dorothy and Herb Vogel – a librarian and postal worker in New York City. They purchased an amazing art collection on their combined salary, setting a monthly budget and choosing artworks they loved. Their affordable art-collecting story has been captured in an award-winning documentary.


Dorothy and Herbert Vogel

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, Source: Honolulu Museum of Art 

You too can grow an art collection in much the same way. If you’re purchasing individual pieces, decide how much money you’d like to spend on a monthly, biannual or annual basis. Once you’ve set this amount, stick to it. It’s easy to lose your heart and your wallet, to works of art. Stay strong and visit the websites in the next section to source the original art of your dreams for very little outlay.

In need of affordable framing? Go with a local framer known for that personal touch and maybe ask about a repeat buyer deal. Or go to a local craft store during a framing sale. If you’re a thrift shop or antique store shopper, look for beautiful modern, vintage and antique frames. You’ll be surprised at the hidden gems you’ll find in the bargain bin or an overlooked corner. Just remember: be sure to measure your new original art exactly before buying an existing frame!

Online Art Galleries and Artist Marketplaces (complementary Shops, not competitors)

While a wide variety of online art galleries are available, not all offers affordable options. You can expand your artistic tastes by browsing contemporary art galleries online, but the best options for affordable original art and limited edition prints are online artist marketplaces and art auctions at online auction sites.

Etsy is one of the leading arts marketplaces online. Collectors can choose from a wide range of original fine arts – paintings in various mediums, drawings, lithographs, fabric arts, sculptural works, photography, ceramic arts and more – as well as limited and open edition giclee, screen prints and prints on canvas. Original paintings and sculptures on cost as little as $12, plus shipping and handling.

Etsy Image - Artailer Blog Capture

Online auction sites such as Ebay, offer oil paintings on canvas for as little as $0.99 for an opening bid. Metal and wood sculptures are also extremely affordable, often beginning with bids in the $10 to $20 range. Since Ebay is an auction site, be prepared to bid more than once for the piece you’re after. Or, if possible, choose the Buy It Now option to purchase that piece you can’t live without instantly.

Ebay Homepage Image - Artailer

Artnet, a premium online auction site, offers a higher priced range of contemporary arts. Original works by contemporary masters can be found for as little as $200. Depending on your budget this may be an excellent option to add works of art to your home collection.

Artnet Homepage buying art online - Artailer Blog- Capture

Our online art shop is Artailer, new and upcoming online art marketplace that enables art lovers to easily connect with and buy original works of art directly from emerging or established artists all over the world. With a wide range of art to choose from, it also offers an option to try any artwork you love for a week to see if you like it. You can start your art collection on for as low as $100.

Artailer helps connect homeowners with uprising artists from all over the world

buying art online _ Artailer


Buy what you like!

Whether you are buying for the home or office, remember that art trends come and go. Don’t be fooled by a high price value or “big name” artist – buy what you like! Smart collectors choose works which simply please them. The best art collections are grown from a buyer’s personal tastes and are built one treasure at a time. If you’re buying with the family, get your kids involved. You may find their creative tastes open a new world of art to your eyes. Plus, young art collectors will also learn to appreciate and value art.

Do you like brightly coloured landscapes or black-and-white photography in your home? Love abstract sculptures or pop art surrealism? Find your artistic voice by matching your home décor and brightening any room with original artworks. Buy artwork which speaks to you.



Are you buying for your office or work environment? Buy what you like, but be mindful of others unless shopping for your office. If the entire work environment needs decorating, meet with your team first to establish their likes and dislikes.

Remember: art is personal. Go with your heart.

Preserve your Investment with Archival Storage

Some art buyers prefer to buy works on paper such as drawings and photography and often these works are not framed. If you are not buying a canvas or framed piece, either frame your new artwork as soon as possible or use archival storage to protect your purchase. There are several affordable art storage options available, some of which we have shared already on our earlier post on How to Care for Your Artworks like a Museum Conservationist

Art can be stored in archival storage boxes and archival storage sleeves. Archival quality storage supplies are used in museums to ensure fine art last for many generations. Archival storage boxes and storage sleeves store easily. Make certain to place your artwork in a climate controlled area of your home. Even with archival storage, your artwork will not survive a flooded basement! If your region is prone to flooding, use under-the-bed storage or an upstairs closet where your archival storage boxes and sleeves can be stacked flat.

Your Turn!

Today, anyone can become an art collector even on a small budget. Your personal tastes will inspire and provide beauty to those who live in and visit your home or office. Remember: follow these tips to fill your home and office with art and inspiration.

Are there other interesting ways to stay on budget buying the art you love?

Please share with us below



  • Ursula E Rettich

    February 23, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Hallo David,
    good to see you on facebook, hope I will sell some more Canadian art

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