Quality and artist reputation are important factors for art investors

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In order to make safe art investments, it is advisable to look for objects designed by ‘known name’ artists, as these are likely to keep their value and have good resale potential. That is the view of George Mullen, specialist for 20th Century decorative arts & design for online auction house Auctionata.

George Mullen
George Mullen

“Top quality always sells,” he adds. “Conversely, as a basic principle you ought to avoid objects of poor quality, replicas, new editions, and things that are available in large quantities.”

He says as the market is becoming more and more transparent and the number of collectors buying art online is increasing enormously, people are first and foremost looking for quality.

“The provenance is also quite important,” he adds. “Moreover, people also appreciate conversation pieces: special items with some original feature that gives you something to tell your friends about.”

He says that the online art market is performing well at present because it gives people enormous independence. You can purchase objects from anywhere without time constraints.

“Online platforms make the art market accessible for a broader audience and allow people who might not dare to enter a traditional auction house to buy art,” he says.

He says sites such as Auctionata have various advantages: the bidding process is very easy, gives you huge flexibility and avoids unnecessary travel time. You can have access to the global art market at any time while sitting comfortably at home in front of your computer.

Asked if there are any cons, he says that you should pay careful attention to the size of the object. “That is why at Auctionata, we describe the objects thoroughly and have such high quality pictures on our website. Moreover, we have a two-week return policy for the objects offered on our online-shop to ensure that our customers are always completely satisfied with what they buy.”

Mullen notes that design and modern and contemporary art are becoming extremely sought after at present, partly because long-term appreciation in value can even be achieved with relatively small sums of money – although he cautions that this also requires a good eye and an element of luck.

“When you also consider collectibles in a broader sense, precious metals or watches in mint condition with a serial number and clear authentication of origin can also be a fantastic investment option,” he says.

However, he says that investment value alone should not be your priority when purchasing art.

“It has to speak to your heart,” he says. “It should be love at first sight: you see a work of art, you buy it and you never regret it.”

When buying art for more than just its sentimental value, trust is also very important, he adds.

“You should contact an auction house or an art dealer that you trust and ask for advice. At Auctionata, our experienced team of art historians and specialists gladly advise you in many ways, by verifying an object’s authenticity, for example, or quoting you current market prices.”

He believes that a little homework and planning go a long way in boosting your chances of success as an art investor.

“Consult art experts to know exactly when to sell and buy, track current auctions and compare prices. In the field of contemporary art, for example, a good moment to sell is when the enthusiasm for an artist is on the upswing. Therefore, you should track and anticipate art trends.”