10+ Best Places to Buy Art Online 2022 – Original & Affordable
Have you ever fallen in love with a work of art and wished you could have it in your home? Have you gazed at the empty space on your wall and imagined it filled with frames? Do you have a passion for art but felt collecting was completely out of your reach?
You aren’t alone. Many people are eager to dive deeper into the world of art but don’t know where to begin.
Buying art is should be a meaningful experience—it’s not just shopping for pretty items. Art is the physical manifestation of one’s tastes, emotions, and what makes you tick.
According to pre-pandemic statistics, 29% of art buyers prefer shopping for art online. We have listed here the best places for buying art online, as well as the advantages and drawbacks of leading art platforms and marketplaces.
The World of Online Art Sales
The internet has created a wealth of places for buying art. Gallerists, curators, and even independent artists have found ways to exhibit available works online just for you to find.
These online art sites provide unique opportunities to find pieces that are tailored to you without the stuffiness or pretentiousness of galleries and auction houses, and accommodate a wide variety of mediums, styles, and price points.
You just need to know which marketplace aligns with your art buying goals.
Getting Started Buying Art Online
Before you make your first click, there are a few key things you need to determine to help you pick your ideal platform.
Know your purpose for buying art
The first step is understanding why you want to purchase a new work of art. For instance, are you looking to add to your home’s decor or are you an art enthusiast looking to start or expand your collection?
Know your price range
Once you understand why you are looking into purchasing art, you need to come up with your price range. Determining how much you are willing to spend will help you determine where, what, and whose art you are buying.
Know your artistic interests
Lastly, it is important to understand your unique style. While your taste in art can change and evolve before you begin your quest it can be helpful to understand what you like. If you are still trying to define your style, these are a few questions you can think about:
- Do you prefer a specific medium? This could be paintings, drawing, photography, sculpture, amongst others.
- When you purchase an artwork do you like them framed, unframed, on the canvas? These stylistic choices may reflect your display preferences.
- Do you have a specific artist, movement, or technique you gravitate towards? This is especially relevant for collectors who may want to build a collection centered around one of these topics. Additionally, this aids interior designers as they determine mood and color schemes.
Taking the time to reflect on your personal interest in art allows you to narrow your search. In doing so, you will make your art buying experience not only more efficient but enjoyable.
The Best Places to Buy Art Online
Now that you have a better grasp of your collecting goals, you need to pick which site you want to explore first. While it can be a daunting task, there are websites that address every potential type of buyer.
If you’re considering buying paintings and drawings online, it’s essential that you vet potential marketplaces before making a purchase.
To make things easy for you we’ve compiled a list of some of the leading sites and online galleries that sell art and outlined their individual pros and cons.
1. Society 6
Society 6 is a great choice to discover new and emerging artists. This marketplace was founded to give artists of all backgrounds the opportunity to showcase their work. Here, they allow these artists to make their art available to the world without galleries, art fairs, or auction houses.
Through the Society 6 platform, artists are able to reach a global community with their art and designs being presented in accessible and original formats. Not only are you able to buy prints and original works, but their services allow you to buy art in unconventional forms like blankets, coffee mugs, and more.
The plethora of items you can purchase can make the process of finding art objects a bit more difficult. To combat this issue, however, Society 6 added dedicated sections for ‘Wall Art’ at the top of their landing page as well as a new ‘Discover art’ feature to aid you in your discovery.
As someone seeking to purchase a work of art, you can choose from affordable prints or original works for as little as $10 by the artists featured on the site.
2. Saatchi Art
If you are seeking original works of art and possess a higher budget, Saatchi Art offers a world of possibilities at your fingertips. Tailored specifically to fine art mediums such as painting, photography, and sculpture, this site gives you a curator’s vantage point.
There are constantly rotating selections showcasing up-and-coming artists alongside those who are more established.
When navigating Saatchi’s site you are immediately offered numerous search opportunities. Most prominently, they list the mediums of the original art they offer. This is followed by options to click on their top searched items including movements like “Abstract Art”, the size of the works such as “Large Works”, price ranges including “Under $500”, and an easy click to their own curated collections.
The sheer quantity of art and artists on Saatchi can be overwhelming, but be sure to keep your goals in mind and let those guide you through your time on their site.
Saatchi Art offers a great entryway to establishing your own high-end collection. Even for those on a stricter budget, Saatchi grants you access to limited edition prints for fantastic prices.
This made-to-order print-based marketplace offers an accommodating experience for buyers at all price points. Fine Art America is dedicated to helping artists sell their work and elevate their careers. For buyers, there is an emphasis on art lovers optimizing their home decor.
This site is ideal for anyone looking for two-dimensional mediums such as paintings, drawings, photographs, or prints to breathe new life into their space.
The focus on home decor aligns the site into several sections, one of which is ‘Wall Art’. From here, you are guided to pick your designed format for your print which can create an efficient search if you have a specific display style in mind for your purchase.
The disadvantage of this site is that its desire to promote art and the intersection of design actually minimizes the emphasis on the art and artists themselves. While an ideal and affordable space for decorating your home, Fine Art America may not be the best space for building a collection.
Artsy prides itself on highlighting the world’s leading artists and making their work available to you! This site supplies detailed information not only about specific works of art but the artists themselves. They work closely with the biggest international art fairs, auction houses, and galleries to bring you an optimal resource for growing a prestigious collection.
Their commitment to making information and works of art accessible have made it a beloved tool by art professionals internationally. Artsy is an ideal spot if you are seeking to buy paintings, sculptures, or other pieces of modern and contemporary art specifically.
You are able to look through the biggest names in art at your own leisure without the pressures of gallerists or salesmen of the art world.
Despite this, the site can still feel intimidating. For those unfamiliar with the art world, you can feel bombarded with jargon and industry-related options. Do not let this discourage you from the site. Accommodating to those strictly seeking to purchase works of art, they have a dedicated ‘Collect’ section. Just click ‘Buy’ next to the search bar!
While Artsy does cater towards higher budgets, their site allows you to explore a wide array of price ranges.
Etsy has become known worldwide as a marketplace for artists, creators, and craftsmen of all varieties. The platform exhibits creative, original, and innovative individuals and small businesses to share their works with an international audience.
As an art buyer, Etsy is a space to find unparalleled original works of art and purchase them directly from the artist. The site aims to keep its fees low and provide you with effective search tools to help you discover new artists and your next work of art.
Since Etsy is a broad marketplace it may take some searching to find art objects amongst their offerings. Their search capabilities do offer a dedicated section to ‘Art and Collectibles’ broken down by medium. Due to the craftsmanship focus of the site alongside paintings, prints, and sculptures you will see unique mediums such as glass, mixed media, and fiber arts.
As you explore Etsy and the artists they host you will have a personal experience with the creator that will give added meaning to the one-of-a-kind artworks into your collection.
6. Art Finder
ArtFinder is a marketplace putting the power of sales back in the power of the artists themselves. Rather than going through third parties, this site allows artists to make sales directly granting you, the buyer, cheaper rates on original artwork.
Dedicated to being a marketplace for fine art, you will have the opportunity to explore an international community of visual artists, mediums, and subject matter to help you find your perfect piece of art.
You are provided features to shop by categories like medium and subject matter to help you find your perfect piece of art. Shop options by price range are also available complemented by sales sections. They provide a section of editor’s picks that offer unique subset categories you may not have thought of on your own.
While this is an affordable option for buyers and a great opportunity for the artists to gain exposure, these factors generally lead to a lower caliber of artists being featured. ArtFinder presents a great opportunity to enhance your space with art, but not particularly for building a notable collection.
Dive into one of the largest collections of famous artworks online with Art.com. The site contains countless famed works of art from some of the most notable names throughout art history.
Art.com was created as a platform committed to providing passionate art enthusiasts with the art they love. This one-stop shop for finding your favorite piece of art is determined to offer top customer service to help you choose the work that meets your needs accompanied by superb craftsmanship.
The site maintains a balance of fine art and decor by providing a wide array of search options. Once you reach the site you can search by artist or subject as well as trends, design inspiration, and more. The site highlights a variety of display options, from canvases or framed prints, you can find an affordable addition to your collection.
Each piece you review has in-depth details regarding the work and the artist to help inform your decisions. While the site is helpful and amenable to your style and price, the site leans towards the sale of art prints. This means if you are seeking an original work of art for your home or collection this may not be your best option.
8. Singular Art
Singulart is embracing the technological revolution of the art world to create an equitable art buying experience. Priding themselves on transparency, the team diligently works to showcase, elevate, and share the phenomenal artistic practices of those in their roster with collectors specifically in mind.
This is another international site, willing to ship any works from their site and hand-selected collections anywhere in the world. Similar to the other sites there are opportunities to search by medium, style, or subject.
However, this site has a unique feature of searching artists by nationality, for those seeking to expand the cultural breadth of their collection. The main downside, from a user standpoint, is that Singulart’s artist’s first approach makes searching through the works a bit cumbersome. You will need to comb through artist profiles in order to find your desired piece.
Some other key features that set them apart include their Flash Sales of artwork. Furthermore, their Live Events are geared to inform you about new artists as well as tips for collecting. These capabilities can help you not only expand your collection of international original art, but provide skills for you to continue collecting into the future.
1stDibs is a well-known e-commerce site that specializes in luxury goods, including antiques, high-end furniture, and fine art. Through their marketplace sellers can list items.
It’s been said that 1stDibs is responsible for “pushing the antique business into the 21st century.”
One of the ways they do this is through their industry-leading vetting process. Unlike marketplaces eBay, where you have no guarantee as to the authenticity of items, 1stDibs has an extensive process for vetting sellers and merchandise.
They only admit sellers who are known within their industries and have a reputation for high-quality goods. All sellers must pass through their rigorous evaluation process and 1stDibs will not approve them until they’re happy with their listings and the quality of their service.
As far as their art selection is concerned, 1stDibs has an impressive range of listings, numbering well into the thousands and spanning an array of price points. Depending on the type of art, you can pick up budget pieces for a couple hundred bucks or invest in fine art pieces that command prices as high as $300,000.
The selection of artists is also impressive, ranging from iconic names like Andy Warhol to little-known artists who are yet to be discovered.
Other pros include a white glove shipping option, an easy online shopping process, buyer protection, and active support. There are also various buying methods to choose from, including direct purchases, negotiation, or auction bidding.
If you’re looking to buy art on a budget, one drawback to 1stDibs is that a lot of the art commands high price points.
Yes, you can snag some beautiful art for a couple hundred dollars or less. However, this is not the place to go if you want to buy a print for a few bucks.
Also, there have been reports that some sellers inflate their prices in the expectation that they’ll be bid down. So don’t rush into something that seems overpriced to you, because there is a good chance it has a built-in cushion for negotiation.
Minted is another popular site for buying art online. They feature a curated selection of work from independent artists around the globe.
One of the primary advantages of Minted is it offers buyers a chance to purchase quality art prints at an affordable price.
Minted holds regular competitions where new artists can submit their work. The art is then voted on by consumers, and the winners are listed on Minted.
When you buy art from Minted you get the option to have it printed on a variety of mediums, including canvas, paper prints, textiles, stationery, and more.
Although the art prints are not originals, Minted only prints 350 editions of each artwork per size and colorway. Once this number is up, the artwork is no longer available for sale. This creates a certain level of limited edition scarcity that isn’t usually seen with print-on-demand sites.
Another advantage of buying prints of drawings and paintings from Minted is they offer a lot of choices when it comes to sizes, frames, matting, and formats.
You can also opt to personalize art through things like zooming, cropping, adding text, and adding a custom color.
Minted also has a strong track record of good reviews and customer service and even offers an add-on where you can solicit the help of a fine art specialist.
One drawback of Minted is that you won’t find originals. All of the art can be printed multiple times. This is not a site for collecting fine art originals.
Also, although Minted is quick to help out customers who are unsatisfied with their purchase, they are more likely to supply a replacement or provide a credit rather than a refund.
If you don’t like an art piece in person, and there is nothing wrong with the framing, matting, or printing, you might not be able to return it and gain a refund.
11. Great Big Canvas
If you love the look and feel of canvas art, then Great Bit Canvas can be an ideal online venue to shop at. Their goal is to make art accessible and easy to buy for anybody who wants to experience the joy of having art in their space.
The curation team at Great Big Art sources art in various styles. The digital art is listed on their website, and buyers can have it turned into either a canvas, framed print, or poster print.
The canvas prints wrap around the frame, giving you an attractive view of the piece from all angles.
If you opt for a canvas print, you can also select between having a regular stretched canvas, or their patented solid-faced canvas option that is sag resistant and comes perfectly ready to hang with sawtooth hangers.
Another great feature you can choose when buying art from Great Big Canvas is their floating frame option. Floating frames give canvas prints a contemporary and finished-off look.
You can also choose to have your canvas framed behind glass.
The canvases are certified artist-grade, and they use archival inks in their printing process. This helps to prevent fading and preserve fine detail.
You also have the option to upload your own images for printing. Do you have a stunning black and white image you took? With Great Big Canvas, you can turn it into a large-scale piece of art.
Lastly, Great Big Art provides shoppers with a streamlined experience for buying art through the “shop by room” feature. Here you can browse art that has been pre-curated for individual areas of the home, helping you to narrow down your search.
As with Minted, Great Big Canvas isn’t the place to buy art if you’re looking for entirely one-of-a-kind pieces of original fine art.
If you opt to upload your own art, another potential drawback is they only allow high-resolution images, and there is no in-house editing service.
Novica is another solid choice if you’re looking to buy art online. Its mission is to empower global artisans through its wide selection of original pieces.
If you’re looking to buy original paintings and drawings from a diverse range of artists, Novica is the place. A lot of their pieces are imbued with a raw, ethnic spirit, and capture local landscapes and glimpses into daily life.
The art is raw, original, unique, and striking. So far Novica has generated over $121 million dollars for independent artists the world over. When you buy a piece from Novica, you aren’t just getting a one-of-a-kind piece of art, you are also supporting talented and under-represented artists.
What’s more, Novica has some of the most reasonable prices around. Their paintings and drawings start at under $30, and very few pieces are listed for more than $1,000.
Novica also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee returns policy.
Besides a vast collection of well-priced art, Novica also lists a wide selection of handmade goods and other forms of art such as sculptures and masks.
The only apparent drawback to buying items on Novica is that some home pieces (such as flower pots and decor) might cost more than if you bought them from a big-box retailer. However, given that all the items are handcrafted, we wouldn’t list this as a serious con.
The site is also less glamorous and modern-looking than a lot of other e-commerce marketplaces for buying art online. However, their fair prices and upliftment of global artists more than outweigh any mildly dated site design elements.
Pros and Cons of Buying Paintings and Drawings Online
One of the primary pros of buying art online is that you can browse a virtually endless selection of art from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere else you might be.
Besides this, you can also view art from all over the globe. Instead of being confined to the galleries in your immediate area, you can look at work from artists from anywhere in the world.
Shopping online also gives you access to digital art, something you won’t find in a lot of galleries.
Finally, online art prices are often lower than art displayed in galleries. Most galleries take a substantial cut, often up to 50%. If an artist is representing themselves online, they can offer lower prices because they can cut out the gallery costs.
As far as drawbacks go, the primary con around buying art online is that you can’t physically stand in from of a piece. When you buy art online, you won’t know what it’s like in person until you receive it.
Some marketplaces offer returns, but not all.
Are you looking for paintings and drawings to buy online? If you want to buy art online, the hunt begins with vetting out platforms you can trust.
Here at Artlisti, our mission is to make buying art online a pleasurable process. Browse our e-commerce art site reviews to get an in-depth look at some of the leading marketplaces today.