How to sell art online and elsewhere

14 Mar 2011

From selling art online to auctions and beyond, the question of how and where to sell art can seem complex. So what is the best method of selling art or selling paintings? What should you consider and what are the dos and don’ts?

In this article, we’re providing you with an in-depth guide to help you choose the best way to sell your paintings and to sell your art portfolio.

Before You Sell Art…

There are several oft-used methods to earn money through selling art, whether these are traditional or the more innovative ways such as selling art online. In order to help you choose the one for you, you may want to consider how they weigh up when it comes to the following factors:

Ease of Sale The ease or difficulty of selling your art will depend in large part on how you sell it. For example, some people may find that selling art online is easier than other ways as it often means they can do it all from the comfort of their computer.

Security Remember to check that your chosen method is safe and secure. Things to look out for include secure payment methods, trust marks – an example is TRUSTe – and, when you’re selling art online, that the website you use is secure. Also, never invite anyone you don’t know into your home to value your art.

Fees, Charges and Interest Whether you’re selling art online or off, keep an eye on your costs. Many options of selling art or selling paintings involve fees, charges and interest which can add up and reduce your profits.

Timing Like other valuable items, art is often seen as an investment and its overall value can rise and fall at different times. Keep an eye on the news and the art world to get a feel for the market.

Sentimental Value When works are passed down or are with us for a long time, they can accrue not just monetary value, but personal attachment. You might only realise this once you sell. However, selling art need not be so final. If you’re in two minds about selling or want the option to change your mind afterwards, look for places that offer you a cooling off period, such as

Sale Guaranteed? Many methods of selling art online and off don’t actually guarantee you a sale within a given time – this can mean wasted time and energy. If you want to sell your art within a set period, bear this in mind.

Where to Sell Paintings and Art – Your Options

Having looked at what to consider when selling art, it’s time to look at where to sell art and how. Is selling art online better than offline? Should you go for a straight sale or something a bit different? Your choices include:

 High Street Pawnbrokers

In certain countries, pawnbrokers can offer you money for your art, but initially in the form of a loan.

If you don’t collect your art within a set period – usually 6-12 months – you keep the funds and they keep the art.

On the plus side, pawning your art means you can get it back later. However, the interest rates charged by pawnbrokers are often very high and accrue for each month -or part of the month – of borrowing. This can end up being very costly.


To sell art online is usually simple and fast. What’s more, with it is also totally free..

With, you can sell art online safely, quickly and securely. Everything is done on your computer and you can track the progress of your sale online at every stage.

After you sell art with us, you get 62 days to evaluate your sale. We make it quick and easy to sell art online. For example, you just upload a photo of your art or describe it to get your free, no-obligation appraisal from our experts. We then do everything else, from collecting your item to transferring your money into your account.

We ensure that our service is totally secure, including using secure payment options and FedEx couriers to deliver items.

Car Boot Sale

If you’re looking to sell your art quickly, a car boot sale may be the answer.

Offering you the opportunity to sell paintings and art directly, this method is all about trading one on one with your buyer. You set your price and the value you get depends on your haggling skills.

Of course, this can mean standing outside for a day without the guarantee of a sale.

Antique Dealers

Whether you’re looking to sell an entire portfolio or just one piece, an antique dealer may be able to help.

Located on high streets around the country, these dealers can offer to buy your art or help you find a buyer.

You might find that an antique dealer offers you a good price for your art, but also note that their fees might be on the higher side.


If you’re looking for an alternative rather than to sell paintings or art online, one option is an auction.

People will bid on your paintings and art and the highest bidder wins. Just remember, once the auctioneer has struck their gavel down, that’s it and your item is sold.

There’s no set price with an auction. The amount you get depends in large part on who is present on the day. Your art may not even sell.

Factor in the fact that auctions charge – often quite high – fees and charges including for the catalogue photos and seller’s premiums.

Things to Remember

When it comes to selling an art portfolio, it’s important that you know your item or collection well. This will help you describe it to any potential buyer and get value for your item. So, whether you want to sell art online or offline, learn about your pieces. Who made them? How old are they? Do they belong to any particular movement? This will all help you on your way.

How to Sell Art – Getting Started

Have you decided how you want to sell your piece? If so, you’re ready to get started. However, an additional bit of help might be to get an idea of how much you might be able to get for your art.

For example, if you think you might sell art online with, we will give you a quick, free no-obligation appraisal by just uploading a photo of your art of describing it to us.

You can even get appraisals on other items, so if you’re looking to sell watches, sell diamonds, sell valuables, or sell pens you can get a free quote for any of these items and more.