Forbes Magazine, makes a “bold prediction” that art will finally sell online in 2010. Studio Art Direct www.studioartdirect.com agrees based on increased online sales in 2009. According to Susan Adams of Forbes, “Art will sell online. Back in the late 1990s, auction houses tried, and failed, to sell art over the Web. Sotheby’s partnership with Amazon and eBay‘s acquisition of bricks-and-mortar auction house Butterfield & Butterfield (now Bonhams & Butterfields) both flopped as it became clear buyers wouldn’t blow $5 million on a Barbizon plein-air painting; for those kinds of prices, they wanted TLC and in-person schmoozing. Buyers have since cozied up to the Internet, and things are finally changing. Christie’s says $95 million was bid or underbid last year using its online LIVE system. Expect more online art commerce soon.
We agree with this 2010 prediction, on a local level, and smaller scale than Christies, of course. We have seen an increase in online sales in 2009. Works have sold to customers from San Francisco to France.
We would also add to the prediction: Online art will become regionalized and more specific with certain websites providing genres or localized art making the search process easier for customers; supporting local regional artists – on an invidual and corporate level – will increase. Some companies, such as large healthcare providers are now making it a mandate that at least 80% of the artwork be created by local artists; and the popularity for archival quality giclees will continue to rise and more artists incorporate the medium into their portfolios.
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