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A Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Art for Investment

Updated: Jan 24

By: Andrea Teresa Hauser, Marketing & Communications Manager at Hager Design International Inc.

If you've always wanted to start an art collection and thought that collecting was simply based on buying random works of art pleasing to the eye, think again. Purchasing art is purposeful, especially when building a meaningful collection. Think of it as a long-term commitment. With a primary goal of starting a collection for investment purposes, you're likely wondering where to begin.



Establish a Budget

The first step in art collecting is establishing a budget. As a beginner, start with a small budget and keep in mind that quality over quantity is key and significant, especially for investment and resale value. Acquainting yourself with different styles, techniques and mediums used by various artists will assist in the decision-making process. Focusing on mid-career and established artists is a good guideline.


Limited Edition Prints and Multiples are a good starting point for a beginner starting a comprehensive art collection given the price point is much lower than an original painting. It's also a great way to own an authentic and iconic piece of artwork by an established artist without the hefty price tag. Many have a misconception about limited edition original prints – a print is not a copy of an original. “Christie’s defines an ‘original print’ as a limited-edition print by an artist that conforms to other prints in their catalogue raisonné, or matches other confirmed examples of the print by the artist”.


The history of printmaking is innovation at its best in the artworld. Some of the most famous artists used printmaking to express themselves and create art through a medium that could be shared with a larger audience of art lovers.



Educate Yourself

The second step in art collecting is educating yourself. If your intention is to own a collection that appreciates in value, do your due diligence before you make that purchase. Studying an auction history database is a great tool when researching the art market and trends. Premier auction houses such as Christies, Sotheby’s and Phillips are the largest and oldest. These trusted auction houses provide an entire history on past auction results, sales and price realized online, allowing you to discover the true value of a piece of art. Gallery owners and private dealers buy from these auction houses at a low cost and resell at a high markup.



Where should I buy?

Purchasing art online is the most economical ways to start a collection. There are several online platforms such as Artnet, Artsy, Artprice, Printed Editions and Saatchi Art, to name a few. Buying from these trusted sites guarantees you are protected and buying authentic artwork. Provenance is provided by galleries and dealers listed on these platforms. If you have more to splurge, there are live online bidding opportunities at Christies, Sotheby’s and Phillips. Bargain hunting takes time but with patience, research and persistence you can build a meaningful collection that will appreciate in value over time.

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Andrea Teresa Hauser is an art lover and experienced in fine art prints. This blog is based on her experience in publishing of limited edition prints and sales and marketing. Andrea Teresa can be reached at andreateresa@hagerinc.com.

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