How To Start An Art Collection

Eli Weisman, founder of, the largest volume online marketplace for fine art, shares three tips for buying wisely, educating yourself, and finding true (art) love.

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(All photos © Patrick Cline / Lonny)
Avoid Galleries
High-end galleries are great for browsing and discovering new artists, but the price points are, for most young collectors, way out of reach. “Like any retail situation,” Weisman explains, “a lot of times you’ll have salespeople that are working on commissions, and they’re motivated to get you to pay as much as possible. Plus they have to cover their own expenses. The benefit to buying art online is that we don’t have the overhead and the huge markups of galleries.”

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Do Your Homework

Finding an artist you’re crazy about is the fun part, but if you’re seriously considering purchasing a work, Weisman says, “the most important thing is to do your due diligence and take a look around. See what the prices are in the market so you can make an educated decision about what you should pay for that piece.” You wouldn’t buy a piece of furniture or a pair of shoes without comparison shopping. The same should go for your art.

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Buy What You Love

“I don’t recommend buying [a work] because of a perception of value. It’s always best to buy based on your personal taste,” advises Weisman. Artists, styles, periods, and even mediums, experience moments of trendiness, and prices fluctuate to match. “Make sure that when you’re buying something, you’re buying it because you like it, and it’s worth to you what you’re paying for it.”
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Clockwise from top left: Works by Robert Kasimir, Raphael Abecassis, Gail Rodgers, and RE Society, all available on
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