Curating Asian Art

6 Top tips before buying artifacts online


Since the advent of e-commerce websites, the ease and comfort of shopping for any type of product has been unbeatable. A mere click and that is it. All your necessities and sometimes pure indulgence (do you really need YET another pair of shoes??) come walking home to you. From mom entrepreneur, who is able to make profits sitting at home to the budget conscious teenager always on the hunt for bargains and variety, e-commerce, has definitely made life easier for everyone.

Despite the popularity of online shopping sites, some may consider buying valuable products and collectibles a foolhardy exercise. Sometimes that rich teakwood coffee table you clicked “order” on turns out to be a complete mismatch along with your contemporary furniture. But once you learn how to be a smart online shopper, you can take advantage of the convenience of online shopping and avoid buyer’s remorse.

Being India’s first online marketplace for premium fine art, vintage and rare collectibles – The Vintage Cart, offers a vast selection of collectible items ranging from original creations by yesteryear’s top artists to art décor to exotic rugs to contemporary light fixtures and bar cabinets. Whether its noon or midnight, you can now buy that perfect work of art from half way across the world. Since buying art online is relatively new for us in India, we have decided to list down some of the important points you need to keep in mind and follow while you are shopping for that perfect piece of craftsmanship for your lovely adobe

1. Start by educating yourself

Always ask questions about the product history and maker. Visit art shows, exhibitions, flea markets and research online. As you become more familiar with certain eras or categories, shopping will become so much more fun. Knowledge is power, my friend. Read and educate yourself about the art style that you like. You should at least be aware the basics


2. Start with small


One of the easiest ways to start collecting vintage is to start small. Start with buying stuff which is inexpensive and easy to find like vases, lamps, books etc. Starting with smaller accents is a low-risk way to get a sense of what styles and eras you’re most drawn to. These lamps don’t cost much and you can find them at a variety of places (Read One mans treasure is another mans trash). Once you have that shopping experience, things will only get brighter and you are bound to learn


3. Get Smart


Try and connect to people from your circle related to art or who appreciate it. Grasp the basics about differentiating between an original and a reproduction so you can understand value and collectability. Browse online about it and take note of the things and artists you like.

4. Look closely


World class websites use the highest resolution product images, so that you can have a crystal clear look at your object d’art before owning it. Look for maker’s marks, quality of materials, nails, joints, and patina if applicable. Imperfect originals can be far more valuable and interesting than reproductions. No. It doesn’t mean that you do this literally

5. Give it time

Looking at a product image simply isn’t enough. The photos online can sometimes be very deceiving. Make sure to read about the materials that the product is made of so that you can truly understand the quality of the piece you are purchasing. It might take up some of your time, but reading about the product is one of the most important exercises that you need to do.

6. Measure it to perfection


Don’t be fooled by how small or large something looks in a picture. Always check the measurements online against your home’s measurements. Fine art can sometimes be tricky to incorporate into today’s interiors. So always check the measurements to accommodate your needs and so that you don’t end up with something that you don’t have space for. This you should be doing to a piece which you really like and intend to buy. Always ask the store workers to measure the piece in your presence

So these are a few pointers that we thought you should keep in mind before you click ‘order’. But, most importantly, buy what you love! Regardless of the provenance, if you have the space for it, and the price fits your pocket, go ahead and click that ‘order’ button. Don’t be intimidated. Happy shopping to you!

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