Tree of Joy and Love by Carol Ann Wood

Buying art as an investment for someone else is exciting. Not only do you get to choose a piece as a gift or on their behalf, but you’re also delving deeper into the art market and getting some real first-hand experience of the buying and selling process too.

Perhaps you’re purchasing art for a child as a gift that should have grown in value when they reach their 21st birthday, or for a lifelong friend with an interest in art. Either way, getting to grips with buying art as an investment can be tremendous fun.

However, it can be tempting to just launch straight in and buy the first piece of art that takes your fancy, but the aim of buying art as an investment is to watch it increase in value over the years, so there are a few steps that you’ll need to take to ensure you purchase the right piece, from the right place, at the right time.

Therefore, we’ve created this simple guide to help you buy art as an investment for someone else. Read on to discover the process along with a few helpful hints that are sure to come in handy along the way.


Chain reaction by Katie Daw
Chain reaction by Katie Daw

Do your research

The demand for contemporary art from new artists is booming at the moment as many people are looking to purchase art as a longer-term investment. Therefore, you’ll want to do some research on new and up and coming artists that are currently breaking into the art world – artists with a growing reputation are able to command far higher commission fees and price tags for their work.

Take a look around a few galleries and visit the Art2Arts featured artists section to get an idea of the styles you think the person you are buying for will like. This is important because if the piece you buy fails to increase in value, at least they’ll have a piece of artwork in their possession that they’ll actually enjoy hanging on their wall.

Open yourself up to new artists

If you’ve got a big budget to invest, then there’s no reason why you can’t seek out work for sale from already notable artists. However, it can still pay to seek out new artists and be broad minded as to what you’re looking for. Even if you can afford a piece from someone who is already making waves, work from newer names is far more reasonably priced and therefore more likely to increase in value over the years.

Take a peek at some of the new artists on the Art2Arts website to get an idea of the styles and what the person you are purchasing the art for might enjoy.


Celebration Landscape by Carol Ann Wood
Celebration Landscape by Carol Ann Wood

Set a budget

Once you’ve got a few names on your shortlist and an idea of the style you’d like to purchase, then it’s time to set a budget.

A few hundred pounds is a reasonable price to pay for a piece because if the artist never reaches a position of notoriety, then your friend or family member will still have a good quality piece of work to display in their home.

Find a reputable retailer

Sadly, the art market has seen some phenomenally good fakes and reproductions being sold as originals over the last few years. The quality of this work and the attention given to forging certificates of authenticity is nothing short of miraculous, so it takes a retailer with a very keen eye to spot an original piece of artwork.

Even new artists are having their work copied and sold on to unsuspecting art lovers, so you never can be too careful. Avoid buying pieces of art as an investment for a friend or family member from online auction sites that do not deal exclusively with art or that you’ve never heard of before.

You’ll also want to ensure that any online retailer you’re thinking of trusting with your purchase offers a full money back guarantee should you be unhappy for any reason. Your chosen gallery should also be easily contactable by phone and email.

Neptune's Odyssey 13 by Rachel McCullock
Neptune’s Odyssey 13 by Rachel McCullock

The waiting game

Once you’ve purchased your chosen investment piece, it’s now a waiting game to see if it will increase in value. This doesn’t happen overnight, and you’ll often have to wait several years to see if the piece you bought on someone else’s behalf is worth more than you paid for it, so I’m afraid you’ll just have to be patient.

You’ll also need to ensure that you store the artwork correctly to ensure it stays in perfect condition, as any introduction of moisture or fading caused by natural light will significantly reduce its value. Seek out advice from your chosen retailer on how to care for it while in storage or on display.

Once you’ve had the art for a few years, it’s worth getting it valued by an independent art house to see just how well you’ve chosen that investment piece.