Selling artworks between individuals, at auctions or through galleries is always a difficult choice. Find out how to best orient yourself and make the right decision.

Often happen that a collector, for various reasons, wants to sell one or more artworks previously purchased and, reasonably, wonders how to combine ease of sale with the most favorable evaluations of his artworks.

Although many collectors decide to sell their works of art out of the need to monetize their investments as soon as possible and are sometimes willing to realize less than the price previously paid, no collector is in favor of devaluing their artworks and he seeks, therefore, the best way to be able to obtain the maximum evaluation for what they own.

Specifying that the works of art we are talking about in this article are those works created by already established, listed artists and for which a reference market already exists, the most common solutions to be able to sell artworks are the following:

1) Selling works of art between individuals;
2) Selling works of art by through an auction house;
3) Selling works of art through a Gallery.

We will talk about all three methods of selling works of art, then focusing on the third selling option and describing, in particular, the service that The Strip Gallery offers to its customers who want to sell their artworks in the most simple and convenient as possible.

Selling works of art between individuals

The first option that any collector has at his disposal in order to sell his artworks is through transfer to other private individuals who are eager to buy them.

Many platforms that have been on the internet for years and specialized in the sale of any object (for example ebay and many others) are often used by hundreds of collectors who publish their sales announcements and, advertising the works of art owned, they try to meet the purchase requests of other collectors.

Often these platforms are functional for the purpose and the collector actually has the opportunity to conclude a good sale for the artworks owned.

The criticalities relating to this sales methodology are, however, many: 1) for works of art sold at relevant prices it will be difficult to meet the interest of other collectors who can trust a sale announcement by an essentially unknown private person ; 2) very often it will happen that one or more people show up interested in the artworks for sale but then disappear, only wasting time; 3) the buyer concerned may be in a place very far from the seller’s place of residence and this will give rise to various problems; 4) when a payment method must be agreed for the works of art sold, it will often happen that the seller has to trust an unknown buyer, with risks that could be extremely high.

We recommend, for these types of sales of works of art and as regards the position of the buyer, to pay particular attention to both the origin of the works purchased and the relative certifications, verifying them in person. It can often happen that artworks with excellent certificates of authenticity may have dubious or illegal origins.

Selling works of art through the Auction House


Jean-Michel Basquiat “Untitled”, 1982 – sold for 110.000.000 USD at Sotheby’s – image @Sotheby’s rights

The sale of works of art by entrusting it to an auction house is one of the most convenient methods for a collector.

The auction houses in the world that deal with the sale of works of art and valuables are numerous and often located in the main national cities. International auction houses, famous all over the world, are the famous Sotheby’s, Christie’s and also Phillips and Dorotheum, but there are also many others who work every day with seriousness and professionalism and are now part of an international scene.

To sell artworks by entrusting them to an auction house, it is necessary to contact one or more auction houses and send all the details relating to the works of art that you intend to put up for sale. The Auction Houses, with the timing that will be among the most varied, will provide an auction evaluation for the proposed works of art or will prove not interested in the marketing of the proposed works.

Generally very famous and recognized auction houses will only deal with works of art by extremely established artists who have important quotations: artists such as Andy Warhol, Kaws, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, OBEY, Christo, Mario Schifano, Alighiero Boetti, Agostino Bonalumi and many others. For this reason, they will certainly reject works of art by little-known or emerging artists. The latter, on the other hand, could be taken into consideration by more local auction houses or with a more limited market.

If an auction house finds an interest in selling an artwork owned by the collector, the artwork must physically be deliverred to the auction house and the procedure provides that: 1) the auction house, often agreeing to the extent possible with the customer, will provide an estimate and a reserve price (minimum price at which to sell the work of art, which often coincides with the minimum estimate of the work itself); 2) will indicate the date of the auction in which to hesitate the work of art entrusted (generally a few months after the delivery of the work of art); 3) will have the customer sign the sales mandate within which he will indicate the commission that, in the event of a sale, the customer will have to pay to the auction house (generally from 10% to 15% of the sale price).

Everyday many works of art are exhibited all over the world and the auction results will always be public and visible to anyone at any time. There are paid platforms and databases that professionals and operators in the sector use daily to get an idea of ​​the auction results of many works of art, to be used as a reference for the marketing of similar artworks.

The criticalities of the sale of artworks through assignment to Auction House are essentially three: 1) between the delivery of the work of art and the balance of the same in case of sale, a fairly long period of time will elapse (between 2 months and 9 months); 2) in the event that the entrusted work of art will remain unsold, this data will remain visible forever and will certainly cause prejudice in the event that the collector wishes to try again to propose the unsold work of art to a private individual, to another auction house or art gallery; 3) it can very often happen that, for various reasons, the artwork at auction receives only one offer or very few bids, and is then sold at very low prices, with detriment of the seller.

Our advice, in the event that the collector wants to entrust an auction house for the sale of one or more artworks, is to select it carefully, choosing based on previous awards, location and size of the auction house, to the potential number of customers to whom the auction house is aimed and also according to the location in which the artist to be marketed is most famous.

Selling artworks through the Gallery

Finally, the collector may decide to entrust the sale of his artworks to an Art Gallery. Also in this case, as for the auction sale, the Gallery will evaluate the interest in selling or not the proposed artworks and will provide an evaluation.

Each gallery has different methodologies and not all of them agree to collaborate for the sale of private artworks, therefore it is not possible to provide valid details for all art galleries.

Generally, however, galleries are interested in dealing with artworks by artists they already market, thus being able to expand their offer of artworks. Commissions, prices and methods are defined by each Art Gallery.

It may also happen that one or more galleries are interested in a direct purchase of the works of art proposed by the collector, at prices generally lower than market prices and considering that art galleries will then have to resell the artworks purchased to other collectors generating a revenue.

Selling artworks with virtual assignment to The Strip Gallery

After talking about with all the possible options through which a collector can sell artworks that are part of his collection, we now represent the service that The Strip Gallery provides to its customers and through which the artworks can be object or of an immediate sale or virtually entrusted for sale via The Strip Gallery.

Selling artworks with The Strip Gallery is extremely simple and convenient.

We are professionals in the sector and have all the skills and knowledge to better manage the artworks of our customers; in addition, we are extremely careful and precise with regard to both the certifications of authenticity and the origins, which we scrupulously verify for any artworks that will be proposed to us.

In the event that the proposed artwork does not have the relevant certificate of authenticity issued by the artist or by the relevant institutions, we can personally take care of activating and completing this procedure on behalf of the collector.

Two different ways are offered to collectors who intend to sell artworks through The Strip Gallery:

1) direct sale: in the event that the proposed artwork is of particular interest to us, we could provide for the immediate purchase;
2) virtual account sales: the artworks that the collector will want to entrust to us for sale will remain in his total availability. The Gallery will advertise and promote the artworks entrusted through its official channels and will propose them to an international and varied clientele. We will make an evaluation of the artwork and agree on the net price to be paid to the owner in case of sale; the cost of the service will be completely free.

In consideration of the fact that the Gallery collaborates with international couriers specialized in the transport of artworks, the collector is relieved of any type of transport and it will be the gallery itself that will arrange for the collection and subsequent delivery of the artworks sold at its own expense.

In the event of a sale, payment for the artworks entrusted will take place within 16 days of delivery to the final collector.

In the event of virtual account sales of artworks to The Strip Gallery, they will be promoted and advertised through all official channels, including gallery’s private websites, Art.Sy professional profile, private social profiles as well as through collaboration with dealers and galleries located around the world.

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