From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Art Buying Online

Which art-buying site outranks the others?

Perfectly Packed


Perfectly Packed

Troubadour’s Embark Duffle is the unintentional diaper bag of your dreams.

Photography by Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images.


The Last Word on the US Open

Carvell Wallace on greatness, Serena, and the US Open’s best menswear.

Home Grown


Home Grown

A countertop composter that transforms everyday scraps into usable soil.

Elevator Pitch: A Pandora for art.

Art: From Picasso to Basquiat.

Price Range: From under $1,000 to more than $1 million.

Bragging Rights: Since launching last October, it’s shown almost 80 million artwork impressions.

Boldfaced Supporters: Dasha Zhukova, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

Big Friend: Larry Gagosian is an advisor.

Fee Structure: Charges the gallery partner a commission on the purchase up to 6 percent of the sale price.

Elevator Pitch: A virtual auction house with themed and benefit sales.

Art: Depends on the auction: Warhol and Koons were on the block recently.

Price Range: Works valued up to $50,000.

Bragging Rights: Last December, the site had a $4 million bidding day during a benefit auction.

Boldfaced Supporter: Chanel, through its investment firm Mousse Partners.

Big Friend: Marina Abramovic has curated an exhibition.

Fee Structure: For benefit auctions, there’s a 5 percent to 7 percent commission; for themed ones, there’s a 6 percent commission and a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Elevator Pitch: A 24/7 eBay for art.

Art: Typical hang-on-your-wall stuff and pricier works by artists like Keith Haring.

Price Range: From under $1,000 to more than $100,000.

Bragging Rights: Warhol’s Flowers (1978) sold for $1.3 million on July 20, 2011.

Boldfaced Supporter: It’s an extension of parent company Artnet, formerly an art magazine and now focused on its art index and auctions.

Big Friends: Christie’s and Sotheby’s, who keep an eye on the index.

Fee Structure: A 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Elevator Pitch: A platform to buy from big galleries and museums.

Art: Contemporary art—think Richard Prince, Alex Katz.

Price Range: Up to $150,000.

Bragging Rights: In 2012, the site generated $1.5 million for its cultural-institution and nonprofit partners.

Boldfaced Supporter: MTV founder Robert Pittman.

Big Friend: Heiress Maria Baibakova is the strategic director.

Fee Structure: A percentage commission fee charged to the vendor.


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.