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Is Artsy Legit?

Is Artsy Legit?

The brokerage, Artsy, might just be what you need if you buy or sell art.

However, you should know the pros and cons before you dive in.

Today, we’ll look at what tools it offers for buying and selling art. Plus, we’ll see what the art world has to say about the Artsy and the best way to use its website.

Let’s go!

What Is Artsy?

Artsy is an online brokerage for art whose goal is to make it easy for new and experienced collectors to discover, buy, and sell art. The company works with art galleries to showcase emerging and established artists from around the world showcase their art on the website. 

It currently features over 1,000,000 works by 100,000 artists on its site through partnered galleries. As of March 2018, Artsy averaged 2.3 million unique visitors each month.

The brokerage provides the tools you need to find the art you want. With custom alerts on releases from your favorite artists, you’ll be the first to know about it.

The technology also offers the ability to manage and sell from your collection. Additionally, you can track the art market and bid in auctions from your phone. 

The company provides a non-intimidating way to see art before or instead of visiting a particular gallery. By showing people a million artworks in one place, eager buyers find an exciting inventory.

Artsy has the potential to introduce buyers to a wide range of artists and artworks. Additionally, it provides information inaccessible to any but the most knowledgeable connoisseurs. It hopes to create more art lovers by connecting more people with art.  

Who Founded Artsy?

Carter Cleveland founded Artsy during his senior year at Princeton University. Cleveland is the son of an art historian and planned for the site to serve as a place where users could discover art online. He worked on the site from his dorm room and is still the company owner.

In May 2010, Artsy received the Yahoo! Rookie Disrupter Award at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City. The following year the team demoed their site at the Beyeler Foundation at Art Basel.

In 2019, Carter tapped Mike Steib to be the new CEO. By implementing buy-now buttons and instant transaction options, the brokerage seeks to make high-end art more shoppable. Ultimately, his job is to convert more of the millions viewing art on Artsy into buyers.

yellow and brown house painting
Photo by Pixabay on

How Do You Use Artsy?

From the Artsy app, there are three ways to buy from galleries, institutions, and auction houses worldwide. 

Simply check for a button that says bid, purchase, make offer, or contact gallery on the artwork page. The work is no longer available if you don’t see a button. 

A great way to find art that is rare to the market is through Artsy’s online auctions. The price estimates for each piece listed in an auction can help you guide your bidding. 

In addition, you can get expert advice straight from a gallery by clicking the Contact Gallery button. A representative will provide more information and answer any questions you may have.

Artsy’s secure checkout provides several buying options. The options allow collectors to acquire new art and negotiate prices with a gallery with the click of a button. Every purchase made via the secure checkout benefits from buyer protections.

What Are the Benefits?

Buying art is a unique experience. So, if you have problems with your purchase, Artsy will help you to find the best resolution. 

First, you must know that protection only applies to purchases made through the website. Third-party payments are not covered. But let’s go over a few things that Artsy’s guarantee does cover. 

A piece without a described feature like the artist’s signature or incorrect edition number is covered. Art that arrives with damage that wasn’t described in the listing or arrived damaged is protected too. Sometimes, a partial refund, restoration, or exchange may be the best resolution. 

It’s rare for an artwork to be found inauthentic. But Artsy has extended authenticity protection. 

This guarantee offers 180 days to report the issue after delivery. Be sure to read and understand what it doesn’t cover.

photo of abstract painting on canvas
Photo by Steve Johnson on

Are There Disadvantages to Artsy?

An article in a popular art blog cautions people about buying online art from Artsy auctions. It warns of potential pitfalls, particularly for novice art buyers. The blog states that the online material favors revenue over ethics and that Artsy condones deceptive sellers.

Even though Artsy lists its guarantee and buyer protection, some areas aren’t covered. Here are a few problems that people have found with the brokerage’s auctions.

Counterfeits, facsimiles, and incorrectly documented art are the main complaints. Additionally, unlimited editions, often with fraudulent signatures, have been found.

Ultimately, it‘s caveat emptor; let the buyer beware. So if you are a novice art buyer, it’s a good idea to educate yourself to avoid being a victim of fraud.

Can People Be Successful With Artsy?

While the pitfalls may deter you from buying art online, some artists have succeeded on the platform.

As the world’s largest online marketplace, the company provides exposure for many artists. In addition, because it charges less than traditional auction houses, artists receive more when their art sells. 

However, artists must work with a gallery to show their work on the website. Artsy provides tips to help artists engage with customers and to make sales. 

Additional tips help artists upload art, write a good artist bio, and price artwork. In the end, artists may have an opportunity for success with the brokerage they may not have otherwise.


So, is Artsy legit? The art world has always had concerns regarding authenticity, and buying art can come with problems. The brokerage can give people access to art they wouldn’t find any other way, but you must be careful. Ultimately, it’s a good idea to understand the pros and cons of buying art this way.

Outside Folk Gallery

You can explore folk, street, and outsider art in our personal collection at Outside Folk Art. We’re celebrating these creatives and giving voice to rising black, Native, immigrant, and working mother artisans. 

We’ll also be offering pop-up shows and collaborations with small museums, so be sure to follow us to discover the where and when!

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