Buying and Selling Artwork: Navigating the New Zealand Market

New Zealand Art Show birds eye view showing stalls

Art is a universal language that transcends boundaries; for many, it holds immense emotional and financial value. With its rich cultural heritage and vibrant artistic community, New Zealand offers a thriving market for buying and selling artwork. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a collector, or a novice looking to enter the art world, this article will provide valuable insights and tips to successfully navigate the New Zealand art market.

The New Zealand Art Market 

The New Zealand art market has experienced significant growth and recognition in recent years. With a diverse range of contemporary and traditional artworks, the country’s art scene showcases local artists’ unique creativity and perspectives. From Maori art to modern installations, New Zealand offers a wealth of artistic styles and mediums to explore and appreciate. 

Take a look at these three distinctly different New Zealand contemporary artists that  illustrate the variety of styles and prices of artworks available in New Zealand –

Tony Ogle

Collette Fergus 

Gaye Jurisich

Buying Artwork: Pros and Cons


Diverse Selection

The New Zealand art market offers a wide variety of artworks catering to different tastes and preferences. From traditional paintings to sculptures, photographs, and mixed media pieces, there is something for every art lover.

Supporting Local Artists

By purchasing artwork from New Zealand artists, you contribute directly to the growth and sustainability of the local art community. Your investment helps artists thrive and fosters a vibrant cultural landscape.

Potential Financial Gains

Selecting a suitable artwork can be a wise investment, as the value of certain pieces may appreciate over time. A well-curated collection can provide both aesthetic pleasure and potential financial returns.

Cultural and Historical Significance

Many New Zealand artworks carry cultural and historical significance, reflecting the country’s unique heritage. Owning such pieces can deepen your understanding and appreciation of the local culture.


High Demand

New Zealand artwork’s popularity means competition for desirable pieces can be fierce. It’s essential to stay informed and act promptly when opportunities arise.

Pricing Variability

Setting the right price for artwork involves navigating a complex landscape of variables and considerations. The value of a piece can vary significantly based on factors such as the artist’s reputation, the demand for their work, and the unique qualities of the artwork itself.

The artist’s reputation plays a crucial role in determining the pricing of their artwork. Established and highly regarded artists often command higher prices due to their recognized talent and established market presence. On the other hand, emerging artists may price their work more competitively to attract attention and build their reputation.

Demand also influences pricing, as artworks highly sought after by collectors or currently on-trend may command higher prices. In addition, the popularity and desirability of specific styles, themes, or techniques can significantly impact the perceived value and subsequently affect the pricing strategy.
Moreover, the uniqueness of an artwork contributes to its pricing variability. For example, one-of-a-kind or limited-edition pieces tend to have higher values due to their exclusivity. On the other hand, paintings that showcase innovative approaches, unusual materials, or experimental techniques often attract more attention, influencing their pricing.

Determining a fair and appropriate price for artwork is inherently subjective and can pose challenges for artists and sellers. It requires a delicate balance between considering the artwork’s intrinsic value, the artist’s reputation, and market demand. Engaging with art professionals, such as appraisers or gallery owners, can provide valuable insights and expertise to help navigate this complex process.

Ultimately, pricing artwork is an art in itself. It involves carefully assessing various factors, understanding market dynamics, and balancing the artist’s aspirations and market realities. By taking these considerations into account, artists and sellers can strive to find a pricing strategy that aligns with the artwork’s value, reflects its uniqueness, and resonates with potential buyers.

With the rising demand for artwork, the risk of encountering counterfeit or forged pieces increases. To ensure authenticity, it is crucial to authenticate the paintings and purchase them from reputable sources, the artists themselves or galleries.

Potential for Counterfeits

With the rising demand for artwork, the risk of encountering counterfeit or forged pieces increases. To ensure authenticity, it is crucial to authenticate the paintings and purchase them from reputable sources, the artists themselves or galleries. If in doubt get an art valuer to look into it.

Dont buy counterfeit art text on green background

Tips for Buying Artwork in New Zealand:

Research and Educate Yourself

Before diving into the art market, educate yourself about different artists, styles, and mediums. Attend exhibitions, art fairs, and gallery openings to gain exposure to diverse artworks and perspectives.

Engage with the Art Community

Networking with artists, collectors, and gallery owners can provide valuable insights into the market. Attend artist talks, workshops, and art events to build connections and learn more about the local art scene.

Set a Budget

It’s important to establish a budget that fits your financial capacity and personal preferences when buying artwork. You should consider any extra expenses you might need to cover, such as framing, shipping, and insurance. By following this advice, you’ll be well-prepared and able to make informed decisions with confidence.

Authenticity and Provenance

f purchasing from a gallery or auction house, ensure the authenticity and provenance of the artwork before making a purchase. Request certificates of authenticity, inquire about the artwork’s history, and seek expert advice if needed.

Build Relationships with Galleries

Forge meaningful connections with reputable galleries as this will unlock a world of exclusive benefits. By establishing relationships with these art hubs, you gain access to coveted opportunities such as exclusive previews, enticing discounts, and invaluable expert advice.

Make it a habit to visit galleries regularly, immersing yourself in the vibrant art scene and staying up to date with the latest exhibitions and acquisitions. And always engage with gallery owners and staff, by expressing your interest and curiosity. By doing so, you open doors to potential collaborations, valuable insights, and a deeper understanding of the art world.

Although galleries can sometimes seem scary, don’t hesitate to explore the captivating realm of dealing with such places and inquire about upcoming exhibitions or new acquisitions. It’s a rewarding path that can enrich your artistic journey and broaden your horizons.

Selling Artwork: Pros and Cons


Financial Returns

Selling artwork can provide a lucrative opportunity to realise a return on your investment. If you have collected pieces that have appreciated, selling them can generate significant profits. Look at reputable auction houses to get an idea of how to sell artwork and see what prices other similar work is going for. Sometimes it pays to hold off on selling as work can appreciate in value.

Clearing Space and Refreshing Collection

Selling artwork is a chance to create space for new acquisitions while revitalising your art collection. It offers the opportunity to explore new artists and styles, ensuring that your collection remains dynamic and evolving.

By letting go of certain pieces, you can curate a cohesive and engaging narrative within your collection. Moreover, witnessing your artwork find new homes brings a sense of fulfillment and fosters connections within the art community.

So embrace the process of selling art to make way for new inspiration and invigorate your collection’s story. 

Supporting Emerging Artists

To keep the art culture thriving it’s crucial to support living artists.

Selling artwork enables you to support and promote emerging artists, contributing to their growth and exposure. You provide them with valuable opportunities for recognition and success, by showcasing and selling their work.

Your involvement helps diversify the art world and shape its future, while also making a positive impact on the artists’ lives. You can be a catalyst for emerging artists by actively participating in the sale of their artwork.

Connecting with the Art Community

Engaging in the selling process allows you to connect with other art enthusiasts, collectors, and gallery owners. Networking can open doors to collaborations, partnerships, and a deeper understanding of the art market.


Emotional Attachment

Selling artwork can pose emotional challenges, particularly when you have developed a strong connection or sentimental value towards certain pieces, and even harder if you have developed a relationship with the artist who created the artwork.

However, it’s crucial to detach yourself from these emotions and approach the decision with objectivity. By evaluating the situation objectively, you can make informed choices that align with your artistic and financial goals.

Market Volatility

The art market, much like other investment markets, can be subject to fluctuations and volatility.

Artwork prices may rise or fall based on trends, demand, and economic factors. So to navigate these market dynamics effectively, it’s essential to conduct a thoughtful analysis and seek expert advice before making any selling decisions. By staying informed and consulting professionals, you can make more informed choices and maximise your selling opportunities.

Selling Costs

When selling artwork, there are expenses to consider, such as commissions for galleries, transportation, marketing, and insurance. These costs can impact your overall profit margin, so it’s essential to factor them into your decision-making process. Always ask a gallery or auction house for the finer details on their selling policies as you will often find there is a very arge commission that will cut into your bottomline.

artist selling artwork to buyer at nz art show

Tips for Selling Artwork in New Zealand

Evaluate the Market

To effectively sell artwork in New Zealand, it is crucial to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the market. By conducting thorough research and assessing current market conditions, artists can gain valuable insights into the trends, demands for particular artists or styles, and recent sales prices of similar paintings.

This information is a foundation for making informed decisions about pricing, marketing strategies, and identifying potential buyers.

To further enhance their understanding of the market and increase their chances of success, artists should seek expert advice from professionals in the art industry. Consulting with art appraisers, gallery owners, or art consultants can provide invaluable insights and guidance.

These individuals possess extensive knowledge and experience in assessing the value and marketability of artwork. In addition, they can offer a professional opinion on the unique qualities and potential of an artist’s work, helping them make informed decisions about pricing and positioning their art in the market.

Art appraisers can assist in determining the fair market value of an artwork based on factors such as artistic merit, condition, rarity, and historical significance. Their expertise allows artists to establish appropriate pricing strategies that align with the current market conditions and ensure their artwork is competitively priced. Working in the arts can be a rewarding job also, check out this article on how to choose a career path for young adults to get you started.

Additionally, they can provide insights into the potential appreciation of an artist’s work over time, which can be helpful for long-term planning.

And gallery owners, who have in-depth knowledge of the local art scene and customer preferences, can offer valuable advice on the marketability of specific artworks. They can provide insights into which artists or styles are currently in high demand and may even be interested in representing an artist’s work within their gallery.

Document and Authenticate

Gather all relevant documentation, including certificates of authenticity, provenance, and any supporting materials related to the artwork. These documents will enhance the credibility and value of your piece.

Explore Multiple Selling Channels 

Consider different options for selling your artwork, such as art shows such as the NZ Art Show, galleries, online platforms, art auction houses such as Dunbar Sloane in Auckland NZ, or private sales. Each channel has its advantages and target audience, so choose the one that aligns best with your goals and target market.

Marketing and Promotion 

Remember to dedicate time and energy to effectively market and promote the artwork you are selling. Leverage the power of social media platforms, artist websites, and art publications to generate awareness and interest in your pieces.

Use captivating high-quality photographs, compelling descriptions, and engaging storytelling as these can help attract potential buyers to your artwork. And by utilising these marketing strategies, you can increase your chances of reaching a wider audience and achieving successful sales.

At the End of the Day

Buying and selling artwork in New Zealand offers both challenges and opportunities. By navigating the art market with research, knowledge, and a discerning eye, you can find exceptional pieces that resonate with you and potentially appreciate value. Engaging with the art community, building relationships with galleries, and staying informed about market trends are vital to a successful art-buying and selling experience. Embrace the beauty and diversity of New Zealand’s art scene, and let your journey in the art world for buying artwork or selling be one of discovery, appreciation, and growth.

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