eBay Guides - Art Buying Guide
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Art Buying Guide

eBay Canada makes buying art simple and fun. All you need to know are a few basics. Whether you're an experienced collector or simply looking to decorate your home, this guide will start you on your way to finding a drawing, painting, photo, poster, print, or sculpture you'll treasure. How you search and what you search for will depend on your personal goals and style preferences. Are you buying for decoration, collecting a particular artist, or making an investment? Are you drawn to paintings, black and white photographs, sculpture, or perhaps folk art? Do you know what to look for to identify a quality piece of art? Don't have all the answers? Tour eBay's Art category and discover a world of artistic expression.

Discover Different Types of Art

Discover Different Types of Art

The Art portal page is your door to a virtual gallery with more than 50 categories of art available right at your fingertips.

If you’re an art enthusiast looking specifically for original artwork, you can click on "Original" under Original/Repro in the Paintings and Self-Representing Artist categories to find genuine, one-of-a-kind pieces not available anywhere else. Want to buy directly from the artist? Simply click on "Original - Listed by Artist."

Reproductions of art works are also available on eBay. Prints and posters are usually more easily identified as reproductions than exact replicas of originals. Many sellers include the item’s provenance (the full history of the item) in their item description, so be sure to read through all the available information. If you still have questions, simply ask the seller. Most sellers are more than happy to respond.

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Research Art

Research Art

Before buying a piece of art, do some basic research. Below are some tips on what to look for when you are thinking about buying a work of art:

  • Read the item description carefully. Good sellers include as much information about the artwork as possible, including artist, style, approximate time period, origin, and dimensions.

  • Note imperfections: Note information about imperfections, repairs, restorations. Artwork is meant to last for posterity, but over time it may develop flaws or need repairs or restorations. Sellers will include this information in the item description, but if you’re unsure, ask.

  • Examine pictures: Most sellers will include several pictures of the item, taken from different angles and distances. Look carefully at these pictures so there won’t be any surprises.

You want to feel secure and happy with your purchase, so if you still have questions, just ask. There’s a link for this built into the top right hand side of every listing under "seller information."

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Find Art on eBay

Find Art on eBay

Once you know what type of art you want, go to the Art portal and start searching for items on eBay.

Categories: Categories lists will help you narrow down your listings by item type. For example, explore Paintings by clicking on the Antique, Modern, or Contemporary subcategory. Narrow your listings by simply clicking further down the hierarchy.

Product Finder: Search artwork based on the specifics that interest you most. For example, if you collect abstract paintings, browse for all paintings in the abstract style, regardless of age or location. Simply go to the Paintings Finder and click Abstract under Style.

Keyword search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find a print of "The Singing Butler" by Jack Vettriano, type "Singing Butler" or "Vettriano" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try shopping eBay Stores, tell the eBay Community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a match becomes available

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Buy Art With Confidence

Buy Art With Confidence

Before making your purchase, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, research your seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your purchase

Carefully read the details in item listings.

  • Figure delivery costs into your final price. If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.

  • If you want more information, ask by clicking the "Ask seller a question" link under the seller's profile.

  • Always make sure to complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs.

  • Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services through Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

Research your seller so you feel positive and secure about every transaction.

  • What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed? What percentage of positive responses do they have?

  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?

  • Most top eBay sellers operate like retail stores and have return policies. Do they offer a money-back guarantee? What are the terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the unlikely event that a problem arises during your transaction, eBay and PayPal are there for you.

  • Pay safely with PayPal: PayPal enables you to pay without the seller ever seeing your bank account or credit card numbers. In fact, PayPal protects buyers 100% against unauthorized payments from their accounts. Plus, with PayPal Buyer Protection, your purchase can be covered up to C$1,250.

  • eBay Security & Resolution Centre: Visit the Security & Resolution Centre to learn how to protect your account and use eBay's quick and efficient resolution tools.

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