| Sunday, January 1st, 2023

Buying art from overseas

Art is many things, and its value can be entirely subjective and based on mass opinion and taste, making it an interesting asset. Purchasing a piece of art can be part of a hobby or a means of investment. When debating how much to spend on either starting, or adding to, your curated collection, ultimately, the more money spent on a piece, the more luxurious it will be deemed to be.

With the nature of the art world, some of the great pieces you are hoping to buy may be from auctions abroad and require you to send money overseas. There is obviously a lot to think about before deciding on where, and in which artist, to invest your money. This guide offers some practical advice on buying art overseas that you may want to keep in mind.


Check the legal implications

Here's a major one – once you have decided that you want to buy a piece of art from overseas, the best thing to do is research the legal implications of moving the piece back at home. Although perhaps a little bit of an extreme case, it is worth bearing in mind the Elgin Marbles. After all, there would be nothing worse than believing you have a new piece to add to your collection only to find out you cannot legally own it back home. Making sure that something doesn’t fall within ‘cultural property’ of a specific country is perhaps the most important thing to confirm before looking to make a purchase.

Don't forget while doing your research on a specific piece to enquire if a certificate of authentication will be available and, if it has moved between countries before, if a copy of an export licence exists. The more documentation you can gain about the history of the particular piece you want to buy, the better!


Ensure you are buying from a reliable source

This might sound obvious, but it’s imperative that you are purchasing from a reliable art dealer or auction house, especially if you 're making the purchase remotely following an online auction – Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses are perhaps the best known and offer assistance when it comes to purchasing one of their articles.

If you're planning on spending a significant amount of money on a piece, it is absolutely worth thinking about consulting a lawyer just in case something goes wrong along the way.


Bear in mind that there will be extra costs

When it comes to bidding on a piece of art, if the reasoning behind the purchase is for an investment, then keep in mind the exchange rate – there is no point in keeping your limit low if you end up spending more on this, therefore it’s important to really consider how important the piece is to you.

It’s also fundamental to remember that purchasing from abroad will have tax implications as well as various costs for the movement of goods. Knowing what these will be before you make a bid will be helpful to gauge just how much the investment will cost in total. All in all, the process of researching and deciding on buying art is thoroughly enjoyable, and one which is likely to culturally and historically enrich your knowledge due to the diverse range of art that there is available.


Using a money transfer provider

If you're ready to purchase art from overseas, be sure to consider using a money transfer provider. Compare transfer deals with FXcompared to find the best international money transfer for your purchase.

Setting this up in advance can save you some stress as well as surprise bank charges! Take a minute to compare providers to see the best option for you.


Good luck!

Browse our list of recommended money transfer provider reviews.


FXcompared.com is an fx money comparison site for international money transfer and to compare rates from currency brokers for sending money abroad. The website and the information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer, solicitation or advice on any financial service or transaction. None of the information presented is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended.  FXC Group Ltd and FX Compared Ltd does not provide any guarantees of any data from third parties listed on this website. FX compared Ltd expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from (i) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (ii) any action resulting therefrom.