Ask a Gallery Owner | How Should I Respond When a Potential Buyer Asks “Is Art A Good Investment?”

In this week’s session I discuss how to respond when an art buyer asks “Is art a good investment?” It’s important to be careful when answering a question like this. We don’t want to set false expectations for our buyers; instead we should strive to encourage them to buy art for the personal enjoyment it will bring them for years to come.

How Would You Respond?

Have you had buyers ask you about the investment value of your art? How have you responded? What are your thoughts about art as an investment? Leave a comment below!

Image: “Interchange” by Willem de Kooning

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.


  1. Many years ago a man was interested in purchasing some of my work as an investment. He was a pharmacist. He took his year-end bonus and bought 5 pieces of my art (directly from me). His plan (he told me) was to put them in storage (for safekeeping) and wait for them to increase in value. Dumbfounded, I didn’t know how to respond to that, and simply didn’t.

  2. I’m an oil painter. I’ve spoken with thousands of collectors and art enthusiasts over the years and fortunately my experience has been that this question is very rare. Virtually all of my customers have purchased because they love the painting and want it in their home (or as a gift).

    But the question does come up sometimes and I have 2 possible answers:
    1. Investment advice is beyond my scope.
    2. If it brings you a little bit of joy every day for the rest of your life, then it’s a great investment for that reason.

    Both answers are of course true, and I may use either or both answers depending on how the question was asked and the nature of the conversation to that point. But as Jason advises, I never make any attempt to forecast the future value of a painting, even in the vaguest terms.

  3. I agree with your advise. I believe the bottom line in finacial art success is marketing. How much an artist is willing to invest or find someone to market him results in the future value of his work. For example. .Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol.

  4. I had one person ask me this. I replied, “Not really. It’s more of an investment in happiness.” The person liked my answer and bought a piece. I think my answer is similar to what you are saying.

  5. No one has asked me that question about my own work, yet; but a friend asked me that at an art auction fundraiser we were both attending concerning one of the Rembrandt etchings out there. Obviously it was not the original, but a print made from his restored plates, and beautifully framed. I own a few of those and even wonder about them myself – so my advice to my friend, who’s husband was contemplating a $550 purchase as an investment was to consider how much she really loved and enjoyed looking at it. I asked her if she loved it enough to spend that much money but honestly had no idea of the current nor future value of it. If asked that about my own work, I would probably make a light-hearted statement such as “I certainly hope so, but it’s the current value that’s important right now and that is the value iof the happiness it brings you”, or something similar, as the others have said.

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