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Frequently asked questions by collectors

Listing artworks > top 7 questions and queries from Bluethumb collectors when finding that perfect artwork

Rachel Fisher avatar
Written by Rachel Fisher
Updated over a week ago

Here are some questions that the team at Bluethumb receives pretty much everyday from collectors. They are handy for artist to understand to help strengthen out their profiles and listings, and also prepare for the potential same questions being asked directly.


1. Is the artwork available?

We do get asked this frequently, and while it may seem a simple answer (if the works onsite and not sold…) but unfortunately we do have instances where orders go through but then notified post sale the artworks not available.

There is no worse buying experiencing then having an order cancelled due to the item not being in stock. Please ensure you are logging in and updating your profile regularly to ensure only readily available works are listed for sale.

Also ensure all listing information is accurate - one of our biggest reason for returns is due to incorrectly listed work (wrong size listed, incorrect pictures listed etc).

2. Is this 'ready to hang'?

What buyers mean when they ask this is does the work have everything I need already attached to it to simply open and hang it on the wall once I relieve it? So ensuring the work has D-Rings and/or wire to hang the work from.

Best approach here is to over communicate, there is a tick box on the listing page titled "Does the artwork have a wire across its back to hang it on a wall?" if the work is hangable with D-Rings and/or wire ensure you tock this box, but also communicate this in writing in the artwork description. Example below:

Vice versa, If the artwork is not ready to hang - make sure you've mentioned it in the artwork description. Also be mindful when using in-situ images of the artwork as that might be a misleading if it's not clearly mentioned in the artwork description.

3. Is it framed/can you have it framed before shipping?

Bluethumb now offers framing services for artworks on canvas/linen, board, and wood. If you artwork is eligible, you (and the collectors) will be able to see framing options on the artwork page itself and can choose/add framing before purchase.

Bluethumb also offers framing for prints a photographs. When a customer selects framing for a print or photograph, standard glass is included in the cost of the framing. We can also offer non-relflective UV glass on requested. If this is something the collector is interested in, they will need to get in touch with us so we can get a quote.

Our framing policy for small works have changed recently, and we now no longer frame works that are under 18cm on one side.

Alternatively if you prefer to sell works pre-frame your more than welcome to do so, please ensure you factor this into your listing price. Please note Bluethumb does not insure glass framed works - please see Bluethumb Membership Agreement for full details.

These two blog posts might shed a bit of light - How To Frame a Picture and How to Sell Your Artwork Framed.

4. Can we see more photos of the artwork (details)?

We all like to see the details of something before purchasing it - collectors are the same.

It's really helpful to have as many images of the work as possible listed on the site. We recommend having the follow pictures as a minimum on site:

  • Main/Full cropped image of the artwork

  • 2 x Closeup (to show texture/strokes/details)

  • Signature close up

  • Sides to show how the sides are painted

We also then suggest you have an in-situ image showing the work in a room/space to give the buyers a visual reference/idea of what the work looks like hung. Please ensure this in-situ is realistic (e.g. do not make the work look bigger then it actually is).

5. Are the sides of the canvas painted (and how)?

This is a common question asked by our trade/interior designer clients as they have to be really mindful of which canvas might need framing and which ones would work without an external frame.

Having a photo of the sides or mentioning this in the artwork description is always helpful and might make the decision-making process easier.

Here's a great example from one of our artists on how to show the sides of the painting.

6. Can I visit the artist to see the artwork in person before purchase?

A very valid and logical question, artwork is a physical aesthetic and many buyers prefer to see he work in person before purchasing.

If you're open to studio visits or are happy to take the artwork to the interested clients (if they're close) so they can see it in person before committing - we are happy to help facilitate this.

All we ask is that if the buyer wishes to purchase in person the sale goes through Bluethumb. For more information on studio visits see FAQ Someone wants to visit my studio and purchase directly - how do I go about this?

7. Is it signed (front or back - can we see the signature)?

A question directed towards the authenticity of the artwork itself.

If you sign on the front, this should be covered. Although, if you sign at the back, just mention it in the description, or take a photo of the back and upload that. You can also mention that your works come with a Certificate of Authenticity (make sure you've included a cert of auth with the artwork - you can get a printed bunch from Bluethumb's art store)

8. Is the artist open to offers (are they negotiable on price)?

As a seller, this might not be the most favourite question but does mean someone is sincerely considering purchasing your work. It's not meant to be disrespectful or undervalue your work - it's just a matter of finding a balance between 'what you love' and 'what you can afford'.

It's best to NOT mention you're open to offers in the artwork listing. If and when someone reaches out, we contact you directly and workout a price that works for everyone.

9. Can I get a commission work done by the artist?

Whether you do or do not accept commissions is up to you as the artist. What we will do is pop you in direct contact with the buyer to discuss. If you don't accept commission politely let them know you wont be able to facilitate this.

If you do offer commissions ensure you follow Bluethumb commission process by checking out FAQ Commissioning an artwork for a collector

10. Does the artwork come with a Certificate of Authenticity?

Certificates of Authenticity are part of the provenance of the work and within the art market highly desirable. We strongly recommend artist supply certificates for all the work they sell (weather through Bluethumb or not). This is to help authenticate your work and distill trust in the purchase.

If you don't have your own Certificate template you can use ours attached to this article at the end.

An honourable mention to - 

Can this artist create this piece in a different (larger/smaller) size?
It's a good idea to mention in the artwork description something on the lines of 'if you love this style but the size doesn't suit, I'm happy to create a similar piece in the required size'. 

​It's a lot of work to remember all of these points while putting up new works. A workaround is to bundle up all the common bits which stay the same for all your works (or might change slightly), and copy/paste them everytime you upload - reducing the work.

Although, it pays, quite literally, to take time to provide all the info and details for each individual artwork.

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