From The Wall Street Journal:
Moving into more upscale markets, Amazon.com Inc. is quietly laying plans to sell high-end art.
The online retail giant is planning to open a new section on its site as soon as July where it will offer one-of-a-kind paintings, prints and other fine art, according to interviews with a dozen gallery owners.
Amazon is set to debut the site with works from roughly 100 small galleries across the U.S., say gallery owners briefed on Amazon’s plans. In recent weeks, the Seattle company has held cocktail receptions in its hometown, San Francisco, New York and other cities to invite galleries to take part in the new program.
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“It’ll always be difficult to sell art on the Internet,” said Richard Feigen, owner of Richard L. Feigen and Co. gallery in New York. “Serious collectors want to see the art before they buy it—you don’t have to see a book to buy it over the Internet.” He said he wasn’t approached by Amazon.
Gallery owners who were briefed on the plans said Amazon will charge a tiered commission based on an art piece’s price, generally from 5% to 20%, with higher-priced works subject to lower commissions.
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Nick Lawrence, owner of the Freight + Volume gallery in New York, said he had decided within the past month to list some paintings on Amazon’s site after getting an unsolicited offer from the company. “I figured this would be a great way to reach a massive crowd,” said Mr. Lawrence. “There are a lot of people who aren’t necessarily going to be able to visit New York to buy art and maybe they can find something instead on Amazon.”
Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire)