1. Saatchi Art’s legitimacy
Many artists know Saatchi Art because of the reputed Saatchi Gallery or Saatchi & Saatchi company. However, Saatchi Art has nothing to do with the Saatchi Gallery today. Originally Saatchi Art was a part of Charles Saatchi’s business called Saatchi Online. In August 2014, Demand Media, a New York-based company, sold it. Saatchi Online was later rebranded as Saatchi Art, with a slogan: Be original, buy original.
Saatchi art might lose its name
However, the name Saatchi Art needed to be more precisely original. Saatchi Art uses a British accent in its advertising, trying to use the misleading association with Saatchi Gallery as leverage. In November 2014, Charles Saatchi launched a secession of lawsuits against Saatchi Art, trying to stop them from using his family name. According to the news reporting, Demand Media might have breached an intellectual property agreement by using the name Saatchi Art. What if Saatchi Art needs to change its name one day? Could it still attract buyers? Would it affect your earnings on Saatchi Art?
2. Saturated marketplace
According to Wikipedia, approximately 110,000 artists from over 100 countries are selling on Saatchi Art. It’s a very competitive and saturated marketplace. If you are not getting likes and shares on Instagram or YouTube, you will likely not get discovered on Saatchi Art. When you come late to a crowded platform, you are not getting the upper hand.
3. Fixed commission rate
If you bring your collectors to Saatchi Art, you are still charged 35% commissions. It’s unfair to artists who put a lot of effort into bringing traffic to their page. You risk losing your collectors to other artists on the same platform. It doesn’t make sense for artists to promote their page actively. There are better ways to calculate the commission rate. For example, Udemy only charges you a 3% commission if you bring your students instead of the regular 50% rate. It gives you a lot more incentive to bring business leads, far more generous than some affiliate marketing programs.
4. Not loyal buyers
Saatchi Art is like the Airbnb of selling art. Buyers will browse through hundreds of works upon entering the site. They are constantly being recommended for similar works by Saatchi Art’s algorithm. Even after purchasing some pieces, collectors might return to different artists. They might even know the artists’ names they have purchased. Saatchi Art gives its buyers a lot of choices, but for the same reason, it’s harder for artists to cultivate a fan base.
5. Channel conflict with galleries
Some platforms work exclusively with art galleries. Some platforms work with galleries rather than exclusively. However, Saatchi Art doesn’t work with art galleries. An art gallery can sell on Saatchi Art, just like an artist. Their 35% commission rate drives most dealers away unless the gallery is willing to take just a 15% cut. Now that Saatchi Art and your potential gallery are not friends, you might still wonder why it is an issue for you. The problem you will encounter is called channel conflict.
What is Saatchi Art? Best for emerging artists
To conclude, Saatchi Art is great for emerging artists who are new to the global art market and do not yet work with art galleries. It allows you to be in front of collectors without paying any money upfront. However, you are just one of the hundreds of thousands of artists on a saturated platform like this. New artists constantly join and appear in front of potential collectors, competing for the spotlight. Are you ready for this modern rat race?