Instagram has turned the art market on its head, especially for younger buyers. Matt Carey-Williams is a London-based deputy chairman for Europe and Asia at the Phillips auction house. By using Instagram as a marketing tool, art sellers are selling pieces for about 10 times its estimate all because the buyer had seen it on the auction house’s Instagram feed. For example, Sotheby’s sold a Fabergé silver, enamel and seed-pearl icon for £245,000, which is 10 times its estimate.
Some say that the spike in prices is because the app allows users to understand the hearts and minds of collectors by creating a more intimate and friendly relationship because sellers are seen more as people rather than “a guy that sells paintings.”
There is one area where Instagram has truly skyrocketed the sales platform: affordable collectibles. Mikki Towler is a dealer with 26 years in the business under her belt, specializing in antique kitchen items in Norfolk, England who averages two sales a day as a result of her Instagram feed. She has been so successful on Instagram that many people don’t ask the price of the collectible, “they just say, ‘I’ll have it.’”