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March 04, 2022

'Netflix-like' site lets you rent art before you buy

Decorating is tough.

Istockphoto_12256162-easel-with-blank-white-canvas It’s one thing to pick out a flat-panel TV or leather couch for your new pad, but those are staples. Classics. When it comes time to get some art or paintings on your wall, things can get tricky. With subjective items like art, you can love it at the gallery yet hate it in your living room.

So, wouldn’t you like to be able to give expensive artwork a sort of trial run before you buy? Of course you would. And that’s the premise behind a new art-rental site called Artsicle, which has been dubbed the Netflix of art.

The New York-based service, profiled as a “Netflix-like site” by the Star, is aiming to capitalize on public indecision by letting clients rent art from its catalogue on a monthly basis – with the option to buy it at a later date.

For $50 per month, users can rent any of the 300 pieces of art from some 30 artists (see, the site is still new) and test it out at home. If they like it, great, they’ve given it a trial run and only had to pay an extra $50 to make sure. If not, they send it back and get something new. Artsicle gives all the freedom of Netflix but on big-picture, costly items like art.

And costly is right. Works on Artsicle max out at only $2,500 per piece, but art can surely be an expensive endeavour. There are even people that consider art to be an investment, so there’s little question that certain works take serious financial commitment.

Being sure about a piece, then, may be smart spending. A few hundred people have already signed up for Artsicle accounts, and several have chosen pieces to test out already.

You can check out Artsicle’s catalogue here (this post, for the record, was not sponsored by the site) but don’t get too excited yet. The groundbreaking service only operates in New York City for now, though its founders have said they’re hoping to expand their territory soon.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...