artnet Market Reports | FAQ

Frequently asked questions about artnet Market Reports

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1. What are artnet Market Reports?

    The six charts in each of the artnet Market Reports compile yearly auction market information from the artnet Price Database on over 4,300 of the most important artists driving the global public auction market. Considered collectively, these charts provide information that assists collectors, appraisers, advisors, curators, financial institutions, and art investors when tracking artist performance over time. A brief description of each chart is provided below and a sample artnet Market Report can be found here.

    Chart 1: Global Auction Sales Volume

    This chart shows total sales volume of all lots recorded in the artnet Price Database for the reports that you select, including sales transactions from hundreds of the most important auction venues in the world. Sales volume trends for an artist provide an insight into market demand for the artist’s work and suggest market liquidity and volatility when considered in conjunction with lot transactional data.

    Chart 2: Top 10 Lots Sold

    This chart provides prices for the top 10 lots sold each year and shows the portion of total sales that the top 10 represents. The highest-priced works for an artist are usually a good measure of the market strength for that artist. This data is also useful when analyzing the possible effect of exceptionally high priced works on other market measurements, such as average prices and total sales volume. It may suggest the depth of the market, a key measure of liquidity. Note that for statistical methodology reasons, reported sales prices include an adjustment for estimated buyers’ premiums when only the auction hammer price is reported by the auction house. In such cases, sales prices may not match those recorded in the artnet Price Database.

    Chart 3: Lots Sold and Bought-In

    An important measure of market demand and liquidity in the art market is not only how many art pieces are offered for sale, but the proportion of pieces that were bought-in. Bought-in lots are those lots that did not sell for at least the reserve price, which is a confidential minimum price set by the seller and the auction house prior to the sale. This stacked-bar chart provides a visual guide that shows the bought-in trend as well as actual lot numbers in the accompanying table.

    Chart 4: Average Sale Price and Mean Estimate

    This chart shows average prices compared with mean auction estimates. Average prices are total sales divided by total lots sold. Mean estimates are the average of the high and low estimate provided by the auction house prior to the sale. In cases where an estimate range is not provided, we use the auction house estimate number as the mean estimate. In cases where an estimate number and range are not provided, we eliminate the lot transaction from the calculation of averages. Trends in the relationship between auction house estimates and actual prices achieved show market demand dynamics and may suggest upward and downward influences on future price levels and relative liquidity.

    Chart 5: Lots Sold for Greater Than High Estimate and Lots Sold for Less Than Mean Estimate

    This price segmentation chart portrays the percentage of sales that were transacted above the high estimate, compared with those that sold below the mean estimate. In cases where no high or mean estimate is provided by the auction house, the lot transaction remains in the denominator of the calculation. Trends in either direction assist with analyses of market momentum and may indicate buying and selling windows in light of market demand.

    Chart 6: Estimated Monthly Searches on the artnet Price Database

    Trends in the search activity on the artnet Price Database provide a valuable look at the level of interest that art industry insiders have in specific artists. Our subscribers include thousands of collectors, galleries and art advisors and over 500 leading art institutions that use this auction market data for appraisals, auction estimates and private art transactions. Interest in an artist among these key industry players, or lack thereof, may ultimately contribute to market demand dynamics. Chart 6 shows search metrics for artists during the most recent 12 months prior to the date of your report, without regard to medium categories.

2. For how many artists can I see Market Reports?

    Over 4,300. Each artist has an All Works (excluding prints) Market Report which is automatically generated by clicking the artist’s name in the Market Reports Directory. Many artists also have Artist Medium Reports which can be viewed by clicking the artist name in the Directory. The number in parenthesis following each report description in the Directory is the number of lots available as data points used in the charts.

3. Why can’t I find the artist I’m looking for in Market Reports?

    Reports for many artists have been upgraded to artnet Analytics Reports, which include exclusive artist indices, as well as greater detail and more customization options. With artnet Analytics Reports, you can now:
    Review an artist’s market performance and trends in easy-to-read charts
    Compare artists to each other and to financial indices, such as the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones
    Customize your own report to fit your specific needs

    Find out more about artnet Analytics Reports.

4. What are Artist Medium Reports?

    In cases where an artist works in multiple media (painting, sculpture, works on paper, prints, photography, or installations), Artist Medium Reports are available for those media, within certain minimum data requirements. When specific Artist Medium Reports are available, they are indicated in the Market Reports Directory.

5. What are School of Reports?

    School of Reports pertain to those lots identified by the auction houses that cannot be directly attributed as an original work by the artist but are associated in some manner with the artist. For example, the creation of such artworks could have been overseen by the artist in a broader production environment, or other lesser-known artists could have created the art in the style or manner of their acknowledged master. These cases are largely found involving Old Masters and artists living before the 19th century but exceptions do occur.

6. Are prints included in the data?

    Lot transactions from print sales are excluded for all charts unless there is a specific Print Medium Report for the artist.

7. Are outliers (the highest and lowest priced pieces) included in the data?

    Yes. All lot transactions are included. Although unusually high or low priced transactions can arguably distort certain measurements, such as average prices, disclosing all available information provides a truer understanding of the dynamics of the art market. Furthermore, Chart #2 shows the top 10 lots for each year to assist with outlier analysis.

8. Are hammer and premium prices included in the data?

    Although most auction houses these days report transaction prices that include a buyer’s premium, some auction houses report only the hammer price. Based on analysis of historical auction catalogs, we apply a formula to all records with hammer prices only, to estimate the effect of a buyer’s premium. All prices we use in the Market Reports are either reported or equated to hammer price plus buyer’s premium. Lot price data may therefore differ from data provided in the artnet Price Database, wherein hammer adjustments are not made.

9. Do the Market Reports include art gallery sales information?

    No. The data is only from public auction records.

10. How do I purchase a Market Reports package?

    Click “Market Reports” in the footer of any artnet page, under the Art Valuation heading, then click the “Purchase Now” button.

    Please be sure you are on the Market Reports tab, to the right of the artnet Price Database tabs. Here you will see the five separate subscription packages. On this page, you must select a package and then click the “Add to Cart” button under the subscription you wish to purchase.

    Then follow the 3 steps of the sign-up process.

    For more details on the sign-up steps, visit the My Account FAQ.

    *Note: If you already have a username and password and wish to purchase another subscription, login with your existing username and password and click on the type of subscription that you want. This will take you through a similar sign-up process without requiring you to create a new username and password.

11. When does my Market Reports package expire?

    All Market Reports packages expire one year from the data of purchasing the package. During the year, you can download individual reports up to the maximum number of reports included in your package, which are stored for one year from the date of purchase under My Saved Market Reports. You can also purchase more than one package type at any time and your number of available remaining reports will be indicated on the Membership Services Page.

12. How often are the Market Reports updated?

    Semi-annually. The fine art auction market is seasonal, with the majority of yearly auction sales occurring during the important Spring and Fall auctions. Our data entry operations are very efficient in reporting auction results as they are released by the major auction houses. However, in order to account for data that is released on a delayed basis by secondary auction venues, we update our reports within 90 days after the end of each season.

13. Are Market Reports available for art movements and collector categories?

    No. However, artnet has developed artnet Analytics Reports that track the performance of collecting categories and artists within the art market. If you would like to know more about artnet Analytics Reports, please visit the artnet Analytics page.

14. Do I need Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view the Market Reports?

    Yes. Market Reports are created in a file form known as Portable Document Format (PDF). This is for ease of consistent viewing, printing and storing your reports. Adobe Acrobat Reader is the standard software program used to view all PDF files. If your computer currently does not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here to download from

15. How do I find out more about My Account, sign-up, billing information, technical issues, or the artnet Refund Policy?

    For information on Value Added Tax, or VAT ID, visit the Value Added Tax FAQ.

    For questions about billing information, currency, JavaScript, passwords, and refunds, visit the My Account FAQ.

If you have further questions, please email us at or call +1-212-497-9700.

Our customer support team is available as follows:

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