A note on buying art supplies from Amazon.com…
Don’t do it.
Amazon.com has some great deals… and nobody else on this great earth can compete with their free 3 day shipping. But those good prices are sometimes anything but… Especially when it comes to art supplies.
So for the most part, Amazon.com does not offer many varieties of art supplies directly. For Amazon to offer things itself, and not products sold by third parties, it generally has to be pretty closely related to office supplies. This leaves most of the art supplies you’ll find being sold on Amazon.com to third-party sellers.
And those third-party sellers charge an arm and a leg for everything art supplies… from gesso-board (which is supposed to be a cheap alternative to quality canvas and wood panels) to one of the most popular and generally available paints… Winsor & Newton Artists Oil Colors.
A Real Life Example
I’m going to give you a quick real life example of the nonsense that happens over at Amazon…
A 37ml tube of Winsor & Newton Alizarin Crimson costs $10.19 at Dick Blick. That exact same tube costs $13.44 at Amazon. That is 32% more than at Dick Blick.
A 37ml tube of Winsor & Newton Cadmium Red Deep costs $21.95 at Dick Blick.
That same tube at Amazon? $24.09. That’s 9.7% more money… money that you could be using to buy more paint.
If you bought those two tubes at Amazon instead of at Dick Blick, you would’ve overpaid by about $5. Now that doesn’t sound like much, but that’s a whole other tube of paint you could have bought.
And let’s face facts, you’re going to be buying more than two tubes to begin with so you’re going to be overpaying by much more than $5. The amount you’re overpaying at Amazon could be the difference between you being able to afford your hobby and sadly having to cut back on how you express yourself.
If you want to be able to afford to purchase the nicer art supplies as well as continue to restock, then you need to take pricing seriously. When it comes to art supplies, people absolutely will try to rip you off and take all of your money.
What you need to do is write out what your needs are so that you can do a bulk order from a serious art supplies company and not random people on Amazon.
All three sellers offer coupons of generally about 20% with the best coupon they’ll offer being 30% on special occasions. If you order over a certain amount you will also get free shipping. Do not order on weekends, they discontinue coupons at the end of the week meaning you won’t get that amazing 20% off.
I have personally saved over $1000 by purchasing strategically from those three sellers (literally and not the fake ‘savings’ you get at the grocery store). Now imagine how much I would’ve overspent if I had bought everything from Amazon instead… we’re probably talking about thousands of more dollars out of my pocket. Convenient shipping is not worth that much.
An Aside About Amazon’s Pricing
Yet according to new research coming out of Northeastern University, the sellers selected by Amazon’s algorithms aren’t offering you the best deals in the majority of cases.
The study was specifically looking at prices featured in the ‘buy box,’ which is featured on every product page on Amazon. For a product being sold by multiple retailers, the retailer in the buy box is the kind of like the default seller for that product…Source: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/youre-paying-too-much-on-amazon-study-says