How I Choose Products for Best Lists
At Pisnak.com, I’m completely transparent about my review process. I put together this page to help you understand how I choose the brands and products I recommend on my “best art” lists.
I start by finding the top art sites based on multiple criteria, including third-party testing, product quality, value, transparency, reputation, and customer service.
Next, I consider factors such as online reviews about shipping and returns to pick the ideal art sites for a specific category.
For example, my list of the best art to buy online avoids low-rated art sites and suggests several options with top-rated customer reviews.
Read on for a closer look at how I choose art sites and products that are top-quality and safe to buy online.
Factors I Consider
Here’s a detailed explanation of the criteria I use to judge art sites and products to provide the best possible recommendations.
Personal & Third-Party Testing
The first and most important factor I look at, besides my own experience with the art sites and their products, is third-party testing.
Personal & third-party testing (in the form of customer reviews) is the best way to ensure that you’re getting a quality product in an unregulated industry. That’s why I only recommend third-party reviewed sites and products.
More importantly, I’ve built a database of third-party test results published by review sites, to see if they match my experience of the sites and products. For example, I compare service, value, shipping, returns, and quality.
As one final step, I even do my own personal testing by secretly buying products on art sites (with my own money). The results of these tests are published in my comprehensive site/product reviews.
Product Quality & Manufacturing Process
Another key factor I consider is how the products are made and the manufacturing process.
Artwork and other printed products are not cheap, which is why I also account for their cost.
I’ve recently looked at the cost of 142 print-on-demand products from more than 17 art sites, giving me a good idea of what’s considered low, average, and high pricing.
Having said that, in the art industry, a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality. In fact, there are many affordable sites with exceptional products.
That’s why I look for art/printing companies that offer the greatest value; the best products at the most reasonable prices.
Art comes in many different product forms. I also consider the variety of products offered by an art site as well as the optimal medium for a particular artwork or photograph.
Due to a lack of regulation, it’s important to find sites you can trust. To achieve that, I look for sites that are transparent about their business practices.
That includes easily accessible, up-to-date third-party reviews, information about the manufacturing process and source of materials, and other helpful details like the company’s return policy and history.
A company’s reputation is another important factor. Here, I take a look at customer reviews and in some cases interview art sites.
I also consider the company’s ethical and charitable initiatives.
Customer service is important as well. That’s why I buy products to see how difficult it is to navigate the company’s website and make a purchase, as well as how long the shipping takes.
I also contact companies to get a sense of how quickly and how well they respond to customer inquiries.
Except for products that I’ve purchased and have been reviewed by third-party reviewers, all of my recommendations are based on public information provided by each company.
I’m also continually working to improve our product and art site review process, which is why my product suggestions and the way I evaluate them may change over time.
Keep in mind that due to the size of the art market, I can’t talk about every reputable company offering artwork and similar products. If a product you like isn’t mentioned, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s of low quality.
There are dozens of high-quality sites selling artwork and I’m always updating my reviews to make the best possible recommendations.