If you want the best art supplies at the best price, then Dick Blick Art Materials might be a great option. Dick Blick offers a large selection of art supplies such as canvas, paint, and brushes. They have stores all over the US including Nebraska, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
I had the time to visit both its physical store and online store when I was looking for a new set of oil brushes. Here’s what I have found out.
About Dick Blick
Dick Blick Art Materials was first established as a family-owned catalog business in 1911. The first item they produced was a lettering pen. They cater to a wide range of customers including educators, amateur artists, professionals, and virtually anyone.
In 1974, Dick Blick opens its first retail store in Galesburg, Illinois and acquired a chain of retail stores in 2004. Blick launched its first website in 1997 and processed a total of 10 million customer orders in 2012. In 2013, Blick acquired Utrecht Art Supply and Manufacturing and become the largest art supply provider in the US.
Blick offers more than 90,000 products including paint, canvas, and artist paper. Its Utrecht brand includes handcrafted paints and brushes. At present, they operate over 65 retail stores in the US.
What Does Dick Blick Offer
- Paint (e.g. acrylic paint, fine arts paint, pastel, etc.)
- Canvas (e.g. craft canvas, stretched canvas, stretched linen canvas, etc.)
- Brushes (e.g lettering brushes, scholastic brushes, encaustic brushes, etc.)
- Framing Supplies (e.g. clip frames, cutting mats, floater frames, etc.)
- Drawing Supplies (e.g calligraphy, chalk, crayons, etc.)
- Paper (e.g acrylic painting paper, calligraphy paper, charcoal paper, etc.)
- Furniture (e.g chairs, stools, storage cabinets, etc.)
- Presentation Supplies (e.g. projectors, chalkboards, display cases, etc.)
- Crafts (e.g. beads, collage, mosaics, etc.)
- Sculpture Supplies (e.g. glass art, scale model building, wire sculpture, etc.)
- Printmaking Supplies (e.g. block printing, printing plates, screen printing supplies, etc.)
- Books and Media (e.g. Art History, children’s books, coloring books, etc.)
What is it like to shop at Dick Blick
Blick constantly looks for competitive offers online and matches them. If the competitors offer an acrylic paint at $20, then Blick will offer the same. They want to make sure that their customers get the best savings. With this great purchasing power, Blick’s buyers tend to find the best value.
Blick offers a large selection of art supplies and equipment. More specifically, they offer more than 90,000 products ready for disposal. Almost 15,000 of these items are factory-direct while over 8,000 are Utrecht and Blick brand items. With its large inventory, you can be sure that they have all the items you need. Blick doesn’t cancel a backorder which is rare for an online store. They’ll ship the back ordered item when they received it at no extra charge.
The employees in Blick’s brick and mortar store are very knowledgeable. One time I asked the staff to recommend me some good water based oil paints for traveling. Their staff was really welcoming and they were able to present to me what I needed. All the sales staff of Blick are trained to give answers to the most difficult questions about materials and safety. If you want to learn more about arts and materials, you can their videos on their website and Youtube.
If your orders online reach to $35 or more, then you’re entitled to get Blick’s free shipping. Gift cards, tax, and handling costs aren’t counted to the eligibility for free shipping. Items delivered by truck are also excluded for free shipping. A freight line will be used to ship your orders that are oversized or overweight. With free shipping, you get curbside delivery. If you include liftgate and inside delivery, additional charges will be needed.
Good Quality Products
Blick offers products with the best quality. I’m personally fond of their Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils because of they perform great in landscape sketching. These pencils also come in a set to offer a great variety. This store also offers the best fine art materials. They provide the most recent colors which look good in adult coloring books. They even offer adult coloring books which are very popular nowadays.
Horrible Customer Service
The customer service representatives of Blick are knowledge but they become unhelpful when they have made an error. Some of them seem to be rude sometimes. I had a friend who ordered from Blick and when he asked the representative to add an item, the representative became rude. If they continue this way, I’m afraid that they will lose a lot of customers.
Yes, the prices of Blick are very reasonable but the shipping needs improvement. It’s so slow that you need at least three weeks to get the art materials you ordered. If you want to give a gift, order it three weeks prior to the event. The worse thing is if you call them about the late package, Blick’s customer service will answer you rudely. Order in advance to avoid this problem.
The Pictures Aren’t Reliable
Some pictures or descriptions on their website can’t be trusted. One time, my friend ordered a framing toolset. When it arrived, it wasn’t the same as promised in the description. There is one part lacking so my friend had to buy them out of stock part for an additional cost. You can ask for a refund in this case, but you have to be patient again. The customer service won’t be helpful so you need to assert your case. Make sure that you explain your case as clear as possible for a quicker action.
Out from 10, I’m going to give Dick Blick Art Materials a 6. They offer a great selection at the most competitive prices. However, they can do better in their shipping and customer service departments. Overall, the store is definitely a good option to look for the best deals in town.