flipping To flip a painting (or flipping a painting) is collector- and auction house jargon. The term is used to say that a collector wants to resell a work of art at an auction after having purchased at an auction earlier. Thereby, the collector is treating the initial investment as a commodity sale by realising its monetary value. There may be several reasons: Often modern art appreciate in value and it is thus worth cashing in on the art acquisition. Some collecters simply renew their collections by buying other pieces of work and letting go of pieces which are not in line with the art collection. A collector may also want to cut their losses. Sometimes a collectible artist depreciates in value, and if the collector is not convinced that the value would recover, it may be worth selling at a loss.