Is the Internet the best option to Sell your Art?


People seem to have a love-hate relationship with online sales sites.  Most are easy to set up, have relatively low to no fees, and offer a seemingly easy way to sell your art. Unfortunately,  unless your product is priced correctly, your product fits into that website’s demographics and just as importantly does your potential client actually SHOP at these online sites, you won’t sell.

The first mistake people make is thinking that once they post their images, descriptions and prices, set up their shipping and return policies that the hard work is done as the main host website that sells your art will send hundreds of potential clients to your newly established page.

Unfortunately, that’s never the case.

Just like all marketing and sales approaches, it takes time and work!

One of the main reasons why selling your art is difficult online is that three dimensional pieces aren’t seen in their best light on a flat computer screen.  For a better chance of sales, take 3-5 shots of your work at various angles and if it’s a wearable piece, get a model shot.

Another problem is that the online site you choose may be oversaturated with similar products, making you invisible.  Try to find a site that is not as “famous” or limits the products or even juries them on the website.  If you don’t want to move from the larger online sales sites packed with an abundance of product, make sure that you link your account to your other social media sites and send EVERYONE you meet to this product page – YOUR product page, not the main site page.  Make sure that when you set up your descriptions, that you use keywords specific descriptions for your art and promote yourself and your product in and outside of the online website.

Make sure you thoroughly research the website that will be hosting and selling your art  because the site you choose may not have enough room for descriptions, may not allow enough ways for clients to pay, or may not give enough thumbnail space for your different angles to best show off your artwork.

Before you sign up with a sales site to sell your art, research the other art products that people are selling and contact those artists using the site to get their opinions.  If their sale amounts are available, pick people with different sales numbers so you can get a solid cross section of varying answers.

How to price your art in order to Sell your Art product well?

If your price points are too high, compared to the top sellers in your market, than you probably won’t sell well. However, if you’re not a mainstream product with a mainstream price, you may be able to grab your own share of that market on the sales site. If the fees are low enough and you have the time to set up a shop, go for it.  It doesn’t cost much more than your time and you can call it a research and development project!

The MOST important reason that online sales won’t work for you is the simple fact your client doesn’t shop there.

Before you set up an account with any online site, make sure that your client shops there.   How do you know?  If you have a way of contacting your clients (through e-blasts or Facebook), send out a questionnaire.  Ask them their online shopping preferences.  If you can’t ask your clients, click around the online sales site and find products similar to yours in a similar price range and check out the amount of sales that these accounts have.  Realise that accounts with higher numbers may have been in business longer or market and promote themselves quite a bit, sending more people to their website.

A final point whilst you’re researching, look at the amount of products similar to your own and determine if it’s even worth adding yourself to the list.  If there are too many paper jewellery artists, you may want to find a different site if your pieces don’t stand out enough.

For a list of online sale sites, visit Andrea Rosenfeld’s Resource Page here…

For a VERY interesting article on ETSY and how it’s not what it’s cracked up to be, click here…

Digital Marketing - 1 Feb 2012 - by Rob Jennings

About Rob Jennings

When he found himself embroiled in a conversation with someone talking about their ‘customer-centric core competencies’ he realised it was time to create a Web Design Agency that was less about self promoting buzz-words and more about people and giving them the tools to understand the web.

The idea behind We Push Buttons was to create an environment where business owners can learn about building their organisation, whether it be with an outstanding website, SEO or any other marketing ideas. Coming from the art industry and online retail background he knows first hand the needs of growing a business in a tough environment.