What's the best way to sell art work online?

35 replies
Hello,

I have a bit of IM knowledge and have been asked to help a friend get himself set up to sell his artwork online.

Do you think his best bet is listed below or would you suggest something different?

Many thanks,

Paul

1. Ebay
2. A free blog
3. Own domain & hosting
4. One of the many paid services on offer (and if so, which one?)
5. Something else?
#art #artwork #online #sell #work
  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    Do keyword research related to your product.
    Create a blog and post your product
    SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author Shannon Tani
    Depends on what his art is, but I would also look at Etsy.com

    Love,
    Shannon
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    Maybe join YouTube and put his art/painting together with appropriate music.

    Just an idea. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author stitchlips
    Originally Posted by WriterPaul View Post

    Hello,

    I have a bit of IM knowledge and have been asked to help a friend get himself set up to sell his artwork online.

    Do you think his best bet is listed below or would you suggest something different?

    Many thanks,

    Paul

    1. Ebay
    2. A free blog
    3. Own domain & hosting
    4. One of the many paid services on offer (and if so, which one?)
    5. Something else?
    All of the above. Spread it out all over the place.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jungle123
      If you want just 'quickie' - Ebay is the way!
      If you have time,patience and will then everything above.
      Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author WriterPaul
    Many thanks, all! :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Another thing that your friend can do is to advertise on Google and Yahoo so that when people look for art work, they can be directed to his website.

    He can also list his art on Ebay. This is a great place to sell art. But before he sells anything on Ebay, tell him to make sure that he knows what he is doing. There are websites that can teach him how to effectively sell there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shirlyn
    Register a domain related to niche or keyword of your website and bookmark your site content over as many bookmarking sites you know.
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  • Profile picture of the author nubchai
    I think etsy.com is a good market for an artist. Ebay has a lot of visitors but the fees to sellers are getting ridiculous. But if he plans to do this as a business then I think getting a domain that brands either his name or a business name is important. Then setting the site up with products and doing the marketing. Also consider one of the free press release sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author corsleymaxwell
    I advice you have to hire an SEO or internet marketing expert for that matter. They knows best what to do. I can even help you if you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author mygrants
    I'd say, start your own blog, facebook page and create a facebook event basically 1st of all, it can be a virtual event something that offers people some cool fun (it can be completely online) .. and from there get people to Like your Page and subscribe to your blog. Show off your art work there and start taking inquiries for sales. That's one better way of doing it in my Opinion.

    Because you can get out there into the market and try the Image Selling websites etc, but again there are 1000 other art work to sell, why would you want to waste your time competing them?

    Showcase your work at places where people don't expect to see it, and when they see it, it's a pleasant experience for them and at those times and places, people have their DEFENCES off !!!

    Try that!
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  • Profile picture of the author sodevious
    ebay will undervalue handmade goods. To have your own blog/site would take too much work to gain half the exposure you'd get at etsy. Try etsy before anything else!
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  • Profile picture of the author jiantastic
    from experience. Art is best left to ETSY or use targeted paid media. Do proper keyword research for this, otherwise you'll be flushing money down the toilet.
    totally agree with Sodevious. eBay undervalues too much
    SEO and Social Media are long term objectives
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  • Profile picture of the author pcpupil
    I have been selling on ebay for 3 years and i have just recently tried to sell a friends artwork on there.
    No sales.But it could be his artwork.

    He is a well known artist in AZ,and has his paintings sell at a gallery in Phoenix.
    I would not do the Ebay route.Shipping by usps is to expensive,so that leaves you with ups basiclly.
    I would start with etsy.Then as suggested,a facebook page with a group.Start his own group.
    Next,his own site,and make sure he adds an alt image tag to his images for keywords that people are searching for.
    Especially news events,or famous people.
    As an example,the marrige in England.If he has any paintings of anything to do with England,make sure the word England is in his alt text.You can get a lot of traffic from Google images.
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  • Profile picture of the author richinca
    Try emergingartists.com
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by richinca View Post

      Try emergingartists.com
      ^^^^ This. Exactly.

      And minigallery.co.uk, and twenty or thirty other sites like those.

      To sell artwork online, you need to promote it at the sites where the potential customers go to look at artwork. (It also does no harm to have your own art-site to which you can link back from those sites with the customers, but that's less important). The main technique is to go to where the targeted traffic already is, not to try to bring the traffic to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Leonsroarteam
    I would check out Deviantart.com it's a good artwork community and a nice place to try to sell artwork. There are also several job opportunities there
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Forster
    Seeings you have to take the photographs anyway you might kill a couple of birds with one stone if you sell the photographs of the art.

    There are plenty of places to sell photos and graphic designs on the web. Check out Sell Photos Online — FREE Tips.

    Depending on what the art is like you could experiment with taking shots from super closeup to further away of each piece. Even dress a wall so the art on the wall make a good shot. Then you might get 4 or 5 variations of each shot.

    It's possibly not much more work that you are going to do anyway and you get a great catalog of shots, and the opportunity to sell the photos and the art.

    Just a thought, good luck!
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    Cheers, Stev
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  • Profile picture of the author herb44
    writer paul, sorry i am a little late to the party but i would tell your friend to sell his artwork on alibaba.com-its quick and the marketplace is ripe with hungry buyers from around the whole world!
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  • Profile picture of the author Glenn Leader
    @ Writer Paul: Is your artist friend in the London area. I'm working with a group
    of artists to setup this exact same thing, but concentrating within the M25. It'll
    be based on the Amazon payment system, and I hope to have it up and running
    by the close of June this year.

    Glenn
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      How you sell artwork online depends a lot on the nature of the artwork.

      On one of our cruises, my wife won a fine-art print and a coffee table art book as door prizes at the onboard art auctions. Checked eBay, and there really wasn't much demand or much on offer. The only thing I kept finding was cheap versions of the same art.

      If the art is more in the line of, forgive the expression, arts and crafts type objects - ceramics, etc. - he might do better, but as another poster said, eBay fees and shipping costs could eat you up.

      Without seeing what type of art is being offered, I'd offer the following:

      > Set up a gallery website or blog to display the art.
      > Set up a fan page on Facebook for the artist. Another place to display the art, announce shows and/or galleries carrying the pieces, etc.
      > Set up accounts at sites like a few of the posters have suggested.
      > Work on building targeted traffic to those places, particularly the gallery site.
      > Start issuing press releases when new pieces go up for sale, when the artist participates in an auction, charity function, etc.

      The idea is to get the art in front of people who buy that type of art, and let them know that it is avalable for purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author joejoechen
    Dude, you can sell them even WITHOUT a website.

    Get a Fanpage. Period.

    If your art work is cool it will start generating fans VERY quickly after your initial push. If you need faster results just set up a small FB ads campaign with a small budget.

    Then get a blog. Get your fans to visit your blog and sell from there.

    For niche like Arts, it's so much easier to sell/promote them via social networks.

    my 2 cents

    Joe
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  • Profile picture of the author whaldorf
    A wordpress site with a gallery plugin is a great start - you can drive traffic to one location that looks professional and gives some details about the artist.

    Here are some nice themes to consider:
    24 Free Portfolio And Photo Gallery Wordpress Themes

    Also, here's a marketplace to consider:
    Artbreak: Buy art online and sell art online

    Best of Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    The answers about putting effort into various methods are right, I think, but I also think that creating a "hub" is a good idea.

    That means that perhaps a website with your friend's full name (firstlast.com) is a good hub... I wouldn't trust your "hub" page to any external site like Facebook.

    From there, you can link up your Facebook fanpage, Twitter feed, accounts on various social media sites and art sites like Deviantart and Etsy, etc, to your friend's home page.

    While I'm at it, create a list to notify past artwork buyers of current and future pieces/plans.
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    • Profile picture of the author bl
      I don't know much about how much they make but deviant art is also another website that people sell all kinds of art on.

      I have seen some comic book artist sell their work on this site and these are people who already make a lot of money from their jobs and they are also considered professional artist.
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  • Profile picture of the author bonk12
    Personally I think it would be a good idea to make a hub website advertising your artwork and then have links as to where people can go to buy.

    You can also very easily integrate ebay ads into your website, so they could order the painting straight through your site.

    Also if you combine this with some basic offline marketing and other forms of marketing such as kijiji and craigslist, you should be able to get your name out there.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Steven Patterson
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Rickfold
    I think the best way to sell art online is ebay and social media presence. Then when you get bigger get your own site.

    This isn't for the fain hearted. Social media presence does take a lot of time to build and maintain relationships and things like that, and this is even more difficult when selling art, since art is subjective.

    A good thing is to also critic your own art and tell what that represents so that the everyday viewer can understand something. That's what makes people buy in art. When they feel a connection with the piece. So when you explain what that abstract blue brush line on a white canvas represents and they get to feel good for knowing it, they'll probably buy.

    Another good idea to do is to look at other ebay art sellers. Those in the $200 - $1,000 range and see how they structure their ad. It usually is an image of the painting and a example of how it would look in a room, for example above the sofa and places like that. Study the market place a little bit and see what's successful.

    Artists really aren't marketers so you won't find a lot of useful sales tricks, but there are some...
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  • Profile picture of the author Glenn Leader
    From my (limited) experience with local artists, they
    don't like ebay. They feel that they (ebay) take too
    much money from sellers.

    HTH

    Glenn
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    Something like art is best sold live so the buyer can see the art close up. I would try to do a deal with a local shop or gallery to sell the painting on sale or return basis, and you could charge a commission.
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    • Profile picture of the author vverrall
      It all depends on how big the project is, if it is small and short-term ebay or other auctions may be ideal. However, depending on the geographical location and interest, auction houses may be your best chance. Do your research before you approach any.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrea Wilson
    I don't know what kind of artwork you are talking about but my friends use Deviantart. I see lots of pretty drawings, sometimes comics, mini paintings in there. You can check and see if it fits your friend's artworks.

    Goodluck.

    Andrea
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