As artists we create for the passion and pleasure of creating. I know some days I create just simply to practice a new technique. But, for many of us it is a source of income and a way to pay the bills. In this day and age, selling at galleries is not the most common or lucrative manner to sell your art. You have to have an online presence if you want to sell and so I’m sharing 5 places to sell your art online.
- Introducing Amazon Handmade– Amazon is probably one of the most well known names in online shopping. I know I buy from them on a weekly basis and I’m also an affiliate* of theirs. But, most recently they have moved into the Handmade Marketplace and are challenging Etsy for some of their sellers and buyers. To be a part of this marketplace, you do have to apply and be accepted. They don’t charge to list, but do deduct a 12% fee per item. There is no other transaction fee. You can get more information on their fees here. It’s a little early to tell how well this marketplace is doing. I have heard some really good experiences so far on both the buyer and seller side.
- Social Media – I know of many artist that share their art on their Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter and sell using private messages and Paypal for payment. This can be a hit and miss method of continuously following up on messages. What I would absolutely recommend is sharing your artwork to the social media sites you are most comfortable with, notice I didn’t say all of them. It’s better to focus on 2-3 social media sites and give quality content and interaction, than to spread yourself too thin on too many sites. There are apps for Facebook that allow you to add a page that shows your shop (Etsy and Ecwid both have this App). Once the customer is ready to purchase they are routed to your actual shop. I’m currently active on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Be on the lookout for an upcoming post on The Art of Social Media.
- Print On Demand – These websites all sell your art work on prints, canvases and other accessories from a digital file that you upload and they use as a reference. Once a piece sells you receive a commission, they print or create the item and ship it to the buyer. It’s very simple, easy and minimal upkeep by you. The one key is quality digital files to upload, so some knowledge of scanning your artwork is required. Here is a list of some of the most popular Print On Demand sites. I currently use Society 6, but to be honest I don’t promote it as much as I should. I will be changing that strategy in the next year.
- Etsy– This is probably the most popular online marketplace for artists and handmade artisans, especially if you’re just starting out. It’s super simple to get set up and going within an hour. Etsy charges .20 cents a listing which lasts for 4 months before having to be renewed and a new .20 cent charge, the transaction (3.5%) and payment processing fee (about 2%) on each order. This may not sound like a whole lot, but it can add up if you have many items in your shop or many transactions or sales. But, that can be something you overlook for being with a marketplace that has a huge name recognition and is the go-to place for art and handmade items. Promoting your items on Etsy is also a way to rise to the surface of searches on their site, but you can set your daily budget for this service. If you are looking to open a new shop click here for 40 free listings, when you use them, I will also receive 40 free listings.
- Your Own Website – Having your own shopping cart on your own domain website is probably something every artists would love to have. And although it can be done fairly easy and inexpensive now, not that many artists go this route because of the amount of time you have to spend advertising and funneling traffic to this site. With the other 4 suggestions they have a good amount of traffic already going to those sites, it would be just a matter of being found by that traffic once they get there. With your own site, you have to do the work of letting people know about your site and enticing them to go there. But, you also have control of what you sell, how many items, and how it’s shown. Here are some shopping cart plug-ins that you can install to your own site. Some are free and some are a monthly fee.
I know there’s lots of information and choices here, but keep in mind there is no right or wrong suggestion. It all depends on you and your needs. Sell where you feel the most comfortable.
One thing I would recommend is not having only one stream of income. Diversify and sell your items in several online locations. If you want to read some more Art Business Resources simply click here.
I hope this gives you some inspiration to use online shops and get your work out there.