Jul 27, 2012

Online Art Sales Only for Small Paintings?

I've heard a lot of people say Etsy is a good place to sell artwork online. But looking around there it seems those doing the most sales are selling crafty stuff such as knitted yarn toys, jewelry, pottery, or vintage items, mostly under $50. I don't see many painters selling much there. And if they are selling paintings, it's mostly small inexpensive work.

I've also heard people say DailyPaintworks is a good place to sell paintings. But even those artists who sell frequently there only seem to be selling tiny works for $100 or less.

Same with ebay. Those who sell any at all seem to sell mainly very small paintings for a couple hundred dollars or less....usually on the "less" side.

Is that pretty much what you have to stick with to sell online, paintings 8"x10" or smaller so you can sell them dirt cheap? I haven't seen sales for larger pieces priced at $500+ on any of these sites.

Many artists supposedly use the strategy of selling lots of small, inexpensive works in order to build a following, some of whom eventually move on to buy larger works. But I don't see the sales of these larger works there.

I'd wonder if artists aren't selling larger works by other means. But it appears even those who do paint small and large are still using DPW and ebay, etc, as their shopping carts for their larger works, and those sites just don't show large works in the sales history. So even if they paint small ones to build a following it doesn't seem to result in sales of larger pieces, only more frequent sales of small ones.

Am I right?

No, not necessarily.

Why? Because I've also heard from artists who say buyers don't like to purchase larger works through these third-party check-outs. They usually contact the artist directly and make purchases behind the scenes. They like direct contact with the artist. They want a more personal interaction and communication about an expensive piece in order to feel comfortable with spending more money.

That makes sense to me.

I was wondering if I would spend much money through some third-party checkout myself and decided I would probably want to contact the artist first, too. In fact, being an artist myself, I would probably deal with them directly to save them the fees and commission associated with these third party sites. :)

Maybe even non-artist buyers sometimes think this way too.

What's your experience been with online sales? Do you only sell small works? Or have you had successful sales of larger works online?

1 comment:

Canidae Art said...

I think Etsy is great for jewellery and small crafts and other handmade items, but I feel like for selling paintings it is not ideal. To me, Etsy targets those people who buy and sell small items from each other instead of the eager art collector.

No doubt the best way to sell is through exhibitions, though a website, Facebook page, and even eBay also prove to have their uses. It's just a case of attracting the right audience.

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