How to sell your art online?
Several years ago I decided not to try and get my works accepted by traditional galleries, but instead to try and sell them myself, directly, via online shops. This means I retain full control over each sale, including customer communications, the standard of mounting and framing, if applicable, the careful wrapping and safety of each consignment, and the settlement of any issues or problems which may arise.
Over the years, I have spoken to many artists, who have experienced problems with galleries who let them down, failing to sell their works or failing to return them, after the agreed term. Galleries which closed and shut up shop, without notice, or who damaged re-painted or removed the frames. Not passing on the buyers details, and discouraging any direct communication between artist and buyer. For reasons like these, many artists choose not to approach galleries. That’s when they ask me “Q How should I sell my art online?”
There are at least 10 things you need to get right!
It is going to be a steep learning curve, so here goes:
- Choose an online shop gallery with care, compare charging structures etc,
- Learn to take high definition photos including, close ups, in frames, in home settings etc, and edit and correct the colour balance saturation etc.
- Learn how to present the works, thank you letters, certificates of authenticity, cellophane wrapping, cutting single and double mounts
- Wrapping and protecting the works, choosing delivery options, couriers, postal services, Insurance etc
- Creating a table of post, packing and insurance charges for each size or type of work.
- Deciding on standards of after sales service, how to respond if a customer wishes to return their work
- How to present yourself, your artist statement, your story, within the confines of your chosen shop.
- Decide on a pricing structure, who is your target customer?
- How will you market your online presence? Using Social Media? Create your own website & Blog?
- Choosing a mailing service for Newsletters, RSS feeds for your Blog, Build a mailing list.
OK so you’re thinking – Do I really have to do all that?
Well now you are starting to understand why many artists struggle to earn a decent living. By the time the sales and marketing is sorted, there’s little time left for creating original art.
I once read that the American artist Mark Rothko spent 5 days a week on marketing, and only 2 days in the studio?
So now you know what to do – Take the time to learn how to sell your art yourself, or find a gallery who are willing to do it for you ! Not an easy choice to make!