Daily Paintworks (DPW) | About DPW

Conversion of viewing to gallery or website and lack of sales


(Alix Baker PCAFAS UA) #1

We’ve all seen or participated in discussions about sales or the lack of them. I do feel that prices seldom improve even for those artists who are selling well and therefore would usually raise their prices a little after each successful year. There is a mass of art on DPW which really should not be going for the price of a few beers - it is far too good and head and shoulders above some similar priced work. It’s not good for anyone for better art to be available for buttons. I know artists set their own prices but a look across the board is wise from time to time and, if the price is low and the work doesn’t sell, that says more about the swamped art market than the quality of the artist’s work. In other words, it’s worth considering if there is another way of marketing one’s work - in the flesh or on line.

Of course there is also the argument that too low a price makes a buyer feel that it might not be worth buying. So putting on a higher price can sometimes create a sale!

Having been in some lengthy correspondence with fellow artists and art groups through Facebook and elsewhere it does seem that there is a crying need for selling sites that have a level of discrimination when accepting new artists. Artfinder, for example, has become so swamped with some doubtful work, although it professes to set a standard for applications to join the site, that I know many who have left it in the past few months. Another contributing factor is that Artfinder has made a change in its rules re discounting prices which don’t make sense and harm the artist. Where to go is another matter as many sites are like Artfinder. One has just started up recently which is trying to buck this trend and it deserves to succeed. It is run by a practicing artist who knows all too well the problems we face.

I have done a test with 2 paintings added to DPW in the last week and looked at the statistics today. Interesting that 84 viewings in total, only 2 have visited my Gallery and 1 my Website! I suspect this might be because the majority of viewers visiting DPW are artists themselves. Of course, it may well be that their initial look at my 2 images put them off! I don’t know.

Taking exactly 12 months to date I had 1434 views, 122 looked at my Gallery, only 12 visited my website. I think this does back up that most visitors are artists. Buyers might have been more curious about an artist and their work. Admittedly I haven’t posted many works due to a lengthy house sale and move, then the creating of a studio only just completed. But some of my works have had many visitors each but little in the way of conversion to Gallery or Website.

I used to make sales on DPW but they have dried up or some people want paintings but won’t even pay a heavily discounted price. Whether to stay or save the monthly fee, I just don’t know but will probably try to get back into producing much more work to see if that makes a difference - but I suspect it won’t.

The art market is not what it gloriously was a few years ago and galleries and art societies (at least in the UK) are folding. Even the best exhibitions and art fairs have seen big changes from the good times. I win awards but that doesn’t mean a work sells, sadly.

What’s the answer? I don’t suppose any of us know but it would be good to hear from those who are bucking the decline. MInd you, perhaps if you are successful, you might be wanting to hide your cards!

Good luck to fellow strugglers.


(Daily Paintworks) #2

David here - the owner and developer of Daily Paintworks (DPW).

I completely understand the frustration with the changing art market. As with most things, when we feel we have arrived, the journey still continues, with or without us.

The early days of online art sales was great for many, as things often are for the early adopters of something new that’s fulfilling an unfulfilled need. That need was two sided - artists wanting access to buyers and buyers wanting access to art.

In the days before the online art market, that access, in both directions, was significantly constrained. Brick and mortar galleries were limited in number in most towns and small cities, they were limited in the number of artists they could represent, and, of those, only the work of the few proven sellers was shown and promoted. This left out the vast majority of artists, who had little to no access to the market. It also limited buyers’ access to artists and their art. The art market was not free or efficient and galleries were the gate keepers. This allowed prices to be controlled for the artists whose work was selling. From this control came the expectation that the price of an artist’s work would and should increase every year. It was the inefficiency of the market that allowed this to happen.

The online art market, on the other hand, is very efficient, as most online markets are. Thousands of artists and their work are only a click away! In the beginning, there was pent up demand and few artists and so the online art market was a seller’s market. Now after having matured and supply being much higher, it is a buyer’s market. This means buyers, not artists, determine the price of art. Of course, an artist is free to set their price to whatever they want, however, the question must be asked - what is the point of selling one’s art if one prices it so it won’t sell?

Personally, I don’t think the answer is to make the online art market less efficient by more broadly curating and limiting the artists that have access to it. DPW, in fact, was founded with the idea that it is better to not curate the art, to not limit what buyers see based on our subjective tastes, but to be open to all artists and let the efficiency of the market curate the art instead. This approach went against the grain at the time and there were predictions of ever worsening quality of art on DPW and of our quick demise. I am happy to say we are still here and we are honored to have as members so many talented artists we never would have known about if we had had to seek them out! Carol and I have never doubted that we made the right decision.


(Daily Paintworks) #3

It is to be expected that buyer click-throughs from a member artist’s DPW Gallery to a separate artist website is infrequent. This is for a couple reasons that are not specific to DPW:

  • Buyers, after having developed a familiarity with DPW, are not inclined to leave that familiarity and its perceived safety. This is true for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, as well.

  • To a buyer, an artist’s DPW Gallery looks like an artist website, and, in fact, we designed and intend them to be just that. So, it can be unclear to a buyer as to why they should leave an artist’s DPW Gallery website, where they can view and buy the art and read about the artist, to go to yet another website. There’s an age old bit of wisdom that says make it as easy as you can for a buyer to buy what you are selling. Making or expecting a buyer to leave one artist website for another doesn’t do that.


(Patricia Ann Rizzo) #4

I feel the art market isn’t what it should be because the economy also isn’t what it should be…yes, unemployment is down but how many have taken minimum wage jobs? My art is priced extremely low…I’m retired and the sale of my art provides the little luxuries I enjoy. To me, its more important to find the artwork a home then to price them as they should be priced :wink: that’s my way of doing business…not the most popular but the right way for me. That said…do NOT limit yourself simply to Daily Paintworks…I’m on several other platforms and always have been. Also, be as proactive as possible in promoting your art everywhere you can. Its work…but its worthwhile.


(Alix Baker PCAFAS UA) #5

The art market worldwide has been poor for the last several years and cannot be attributed to the economy pure and simple since that has varied hugely from place to place. Everyone thinks they can be an artist so work, good bad or indifferent, has flooded the market. Talking to a fellow artist last year he was told by his never-having-shown-the-remotest-interest-in-art sister-in-law that she planned to become an artist as she would get a grant and/or car from one of the EU countries!


(Patricia Ann Rizzo) #6

I agree with everyone wanting to be an artist…but those who have sold well in the past will tell you exactly what I stated in my post. I’ve been on eBay since 1998 and sold over 3,000 paintings large and small on that site. I’ve been on DPW for the past 3 1/2 years. First year was amazing, second year began slowing and now…an occasional buy. I blame it on the economy because I get tons and tons of views (some over 500 views) and fewer and fewer sales. As for artists, there is no telling…I’ve seen spectacular artists who sell little and I’ve seen really bad artists who seem to have “followings” who want that type of art. It really is in the eye of the beholder.


(Alix Baker PCAFAS UA) #7

I agree entirely with your DWP sales experience. Same for me but I do like the site. As for those who buy the really bad stuff one imagines they might look at their purchase one day and wonder why they bought it and why they hadn’t paid more for something to love for longer!


(Patricia Ann Rizzo) #8

Something happened in 2016 that slowed down sales on DPW…same amount of views but no sales. I wish David would investigate that and see what changes he might have made at that time that caused the loss of collectors while we still have the same amount of looky-lous.

As for buying bad stuff…I’ve put some things up for sale and then was so displeased with them myself that I wanted to withdraw them and destroy them…those are generally the ones that sell first :slight_smile: There just is no telling good from bad…its all in the eye of the beholder.


(Daily Paintworks) #9

@misspatricia, I completely understand the frustration of having your sales drop off and the feeling that something must have changed with DPW to have caused this. While it is true that I am almost constantly improving and adding features to DPW, I know I haven’t done something to affect sales negatively. In fact, overall DPW sales for all artists were the highest ever last December and have, on average, held steady for the last three years. If I do inadvertently break something, which does happen here and there, in part because I am often working on DPW and I am a development team of one, I am very lucky that both our artists and buyers quickly bring it to my attention. Is there something you are seeing that is different, which I have missed?


(Patricia Ann Rizzo) #10

I guess I’m just not a good enough artist…but it seems to me when over 500 people look at a painting, one of them might like it enough to buy it…especially at my prices… In fact the collector who bought my last painting said “what’s wrong with these people?”…meaning she scooped it up because she had the only bid on it. Sadly, I’m already beefing up other sites in prep to probably leave this one.


(Patricia Ann Rizzo) #11

I don’t know David…my friends who were on this site have since left due to lack of sales. The count on the What’s New Page used to go over 200 and now is well below that. I’m not seeing or hearing what you say… Hate to say it but that’s the truth. We seem to get a lot of lookers but few collectors.


(Alix Baker PCAFAS UA) #12

I suspect that a huge number of viewers are fellow artists and therefore less likely to buy. Nothing can be done about that, sadly. Also, this problem of lack of sales is not confined to DPW. Many art sites are selling far fewer works than they used to. Quality control of what is on those sites is a factor in many cases: better art buried under ‘anything goes’ art. A universal problem and it’s driving artists away to try to find new ways of selling their art. It can’t be down to prices only with DPW as prices are incredibly low (ridiculously so and barely covering materials in some cases) and seem to me to have remained static for some years. Until I can find an answer to the selling problem I’ll probably stick with DPW. My paintings frequently win awards but that doesn’t lead to a sale, even when a price is below what it should be. Ho hum!


(Patricia Ann Rizzo) #13

I totally agree with you as to sales and even lookers. However I’ve had record numbers of sales on eBay during the Halloween and Christmas seasons. Looking forward to this May when they say they will lower the price of their starter stores. Also, Facebook is getting a bad rap these days but its a great place to promote your artwork and I’ll be doing more of that. I’m in the process of setting up a page full of my art there and then will look to advertise it on FB and Twitter. I’m trying to hang on here but when I can’t cover the monthly price of it then I’m forced to find other outlets. Retirees just don’t have the extra money for it. I still think there is something wrong here…probably in the SEO but I’m not schooled enough to pinpoint it. Thanks for your input on this. We all seem to be in the same boat. :frowning:


(Daily Paintworks) #14

Our SEO is sound and is something I actively attend to, however, just as there are many more competing artists online each year, the same is true of art websites. DPW could never begin to compete for traffic with much larger websites, such as eBay and Etsy, which is why we try to offer something different.

The value DPW offers is not intended to be primarily one of exposure. We cannot ensure or guarantee sales, both because of the intense and evolving competition online and there being so many variables involved in whether or not a specific artist sells.

Instead, DPW offers artists their own fine art focused, eCommerce website, no posting limits, at a reasonable cost. This includes low commission auctions, easy to create PayPal links, easy social media posting, inventory and sales management, traffic and sales charts and reports, support for other item sales, the posting of classes and workshops, and ongoing improvements and new features we never charge more for. DPW also offers an artist community, supported by comments, challenges, contests, and this forum.

DPW is best seen as an artist’s home base in an overall strategy that includes active self promotion on the many social media platforms, and may also include a presence on other more general eCommerce websites such as eBay and Etsy. With all advertising, art promotion or otherwise, persistence of presence and repetition of message is important. DPW is designed to be a central part of that.


(Patricia Ann Rizzo) #15

I understand David and I like DPW a lot…however, I can list 50 paintings a month on eBay, each one is relisted automatically 3 times and I do not pay if they don’t sell. I guess that’s what has kept me there since 1998. On my tight budget 12.95 each and every month whether I sell or not becomes a burden at times. That’s the conundrum many artists find themselves and why the ones I know had to leave. I’m sure you’re doing your best.


(Alix Baker PCAFAS UA) #16

David, thanks for your considered reply. You are right in all that DPW has and can provide an artist. In that, it is so much better and ahead of many sites and I’m sure we’re all grateful for the very personal way in which it is run and the great technology behind its operation.

We still have the conundrum of views-to-sales which has shifted and Patricia’s experience is that of many of us.

As I mentioned before, I shall stay with DPW for the time being, improve my production level which has been abysmal due to house sale, house move, building works starting shortly and many art society related admin distractions.

Cracking the mystery of where and how to make sales is time-consuming and Churchill might have been talking about this discussion when he said it “is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”!

I think we should now leave you in peace and with many thanks for the time you have spent on this discussion.


(Jacqueline Davis) #17

Hi there David,

I have mentioned this before so I thought in light of this conversation I’d bring it up again:

Regarding the now defunct scrolling ‘Active Bidding’ feature on DPW:
Personally I really liked this feature before I became an active seller. I felt it brought a really dynamic quality to the website. It’s one of the features that drew me to join Daily Paintworks in the first place.
It gave a feeling that things were moving, that active bidding was actually taking place (even if they only had single bids, it gave the impression that movement was happening).
I know you say you removed it because “it only was able to rotate through the top 50 auctions in each section and it didn’t offer any search capability”.
But people could always do searches in other ways I guess?

I say this with a view not to be critical but to be helpful.
Maybe something about the dynamic quality of this feature was what I liked as opposed to the fixed pages? So I’m not necessarily suggesting bring back the scrolling active bidding, but maybe something similar maybe to draw people in?
The DPW widget we are able to feature on our blogs for example, has a similar dynamic effect?

Just my two cents on this topic.


(Jacqueline Davis) #18

Thanks David.
I haven’t mentioned before but I wanted to add something and say thank you for introducing the far easier way Daily Paintworks deals with sales tax and works that out for us. New York sales tax in particular seems hopelessly complicated and was actually the one thing that was putting me off selling online.
Now that’s all taken care of, it makes the process so easy once you have a sale. :slightly_smiling_face:
I feel like Daily Paintworks is a great springboard to get people started in this business.
(Thanks for your patience with us!)


(Daily Paintworks) #19

You are welcome! I am so happy to have found such an easy to use solution. I had thought I had seen the most complicated sales tax situation until I saw Washington state’s, which doesn’t go by zip code or even county. Instead, you have to use the buyer’s entire shipping address to calculate the correct sales tax!