Hello Sea Dean,
I get what your saying. I’m convinced not to sell my art so cheap. I’m actually trying a different kind of living online with art but art of a different kind in making explanation videos. It’s pretty complicated, but with some learning and dedication, I think it will work.
I’m going to “almost” quit painting or quit entirely. I can’t spend a ton of time on something that will never pay off.
I read a very interesting post in an article on “Quora” today. Here is the link. https://www.quora.com/The-Arts/What-are-good-places-online-to-sell-original-paintings. The post I’m referring to is by Lance Rubin.
It’s very informative. Not so much the answer to the problems of selling but eye-opening… at least to me it was anyway.
Hello Sea Dean,
I’ve been doing some research on how to create and run a visual art business. Here’s a summary of what I’ve learned.
- Spend 50% of your time in business activities other than painting.
- Write a business plan.
- Set goals and timelines.
- Network, network, network with the right people.
- Have business cards.
- Have a website that includes: artist bio/statement, credentials, images of work, calendar of events, list of collectors, contact info.
- Have a consistent price (price per square inch) and start with a moderate rate. Increase the price annually, and be willing to negotiate (20 to 25% discount is common).
- Exhibit in galleries, juried shows, art markets, restaurants, bars, clubs, collector’s homes, etc.)
- Organize group exhibits.
- Donate a piece of your best art to auctions and fund raising events.
- Gift art to key collectors.
- Study with other artists.
- Attend workshops.
- Study with other artists.
- Have a clear vision and definite plans (business plan).
- Practice. Practice. Practice. In other words, paint daily.
All the online tasks and tools (DPW, Instagram, FB, websites, blogs, etc) are useful and maybe even necessary, but many of the above activities need to be done on a local level, which is a conclusion I came to prior to finding the above information. DPW is a good way to gain wider exposure, and the tools we have can help manage lists, collectors, etc., but few of us can or should depend on it as the primary means of selling our art.
How the various activities are done will look different, depending on where we live. I’m in a city, so lots of options. But I’ve lived in rural areas, and I know there is a lot of support for artists in those areas as well.
This trying to sell art is tough stuff. After many years of trying to figure this selling art online, I’m saying the hell with it, no dollar auctions I’m starting at a penny.
You’re not serious, are you? You have 33 paintings on DPW but only 7 are available, the rest have red dots. Were those sold for a penny? Would those customers appreciate seeing similar work they bought at a much higher price now available for a penny? Again, I think you jest.
No jest, already started listing some for a penny on ebay.
Hi Bob why not list on ebay also the more eyes the better.
There is one thing about starting low, I at least have a lot of traffic, triple what I usually have. Im going to try it out for awhile and see what happens.
Been on the DPWs site for a couple years now, this is usually a slow time of the year, so I would not worry. But I am going to say maybe once a year I will pop a painting on the site for 1 to 5 dollars. Doing that has more than once brought a future repeat buy to me, and yes that buyer gets a higher (much) higher priced painting the next time. To me it is fun to make a little offer like that once in a while, but that is just how I view things.
Thats exactly what I’m thinking repeat buyers. Just cause they paid 10 for one painting does not mean they won’t pay 100 for the next one in the future. I also do not think it devalues your art, I mean if you follow the successful artists that sell online, sometimes the same size/subject painting goes for $500 then the next one for $125. If we want sales then we need the traffic, I’m at least getting a lot of traffic, more then I’ve ever had. I also started painting big I’ve been painting small for so long that I worked on a 16 x 20 and felt like I was painting a mural lol.
Bob, I have a sense that the art market in general, other than for those selling to the high income market, is rather bleak. Since about February the views for my paintings have fallen off a cliff, and that appears to be the case for DPW overall. I don’t see the number of visits daily to DPW posted on the main page as it once was so I don’t know for sure on that one.
I do a lot of reading on financial sites, and the economic situation for most of the shrinking middle class is somewhat grim. Perhaps that’s bing reflected in the art market.
Hi Joe, I already tried ebay for many years and they’re just as bad…actually worse because they charge too much to sell there.
I have tried just about all the things you listed. But to do them all every day, would be impossible for me. In fact I don’t know of any other artist who ever did all those things and if so, I would like to know how.
Also, I’m now convinced that the vast majority of visitors on selling sites are other sellers…problably 99.9%.
I also did the math once that someone on this thread here said that the selling rate here is only 2%. It’s not just here though…it’s all sites.
The other day, I looked at the active listings, (listings with bids) and there were 18, 14 of which were selling for under $30.
I’ve looked at many other artist galleries here and have seen some really nice work and I couldn’t figure out why their pieces weren’t selling, and I still have no answers.
Actually my sales weren’t so bad (definitely nothing to brag about), but when Sept. hit, the bottom fell right out and October isn’t any better. This is a month and a half now and I think I had two sales in all that time when I was selling about 12 to 15 the other months. Something happened to make this happen but I don’t think we’ll ever know what it was.
I agree; it would be very hard to do all of those things every day. Spreading those activities over a month, though, would likely produce results.
I agree, also with the math. I’ve noticed that, on average, 5 to 8 paintings are sold daily from the 200 or so that are posted. I’ve also checked the auctions and see that most are slow. I tend to think of the auctions as holding cells, but that’s just my (probably weird) impression. I know several artists who have very good luck with auctions.
This is a great discussion; it’s provided lots of food for thought.
Yes the fees are higher but only if you sell, listing is free so why not they sell over 5000 paintings a month by auction
I did that once on Ebay and it sold for 1.00. I would rather have ripped it up then sell it for that amount. Never did it again. As for sales…they are slow everywhere. I don’t know why. I haven’t had a sale on DPW since Oct. 17. I’m here three years and that never happened before.
Sharon, for business cards go to Moo.com they are the best! An added feature is that you can print one of your paintings on each cards. 50 cards, 50 different paintings. I keep at least 10 of them on me and when someone asks what I paint I just take them out and show them. These cards are thick, glossy and I always get compliments on them.
I read through the comments in response to your post and agree with most statements. I, too, have experienced no sales on DPW over the past 2 months, but I don’t think it’s the economy, since I’ve had robust sales from local galleries and out of my own studio at much higher prices. I’ve been using DPW to market my studies rather than what I consider finished work. I used to sell a lot on this site, but then sales dropped off a year ago so I left DPW. But, 2 months ago I decided to try again. No sales yet. I’ll give it one more month.
Well, I finally did it. I listed my auctions for $1 and that’s exactly what I’m getting. One of them has 3 hours to go and that’s it. I’m now convinced that sales will be non-existent here no matter what I do. At least my experiment is complete. Now maybe I should offer free paintings and shipping and throw a couple of bucks in with it. Maybe that’ll fly.
New game plan, paint, paint, paint, raise my prices and sell as buy now, after all how can I make 150K plus a year selling paintings if I’m listing them for 10 bucks.