The article about how the internet changes the pricing of art that @dkuhn_art provided the link to explains it well, I think.
I do absolutely understand artists’ frustration with the downward pressure on the prices of art sold online. Unfortunately or fortunately (it’s a matter of perspective), the internet has exerted the same pressure in other industries, as well, such as with music and books, and with Amazon, now just about everything.
I think what it comes down to is “what you would like” versus “how it is.” I don’t mean to be harsh or tough love, at all. Instead, I intend to be practical. Often, the alternative to selling one’s art for lower prices on the internet is to not sell one’s art at all. This, of course, is a decision each individual artist must make for themselves.
Brick and mortar galleries can sell art for much higher prices, however they often take as much as a 50%, or more, commission. More importantly, galleries usually only promote and sell the art of the top tier of their artists. So, while selling art online means selling art for less, what is often forgotten is that it means “selling art.” The internet has made available to most artists a market that was previously inaccessible.
In general, selling art effectively online is a volume over price game. This means painting small and painting often, allowing you to sell 10 to 20, or so, small works for less a month, than one large work for more.
As for buyers buying work cheaply on DPW only to sell it for a greater price, I don’t see, at all, how we could stop that. If, in fact, there are galleries that are buying work cheaply on DPW only to resell them at a higher price, then I am thinking this is not so bad. The general model with galleries is to sell on consignment, where the artist bears all the risk and only gets paid if a work sells. If a gallery is buying work through DPW to resell, at least the gallery is bearing the risk and the artist gets paid.
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