Best Time of Year for Sales? Worst Time of Year?

Hello All! What do you all find is the best time of year when you make the most sales on your paintings? I am assuming the Holidays result in an increase in traffic and sales–but also, do you feel there is a time of year when your paintings sell the least?

How do you keep up with the higher demand in the busy season, furthermore, how do you keep your inspiration of art and self discipline boosted in the slower times of the season and keep doing what we do best—paint!?

Excited to hear your thoughts!
Lauren Pretorius

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You do quite well Lauren, perhaps you should be answering that question! I have never found rhyme or reason to upticks, though i have never been steady in how i paint or in how i sell. Though, that could be the reason for the fluctuating!

I took a while to get out of the mode of trying to make a living painting -which led to rushed pieces- now I’m painting what I want to paint, and I like what I paint much better. I just paint when I can and let them pile up. And then there will come a surge of sales. That’s how it works for me.

I do find that if I really like something, it sells eventually. I am hoping that after more self improvement, better paintings result in better/often sales. I am enjoying the ride.(Thankfully relying on hubby to bring home the real paycheck.)

I am interested to know if there is a better vs worse season for sales though!

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I was thinking this same thing only a few days ago, while looking at DPW’s graphs for my gallery. There’s a notable downturn in the average number of pop-up views. During January/February, my graph shows average pop-up views around 175-200. During June it has been down to 50. These figures are the overall averages, not for my paintings. I suppose it’s inevitable that folk are enjoying summer and not glued all the time to their computers, therefore I’m wondering whether to reduce my listings during July and August simply because there are fewer visitors. I only list about once a week anyway (if that) because not everything I produce is necessarily good enough. On the other hand, if you list every day then I accept you’re more likely to get a buyer…it’s a numbers game.


Looking at your gallery Lauren there are masses of red dots…I must learn from you!

Sunny…like you I feel there is no rhyme or reason either in what people choose or what time of year it is. I have learned over the years to now go with the flow and stop worrying. I too enjoy the ride…bumps and all.

Christine…the graph is very entertaining and you may have a point about not being glued to computers in the summer but these days I see most people glued to a computer of some sort all the time. Numbers game could be right…if we stick around long enough buyers might remember us.

Better or worse season for sales? …no idea. Yet!

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That’s a good question Lauren. So after reading your question I looked back at my sales record for the last few years. I sell through local galleries in Va. Never had much luck online. Anyhow, to my surprise, April is my big month 4 years running. I have almost double the sales in April than the other months. Why? I don’t have a clue. Whether or not it means anything or maybe it’s just a geographical thing, I don’t know. Will be interested to read all the answers here and see if there is a certain time. As for me…I’m gonna make sure I’m cranking in April. Thanks for making me think Lauren. Guess I should’ve been keeping track of that better.


I did have April high for 2 years. Spring cleaning, redecorating time? I dunno.

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I think that people buy paintings for themselves, therefore any time of year or venue that is aimed towards gifts is probably not the best. Spring and fall should be the best times, at least in Texas. Perhaps there is a tourist market in summer too, where people buy mementos of places they visit.

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The best time of the year is when I sell and the worst time is when I’m not painting. :wink:


Perfect! Me too @desoto_studio!

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Is the question, when are potential buyers visiting with more frequency, or when is the same frequency of visitors purchasing more or less. The second circumstance would be an intriguing question if that were the case bordering on why people purchase art in the first place. If it is an online venue and visits are down in summer then people are engaged in other supposedly outdoor activities and spending less time in front of a computer screen and one would assume with less people viewing the artwork there will be less purchased though one does not necessarily follow the other. If the venue is a gallery conditions may vary, but overall it seems it would be most productive to narrow the investigation otherwise there are too many variables to achieve any meaningful data, though comparing notes is a good idea. By the way, lets say you have some genre with which you always do well, a street scene in the rain or a dewy eyed kitten, or a bunch of asparagus,then an artist could follow how many views such work received at one time of year verses another. Create a small observable experiment and then track the results.

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Right now seems pretty darn slow. Only 49 auctions have bids, and of those, only 13 are for $50 or more.

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Slow but sure…maybe? I know one thing…the UK is slower, in fact at a standstill in the art world near me!

I had 4 ladies yesterday to visit my studio. They loved my little paintings, selecting several. They asked for the prices, which are mostly less than a meal out…but they put them down and left empty handed. Maybe they were on the way for a meal out.

Does it get me down?? No, not a bit. I am fortunate to be of pensioner age and I have enough to live on and buy my oils. I paint because it is my life and love whether or not I have a purchaser. Every day is a bonus to do what makes me happy and I say a big thank you for that.


I have been on DPW since 2012, but after lackluster sales, I stopped putting up new paintings. I’d sell a painting now and then, but sales were never remarkable. I didn’t cancel my DPW membership, though.

I took some lessons and workshops, came back with improved paintings, and it just so happened that I reentered the market last April (2014). Wow! I had the BEST sales ever! I attribute this to my “new improved” painting style, and also APRIL! LOL!

This year I didn’t have many new paintings available in April, so sales were meh. Interestingly, this July my sales have been pretty good. But I’m also thinking positive thoughts, which I think makes a difference! :smile:

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I had a great ‘June’ but fell off again this July.

I’ve been painting for 35 years, and have always kept meticulous records of sales. A few years ago I averaged my sales per month for all those years, and found that May was usually my best month, and February was by far my worst. In fact, for every dollar I made in May I made 3 cents in February. I suspect that this may be because the people who like my work may be more sensitive to the weather and the moods of nature than average folks … but who knows? And, as far as sales on DPW go, I really don’t know, since I’ve sold so little on this site.

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I almost think seasons aren’t so much the reason for sales, except that in the spring people are pretty starved for color and they have gotten over Christmas buyers remorse and maybe have some tax refund cash left! I’ve been to a lot of Christmas bazaars and find that people are mostly looking for unrealistic bargains. I think building online and real in person relationships and high quality engaging work will result in sales.


I love your attitude. I am fortunate enough as well not to work right now. I want to invest in my improving my skills and painting nearly everyday. I have committed to doubling my skill level in one year. I know that will pay me back in self accomplishment. After that, the sales will follow if I have exposure. Well, if my theory is wrong, my journey will still be fun.

I guess the worst time of year is right now. My auctions are all going off without a sale. I think I might try a fixed price rather than auctions. Auctions seem to be doing nothing. I’m actually trying to re-invent myself and make money at blogging instead. I’m getting tired of the roller coaster ride.

Hi Bob, I too am considering going down that road. Auctions appear to be terrible at the moment. I have put most of my work on buy now via PayPal, at least I will give it a go.

I find there is a lull during January-February and again in June. I have sold about 50 art cards this year - none during those months. But at least 3 per month the other months. I am in Australia in country Victoria. I can never pick what will sell. The painting I think is ordinary can sell in four days of an exhibition, but at the same time, the painting I love can also sell in a week. Its not always the paintings I spend the most time on either. I have sold six paintings this year, and for someone who only started painting with acrylics 2 years ago, I’m ok with this. Although I’ve painted all my life, I have never really entered exhibitions before. I am not a professional artist. I have sold both framed and unframed works on canvas. In fact, I’ve sold more works that were unframed, probably because the price was greatly reduced. I’m not one to put ridiculous pricing on unframed works. I scale the price based on size of canvas (more paint!), time I spent, and the percentage commission that has to come out if I sell. I don’t know why there is the lull in Jan/Feb and June here. This is summer and winter for us, and school holidays. I am not yet confident enough to attempt to sell works online, through I love DPW and when I’m in a low mojo I do the weekly challenge. What I love best is when someone rings me who has bought my work and says what it means to them and how much they like it. It is compulsory here to put your phone number on the back of works.