How to sell art online

The web is becoming increasingly important as a vehicle for marketing art and selling your art online. At the very leaso, every serious artist needs a website as a showcase for their work. If you have ambitions to sell your work online may can do this by having selling facility on your website site, or even proper shop, or by using one of the many online art galleries.

Selling art online is not for the faint hearted. People who know your name should be able to find your website via Google. However, unless you are very well known, it will probably be down to luck if a casual browser who likes your type of work will find your site easily, let alone buy anything. Ideally, whatever method you choose for selling your work online should be done along side traditional ways of selling art by, networking within your art community, participating shows and competitions, participating in art trails, and so on.

Your options for selling work from your website are (in order of cost):

1. The email method – the simplest solution of all. You simply ask anyone interested in buying any of your work from your website to email you for more details. You can then request payment by cash, cheque, PayPal or whatever suits you best.

2. Having a simple payment facility on your website such as PayPal ‘Buy Now’ buttons or a PayPal shopping cart. Potential customers can select works for purchase and pay by credit or debit card using the PayPal secure payments system. This system is ideal if you have a small number of works for sale.

3. An online shop – either accessed as a menu item from your showcase website menu or as a separate entity. These types of shop are database driven and you can manage the shop yourself, adding or removing items for sale, processing payments and stock control.

4. Links to online galleries – there are thousands of online galleries that have sprung up in the last few years who will offer your work for sale and take a commission, just like a bricks and mortar gallery. You may decide to use these automated selling facilities as an outlet for your work and include links on your showcase website to the relevant pages on these sites. Online galleries (the big ones) have the advantage of having a large internet presence and works are divided into categories. Visitors to your pages will be quite focused – ie they have like your category of art and have chosen to look at your page. However, it remains to be seen if buying artwork that you haven’t seen in real life is a viable proposition.

Tips for selling your art online

► Use high quality images of your art. That said, all images presented on the web need to be compressed so that they download quickly. If your images are poor to begin with, they will look even worse online..

► Make sure you put a price on your work. It’s a well known fact that most people do not like asking the price of anything and will leave your site rather than ask.

► Make sure you make it clear how a visitor can buy your art. If you want to accept debit and credit cars, sign up with a service like PayPal which makes it fast and easy to accept payments online.

► List your terms and conditions on your site and state your delivery and returns policy.

► Make sure your contact information is prominently displayed and deal with any communications immediately.

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