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How To Sell Art Online: A Guide
It seems like everything in the world has moved online: shopping, working, and yes–selling your art. A global pandemic made virtual the “new normal,” but convenience and flexibility make virtual selling an intelligent long-term strategy.
If you’ve ever wondered how to sell art online and make money, you’ve come to the right place. Today, there are more opportunities than ever for artists to get their work out into the world. Some newer galleries claim that half of their sales (or more!) come from online clients. And as people get more accustomed to buying art online, sales will continue to increase.
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Places to Sell Art Online
Trying to choose where to sell art online can be overwhelming. The internet is a vast place with limitless possibilities and sometimes conflicting information. Because your art is important to you, you will want to make the best decision possible when choosing a site (or sites) to sell your work.
Below, we narrow down the field so you can make an informed decision. Even if you’ve never sold your art online before, this list can help you get started down the right path. Scroll down to learn more about how to sell your art prints online.
Fine Art America
Fine Art America might ring a bell if you’ve already started your research into selling your art online. They are the largest online art marketplace in the world. Established in 2006, Fine Art America is established, respected, and highly recognizable. Aligning yourself with such a reputable site is good for your reputation, and it helps you rest easy that your art is in good hands.
Fine Art America sells everything from home decor, tapestries, wall art, apparel, and much more. Featured artists include photographers, painters, global brands, designers, and illustrators. Best of all, using Fine Art America is simple. Uploading your images to their site is easy, and they fulfill every order themselves.
Additional benefits of Fine Art America:
- Access a vast online global marketplace
- Sales and marketing tools to help you grow
- Sell prints through Shopify
- Help setting up your own branded web store
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Amazon might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you consider selling online art for money. But maybe it should be! Since 2013, Amazon has helped artists sell their work online in the Amazon Art section. “Guest Curators” are even invited to create a gallery feel in the digital space.
You will need to submit to a pre-approval process to sell your art online through Amazon. The following types of art are eligible for sale on Amazon:
- Limited edition photography and prints
- Original paintings, drawings, and watercolors
- Two-dimensional mixed media art
Unfortunately, you cannot sell three-dimensional art on Amazon. But there is a separate section called Amazon Handmade if you are interested in selling crafts or other types of creative products.
Etsy has been wildly popular for artists and craftspeople since 2005. The site is also home to tens of thousands of vintage clothing items and accessories. Etsy is a friendly online community that encourages creativity and entrepreneurship while spreading unique, one-of-a-kind items you can’t find anywhere else.
On Etsy, you create your shop and set it up how you like. It’s best to stick with a theme if you can. For example, you probably don’t want to sell vintage clothing and artwork in the same shop, but you can create unique shops for each offering. Etsy’s fees are nominal, and creating listings is simple.
Other things we love about Etsy:
- They provide tons of resources for artists
- They make bookkeeping simple
- They let you run special sales, promotions, and coupons
- They have over 1 million active sellers
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Since 1995, eBay has been a trusted place to buy and sell just about everything. From electronics to apparel to cars, it seems like nothing is off-limits for eBay. Yet you may have never considered their marketplace for your art.
Here are a few reasons you should:
- eBay is a trusted, well-established name with buyer and seller ratings
- They offer a tremendous amount of support to sellers
- eBay’s “How to Sell” guides are beneficial and informative
- There are no restrictions on what kind of art you can sell
- Seller fees are minimal
eBay gives their sellers a lot of resources, including detailed tips on making your listings stand out and succeed. And eBay’s global reach is so massive, there’s guaranteed to be a buyer for what you’re selling–no matter how niche it is.
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Minted has an interesting setup. Featured artists are chosen based on Design Competitions. If you have a competitive streak and you enjoy contests, this might be the right site for you. Plus, the public votes on designs, so Minted allows you to put your work out there and receive valuable feedback.
Minted features graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, and other types of artists. Their work is showcased on custom Christmas cards, wedding invitations, and more. Design Competitions are exciting and rewarding–winners receive their very own Minted storefront plus the opportunity to win a cash prize and commissions.
If you’ve ever wanted to see your art splashed across a wide variety of products like coffee mugs, chef aprons, t-shirts, and baseball caps, Society6 is the place for you. This fun site allows you to upload your designs and apply them to just about any item you can imagine.
Society6 lets artists retain all the rights to their work. Other benefits include:
- They handle every aspect of order fulfillment: shipping, packaging, etc.
- Set your own royalty agreement on art prints
- Quick and easy to use with plenty of helpful seller resources
- When people are wearing your art, they do the advertising for you!
Similar to Society6, RedBubble is a print-on-demand service that lets artists get their work out into the world in fun, unique ways. You can do reproduction prints of your art or apply your designs to a wide variety of products, from iPhone cases to hooded sweatshirts.
Best of all, you can organize your earnings as you see fit. By setting your own profit margins, you have control over your revenue. If you are looking for a reliable, trusted on-demand partner, RedBubble is a solid option. You can also start small and simple, with products like stickers and stationery to get your feet wet.
If you’re looking for a marketplace that focuses more on fine art prints than on-demand products, Saatchi Art might be right up your alley. Charles Saatchi is a respected name in the art world, and using the Saatchi site lends instant credibility and respect to your work.
How to Sell Art Online Frequently Asked Questions
How do I start selling my art?
The best way to start selling your art is to make it as accessible and visible as possible. Putting your artwork online with one of the reputable sites listed above is a great place to start. No one becomes a millionaire overnight, but many people can eventually generate a good income through online shops.
What is the best way to sell art online?
To sell your artwork online, you can either build your own branded website or use an established marketplace like eBay, Etsy, or Amazon. You can further promote your art for free using your social media platforms.
Is selling art online profitable?
Selling art online has plenty of challenges and won’t make you rich overnight. However, many people have found great success over time. It just requires patience, persistence, and diligence. Selling art can be a great source of supplemental income. For some, it becomes their full-time job.
How do I price my art?
Pricing your art can be tricky, especially if you are just getting started. Take a look at what similar artists are charging for similar works. Your best bet is to pay yourself a reasonable hourly wage and then add the price of materials. As you become more established, you can increase your hourly wage and the total cost of your work.
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Conclusion: How to Sell Art Online and Make Money
In addition to choosing the right online marketplace, there are a few more tricks to maximizing profits from online art sales.
- Use multiple marketplaces and sites if you want
- Create your own branded website once you’re more established
- Take advantage of social media to promote and sell your art
- Network with other artists to learn from the best
- Build a clientele – repeat customers are essential
- Consider print-on-demand
- Know your worth
Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned artist looking to branch out online, there are plenty of eCommerce marketplaces that support artists. Selling art online requires some creativity, persistence, and diligence, but your efforts can pay off in a big way.