Selling Art Online – Does It Work?
If you are interested at all in art and photography, you will no doubt have noticed the huge number of impressive looking online galleries all over the internet. Judging by the numbers of signed up artists and photographers they seem extremely popular. But do these online galleries actually sell the work they display? Well yes, quite often. It is a fact that many artists do very well selling art and photography on the internet. However, as with any offline gallery, showing work simply provides the opportunity to be seen by a larger audience thereby increasing chances of making sales. That said, the internet is a gateway to a worldwide audience and by joining an online gallery an artist has the potential of tapping into it.
A word of caution though; some galleries are far easier to find than others. This is very important because no matter how attractive the layout of an online gallery appears, if customers can't find it then the artwork is not going to be seen. So where are the best places to sell art online? Well, there are now many options open to both professional and aspiring artists and photographers. It all depends on individual objectives. For high visibility, joining one of the larger online galleries who get many thousands of visitors daily might be a wise consideration.
A visitor count is usually provided somewhere on the homepage of these sites. There are some excellent ones to choose from but each is slightly different in terms of selection and joining procedures, how they assist in promoting work and how work is displayed on the website. Also, attention should be paid to areas such as who takes payment for work sold and how money is received after a sale. Commission taken from a sale is another important factor and can vary from 0% to 40+%. Can one really make any money from selling art online then? The short answer to that is 'probably'. A good indication is whether the art sells in the 'real' world or not. If it does, then it is likely to be also successful online. If an artist hasn’t yet ventured into selling, then there is nothing to lose by dipping a toe in the water by joining an online gallery. One place to test the waters is eBay but another word of caution here. If work is already selling at top end prices, it is very unlikely that these can be commanded on eBay.
It is very important to avoid dropping prices for the purposes of selling on eBay too, or anywhere else online for that matter. Current customers won't like it. It devalues their purchases and also makes them feel they have been ripped off by paying higher prices. That said, some artists are making a good living on eBay with its phenomenal number, and still growing, of daily visitors. What about fine art and photography prints, do they sell well online? Well, yes actually! Very well. In fact it would be fair to say that although the art print market is very competitive online, with huge websites offering everything from impressionist style canvases to Disney posters, there is still room for original art and fine art photography prints. The fact is that whilst people may be hesitant to spend a huge amount of money on an original artwork without seeing it 'in the flesh', prints are a safer gamble as they are much more affordable. As more and more people become comfortable with shopping online for a variety of goods, this can only help online art sales too.
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