There are a whole bunch of places to sell your artwork online these days such as e:bay, Daily Paintworks, ETSY, zazzle, and Cafe Press to name a few. I’ll write another post with more details. I’ve listed my art on a few of the sites available but the place I have found to have most success with is ETSY! And I love it.
Joining and starting a shop on Etsy is free. There are three basic selling fees: a listing fee, a transaction fee, and a payment processing fee.
It costs $0.20 to publish a listing to the marketplace. A listing lasts for four months or until the item is sold. Once an item sells, there is a 3.5% transaction fee on the sale price (not including shipping costs). If you accept payments through Etsy’s Direct Checkout payment system, they also collect a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee when an item is sold.
Listing fees are billed for $0.20 USD (This will be in whichever currency you operate)
It can really be as easy as just taking a few photos, writing up a good description and posting it. The downside if you are literally one among thousands of other sellers. Looking at just the art section you could probably scroll for days and days and maybe not even see your listing.
I’ve found the key is to check in regularly, keep adding products and make sure that you establish a presence to ensure that your products stand out from the rest. And to stand out from the rest you do need to make an effort; there are so many already established shops with unique quality products that it’s easy to get lost among all that that awesomeness! You don’t know how thrilled I am each time I see one of my postings on the first or second page when I do a search for original art.
Etsy has done a lot of the hardwork for you in setting up a great store front system and to me it’s a huge advantage to be able to access my shop from my cell phone, my PC or my iPad whether from home or when I’m out running errands. To read what they have to say in their Seller’s Handbook click here but below I’ve listed a few tips that I believe have helped me to get those sales. This is specific to me selling art but I’m sure they can be applied across all the sales categories.
Make sure that the buyer can really see what you are selling. Use all five photos to show case your product. I don’t use anything fancy to take my photos (most of the time it’s my phone) but I do make sure I get a variety of shots and good light always helps. I take my photos out in my back garden because I’ve found the early morning light works best for my photos.
Meaningful Item Title
You may have a fabulous title for your product or art work but if you list it as “Vertigo has Wings” acrylic painting not many people will be doing a search on that. What they will search on is things like Original Art, original painting, gift for her, etc. so put a couple of those words or phrases in your title too. You get 145 characters for your title. There is nothing wrong with using all of them but get the key search terms in the first bit.
Include those search terms at the beginning of your description too. Search engines love seeing the same term repeated – there’s lots more detail in the Etsy Sellers guide and plenty of information on YouTube too if you want to know more about optimising your search terms.
People love hearing about the process behind your work so put that in your description too
Make sure you fill this out so people know “you”. I think this is especially important if you are an artisan rather than a bigger “company”. Tell them about your background, what you love about your product, engage with them.
Have a great header photo that makes you stand out or maybe a
Put lots of details in your shop profile too. There’s a nice section where you can add a few photos and have a slideshow of your products in there if someone takes a look.
I always make sure I follow up with my buyers, ask them to comment or rate the piece they’ve bought. I send them a personally written Thank you card. If someone takes the time to favourite my shop or an item I’ll write and thank them. Often I’ll include a coupon for money off a purchase. The key I think is to stay in touch with people and make sure they think of your shop first. I’ve not had any complaints but if I did I think you should go all out to put it right. I think there’s a quote somewhere that says if a customer is happy they’ll maybe tell a couple if people but if they’re unhappy they’ll tell everyone. The key is “Keep your customers happy”. They are the most important person as far as your store is concerned!
Direct all your social media to your store. If you have Facebook post your new items regularly but again don’t just “sell”. Let people see your work in progress, ask their opinions, post things you think they may find interesting. On Twitter, again update your followers with what’s going on, tweet about sales or new paintings, On Pinterest pin items regularly. Keep people informed about you and your work. update Instagram with photos of your store items. You don’t have to be doing a hard sell all the time but let people know you are there.
These are just a few of the things that have helped me and a brief overview at that. The important thing is it’s not enough to post and sit back. You need to connect with people regularly. There’s a ton of helpful stuff on Etsy itself and plenty of information on the web. Use it. Good luck with your sales 😍