How To Sell Your Artworks Online?
Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Art dawns from a heart and impresses millions of hearts. It is the language deciphered by heart, providing food for our thoughts and emotions.
2020 has been one of the worst times giving us so many terrible experiences. Lifestyles changed, routine disturbed and all our plans were cancelled.
But if we look through a different perspective, something good has also happened. We got enough time to spend with the family, relax and have a break from the routine. The best thing is that we had enough leisure time to stay at home and re-ignite our passion.
The lockdown period brought the creative side out for many. I witnessed my friends trying their hands at art and craft. Be it watercolour painting, canvas painting, oil painting, mandala art, Mehandi designs or doodle arts; I could find all forms of art on the social media posts of my friends. And the artworks were so enthralling that I couldn’t take my eyes off. (You can check out a few of those artworks at the end of this blogpost)
Though they created admirable pieces of art, they just sold them only on social media.
Secondly, we know that most of the activities are happening online these days right from education to office meetings to friends and family get-togethers owing to the pandemic. The same is with art. Offline art exhibitions are not so possible, and hence people are looking out for online sites where they could not only showcase their art; but also sell them. For the newbies, this is a great opportunity because a beginner would feel a little hesitant to showcase their artworks in an offline art exhibition amongst the artworks of all other experienced artists.
But when you can do it online without spending even a single penny and also get to explore the diverse art market, it sounds to be a great opportunity. Isn’t it?
But where on the Internet will you upload your artworks so that it reaches multitudes of public or rather I tell multitudes of interested customers?
Are Facebook and Instagram enough? Or are you looking for more art marketplaces to sell your art online?
Here, I list down a few websites or art marketplaces where you can showcase and sell your art and craft at good prices. Whether you’re an amateur or an established artist, anyone can try their hands on these online portals and upgrade your side hustle to a full-time profession.
Ok, so let me start with the platform that most of the artists have explored, and are doing good on it - the Instagram.
Every business/brand these days are trying to expand their reach with the help of social media because people of all age groups are becoming more and more active on social media platforms.
One of the leading and most used among these platforms is Instagram. Anyone can sign up on Instagram and start using it. You can showcase your art gallery to the entire world and also make sales without even spending a penny unless you choose to promote your products through Instagram ads.
Just open your art page on Instagram, choose a username which clearly indicates the content you’ll be uploading on your page and write a creative bio describing what would people get if they visit your page.
For an Instagram page, username and bio are the foremost things noticed by people, and hence you cannot afford to neglect them. In the bio, you also get an option to add your website link but the issue is that you can add only one link.
Initially, you may feel, "It's fine! One link is enough for me."
But consider a scenario where you have listed your artworks on Amazon and Etsy or any other platform and your own website as well.
If a visitor is interested in your artwork and wishes to find more details about it or purchase it, they would click on the link provided in your bio. And you might have included the link of your Etsy shop in it but the visitor might be interested in buying the product on Amazon.
Assuming that your product is listed only on Etsy, the visitor might leave. It’s quite rare that the person would DM you asking for the Amazon listing of your artwork.
In that case, you may lose a potential customer.
In another scenario, you may also want to inform the visitors about the art class that you may be conducting or redirect them to your blog as well. But you can only add one link in the Instagram bio and with this one-link in bio feature, you ought to compromise on which link to add and which to neglect.
To help people get around with this one link-in-bio issue many third-party applications like Linktree, Link in Profile, Contact in Bio, etc. are available in the market.
You can find out, "How to Add Multiple Links in Instagram Bio?" and design landing pages using these third-party bio link tools in the next blog.
These applications help you to design good landing pages and integrate multiple links into a custom link that can be added to your bio. Now, when someone clicks on the link in your bio, they are redirected to a landing page where all the other links that you added are available.
But wait! When you opt for these applications, there may be a downside too.
If you could remember there was a time in 2018 when Instagram banned these links, assuming them to be spammy. All of a sudden, the custom links that people added using these link-in-bio tools had stopped working.
So, when a visitor or a potential buyer clicked on the link, they received a notification that the link does not work. Even when users tried to add such a link in bio, they received the notification as shown below.
What if that happens again? What if your visitors click on the link and find it broken?
They may return being disappointed and if such a thing happens, you may lose a potential conversion.
Additionally, when you add a third party link in your bio, you are actually directing the traffic to their website rather than your own. If you create your website, all this traffic might come to you boosting your website rank.
To bring a more reliable approach to it, check out the blog 'How to Add Multiple Links in Instagram Bio without using Bio-Link Tools?'. The blog elaborates on how you can design a landing page on your own, and add all the links there using a website builder application like Wix, WordPress, Squarespace or Weebly. This could be quite a professional approach.
Moving on, the next thing visible on your page would be the highlights. Make sure you showcase your best works in the highlights. Highlights give an overview of your page.
Finally start uploading high-quality images of your artwork with a good and detailed caption including the details of the stationery you used in making the art piece. Instagram gives you the liberty to add 30 hashtags per post, so make sure that you use this feature wisely. Figure out the best hashtags of your niche and include them along with a few local hashtags, for instance, if you’re based in Delhi, use a local hashtag like #ArtistsofDelhi or #Delhiartgallery and something more location-specific so that you get the benefit of attracting local buyers’ attention.
Switch to a creator account to access more analytics tools and other features. You can also collaborate or participate in the events of various art pages to expand your reach and make your art visible to a wider group.
There are many more ways to grow your art business on Instagram, and for that, you have to initiate, experiment and figure out what works the best for you.
Pinterest is one of the fast-growing platforms having millions of users on-board. People are using Pinterest as a search engine indeed! I could find these days that when people are in search of some furniture design or Mehandi design or any type of visual search, they do it on Pinterest application rather than searching it on google. There are numerous pins available from people all across the globe.
When it has become such a popular search engine, you ought to upload the images of your artwork on this platform.
Sign up on Pinterest and start uploading your pins with proper titles and description. Unlike
Instagram, Pinterest does not tell you to add hashtags, but you can perform SEO on Pinterest as well by writing appropriate keyword-rich description. Do not forget to add the link of your online store or website on every pin so that visitors can conveniently make the purchase.
You can sign up for a business account on Pinterest so that you’ll be able to access the analytics.
You can also make your own boards and pin the best artworks of other Pinterest users too so that you get a better reach.
It is one of the best platforms to exhibit your art skills.
While on Instagram or Pinterest, you have to look after the packaging, shipping and payment, there are a few other marketplaces where selling of products are made more simple.
Etsy is one of the popular platforms to sell handmade goods, vintage products that are 20+ years old, art and craftworks. It is the best place to have your store of artworks. Millions of users trust Etsy and sell/buy products on this platform.
To sell your artworks, you can create an account on Etsy for free but once when you start listing your products, for the first product that you list out, you have to pay a meagre amount of $0.20 which is something around Rs.15 in Indian currency via Paypal or credit card.
You have the freedom to set the price of your product, and the listing will be active for four months or until the product gets sold.
Apart from the listing fee, you have to pay a 5% transaction fee on the selling price when someone purchases your product and also a standard Paypal payment processing fee.
Etsy also advertises your products across the web, and if someone purchases your product through those advertisements, you have to pay a 15% offsite ads fee too.
Though Etsy demands some listing fee, it provides good service accordingly. Etsy mobile app is available on the play store to make it easy to update the products and manage the orders.
Analytics are provided to check the traffic sources and the trends that can help grow your business. These features are available in the basic standard plan with no monthly charges other than the charges mentioned above.
But if you wish to enjoy a few more features like customizing your Etsy shop with banners and templates, inform the customers that your products are back in stock or redirect customers to your website; you’ll have to upgrade your account to Etsy Plus by paying $10/month.
It is one of the finest places to upgrade your hobby to a profession and become an entrepreneur with your own store.
We are quite familiar with this online marketplace and would have checked it at least once in life. There are several categories and numerous products available, ranging from stationery to grocery to clothing to furniture, including paintings and artworks.
Amazon encourages artworks and handmade products and runs separate campaigns for them like Amazon Karigar store.
While selling on Amazon, you don’t have to pay any charges until you make a sale. So if you’re a newbie and wish to test the waters of the online market for arts, Amazon can be a great place to start.
To sell on Amazon, you have to sign up on Amazon seller central. After signing up provide the details like which category would you sell your products in, your bank details and a few other details. You have to get approval from Amazon before you could begin to sell your artworks, as Amazon strictly mentions that you can only sell your original artworks.
For every product you sell, you have to pay a standard commission to Amazon, and the remaining amount gets safely deposited in your account. Needless to say about the kind of service Amazon offers, after all, it’s a widely trusted online marketplace.
If you wish to create a complete online store for your artworks including a website and a blog, Shopify could be the best place. Their tagline goes like ‘Take the steps to move from ambition to action’, and that’s exactly what you can do with Shopify.
It offers a 14 day free trial period where you just have to sign up, add your details like business name, address, contact information and start listing your products. You can sign up for this free trial without the need of sharing your credit card details. You can set up your store during the free trial and get a free myshopify.com domain name for your store but cannot launch your site or sell a product until you upgrade to any of the Shopify plans.
The basic plan starts with $29/month where you can launch your complete online store with a website and blog, list down unlimited physical/digital products and will be provided with a free SSL certificate. Along with that, you have to pay 2% transaction fees, and this transaction fee reduces to 1% when you upgrade to premium plans.
Another advantage of Shopify is that it provides inbuilt Facebook ads and email marketing features to market your products to the targeted audience and also have access to analytics which helps you grow your business well.
You can create a Google Smart Shopping campaign which will display your artworks/products to the interested users on mobile and desktop in Google search, youtube and google display networks. Shopify requires you to pay $29/month but the features that it offers are truly worth it if you wish to establish your brand in the market.
This is one of the leading and largest art galleries across the globe. It’s an exclusive art website to sell paintings, sculptures, photography, drawings, prints, collages and new media. Saatchi Art makes sales to customers in 80+ countries with 12M+montly page views.
To start with you have to create a free account on Saatchi art, take a photograph of your artwork (you can upload up to 5 different viewpoints of a particular artwork), upload it and complete your profile. You don’t have to pay any fees except that you have to pay for packaging of the artwork while selling it. The shipping is taken care of by Saatchi art, and you receive 65% payment on every product sold by either check, wire transfer or Paypal.
Apart from selling your artworks, there are many more exclusive features for the artists on this platform. Best artworks are curated by experts and promoted on Saatchi art’s social media pages and there are honours felicitated like Rising Stars, One To Watch, Inside The Studio, New This Week and Artist of the Day.
This is the best place for emerging artists to portray their best works and also learn about new art trends.
Big Cartel is a place for artists to open an online store and make a living off what they love to do.
You can sign up for free on Big Cartel without the need to share your credit card details. With the basic free plan, you can list up to 5 products with one image per product.
Free customizable themes and features like discounts and promos are also made available. You get real-time stats and shipment tracking options as well.
To list more than 5 and up to 50 products with more than one image of your product, you have to upgrade to platinum features by paying $9.99/month. Google Analytics comes with the platinum plan.
Fine Art America is a leading place to sell artworks of various types like wall arts, paintings, photographs, digital arts, canvas prints, acrylic prints and many more forms of art. An artist can create his/her online art portfolio, sell print-on-demand products and network with other artists on the platform. It also provides sales and marketing tools to establish one’s brand.
Sign up on Fine Art America, upload the images of your product, select the products that you wish to sell(i.e. offer your artworks for sale as prints, posters, greeting cards, mobile phone cases, throw pillows, duvet covers, shower curtains, towels, coffee mugs, tote bags, bags, carry-all pouches, and more), set the price of each print size, and begin selling.
The base price of a product is set by Fine Art America, and you can add a markup on top of that. The markup price is what you’ll be receiving on sale. One artwork of yours can be converted/replicated on so many products and you receive the royalty.
You can also sell your images as royalty-free and rights-managed digital downloads. On selling them, you keep 100% of your asking price, and Fine Art America adds a 30% markup on top of your selling price.
When a buyer places an order, Fine Art America will take care of everything including printing, framing, matting, stretching, packaging, shipping, insuring, processing credit cards, dealing with your customers, and sending you your profits each month.
You can also sell your original artwork without giving out any commission. If a buyer finds your artwork on Fine Art America and is interested in buying your original artwork, he/she can contact you via email from your profile, and directly place an order to you. In that case, you have to handle the packaging, shipping and collection of payments but you’ll receive 100% royalty in this form of a deal.
You can market your works on social media and have the facility of starting your blog. You can also participate in the various art contests organized on the platform. Most of the features are available in the free plan but you can only upload 25 images in this plan. To upload more, upgrade to the premium plans.
Society6 is an open, global community of artists and art lovers from around 160+ countries. This is another good platform for artworks and print-on-demand products.
To sell your artworks on Society6, you have to sign up, enter your details, choose your username/URL which cannot be changed later, write an artist bio, add a cover image and the profile is ready. You have to upload your Paypal account details and verify it which will incur a fee of $1.
Upload your artwork, add title, tags and description. A list of items is displayed on which your artworks can be printed like wall art, cushions and home décor to name a few. You can select the ones you wish to sell and then add a markup price just like it’s done in Fine Art America.
Storenvy is an online marketplace with perfect integration of social media features. If you consider any social media platform, a few common features we come across are likes, exposure and trends. Storenvy provides these features on its online marketplace making it a social network of buyers and sellers.
Sign up on Storenvy, complete your profile and add products. There are many features available in the free plan but if you wish to have a custom domain, super discounts and list more than 1000 products, you have to upgrade to a paid plan. It’s a cool place to open an online store and have fun while making sales.
If you're looking for a reliable Indian art marketplace, BestOfBharat could be a better choice. They have a customer base of 30 million shoppers worldwide.
Just sign up on the seller portal of BestOfBharat for free and upload your artworks. They will turn your artworks into products like wall prints, photographs, posters, wallpapers, cushion covers, etc. and when a buyer likes any of the products and purchases it, BestOfBharat will take care of the printing, shipping and processing the transactions. They also pay you a percentage of the sale.
Their pricing structure goes like,
Base Price + Your Royalty Percentage = Retail Price
Founded in 2005, it is the largest and most innovative art platform in the country. There are several artists, collectors, dealers, galleries and resellers on-board providing a great opportunity for the artists to exhibit their art and sell them.
Just sign up on Mojarto and fill out the application form, upload the images of your artworks and then start selling them.
By the way, I had mentioned about the artworks of my friends at the beginning of this post. So here I share a slideshow of a few of the best artworks of my friends.
These are just a few pictures but if you check out their Instagram art pages, you'll find some great and admirable pieces of artworks.
Your passion for art and creativity can skilfully scale up from being a side hustle to a full-time profession. With the Internet and social media, artists can become successful entrepreneurs. So all the passionate artists out there, board the plane of your passion and land into a beautiful profession that is exclusively waiting for you.