With every passing year, more and more art is being sold online as opposed to standard settings. Even galleries themselves, traditionally a haven of in-person sales, are seeing more and more online business. In fact, some young galleries report that more than half their sales come online, meaning they’ve never met most of their collectors.
From high priced fine art to niche crafts, more and more art lovers are getting used to purchasing art online. The creative arts have seen a slower push than some industries with online sales, but that’s changed over the past five years. And many artists are skipping galleries all together, deciding to take their work directly online and skipping the middleman.
With a huge variety of options available for every genre of art, the choices can be overwhelming. We’ve decided to help narrow down the field, explaining the ins and outs of the best channels for selling art online. That way, you can sit back and focus on creating a great website and marketing your art for the world to see.
Don’t understand how to sell art online? Or where you should start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Now that you’ve got a great, stylish website, maybe you just want to skip third-party vendors all together and create your own online shop. Shopify is a great choice in creating your own eCommerce site, for its ease of use and flexibility. Designed correctly, customers won’t even be able to tell they are using Shopify, assuring a pleasing shopping experience. Ready to get started? Take a look at our handy, step-by-step guide on how to create a store on Shopify to sell your creative goods.
Aren’t ready to take the full plunge into eCommerce? There are plenty of options for selling your art online, from print-on-demand to high-end fine art sales.
Amazon? Yes, that’s right. In 2013, the online retail giant entered the fine art fray, opening a special Amazon Art section. They even have a selection of Guest Curators to bring a gallery feel to the digital market. In order to sell your art on Amazon, there is a pre-approval process. Note that only certain types of art are eligible. Original paintings, drawings, watercolors, and two-dimensional mixed media, as well as limited edition photography and prints are permitted. Unfortunately, sculptors will need to look elsewhere, as three-dimensional art is prohibited.
Selling crafts or other creative items instead? You can still sign up to become an Amazon seller in the relevant category to take advantage of Amazon’s incredible customer reach.
Since its inception in 2005, Etsy has been the go-to online marketplace for handcrafted and vintage items. Its motto “Shop for anything from from creative people anywhere,” sums it up. A budding fashion designer looking to easily sell clothing online? An artisan making handcrafted furniture or sculptural jewelry? This is the place for you. Etsy charges a nominal listing and transaction fee, but makes it a breeze to open your own shop.
They also provide a huge number of resources to their sellers, from handbooks on branding and marketing to practical information on taking the stress out of bookkeeping. There’s definitely a reason that the site has over 1 million active sellers.
Many artists find success with eBay with no restrictions on the medium. A quick look at eBay’s art category shows the wealth of what’s available. In the business since 1995, eBay is a trusted name in online sales and provides a huge amount of support to their sellers. Their How to Sell Art guide is a step-by-step look at what artists can do to make sure they are displaying their artwork in the best light, giving it a better chance to sell.
Looking to sell art reproductions or get your creativity printed on a wide variety of products? Society6 makes it extremely easy for you to upload artwork and photography and make them available as everything from art prints to iPhone cases. As the artist, you retain all rights to your artwork and Society6 takes care of all order fulfillment, meaning you don’t have to worry about any packaging or shipping. They even allow you to set your own royalty agreement on art prints and stretched canvases, with set fees in place for the other items they have for sale. If you want something quick and easy or ever dreamed of seeing your illustrations on apparel and home goods, Society6 is the way to go.
Zazzle is the best of both worlds, giving you the option to become a maker (to sell products) or a designer (to sell art). Artists, graphic designers, and photographers simply upload their artwork, making it available to print on demand, either as a piece of wall art or on a variety of products. Setting up a shop is free and you are able to set your own royalty percentage in order to earn what you please. Zazzle takes care of the rest.
Founded in Australia in 2006, Redbubble is another print-on-demand service that allows artists to upload artwork to be printed on a huge variety of products, as well as reproduction prints. Redbubble allows artists to set their own profit margins, meaning you can organize your earnings as you like. From stationery and stickers to women’s apparel, and with in-depth traffic analytics for your shop, Redbubble is a fantastic option for artists seeking a print-on-demand partner.