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17 Ways for Artists to Sell Their Creative Work Online

How to Sell Art Online

Photo: Stock Photos from A. and I. Kruk/Shutterstock
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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 altogether, 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. Scroll down for our suggestions of places to list your artwork.

Yes, you can make money selling art online! Here are some of the best places to virtually sell your art.

Fine Art America Online Art Sales

Fine Art America

Fine Art America is the world's largest online art marketplace and print-on-demand technology company. They've been helping artists sell wall art, tapestries, home decor, apparel, and other products since 2006 and are home to hundreds of thousands of artists, photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, and global brands.

With just a few clicks, artists can upload their images to FineArtAmerica.com, set their prices for hundreds of different print-on-demand products, and then instantly sell those products to a global audience of online, mobile, and real-world buyers. Fine Art America fulfills each order on behalf of the artists. Each product is manufactured at one of FAA's 16 global production facilities and delivered “ready-to-hang” with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

In addition to providing an online marketplace, Fine Art America provides artists and photographers with sales and marketing tools to help simplify and accelerate their careers. These tools allow artists to set up branded web stores, sell prints through Shopify, create e-newsletters, sell through augmented reality, and more.

Amazon

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 a seller on Amazon Handmade, which specializes in makers and supports individual creators by giving them access to Amazon's Professional selling plan, free of charge.

How to Sell Art Online

Etsy

Since its inception in 2005, Etsy has been the go-to online marketplace for handcrafted and vintage items. Its motto “Shop for anything 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.

If you're looking advice on how to succeed on Etsy, check out our interview with successful shop owners.

 

Storenvy

Like Etsy, Storenvy is an online marketplace where emerging brands can launch a custom store in just minutes. Whether you're a fine artist, jewelry designer, furniture maker, or even budding musician, there is a place for everyone here. It's free to set up an online store, and there are two ways to sell: you can either list your products in a marketplace and get access to millions of shoppers or build a professional store that looks like your own business (similar to a Shopify store). In addition, there are paid monthly plans that give you access to helpful e-commerce tools like automated discounts and social media blasts.

 

eBay

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 guides offer 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.

 

Minted

Photographers, illustrators, and graphic designers will want to check out Minted, which is a top resource for wedding invitations, custom Christmas cards, and much more. Artists are selected via Design Competitions, which are voted on by the public. In addition to receiving their own Minted storefront, winner can win a cash prize and earn commission on their designs.

 

How to Sell Art Online

Society6

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.

 

CASETiFY

Want your artwork to be on the things people use every day? CASETiFY is making it easy for you to reach consumers by customizing tech accessories like cell phone cases and Apple Watch bands. Simply upload your artwork and decide which designs you'll want on their products. Once you make a sale, CASETiFY produces it, packages it, and ships it on your behalf. You retain the rights to your work and earn a profit on every case sold.

 

Zazzle

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.

 

Redbubble

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.

 

How to Sell Art Online

Artfinder

Based in London and Miami, Artfinder has a mix of UK, American, and global artists. In order to join, there is a selection process. Artists are asked to submit their best work and a short statement to be reviewed. Once accepted, it's as easy as setting up your free storefront. Artfinder takes a 33% to 40% commission on sales. Artfinder only allows original artwork—no posters or reproduction prints—and focuses on painting, photography, digital art, collage, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking.

 

Artplode

Don't want to give up a commission on your art? Artplode may be for you. Launched in 2014, the site works with artists, galleries, dealers, and collectors and specializes in original art and limited edition prints and photographs. Instead of taking a commission when an artwork is sold, Artplode simply asks a flat listing fee for each piece. For an additional fee, they can even set you up with art consultants who can help you market your art to the right collectors and assist in pricing. Artists are also able to decide if they'd like to absorb the cost of shipping or pass the cost directly on to the buyer.

 

UGallery

UGallery believes that browsing their online selection of art should be akin to spending a leisurely afternoon visiting your local galleries IRL. Founded in 2006, they take their curation seriously and want to avoid the internet's seemingly endless outlets for artwork. Instead, they pick each artist and every piece they exhibit, making all artwork exclusive to UGallery. They encourage emerging and mid-career artists to apply to show their pieces. If selected, anything sold will be split 50/50, and the artist ships the work in a custom box (provided by UGallery) from their studio.

 

How to Sell Art Online

Saatchi Art

When looking for a place to sell your art online, having one of the most respected names in the business on your side isn't a bad idea. Saatchi Art was founded by Charles Saatchi's company, and though sold in 2014, still carries the prestigious name. Artists are able to set up a free shop for their original artwork, with pieces ranging from under $500 to over $10,000. The site takes a 35% commission from sales but arranges the shipping and even sends a courier to pick up the artwork—you just need to package it. In exchange, artists are offered exposure to Saatchi's huge audience, which includes over 1.1 million social media followers and a printed catalog that goes out to over 1 million households.

 

Want to take the full plunge into e-commerce? We've got just the solution.

Sell Art on Shopify

Shopify

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.

If you are represented by a gallery, check and see if they are taking advantage of online sales.

 

Artnet

Artnet has leveraged partnerships with major auction houses and galleries, combined with news and event listings, to become a point of reference for contemporary art collectors. Working as an online display case for galleries, artists represented by partner galleries can request that galleries place their work on Artnet. Their work will be viewable via the gallery's listing or the artist listing that shows news, events, auction results, and artwork available.

 

Artsy

“Artsy’s mission is to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.” Like Artnet, Artsy isn't open to individual artists but is worth looking into seeing if your gallery is open to listing your artwork on the site. The venture-funded online gallery caters to the contemporary art world, with live auction bidding, information about art fairs and exhibitions, as well as gallery listings.

Partner galleries are able to list artwork by their represented artists, showcasing their work to a wide audience of potential collectors.

 

This article has been edited and updated.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.

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