Whether you’re an artist or small business owner (or both!), it’s crucial to market yourself and your brand effectively. Thanks to the widespread availability of the Internet, selling your art online is easier and more profitable than ever.
There are many places on the Internet to sell art, be it on marketplaces or your own website. However, choosing the right platform can be tricky. It’s important to know what you are getting into.
In this article, we’ll share popular websites to sell art online and compare the benefits of selling on marketplaces compared to social media or your own website. Read on to learn more about the best places to sell art online.
How To Make Money By Selling Your Art Online
Selling art online can be challenging due to high competition in the marketplace. However, the uniqueness and relevance of your artwork are crucial factors that can help you make more money.
If you’re looking for the right platform to showcase your art, you should consider whether the platform aligns with your art style. Pay attention to the ones that catch your eye. Each platform is unique and works differently. It’s important to do your research and choose the one that you believe will help you succeed.
It’s important to read and understand the terms and conditions of each platform you use. This will help you understand their fees, what’s expected of you, and what’s permissible. For example, some platforms require original content, while others are more lenient. Some platforms may also charge high commission fees. It’s important to carefully read the paperwork to determine if the fees are reasonable or not.
You also want to make sure showcasing your products is easy. Most platforms follow a similar approach, starting with uploading your artwork, setting a price, and providing a description. However, the availability and usability of tools will depend on the platform.
When using online platforms, don’t expect people to start buying from you right away. You need to establish a strong brand and marketing technique. Just because buyers are around doesn’t mean you’ll make sales right away. You have to figure out how to make potential customers seek out your service.
Learn more: 30 Ways to Make Your First Sale Online
Selling Your Art on Marketplaces
Marketplaces are one of the easiest and most popular places to sell art online. Sites like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon Handmade allow you to list your artwork for sale quickly and seemlessly. They are usually
However, marketplaces usually charge a commission and/or listing fee, which can reduce your profit margins. Comparing the costs of marketplaces is a good place to start when considering this option for your artwork.
You can also sell your artwork on specialist art marketplaces, such as Artfinder, Saatchi Art, and Artsy. If you’re a professional artist, these curated marketplaces can be an excellent way to gain exposure to an audience of art buyers. Keep in mind that these sites have a strict curation process and you have to apply to become a seller.
But if you are accepted to join specialist art marketplaces, they are incredible for your career. They offer
In order to fully understand all your options, let’s look into the most common marketplaces for selling art online.
eBay is known as an auction website where buyers can get anything they want. It is an excellent platform for artists who have an existing sales strategy and would like to add eBay as another sales channel.
eBay has a section dedicated to art called eBay Art. It includes photographs, drawings, prints, paintings, sculptures, posters, and NFTs. It’s easy to list your work. Plus, you can increase the reach of your art by selling digital downloadables.
You can also list your art pieces on eBay as auction items with a minimum price requirement. To sell quickly, you can include a Buy now price tag. eBay has comprehensive policies regarding artwork, allowing artists lawful sales of their original artwork, among other benefits. And if you have a standalone store on an ecommerce site, you can link your store to eBay to boost sales.
Unfortunately, eBay can have complicated fees and the reputation of its sellers is not always spotless. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of any marketing platform, including its reputability and cost.
However, auctioning could lead to selling your art at a higher price than even you expected. That, along with the ease of joining the platform and the vast audience on eBay, makes using the platform highly beneficial. Worth consideration, for sure.
Etsy remains the
One advantage to selling your art on Etsy is that you have the audience and market wanting handmade
You also should get familiar with the fee structure before you open an Etsy shop. Check out their plans and pick a suitable one as you compare costs. Etsy is typically set up to connect you and other artists with existing and willing buyers. The limited design tools, crowded selling field, and numerous fees (even if you don’t make any sales) are definitely some drawbacks to Etsy.
Learn more: A Beginner’s Guide to Selling on Etsy
Fine Art America
Fine Art America is one of the largest digital marketplaces for art across the globe. Fine Art America boasts of a global audience,
Fine Art America has a lot of useful features, from helping with marketing to setting you up with canvases to print your art on. They have both free and premium memberships, both of which are good options for artists.
Amazon has a section on its website solely for online sellers of homemade art. Amazon Handmade is an excellent option that anyone can apply for, as long as they are selling unique and original pieces.
However, before you get started, you do need to be approved by the platform. Amazon Handmade verifies sellers and not everyone will be approved. In some cases, people have to wait for a while before they get approved.
The good news is there are no hidden fees when you sell your art on
Society6 is a
Society6 is a popular place to sell your art online. They take care of tasks like printing, shipping, and fulfillment.
However, they may not be the most lucrative platform to sell your art. When you sell on Society6, you only make 10% on your sale as an artist. They do offer numerous ways to drive up your revenue, like setting higher markups for your prints, canvas prints, and art prints. They also have an affiliate program to help.
Selling Art on Your Website
Another good option is to sell your art through your own website. The advantage of selling your art online through your ecommerce store is that you are the owner, so you are the one who makes the profit. You control the branding, layout, and customer experience.
With certain ecommerce platforms, you can also integrate your website with various payment gateways, marketplaces, and shipping vendors, giving you more control and your customers more options.
With your own website, you don’t have to pay commission fees to anyone else. You get to keep 100% of the profits. However, making sales is your responsibility, as are
Operating your ecommerce store has immense rewards. You have the opportunity to create your brand, promote your art the way you like, and control the pricing accordingly.
Even though you have to handle shipping, returns, and marketing, selling on your website gives you much more freedom and control over your brand and artwork. If you want the control and don’t mind the
Selling Art on Social Media
Selling on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest can be another option for artists. Social media is a powerful platform for promotion and engagement with potential customers. By building your social media following and showcasing your art, you can generate interest and attract new customers.
You can also join artist groups and communities on social media to connect with other artists and art collectors.
However, social media sites are not designed to sell art. Payment processing may not be as streamlined as on websites or marketplaces. Some platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow setting up a shop within your account, but the functionality isn’t available to all countries and requires approval.
Can You Do It All?
As you can see, there are tons of options for selling your art online. Depending on your goals and needs, you can choose from marketplaces, a website, and/or social media. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. As such, it’s important to carefully consider your needs before making a decision.
Let’s summarize the main advantages and disadvantages of selling art on marketplaces:
- Pro: Most platforms make it easy to list artwork. No need to be
- Pro: Have an established customer base that you can tap into.
- Pro: Payment processing is taken care of by the marketplace. If you’re working with a
print-on-demandservice, they take care of shipping and handling, too.
- Con: High competition. Thousands of other artists also list their work on a marketplace.
- Con: High commission or listing fees, which reduces your profit margins.
- Con: Need to apply and get approved in order to become a seller on curated marketplaces.
- Con: Less control, as your branding and products may be limited by the marketplace’s policies.
Now, let’s go over the pros and cons of selling on your own website:
- Pro: You control
everything—pricing,website layout, and customer experience, including available shipping and payment options.
- Pro: You keep profits without paying commission fees to anyone else.
- Pro: You create your own brand and promote your art as you like.
- Con: You’re responsible for handling
pre-and post-salesactivities, such as shipping & returns.
- Con: You need to handle marketing to generate traffic on the site.
As for selling your art on social media, it has its specifics, too:
- Pro: You can easily promote your artwork by posting images and videos of your art, work process, inspiration, and more.
- Pro: You can connect and engage with potential customers and other artists.
- Con: Limited buying and payment processing features compared to websites or marketplaces.
- Con: Not designed for selling art, so the buying interest might be lower.
If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend setting up your website first. You can build your brand, showcase and sell your artwork, and gain full control over the process. A professional website is also a sign of a trustworthy seller for potential buyers. It can help you attract more customers. Once your website is established and running smoothly, then you expand your reach to marketplaces or social media.
You can take selling art online to an entirely new level by setting up your online store with Ecwid by Lightspeed. Not only can you set up an ecommerce website, but you can also connect your online store to marketplaces and social media to promote and advertise your artwork. This way, you get all the benefits of selling on multiple platforms while retaining control over your brand and artwork.
Moreover, when selling online with Ecwid, you can leverage Instagram and Facebook Shops. This way, your followers will be able to buy your artwork right from your Instagram or Facebook posts, reels, stories, etc., turning your social media profile into a sales channel and simplifying the shopping process for your customers.
Ecwid also provides you with various tools for marketing, such as email marketing, paid advertising tools, various deals, and promotions.
Take Betsy Enzensberger, for example. She’s a renowned pop artist and owner of a successful online business. She uses Ecwid to sell her artwork on her website, Facebook Shop, Instagram Shop, and Google Shopping. She does her marketing with Ecwid, too, leveraging
Read Betsy Enzensberger’s success story to learn a few lessons from an established artist and business owner:
Whether you’re a professional artist or
Social media is great for building a following but shouldn’t be your only avenue for revenue. Marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon Handmade are relatively easy to start with, but come with less control and higher costs. While selling on your own website requires more work, it gives you more control over the sales process.
Ultimately, the best place to sell your art online will depend on your individual needs and preferences. By leveraging multiple platforms, social media, and targeted marketing, you can create a sustainable online presence and connect with a loyal audience of art buyers.