Monday, May 04, 2009

Selling Your Art Online: Opening a Store

Once you have all your images ready, you've started a blog and you've made yourself available, it is time to start branching out. Your little blog is just a tiny corner of the universe and it would serve you well to get your name out in a variety of places.

One such place could be opening a store on an artisan site like Etsy, or via Ebay. There are countless other options available out there, some cheaper some more prestigious - do your research and find a place where art of the same caliber of yours is getting prices that you deem to be reasonable (just make sure it is actually selling as opposed to just waiting to be sold - you can usually check this by looking at the seller's feedback)

Most places will let you set up a store for free (etsy) or for a monthly fee (ebay). You then get charged for each listing that you put in your store.

A listing is made up of an image, a description, your selling terms (payment within ____ days, ____ type of payment accepted, returns allowed/not allowed etc) and your shipping information (will ship internationally, using ______ method, _______ amount for each area)

You can look at how other people set up their listings on the site and tailor your set up to be similar (without copying word for word). Use the same logic that you have for your blog - write up clear listings and be upfront about what your customer is paying for.

Some things to avoid doing:

Multicoloured text - it can really drain your eyes to navigate through a long listing. It may look a little too gaudy to someone who really wants to purchase your art.
varying sizes. Or UsiNG OdD CapiTaliZaysHon OR sPELLinGz.
Also avoid centering everything - this is a listing,
not a wedding invitation. (haha)

LISTING ALL OF THE THINGS THAT A BUYER EVER DID TO PULL ONE OVER ON YOU IN BOLD ALL CAPS LOCK JUST LIKE THIS. I WILL NOT SHIP BEFORE THURSDAY EACH WEEK. GAS COSTS A LOT OF MONEY THESE DAYS SO I WILL ONLY MAKE ONE TRIP TO THE POST OFFICE. YOUR PICTURE WILL ARRIVE SAFELY SHOULD BE ON TIME. SHOULD IT ARRIVE LATE AND DAMAGED TAKE IT UP WITH THE POST OFFICE - THEY WERE THE ONES WHO WRECKED IT.

Once you have your pieces listed - be prepared to log in occasionally and respond to any convos (conversations) or messages that people send you - it is really important to not turn those email notifications off, your customer doesn't want to wait a week for you to realize they had a burning desire to purchase your art.

Pay your bill in a timely manner - nothing is worse than getting into arrears and having your account closed and your listings pulled! You can usually set up an automatic payment plan, just make sure to check your charges over to make sure things are all okay.

Once you sell a piece, you will be charged a FVF (Final Value Fee) or Sales Fee - usually it is around 3.5% to 7% (much cheaper than the 30%- 60% gallery cut!) and will be calculated automatically. Keep that fee in mind when you set your prices so that you do undercut your profits to account for these little additions. They are the price of doing business on a larger site with way more traffic than your blog!

No comments: