eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Artfire – Where should you be selling modern art?

eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Artfire – Where should you be selling modern art?

PLUS: Find a product, offer it to a hungry crowd and quickly grow your fortune online

PLUS: Waking up to what your eBay bidders really want!

Like many people, I do most of my online selling on eBay; I rarely sell my products anywhere else. That applies to antiques and collectibles, as well as more recent creations usually sourced direct from their makers.

That means I occasionally sell other people’s artwork on eBay – usually artists I’ve met at art and craft fairs and some I’ve seen exhibiting their work in local art galleries, restaurants and numerous other locations.

eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Artfire – Where should you be selling modern art?

Most of these artists are good at creating and naff at selling and that’s why you see other businesses displaying artists’ work for a share of the profits on every sale.

As an example, two of the major auction houses I visit on a monthly basis display local artists’ work in their foyers and restaurants and you’ll always find the artist’s name featured alongside the price for the item.

I always make a note of artists’ names for artwork I think I may be able to sell on eBay. Back at home I research those artists’ names on Google and usually find contact details, allowing me to write or telephone or sometimes email my offer to sell the individual’s work on eBay.

But given a chance conversation with an art dealer at an auction last week, I’ve decided to try other marketplaces alongside eBay to earn 10% or 20% of the prices of paintings priced in hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds.

That person told me she sells other people’s art online, not just on eBay, but also from her own website and on numerous other Internet sites.

Because I also want the widest market possible for other people’s high-priced artwork, I set about researching those sites, notably eBay and Amazon, Etsy and Artfire, and others you’ll read about now.

This is part of what I discovered:

* eBay is a great place to sell modern-day art, as long as you don’t expect to make much money from it. That’s because so many good artists, also very bad artists, list their work on eBay, and that usually means good artwork gets lost in the crowd.

That also means work that’s taken days or weeks to create might fetch little more, or maybe less than another person whose ‘art’ was knocked up on the kitchen table in the time it took the kids to eat breakfast and the washing up to begin. That’s why I think people making the most money selling original modern art on eBay are promoting inexpensive items or limited edition prints of better creations.

* Amazon, Etsy and Artfire – and many other places to promote artwork online – lack the ‘flea market’ perception some people associate (wrongly) with eBay and which stems from eBay’s early image as a place to sell cheap wholesale goods and unwanted household items, not rare art and collectibles.

This means if your item’s a copy or an original piece of art, you could – and should – promote it on hundreds of different Internet marketplaces, earning small profits from each and high profits combined.

* At most online locations selling other people’s artwork, I discovered a thriving marketplace for prints created on canvas, especially larger items. These items sell well at £20 or £30 pounds each, sometimes much more, notably on eBay and Amazon.

Check out the scope for selling canvas prints on eBay by choosing main category ‘Art’ and sub-category ‘Canvas / Giclee Prints’.

For Amazon sales go to their home page, then key ‘art’ into the ‘Kitchen & Home’ category top of the screen to see dozens of stunning canvas based artistic creations.

Most other sites of the kind you’ll read about later have their own best-sellers page from which to do your research.

Study a few top sellers on various sites and make a note of how many items they have listed and how often they list new items for sale. Lots of items and frequent new stock is a sign of a good and thriving marketplace.

* It’s a very good idea to have a website independent of places like eBay or Amazon, Etsy or Artfire, or numerous other online marketplaces. The idea is to feature goods your past customers can purchase – without you having to pay hefty fees to those other sites.

That separate site or blog is also a good place to offer a newsletter to keep past and future buyers updated on items you are currently selling on eBay, Amazon, and elsewhere.

* At most sites in the downloadable list mentioned later you can open shops dedicated to selling art, old and modern, new and second hand, your own or belonging to other people.

* Spend time studying other people’s shops before starting your own. Learn what you can from those sellers and that way you won’t have to work so hard at creating your earliest listings or marketing your products.

* Create keyword-rich write ups about your chosen artists and their work, then expect search engines like Google to pick up your shop in search engine returns and send lots of lovely, big spending traffic your way – completely free of charge!

Try this site for links to 100+ sites for you to sell original artwork – your own or other people’s: http://www.artsyshark.com/125-places-to-sell/.

Find a product, offer it to a hungry crowd and quickly grow your fortune online

To make the most money possible online, you need to find products that will not only interest your target audience and tempt them to purchase right away or to join your mailing list, but which also provide high earnings for you and have potential for follow up sales.

So, generally speaking, the more expensive the product and the more profit you earn per sale, as well as its potential for generating back-end sales, then usually the more money you will ultimately make.

Let me give you a few tips that will help you choose quality products with high prices and confirmed selling potential resulting in good profits for you…

* Go for products that interest you as a buyer or enthusiast. It’s a well-known fact that selling products and services for which you are an actual or potential customer yourself benefits you as a seller, both increasing your own enthusiasm in the product and helping you pass that enthusiasm to others.

For me, I love dogs, and my happiest working days involve selling products for dogs and their two-legged family and friends. I would hate to sell anything connected with travel, because I hate travelling, and I’d run a mile before packing my eBay shop with make-up from firms known to test their products extensively on animals.

* Choose niche markets over general markets, because niche markets comprise people known to be close to 100% interested in most products and services related to their shared interest, making them highly responsive and regular buyers. Niche market examples are: guitar players, chess enthusiasts, lovers of the world’s most beautiful dogs (boxer dogs), and autograph collectors.

* Choose products with considerable back-end sales potential. As an example, you might easily find hundreds of buyers for ebooks showing how to cure warts or sexually transmitted diseases, but once the problem is cured, those buyers are unlikely to want further products on the same subject.

Compare this to business opportunity seekers and dieters, for example, many of whom buy every new book promising to make a quick fortune or help them lose weight fast.

* Check products are legal and acceptable in all your target areas. For example, gambling and alcohol are illegal in some countries and advertising is subject to more stringent rules and regulations in some parts of the world, and so on. So advertising material which is entirely suited to say, the British or American market, might well be banned in another country, or vice versa.

Waking up to what your eBay bidders really want!

Have you ever wondered what potential buyers for your product are doing minutes before your auctions end?

Are they sitting, fingers on keyboard, waiting to place a last-second bid on your product? Or are they at work, on the bus home perhaps, or fast asleep? And what does this matter to your eBay business anyway?

The fact is, eBay is a global trading site, and that means while you are uploading your product listings, around half the world’s population is getting ready for bed or has been fast asleep for several hours, with no intention of placing last-minute bids with you!

And that also means if your product is aimed at, for example, the Australian market, you should know that late evening in the UK is the middle of the night down under or early morning somewhere else – and not a good time for your auctions to end seven days later!

But you no longer have to guess who’s awake and who’s fast asleep, because you can check the current time in most major cities across the world at: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/.

That means when it’s 11.05 in the UK, it’s 14.05 in Addis Ababa, 12.05 in Paris, 19.05 in Kuala Lumpur, and 22.05 in Sydney, Australia.

Notice the world clock uses the 24-hour system, so you’ll never have to worry if 11.55 means just before midnight or close to midday.

Now, when you upload a product that might interest one country’s buyers more than another, you simply check the current time in that other country and decide whether to schedule your auction starting time, and consequently ending time too, to begin sooner or later than the current UK time.

You’ll find eBay’s scheduling button on the ‘Create Your Listing’ page, and you can list up to three weeks in advance of your listing going live, as well as picking the exact hour and minute your listings go up and end online.

Scheduling typically costs 5p per listing and can add £££s to your auction finishing prices!

This article first appeared on Auction Genie. Read more and comment here