The first place you will want to market your art is get started with eBay.
The reason you want to start out on eBay is to get your artwork in a place that is free to get started. This is a great place to begin to get people to recognize your artwork. Also you will create a personal connection to your customer base, most of you customers will also be Mormon too so your interactions with them should be positive. This will help you get your art out to the right people.
What You Will Need
- A high quality picture of your art in JPG format or PNG
- Multiple quantities of your art ready to sell
- An eBay account and a PayPal account
- Good attitude
How to Start
You just have to go to eBay.com and click the sell button in the upper right hand corner. That will then take you to where you can begin filling out the information.
The category that my art is currently listed in is "Art > Art from Dealers & Resellers > Prints" however, the categories for eBay have a lot to be desired. Look through the categories as they change often and try to find the one that best suits you. Also remember to look at the art from the other artists to see if they have similar art to your art.
The title is the most important part of your eBay listing for your artwork. The title is what people actually search from so you will want to include words like, "Jesus Christ Print" or "Missionary Gift" or other words that people may be searching for. If your title was "Savior Print" and someone searched for "Savior Painting" you would not show up. We need to make sure that our titles have every possible way that someone might find your print. We will be getting into keyword research in another post, however at this point just do your best to come up with words you would use to search for your own artwork. Use all 80 characters if possible when creating your titles.
No Auction Format
When you begin marketing your artwork, listing an auction is a big mistake, because it usually does not turn out the way that you will want it to turn out. If you start the bidding too low you will loose money too high and it won't sell somewhere in the middle and you still get low prices.
I recommend that you start all your listings as a fixed price. Usually artwork sells like this:
- Larger than 11x14 - 39.99 and up
- 11x14 - 14.95 - 29.95
- 8x10 - 12.95 - 24.95
The cost of an eBay listing is 13.5% (10% for eBay and 3.5% PayPal) of the total value of the sale so if your print costs $1.00 to make the print, then and you sell it for $19.95 then you final profits would look something like this
- Final price $19.95 (Free Shipping)
- -$1.00 - Printing costs
- -$19.95*(0.135) = -2.69 (eBay Fees)
- -$5.75 for shipping (on average)
Final profit = $10.24 (Approximate)
Which does not sound like much but actually is a pretty good profit margin. You are actually making more than you would if sold them to an LDS bookstore. Your prints will be way more valuable than your baseball card collection you thought would allow you to retire. When you sell multiple quantities you will make even more and save money on the shipping. For a more accurate calculator you can use http://www.salecalc.com
Free Shipping and What Service?
You should always offer free shipping, just make sure that your shipping costs in general are covered in the final price. Free shipping will set you apart from others who are charging more. You can decide which shipping service to use, if you use First Class you will pay less than $3 per shipment, if you use Priority Mail you will generally be charged $5.75 - $9 depending on location.
I use flat rate envelopes for the 8x10 and smaller then I ship Priority Mail. Although I am losing a bit using priority mail, the mail is better handled and there is better tracking. For 11x14 I use the mili-pac mailers from USPS and pay a little more. Anything larger than 11x14, I use tubes which can also eat into your profit but not terrible they cost $0.75 - $1.00 a tube, when you have to tube something you should be making enough in profits to cover the tubes because the prints are worth more.
When you use eBay to ship your customer will automatically get tracking if available. You can print shipping labels on your own computer and printer and then tape them to the package. I recommend dropping them of at your post office or having the mailman come to your door to pick them up.
It has been proven that a listing will sell better if it has more than one picture. Consider doing something like the following with your artwork.
You will notice that below the image has different close ups. This is where photo editing skills come in handy. This will help your customers make a more educated decision about the print. You may want to consider taking a picture of the print with the cardboard backing and the plastic sleeves.
You need to remember that eBay is not the end game it is just a way to get your name out there. As an artist you have to start somewhere to market your art. This will give you a personal connection to your customer base and allow you art to get out to people quickly and the method is free minus the eBay fees. You have a great talent don't let anybody tell you that you can't do this.