Artist Marketing - Selling Your Art on eBay
As an artist, you've probably already realized that the "creative" end of your
profession is handled. It's the "marketing" of your work that is the challenge!
In a previous article, I covered some of the key points of traditional Artist
Marketing through participating in Art Shows and Festivals. This article will
cover one online approach to marketing your work - Selling on Ebay.
As a venue for selling Art, ebay is a much debated issue. Some artists say that
ebay devalues an artist's work and that one should never sell their work on ebay.
This is certainly a valid opinion - a large percentage of ebay buyers are looking for bargains.
That being said, here is another way to look at it: selling work on ebay to
obtain exposure and advertising of one's work, along with making sales. Let's
face it, there is no way to get around the fact that MILLIONS of people visit
ebay everyday with the express intent of SHOPPING. It is unlikely that any other
online site for marketing artwork will generate that volume of traffic.
A few years ago, before many artists entered the ebay marketplace, competition
was light and making money on ebay a bit easier. Presently, ebay has grown to
the point where jumping in and making a living selling your art exclusively on
ebay would be challenging at best. If you can approach ebay as part of a
comprehensive marketing strategy, as opposed to "putting all of your eggs in one
basket," the ebay experience can be quite valuable.
As far as selling prices go, yes, often times ebay prices are below other
markets. If this bothers you, stop now - ebay may be a waste of your time.
However, if you don't mind having some pieces sell for less than average, the
ebay experience can simply mean well spent Advertising Dollars in addition to income.
And what about those customers who paid full price for your work? Business is
business. Your response, should they ask, can be that you dedicate a limited
number of pieces to auction for advertising purposes. (Countless artists have
donated their work to fundraisers, with zero input on the final selling price.)
If you are going to "protect" the value of your work, you have to market it.
The actual "how to" of listing items on ebay is quite simple, though time
consuming. There is no need for a "how to lesson" here, as every aspect of the
ebay selling process is explained through onsite links to additional information.
Any questions you have about fees, guidleines, etc. can be found right on ebay
with a little patience.
The "philosophy" of the approach is up to you. I will suggest some guidelines
for making ebay part of your over all marketing plan:
If you already have your own website, or plan to start one, great. Ebay can be
used as a method for getting people to your main site. While you can't advertise
your website on an auction page, you can mention your site in the "About Me"
section of your Seller Preferences.
Also, you can mention your site in correspondence email to anyone who contacts
you through ebay or wins one of your listed items.