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View Full Version : Life beyond Ebay?


debmorbeto
12-23-2003, 09:33 PM
I have been listing and selling paintings on Ebay (at the encouragement of another Wet Canvas member) for about four months now. I am wondering....as I surf through scores of art web sites that claim to be 'the one and only new way to sell art online'...........which is really on the up and up. Some are pay sites. Some are free. There are so many! I wouldn't mind continuing to my online marketing by listing myself and displaying my work at one of these sites but wondered if anyone had any information about any that are realy doing well. That were worth the time and money. I already have my own site but feel networking is essential. Is there a 'be all and end all online gallery'? Or a network of online artists/galleries that I should be aware of? Thanks in advance!

Deb M.
www.thedebweb.com

ElizaLeahy
12-24-2003, 01:23 AM
Unfortunately eBay has no serious competition.

nanabanana
12-24-2003, 03:22 AM
Nope: ebay's the biggest, all other auction sites can't even compete, how so? my experience is this on ebay every week I sell something but on other sites such as yahoo auctions or amazon.com auction my work doesn't sell or if it does it's rare and in the mean time my inventory is just sitting. :)

You have to promote your own site in addition to ebay, it's not build website and visitors will come by the thousands. i have clients who found me thru ebay and others from my website. Join some artists groups / directories free of course: Click on http://www.artzbox.com to see a list of these. I can't remember which ones off hand .. kinda late on this end now.

I visited your website and have a few comments:
your webdesign is excellent, paintings are talented. However
You need to add, metatags, keywords, and description for each and every page. those are for search engines to see, search engines are sort of like blindmen reading braille they can't "see" your beautiful images. You also need to add alt tags or otherwise known as "description of your picture" if using frontpage just right click o image and it allows you that option. For more info on how to optimize your webpage for search engines visit: www.webmonkey.com

SECURITY ISSUE:
Did you want your "site meter" aka web stats be open to the public? I went to your art section and clicked on blank button on lower left hand side only to be suprised by my access to your web statistic info. Talk to your hosting company about secured access or switch companies, because this is private info and shouldn't be openly advailable. mine for example is password protected and it's in a secured link aka it's not indexable by any websearch engine. my hosting company is www.readyhosting.com

Site traffic:
Your site is only found on the "internet" 2 times....that's no good if because if you're presense isn't on internet potential clients can't find you. I used this link to see how many times was your site linked to. http://www.marketleap.com/publinkpop/?source=index

When finished with adding keywords and description to your pages you should submit to all major search engines. NOTE: do this manually, as each web directory / engine has specific requirments. Which ones? www.google.com, yahoo.com, looksmart.com, hotbot.com, webcrawler.com.

LINKS page needed
contact other websites similar to yours and ask for a link exchange, I understand you probably don't want to promote another artists work. So just make sure your links page is accessible from mainpage just not the first thing people see. ..I make mine as the last link on bottom. ONly link with quality sites as in are they similar to yours in topic, do they have good content etc. Because visitors do make judgments if they click on one of your "outgoing links" and it sends them to another website with a billion popups and crashes thier computers .. well you get the idea. Stay away from link farms or page with nothing but affiliate links as some search engines may penalize or even bann your site because of it.

Take a look at my website www.artzbox.com for an example of my suggestions. I follow all my own advices :)

happy holidays!

tmcclary
12-24-2003, 03:34 AM
I try to set up portfolios on the free sites (as long as they are really free). I have no expectations of EVER selling anything off of them. I usually forget they even exist as soon as I set them up. The more different places I am listed the more likely someone is to find their way to my website. I sell most of my work directly from my website. I got my largest commssion ever yesterday from someone that found me by searching Google. I do belong to EBSQ. They charge a small monthly fee to be a member. I was just juried into EBSQ Plus which was nice. I have been trying for ages to get my website on the first page of google using my last name (McClary) as the search term. Now my EBSQ portfolio comes up on the first page. I try look at Ebay as another marketing tool. Even when my ebay sales suck, I usually get inquiries about work someone has seen on my website. I also get repeat buyers from ebay. They buy their first at an auction, then buy direct for more.

Beyond Ebay, your website should be your most important marketing tool if you are focusing on online marketing...IMHO. It must look professional, both from an artistic and business standpoint. Yours is well on the way. The orange page is very hard to look at, and throws off the consitency. I know there is always debate here about whether a website should have a dark or light background. I think it depends on the artist's personal style. A black one works for me, but some people hate it. What is important is consistency. A potential buyer does not want to feel like they are on a different site everytime they go to a new page. Also you need some biographical information and sizes on your paintings. If you are going to list pieces for $2000, then potential buyers need to know why you can charge that much and what they are looking at. Also, you should keep the images you use in your closed ebay auctions on your server until the auctions are no longer accesible on ebay. You would be surprised at how many people go back and look at your closed auctions.

I am by no means an expert:) All opinions expressed are meant to be helpful:)

Alan Cross
12-26-2003, 08:33 PM
Originally posted by nivinne
Nope: ebay's the biggest, all other auction sites can't even compete, how so? my experience is this on ebay every week I sell something but on other sites such as yahoo auctions or amazon.com auction my work doesn't sell or if it does it's rare and in the mean time my inventory is just sitting. :)

You have to promote your own site in addition to ebay, it's not build website and visitors will come by the thousands. i have clients who found me thru ebay and others from my website. Join some artists groups / directories free of course: Click on http://www.artzbox.com->links to see a list of these. I can't remember which ones off hand .. kinda late on this end now.

I visited your website and have a few comments:
your webdesign is excellent, paintings are talented. However
You need to add, metatags, keywords, and description for each and every page. those are for search engines to see, search engines are sort of like blindmen reading braille they can't "see" your beautiful images. You also need to add alt tags or otherwise known as "description of your picture" if using frontpage just right click o image and it allows you that option. For more info on how to optimize your webpage for search engines visit: www.webmonkey.com

SECURITY ISSUE:
Did you want your "site meter" aka web stats be open to the public? I went to your art section and clicked on blank button on lower left hand side only to be suprised by my access to your web statistic info. Talk to your hosting company about secured access or switch companies, because this is private info and shouldn't be openly advailable. mine for example is password protected and it's in a secured link aka it's not indexable by any websearch engine. my hosting company is www.readyhosting.com

Site traffic:
Your site is only found on the "internet" 2 times....that's no good if because if you're presense isn't on internet potential clients can't find you. I used this link to see how many times was your site linked to. http://www.marketleap.com/publinkpop/?source=index

When finished with adding keywords and description to your pages you should submit to all major search engines. NOTE: do this manually, as each web directory / engine has specific requirments. Which ones? www.google.com, yahoo.com, looksmart.com, www.dmoz.org ->a must do, hotbot.com, webcrawler.com.

LINKS page needed
contact other websites similar to yours and ask for a link exchange, I understand you probably don't want to promote another artists work. So just make sure your links page is accessible from mainpage just not the first thing people see. ..I make mine as the last link on bottom. ONly link with quality sites as in are they similar to yours in topic, do they have good content etc. Because visitors do make judgments if they click on one of your "outgoing links" and it sends them to another website with a billion popups and crashes thier computers .. well you get the idea. Stay away from link farms or page with nothing but affiliate links as some search engines may penalize or even bann your site because of it.

Take a look at my website www.artzbox.com for an example of my suggestions. I follow all my own advices :)

happy holidays!

Thanks for those links Nina there most helpful...
Alan :)

CarrieLLewis
12-27-2003, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by debmorbeto
I have been listing and selling paintings on Ebay (at the encouragement of another Wet Canvas member) for about four months now. I am wondering....as I surf through scores of art web sites that claim to be 'the one and only new way to sell art online'...........which is really on the up and up. Some are pay sites. Some are free. There are so many! I wouldn't mind continuing to my online marketing by listing myself and displaying my work at one of these sites but wondered if anyone had any information about any that are realy doing well. That were worth the time and money. I already have my own site but feel networking is essential. Is there a 'be all and end all online gallery'? Or a network of online artists/galleries that I should be aware of? Thanks in advance!

Deb,

Since others have responded with regard to online auctions and since I'm not sure what exactly you were asking about specifically, I'll head in another direction.

There are lots of online galleries and web sites promoting artwork. ARTReps comes immediately to mind, but there are dozens like them. They charge an up front fee to list your artwork and promise hundreds of hits a day to people like builders, interior decorators and others who are looking for art 'just like yours'.

There are also online galleries that exactly what the name implies. Holly Run Farms, where I have some things, is one of those. Art and collectibles are shown online and are all for sale, but you pay nothing until there is a sale. At that point, they behave like a brick-and-mortar gallery, paying your commission, paying their overhead and taking the rest as profit. For some there is a small 'set up' fee. For others, you pay nothing until you have a sale.

You are right in thinking it's a good idea to pursue more than just eBay because, believe it or not, not everyone shops on eBay! *gasp!* So take some time and look around.

What I would do is look for places that might have ads in print media such as US Art or Southwest Art or some magazine like that. You can be fairly certain that those sorts of places art not only legit, but already have contacts and may even be tied to a brick-and-mortar gallery.

Also, if an online outfit wants money up front, steer clear. That's only my opinion, but once they have your money, you have no guarantees they will do any more than they have to, which, in most cases, means putting your artwork on their web site.

That doesn't mean that all companies like this are bad or that all companies that pay on commission only are good. You still have to be careful and have to do your research.

And not all of the good ones will be a good match for you or your artwork. It will most likely take a lot of legwork first, but when you find the right outlet, you will be amazed what can happen!

Good luck!

ElizaLeahy
12-27-2003, 05:26 PM
My problem with online galleries is physical - I have to have somewhere to store the paintings, months, possibly years, until something happens.

I don't have that sort of space. In a real world gallery they at least hang the paintings and you get them out of your house! On ebay I get a fraction of what I would in a gallery (online or real world) but I sell many every week, which allows me to keep painting.

If I had a mansion, with a big studio, with large racks and lots of wall space... ~sigh~

debmorbeto
12-29-2003, 08:49 AM
Thanks to all of you who responded! I really appreciate the feedback and am even starting to put some of it to use! I have been working on my web site, adding keywords, registering with search engines, etc. I have also been working on my Ebay display so that gives a potential buyer more eye candy and information. I am dedicating myself to selling my work online in 2004 and this information has helped a lot. Thanks again.

~Deb
www.thedebweb.com