View Full Version : eBay "Art" section restructuring!!

08-24-2001, 09:35 AM
Read more here:

Ebay is accepting requests and suggestions till the end of August. PLEASE help all of us eBay artists out and email them with your input on this new structure!

I think it's a good idea overall but I think that single "self-representing artists" category needs subcategories badly. If you agree, email them about it!

Here's what I wrote them:
My ebay ID is beware-of-art.com
(my usual email address is [email protected])

I'm glad you're considering restructuring, but I have a few concerns/suggestions.

<li>I love the addition of the "Self-Representing Artists" category, and I'm sure it will fill up very fast, so... may I desperately request that you add some subcategories under that? At the very least, something like "original art" and "reproductions"? You could also have sub-sub-categories by media under the "original" and "reproductions". So much original contemporary art is available on Ebay, there's a good market for it, but it's totally lost in the heap of reproductions and difficult to sort out unless the person actually says "ORIGINAL" in the title.</li>

<li>Similarly, under "Prints:Contemporary", I wish the non-famous-artist prints had better divisions than just by motif. Really, even something as simple as "Limited edition original prints", "Limited edition reproductions", and "Open editions" would make a huge difference for those of us who work in printmaking. Our original, labor-intensive, traditional work has to compete with a lot of mass-produced print reproductions. Or, you could divide it up by media (poster, woodcut, lithograph, monoprint, digital, etching, etc.)? Or use those as sub-subcategories...</li>

<li>Apparently now ALL silver is classified under "antiques" -- flatware and "other". What if they're NOT antique? Nowhere to sell them? Same for linens, furniture, clocks... Maybe I'm misunderstanding.</li>

-=- Jen "Anxious" de la Cruz

08-24-2001, 01:45 PM
Well, I kind of see your point. You are saying that the selfrepresenting artist field will fill up rapidly with all sorts of art and that it would be best to have art catagories under selfrepresenting artists to sort it out. But I'm thinking that if they did that, then they'd really be listing those catagories twice if they do expand the various types of art catagories in the other places. It'd be the same problem as WC is having only there would probably be less cross Posting? or cross listings in several catagories? Of course, they do have the option of paying for 2 catagories when we list art....hummmm I dunno.
I did read something interesting that on the Antique and Art boards someone thought that only Antiques art was sold there since the catagory was Antiques and Art. :D So there is confusion even on eBay! LOL

08-24-2001, 02:55 PM
Yeah, that is what I'm saying. There's lots of other sub categories that seem to be duplicated from one area to another, so, it's not like it's anything new. It's kinda like this...
1) Do you add a self-representing artist subcategory to all the media areas?
- or -
2) Do you add media subcategories to the self-representing artist area?

Either way there's bound to be some duplication, unless you just don't subdivide at all...

And yeah, I'm sure there's loads of confusion about what the categories really mean.

-=- Jen "Ahwell" de la Cruz

08-24-2001, 03:26 PM
I don't think they should have a category for self-representing artists...a lot of people won't know what that means, and I don't think Ebay buyers really care how the artist is represented, they are just looking for artwork they like.

A breakdown of subject matter & medium would be better, I think. Maybe categories, Abstract, Landscape, Floral, Figural, etc., and then a sub category of medium, oils, watercolor, pastel, etc.

Or maybe medium first, then a sub category of subject matter.

And definitely I think it's a good idea to separate original art and prints. It is too easy for a bidder to not read the description thoroughly and end up with a print when they expected an original.

08-24-2001, 03:31 PM
Just want to point out that I voted for the 4th option but not because I don't care! I do care! :) I don't think it will make a difference. A self-representing artists category would be nice, and would remove the need for using ebsq (which from a recent post some of you may realise I won't be continuing with).

But in the end I still would guess 90%+ of people search on keywords and not categories. Could be wrong of course.


08-24-2001, 03:45 PM
I agree that most people search eBay by keyword rather than browse categories. However, I was not convinced self-representing artist as its own category was a good thing. I see some benefit from a listing perspective but I do not think art collectors/buyers would gravitate towards a category such as that. In my experience, art collectors online tend to search out artwork by original versus reproduction, media type, style type, and old versus contemporary.

As mentioned in other posts here, I do feel its helpful to break out the original artwork from the reproduction artwork, and the old from the contemporary, and then maybe style (or "motif" as eBay puts it). But I'm not convinced approaching categories of other-represented art versus self-represented art is looking at it from an art buyer's perspective.

Also, one downside might be listings would become more expensive if you wanted exposure in appropriate categories where art buyers are likely to look - it might take more than one category to make that happen now, but as most just search by keywords anyway, I'm not sure how much impact that would have on total listing viewers and thus costs.

08-24-2001, 05:32 PM
Points taken... I think mainly, a "self-representing artists" category attracts the same sort of buyers that EBSQ attracts. Buyers know EBSQ people are self-representing and that does seem to have its own market.

Besides, just because the category's there doesn't mean you have to use it. ;)

I agree that most search by keyword or search by media/motif. I mean, I know they do. But for those looking to directly support a living artist... that's what that category is for, methinks.

-=- Jen "EBSQ?" de la Cruz

08-24-2001, 05:37 PM
You know, there are other quote selfrepresenting artists groups out there besides ebsq and who knows maybe there will be sub catagories for the different groups of selfrepresenting artists. Just a thought. If that's good or bad, I don't know.
In general, I think that the catagories for art that they've suggested are pretty good. In fact, I think anytime they expand our choices of catagories, that is a very good thing so why not one for Prints, reproductions etc?

08-24-2001, 06:53 PM
Buyers know EBSQ people are self-representing


How do buyers know this? I've seen EBSQ on auction descriptions, didn't know what it meant...I figured they were all auctions by the same artist. :confused: Course, could be I'm just behind the ball on such things.

I stand by my opinion that many buyers don't know the jargon, and are simply hunting for a piece of art that matches their sofa. I realize that there are true collectors, who would be more familiar with the terms and category breakdowns, but my concern with the new structure in general and the self representing category specifically is that it would confuse the novice art buyer.

Plus, if I wanted to support a self representing artist, I would choose one of the many in my community. If I wanted to buy art cheap, or find a good selection of original art, I would look on Ebay.



08-24-2001, 11:18 PM
I think that too many categories only makes it more difficult to chose where to list and may make it necessary to list in more than one category, which I wouldn't like. I also think that unless people search by keywords, it will make it more difficult for them to find your work. Someone might think they're looking for an oil but come across a beautiful acrylic and buy it. If they're not in the same category, they wouldn't get to see that beautiful acrylic.

I personally wouldn't list under 'self representing artists' because I don't really think anyone cares. They want a painting they like, that's all. I would list under 'Paintings, Contemporary, American'. While I think it's a good idea to separate original artwork from reproduction, I think there is a danger in too many degrees of separations.

On the print issue, there's another whole confusing section. Between original prints and reproduction prints, I don't think many people understand that there's a difference. That will also be very confusing.


08-24-2001, 11:38 PM
Originally posted by Sumafra
I think that too many categories only makes it more difficult to chose where to list and may make it necessary to list in more than one category, which I wouldn't like:confused:

You know, now that you mention it and I go back to look again, I do see some confusion. At first look, I did see some Categories I'm glad they added, but you are right. It could be overkill.

08-25-2001, 07:20 AM
Originally posted by tammy
You know, there are other quote selfrepresenting artists groups out there besides ebsq

Slightly off-topic, but do you know the names/links for any of these other groups? I'd be interested in checking out a few, since I've become disillusioned with ebsq. I just tried going to their discussion groups to have a gander and see what other people are thinking to see if I'm overreacting. I had to register again because it wouldn't take my auctions name and password, and then when I tried to post a reponse (a helpful one!) it couldn't find the page. Hit the back button to the discussions, it couldn't find the page! I give up. :(


08-25-2001, 11:25 AM
Tina, I sent you email but when I find the other groups web site I will post it here.

wing ding
08-26-2001, 12:05 PM
What is ebsq?

And how can I find all of your auctions on Ebay right now? Is there a certain section, or do I need a specific link?

08-27-2001, 11:13 PM
First off, I have had a chance to speak to the Art Category manager at eBay and she is open to the idea of additional subcategories for Self-Representing artists, but it will take a while, as eBay needs to see the category itself grow.

Of course, all of use know it will grow like crazy.

ebsq now has a contract to be a featured partner with eBay and we will be posting a kind of monthly zine on the eBay site telling who we are and describing our monthly shows.

To learn more about ebsq, which is free to join go to our site at:


John Seed
Grand Poohbah, founder ebsq

08-27-2001, 11:18 PM
and YES, forgot to mention....

You can find our auctions anytime by going to


and searching for "ebsq"

John Seed