View Full Version : Selling POP FOLK art on ebay: A success story.
08-26-2001, 12:37 PM
:clap: I am 28 and was a part-time art teacher at Monart (.com) and just landed a fulltime teaching gig where I will teach art here and there.
I have been selling my art on ebay for the last 40 days. I have made over $1300 in this time from the auctions and over $500 in commissions. My prices range from $20-60 and the paintings take 20-60 minutes to produce. They arent masterpieces, but people are buying them in multiples and recommending me to people.
Take a look at my site: jessicadesigns.com (http://www.jessicadesigns.com)
from there you can click on an EBAY LINK to see my auctions.
There is a market for this kind of art on ebay. I dont know how long it will last-but I plan to take full advantage of it while I can. It has also given me the confidence to show my art elsewhere at animal events/folk art shows in my area.
At this time, I am having a hard time keeping up with sales and commissions-but I am not complaining. I have been using Cheapjoes.com to buy my canvases-if anyone knows a cheaper route for gallery wrapped canvases let me know.
If anyone needs any further advice...drop me a line from my site. I would be happy to help anyone with listing/pricing and stay with you thru your auctions-for the price of friendship! I have been selling everything from expensive antiques to art on ebay since 1998--I use ANDALE.com to host my auctions and that just makes too easy to make $..... take care Jessica
08-26-2001, 05:48 PM
Congrats! on your ebay success story. Pop art is a rage, and you're right, it is fast to do. I think it is in vogue with the under 25 crowd perhaps! And I believe it does well, affordable, colorful, whimsical. Thanks for letting us hear about it!
Have you heard of Jelene? She's on ebay, a tremendous success. You can check her ID on ebay and see how long she's been ebaying; her website may also have a date. That will give you a clue if it's just a passing fad. Her website had an outrageous number of visitors; she does a daily diary. Check out her monthly sales; total $ and number of pieces.
Check out Sophia also, though her work may be considered a combo of abstract and expressionism. She does really well.
I received something this past week in the mail, perhaps from my local art league or in with North Light stuff, not sure which. It was 2 sheets, " The Mystery Buster, 12 Blocks to Artistic Success" by Jack White. In it he said that in North America an estimated 22 million people are called artist. Yet FEWER than 10% earn less than $1,000 a year for several reasons. I'm not going to repeat all 12 but maybe one or two that struck me:
1. No one can find you! ( market, market, market )
2. Unrealistic pricing ( too high except for a chosen few patrons )
3. Art that doesn't connect. Jack says, " What sells is art that connects". He also said, "if you would like to enjoy some of the fruits of your labor while you are still living, then you need to pay particular attention to this: Those who do not make art that connects with people will not earn a living from art."
Now there are many artists that are galleried and making a great living. And there are those who think painting what sells is the same thing as prostituting! And there are many who think selling a painting for less than hundreds is beneath their dignity as an artist. I have to agree there, if you have spent years establishing yourself, were galleried and selling your paintings for thousands, then ebay is not for you, unless you are a long dead artist, then your stuff will do great on ebay too!. However if you are just starting out, have a website, and are having fun with pop art, ( or any other style ) then go for it!
Wishing you continued success!
08-27-2001, 07:52 AM
Thanks for sharing your story! I visited your page and your work is too adorable - no wonder you are having such success!
08-27-2001, 10:14 AM
Hi! Sounds like good news to me! :D I do think there's a large group of 20-30 somethings who are buying more affordable original art. It probably helps a lot that you're doing dog and cat art. (Heck, even I'm going to buy a dog painting from a WCer.)
Can I be nosey? I see that you list your items in more than one category - both animal collectables and art. How much do you spend a month on eBay fees? Just curious as I have a monthly eBay budget and am trying to maximise my returns. My biggest problem is the good selling price-range doesn't work for me because it's in US$ and converts to an even lower British price (and my city is the highest cost-of-living in Europe - yippeee!). I really need to start doing smaller (and acrylic) work. I did a couple 5x7" paintings in Cornwall and they sold on eBay almost immediately. Unfortunately I seem to be gravitating towards the 24"x24" size. Most of my $30 range stuff is original prints which is a whole other issue.
Any other tips??? Do you find acrylic more cost-effective for this market? (I'm doing an article for here on auctioning so everyone's tips are useful) Did your sales stay steady over the summer? (while it slowed down for most of us) The teeming masses want to know. ;)
08-27-2001, 11:45 AM
Can I be nosey?
YES! YOU CAN!!
I see that you list your items in more than one category - both animal collectables and art. How much do
you spend a month on eBay fees? Just curious as I have a monthly eBay budget and am trying to maximise my returns.
I THINK ITS AN EXTRA 50 CENTS. I DONT DO IT ALL THE TIME. I THINK THE MAJORITY OF EBAYERS SEARCH BY THE "SEARCH" AND ENTER IN THEIR OWN WORDS. AT LEAST I DO AND SO DOES MY FAMILY.
My biggest problem is the good selling price-range doesn't work for me because it's in US$ and converts to an even lower
British price (and my city is the highest cost-of-living in Europe - yippeee!). I really need to start doing smaller (and
I SOLD SOME LARGE ART (40 X 50) AND IT DOESNT SEEM TO MAKE ENUFF. I SOLD ONE LARGE ABSTRACT/PICASSOISH STYLE PAINTING FOR $200. I WAS HAPPY...BUT I THINK IT HAD MORE VALUE.
Any other tips??? Do you find acrylic more cost-effective for this market?
I LOVE OIL, BUT I AM WEAK WITH IT. ACRYLIC, I HAVE BEEN USING SINCE I WAS 8. IT FEELS NATURAL TO ME. OIL....FOR ME...IS LIKE THAT MYSTERY MAN WHO CANT COMMUNICATE:)
Did your sales stay steady over the summer? (while it slowed down for most of us) The
teeming masses want to know.
I STARTED SELLING IN MID-JULY. SOLD ABOUT 20 PAINTINGS B/T MID JULY AND MID AUGUST. IN BETWEEN AUGUST 14 AND TODAY, I HAVE SOLD 13 PAINTINGS, AND DONE 4 COMMISSIONS.-TOTALING OVER $700. BELIEVE ME, I AM AMAZED AS YOU ARE.
I CANT WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS. :) LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS ANYTHING ELSE I CAN ANSWER. JESSICA
08-28-2001, 08:26 AM
Its great to see how well you are doing.. and to everyone else, I need to point out that Jessica is using "ebsq" in her auction titles which makes her part of our "ring" of artists who sell on eBay. I think that may be part of her success (OK, the great art is the real reason...)
Jessica, where is your ebsq linked logo?
You can get the link at
Beginning on October 1, ebsq now has a contract with eBay to be a "Spotlight" partner on the Art and Antiques homepage, so get ready for the public's awarenes of ebsq to skyrocket.
08-28-2001, 11:39 AM
HI JOHN. you emailed me about this before. I did cut and paste one of the logo HTMLs and I am getting a broken rectangle at the bottom of my auctions. Sometimes it comes up and sometimes it doesnt.
Also, since you said the site would be shutting down, I didnt put them in some of my latest auctions. :( Can you email me a code that might work? Jessica
And I do thank you for your EBSQs helping me!
08-29-2001, 03:54 PM
Jessica, I just visited your site, and your stuff is wonderful! I'm so glad you're doing so well with it!
I've just begun painting again after a haitus of 18 years. My work is also in acrylic, also small in size (largely 9"X12") and mostly what would be considered pop/folk/abstract art. I would absolutely love to keep in touch with you to encourage each other and give feedback on how our auctions are doing!
My first seven paintings are on auction right now, and hopefully I'll have my work posted here on the Critique Forum tonight - I just got a scanner, but ran into a snag in getting the images uploaded last night. With the help of some great people here, I think I have the problem worked out and will hopefully have the images uploaded when I get home. Hope you're able to take a look, and please stay in touch!
08-29-2001, 04:14 PM
I would love to keep in touch. please email me a link to your work when it's up. Anything I can do to help...drop me a line.
I think someone above asked the age of folks buying my art??? Well it isnt the 20-30 range. I have had some people well over 40 commission my silly stuff:) So its a good range of people to market too I guess.
08-29-2001, 05:25 PM
Thanks, Jessica! Here is the link to my work on ebay:
Glad to hear people of all ages are enjoying your work! I think it's great, and I'm almost 38, over the 20-30 age range too!
08-29-2001, 05:45 PM
Your auctions are nice and simple. My only suggestions are to add more to your "title" bar: Instead of just "MIDNIGHT SNOWFALL" ACRYLIC PAINTING -since you have more room, add any words like ART, Canvas or abstract if you can. It really helps people find your art better. Also, I noticed that art on canvas panels sells, but if it is on stretched canvas or gallery wrapped it tends to go faster and for more$ to cover costs. I usually dont sell a panel that doesnt have a frame. Infact I bought 40 5x7 unfinished wood frames on ebay for $20! that is 50 cents a piece:) I just invested in some 8x10 unfinished frames at $1 a piece. I paint them to match my art. Just a thought- I think your art would look great framed and would finsih it off for the buyer. Jessica
08-29-2001, 09:26 PM
Jessica, thanks for the advice!!
Good call on the subject bar one - you're right, as I've been reading the posts and replies about selling on ebay, I know that whatever I need to re-list the second time around or new ones that I post, I'll need to put more search options on that title! Learin' as I go along, that's what it's all about! :)
As for the canvas board, I REALLY love working with it more so than regular canvas - it just feels more stable under my hands!
I have given thought to if I want to frame them or not - that's something I'm still "waiting to see how it goes". I know another girl on ebay (she's actually the wife of a co-worker of mine) who's lead I've kind of followed. She works on canvas board, roughly about the same size, unframed, and also in the pop/abstract/folk field. She makes a killing! I kid you not! I feel uncomfortable asking her husband how she does it, because her work is very similar to mine and yours - nice and simple. So, I don't know if she has a "regular audience" of people who steadily buy her work or if it's different people or what (but it sells rightfully so - it's fun and it's wonderful!). But framing them and painting them to match is a nice idea! Let me see what I can dig up in the 9"X12" range! Are there any out there that I could frame myself?
Thanks bunches, Jessica!
08-29-2001, 10:06 PM
Blossom....you can go to your auction and in the top portion of it you can click on "Revise my auction" especially if you have NO bidders yet. So go for it if you like.
I also see some other pop art selling on ebay that is similart to mine...only theirs looks a lot easier to do...not less talented...but they dont have the detail like I do and spit the same character out on each canvas doing different things...and they sell..everyone.
I have no complaints. I just try hard to be different and to change my characters/scenes...etc so I dont bore myself!
Keep doing what you are doing girl-you are the only one that needs to be happy. :) love jess
09-06-2001, 01:11 AM
Jessica, it is so inspiring to hear of your success. You mentioned that you have been selling items on ebay for awhile now, so I imagine you have quite a history of feedback. I'm a newbie with ebay, and was wondering if having no feedback be a hinderance to selling?
09-06-2001, 09:48 AM
I started selling antiques on ebay for a great uncle. I racked up about 50 good ones:) From my art...About an extra 60....and some from stuff I sold in my house:)
I think having 0 will only last so long if you are attracts people:) who cares where you start. you have to start someplace:) good luck. I would love an update.
09-06-2001, 12:43 PM
I've been making some goofy sketches involving my old cat, Puff, for some time now "Puff Eats Manhattan" etc. Maybe I should get around to painting them... hmmmmmm....
I hope nobody from the "~==" debate thread heard me say that. :)
-=- Jen "Alas, poor Puff... I knew him, Horatio" de la Cruz
09-06-2001, 02:12 PM
Thanks, Jessica. I am planning to make my first venture onto ebay this weekend. I will let you know how it goes.
09-12-2001, 02:07 PM
One thing you can do to get your feedback up is to PURCHASE some things on ebay and be the best buyer you can be....I'm not talking about buying a high priced item....I'm talking about respond quickly to the seller when you win the auction! Pay using PayPal or BillPoint so they can ship quickly! or send a money order which is faster and easier to deal with than a check....and Leave Feedback for the seller! All of that ranks really high with sellers....as you will soon learn!
This will quickly get you past the 0 status! When I first began posting my paintings at ebay....I changed my id! which gave me those awful sunglasses...lol! and my (6) feedback was over a year old! I'm sure some of my buyers were just hoping that I was a real person!! So you could be worse off than just having a (0)!
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