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TPS
10-31-2001, 12:32 AM
This forum is for Internet Sales Strategies. Surely there are more ways to sell on the internet than through auction sites like E-Bay. Does anyone have suggestions for other ways?

I've been getting alot of requests from Art Sites that either want me to subscribe or want to link to my site. Those that seem to be well designed and promote art in a professional manner will get a link from me. However, I've only subscribed to one site (which was a very low annual fee), and it redirects all inquiries to my website. It provides alot of traffic to my site. I also have mini-portfolios at numerous free Art Portals or Directories. What luck have you had with these types of services?

coolray
10-31-2001, 10:16 AM
TPS, I'm kinda new at the internet selling thing, and I was under the same impression about the ebay thing. So I found http://artistnation.com I have yet to sign up, because I have not readied enough paintings or prints to put on the site. But the only fee starts at 5% of each sale. From what I gather the rest is free. The other good thing, I think, is that other artists are there, no SUV's,no Electronics, no Antiques, or misc. junk. Just art!

I am getting ready to post some of my work there as soon as I can get set up. This is a test.:)

timelady
10-31-2001, 10:43 AM
I'd like to find something too. But I'm listed with a bunch of online places and have only sold one piece (through LondonArt.co.uk). I've only sold a handful through my own website - and most of those to eBay customers.

Links are good - I try to exchange links with anyone who asks. I will NOT pay a site to show my work though. Commission is fine, if they want a flat fee I have to wonder why commission isn't good enough? Flat fee gives them no incentive to sell and earn something from the sale itself. Even my "real life" galleries work on commission. (some way too high but that's another topic! :))

The whole internet, in my opinion, is too large and uncategorised for art buyers to find much. I bought a photograph by an artist I like online. I knew both what I was looking for and who I was looking for. It still took me about 3 days to find a piece of his work to buy.

When I was considering web galleries I went to several search engines and typed in what I would think customers would type in. Stuff like:
oil painters
marine art
expressionist paintings
etc...
or:
art gallery
web artists
london artists
or something similar to pull up online galleries rather than specific artists. Pick whatever web galleries come up on the first 2 pages of results and check them out.

Anyone else have better luck with online galleries?
Tina.

timelady
10-31-2001, 10:51 AM
Oh, the other thing to check is their marketing strategy. You want to find sites that actively market to buyers (NOT just artists). I had a friend pick up info on galleryonthenet.co.uk at a trade show, and they advertise a lot in artists magazines. When I emailed them to ask about their marketing I got a very hostile response. ("don't worry, you pay us and we do the marketing" type of answer) I re-emailed stating that their subscription was quite high and I wanted to know how they found buyers - what art magazines (not artist mags) they advertised in, their search engine rankings, their sales rate and other traditional advertising they did. A second hostile response.

My instinct? Steer clear. They still advertise a lot but gods know who pays their extortionate rates.

LondonArt.co.uk was my one success and was recommended by a friend who worked in a big city bank (Goldman Sachs). Evidently the site had approached several large corporations and offered to give their employees (ie. men in suits with lots o' money) a 10% discount on online art purchases. Now THAT's good marketing! To have a buyer recommend something is a good sign.

Gosh, I can't post for a while and then I get all rambling again! heehee.
Tina.

teresasart
10-31-2001, 12:14 PM
I recently put my work on the art-agent site, which I found through wetcanvas, which I found out about from another artist on ebay. I too have been wondering about other online venues which might cater to collectors of art, and not just people looking for a deal. I wouldn't want to pay a flat fee for the online service either... what incentive have they to actually sell the work? At least the site through artistnation has a low commission. DO people get sales there, or commissions, or is it mostly just another venue for being "seen"? I like the idea that the net allows us (in theory, anyway) to reach more than our regional audience.

I also finally got my web site up this summer, though I think most of the traffic comes from ebay, and from my customers from shows checking to see new pics of my work. I don't know how many people find it otherwise.

Teresa

CarlyHardy
10-31-2001, 01:06 PM
Artist Nation is set up as a personal web service for artists to set up and maintain their own website. If you use the gallery listing service linking your artwork thru Art-Agent.com, then you have even more exposure and opportunity for sales.

Art-Agent no longer makes the sales for you (if I understand the notices correctly) It was posted a couple of months ago that artists needed to set up their own PayPal accounts so they could receive credit card payments...and art-agent now has the buyer contact you directly for all sales. There is no 5% commission charged for this service. Art-Agent acts as a sales service to artists along with their Artist Nation site at no cost to the artist. If you use PayPal, you will pay your fees to them directly...which varies depending on the amount of the sale.

Wet Canvas (which is the "parent" of both sites) asks that we pay a "Name Your Own Subscription" as a member for the services you receive. (unheard of, I know!) so...its up to the members to choose their own fee for the use of the sites. And this is totally optional and known only to the owner of WetCanvas who receives your subsciption. You are not put on a list of "Did" or "Didn't".

Now back to the original topic....other than auctions.

I placed my art on a number of sites for a couple of years and had "O" responses as far as sales went. I did get a lot of emails advertising various schemes...I got a lot of emails telling me how much "XXX" loved my work....I got several emails asking questions about different things...I got emails from online printing companies about giclees and other printing services....but I got no offers for a sale! Of course during this time my virtual gallery sales were doing well...until the gallery shut down!

I then began to wonder if my art was going in the direction I wanted. I was painting more..experimenting more..trying new mediums...spending more time in creating...and the work was piling up! in my studio. Making the rounds to galleries was productive...but time consuming and I was tired of that "rat race". I wanted to be home painting not spending my time driving in and out of Atlanta..which was very slow with sales if any at all! That's when an online friend here at wetcanvas mentioned selling at ebay.

The auctions have since opened the door to sales from my online site. They have also provided me with a way to sell and ship from home giving me more time in the studio. I don't say that auctions are for everyone. One artist here at wetcanvas felt it was stifling her true creative direction because the market demanded a certain type of work from her. And that can become the case...you paint a cat..cats are popular...you sell cat for very high price...you paint another cat! Pretty soon you are filling every canvas with another cat!... the money is good....but not the creative license!

I know there are other online ventures. I'd love to hear about any that give the artist the opportunity to sell. But I've also become spoiled! I enjoy the interaction between my buyer and myself thru the online sales process. I wouldn't want to lose that even if a site did my advertising and received a commission for that.
carly

tammy
10-31-2001, 11:12 PM
eBay is the only place online so far where I've gotten to sell at least 1 thing at least every other week. I've had only 1 commission from my personal website. I've been on artistnation awhile and linked works with art-agent (lots of hits but no sells)
I also have a portfolio on absolutearts.com. You can get a free one or paid for one. A huge art site and is fixed priced but no takers there either but to be fair I've only had one work of art in my portfolio.
To use Scott's little saying "Need lots of self marketing"! There have got to be thousands of paid and unpaying places out there for we artists to market at but my goodness could you just imagine trying to keep up with all your accounts? Whew!

hairballsdotcom
11-06-2001, 12:06 AM
I too am very interested in other online sales possibilities. Ebay has so far been a total bust for me, I beleive its because I'm offering prints -- even though they're not mass produced, there just doesn't seem to much interest. Since my current work is digital & photography, there's no orginals I can offer.

My own website sales are gradually building, but considering the most expensive things I offer (large prints) are only $55 I'm not pulling much in with only 3-4 sales a month -- but at least thats up from 0-1 sale per month for the first 6 months. My art site has now been online for 14 months. I had no illusions that it would have huge sales and is moving along about as I expected.

I had high hopes for Art-Agent when I posted a dozen prints 9 months ago...they've each gotten hundreds of hits, but there's not been any sales and an interesting note is that no one has ever mentioned that they found my website after being there (I have a survey people fill out when they enter my monthly drawing).

I have wandered around and found a lot of possibilities until I read the fine print and find that there's no way I'm paying the upfront fees they want with the possibility of my art just sitting there gathering dust. The other problem that often eliminates what seems to be a good prospect is their web site! Many either don't work at all, are so confusing I can't imagine anyone buying from them OR the site is designed for ARTISTS not buyers.

Someone (not from here) had said he was doing fairly well on BargainAndHaggle.com. But I've been keeping an eye on things there and don't see it to be much of a resource.

So PLEASE PLEASE if anyone has some good leads I would love to here them.

tammy
11-06-2001, 12:17 AM
You mean that there is life outside of online auctions???
JUST KIDDING! :D

leesmith
11-06-2001, 08:45 AM
I believe I read in a newsletter from netmechanic that if you have a website it is absolutely essential to have a payment button right there on your site to capture a sale before the viewer leaves your page. Most "free" sites do not allow payment buttons.

If you could get a couple of local venues, commissions and use ebay when studio work is slack, you can keep pretty busy. Ebay is also a great source for commissions ( off ebay sales). Ebay discourages these types of sales, but they do happen once you get a few repeat ebay buyers. With repeat buyers you have built a bond of trust over time.

timelady
11-06-2001, 01:52 PM
I agree about having a payment button right there, especially if your work is under $100 because that's not a big financial decision to most people. If you use PayPal they have buttons and they're very easy to set up - you just type in the info into a form and they provide you with the html to paste next to your picture! It's under the PayPal selling tab I believe, after you log in.

Tina.

hairballsdotcom
11-06-2001, 02:04 PM
People buying from my site are definately using my PAYPAL shopping cart -- I have a button on EVERY ITEM.
:D I even have fun going and clicking on each one of my buttons, just to see what the total would be if I bought ONE of EVERYTHING on my site!

Anyone can try it out -- you're not obligated until you click "checkout" while viewing your shopping cart. http://hairballs.com/art If you accidently send me a huge order just send me email to cancel it!;)

teresasart
11-06-2001, 02:57 PM
How does a person get registered to accept paypal? I just had a buyer from one of my auctions ask if I accept it, and I don't yet, but suppose I should.

Teresa

CarlyHardy
11-06-2001, 03:32 PM
Teresa, you just need to visit the http://www.paypal.com site and sign up. If they ask for a reference, tell them carlyart sent you! I don't remember if they give referral fees or not!
carly

teresasart
11-06-2001, 03:59 PM
Thanks for the link Carly, I'll head over there now. And if they give referral fees, I'll make sure I tell them you sent me! :D

Teresa

hairballsdotcom
11-06-2001, 05:31 PM
HEY! Teresa. What about MY referal fees? :(

Just kidding :p Actually over the past couple of years since I've had PayPal, I've made at least $75 just from the referal fee. Haven't gotten any for a long time, so don't know if they're still doing it.

tammy
11-06-2001, 10:20 PM
I signed up with Paypal the other day, but I didn't have no one to refer me so I couldn't help no body. :( Sorry ya'll.

hairballsdotcom
11-07-2001, 07:16 PM
Has anyone received information on this? I did today. Membership is currently free, but I don't quite understand what will motivate the owners of this site/idea to promote and serve the artist. I'm guessing they will implement a fee at some point, but they say they don't charge a transaction fee or commission, and the buyer and artist deal directly with each other.
It also states on the site that this is NOT a retail marketplace -- so I guess its wholesale, although I don't think they said that in so many words.

I guess one of the main questions I have (I'll probably email them about it) is what prevents just ANYONE from becoming a member and buying the art at wholesale prices?

Anyway...take a look and see if you have any thoughts on this.

Vizzon.com is a marketplace for the creators, publishers, and buyers of graphic art products, including posters, prints, fine art originals, giclée, lithographs, and other reproductions. Vizzon.com is not a retail site. You would be buying and selling among other art professionals, including gallery owners, retail stores, and private collectors. Vizzon.com does not charge a transaction fee or commission.

The marketplace is located at www.vizzon.com. A full introduction to buying and selling is on-line at the site. Please visit the marketplace, and contact me if you have any questions. We will be glad to assist you.

tammy
11-07-2001, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by hairballsdotcom
Has anyone received information on this? I did today. Membership is currently free, but I don't quite understand what will motivate the owners of this site/idea to promote and serve the artist. I'm guessing they will implement a fee at some point, but they say they don't charge a transaction fee or commission, and the buyer and artist deal directly with each other.
It also states on the site that this is NOT a retail marketplace -- so I guess its wholesale, although I don't think they said that in so many words.

I guess one of the main questions I have (I'll probably email them about it) is what prevents just ANYONE from becoming a member and buying the art at wholesale prices?

Anyway...take a look and see if you have any thoughts on this.


The way I understand it is they have already have some in the organization that pay a yearly fee of $45.00 which is only currently waived for new members until Jan 2002, although they would like the site to be able to run on advertising dollars only. From what I've seen, many have tried this and started free but have not stayed that way long before reality set in. On the other stuff, I'm digging a little deeper.

Sumafra
11-08-2001, 01:03 AM
Like everyone else, I too would love to find other ways of selling online. Art-Agent has led to nothing at all. My own website has brought me 2 sales in the past year. Other than those 2 sales, there wasn't even one inquiry. Ebay seems to be the only place where you can count on some action. Lots of sites out there where you can list but I have the feeling that they are frequented by artists, not buyers. Ebay seems to be the only place where there actually are buyers.

Sumafra
11-08-2001, 01:17 AM
Thanks for the link to Vizzon.com. I went and took a look. It looks good but I don't think it's very big yet. Anyway, I signed up and will try listing some things in there. Nothing to lose I guess.

hairballsdotcom
11-08-2001, 02:26 AM
Originally posted by Sumafra
Thanks for the link to Vizzon.com. I went and took a look. It looks good but I don't think it's very big yet. Anyway, I signed up and will try listing some things in there. Nothing to lose I guess. I agree! So I've joined too. Its too late tonight to dig much deeper, but plan to add prints in the next few days.

pixelscapes
11-08-2001, 04:59 PM
I hate to say this and maybe this isn't the same for everybody but... ALL my sales this year (thousands of dollars, except for $40) have been made due to my OWN website, not due to an art listing service. Admittedly I've had a few referrals from Art-Agent.com, but that's it.

In my experience, if somebody's looking for a particular kind of work, they're going to use a search engine... they're not going to go through the trouble of finding some random art listing site and then shop through them.

I have my site set up so I can see when people show up, and where they came from. If they're coming in from a search engine, I see what search term they used to find me.

The number of people who find my site using terms like "insect art", "scorpion art", and "gold bug" is truly staggering. Obviously I need to make more scorpions and gold bugs.

The trouble is that it's difficult to get good search engine rankings -- really that's an art in and of itself.

I've actually had good results getting referrals from Ebay, actually (back to Ebay again!). People do a search there and find my auctions, then go to my website. I never expect to really sell anything on Ebay; I basically use them as paid classified advertising. Of course now they have all these limitations about what links you can or can't have in your listings...

Hope this helps somehow, I don't mean to be a naysayer. :(

-=- Jen

hairballsdotcom
11-09-2001, 12:24 AM
Jen,

You're lucky you're getting such good targeted traffic. Most of my traffic is also coming from search engines with searches for Cats (although thats a tough category to get to the top of), Cat Art, and Cat Artist. The rest are coming from other major cat sites I have links on. My biggest problem is they're not buying! With 800-1000 unique hits a month even a 1% return would be 8-10 purchases. I'm only getting 2-4.

Deep down I think you're probably right about these other sites BUT we can keep hoping. The one thing that seems different about Vizzon.com is that they are catering to buyers that will buy wholesale or at least below retail and in that case should also be expected to buy multiples, a definate plus when selling prints. I'm hoping that those contacts will lead to them coming directly to me after an initial purchase or contact on Vizzon.com and I can develope some ongoing wholesale accounts.

I think I'll start a thread specifically about Vizzon.com and invite them to join in....good idea? or bad?

Sumafra
11-09-2001, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by hairballsdotcom

I think I'll start a thread specifically about Vizzon.com and invite them to join in....good idea? or bad?

Good idea, Lori Lee. Can't hurt.

BTW, I love your picture icon. That's the cutest little cat face I've even seen. One of your own paintings?? :cat:

hairballsdotcom
11-09-2001, 01:26 AM
Originally posted by Sumafra
Good idea, Lori Lee. Can't hurt.OK, I'll start a thread tomorrow and ask Vizzon.com to join us.BTW, I love your picture icon. That's the cutest little cat face I've even seen. One of your own paintings??Its a Photo I took -- then I did some digital magic to it. You can see how I used this here...http://hairballs.com/art/pages/signedprints/LESP01-detail.htm
I also used it in a totally different way for my front page art...the one on the right, not the left. http://hairballs.com/art/index2.html
:cat: