View Full Version : How do you sell your work?

02-26-2005, 04:54 AM
There is a mention of selling work in the brayer this week and I thought those who do might relay some info for those who haven't and give some idea of prices.


This week I sold a 5" x 7" intaglio etching in an edition of 5 on eBay I started the auction at 6 ($11.50) and sold it for 26 ($49.88)

In the text I don't put the actual number just the fact that it is one of an edition, I do put up quite a lot of info and self promotion (braying) and keep this fairly low key, I think it looks more professional than the shouting from the rooftops multicoloured massive fonts that you see in some texts.

The best way to do it is to look at similar auctions, jump in and have a go.

Regards - Jim

Diane Cutter
02-26-2005, 08:56 AM
I think, Jim, your work has universal appeal so you should do quite well on eBay... Artful nudes go very well. You might want to check out the Internet Sales Strategies Forum for more information directed at internet sales...

For myself... I've found it does best not to mention the exact edition number (1/20, etc.) because whenever you relist, you need to go back in and change it. If you just mention it's an 'edition of 20' then you've covered your bases and can just quickly relist after the auction ends, successfully or otherwise.

I have all my info in a folder in my PC so I can list new items more quickly... I find the ebay system a little cumbersome.

I used to sell more when I had a ebay store, but with the price hike on the store, the low selling prices of prints, and the fact that I now have my work regularly in a brick and mortar store, I'm listing less... I have had people contact me through my website, that had originally bought on ebay...

What, by the way, is your ebay id, so I can keep an eye out for more of your artful nudes?


02-26-2005, 09:34 AM
Do original prints sell on eBay?

What section do you list in? I always have trouble finding them amongst the copies, but I can't say I spend much time on eBay.

I used to sell by going to shops & galleries and showing them the prints, and also at art fairs in the summer. I haven't tried since I moved 4 years ago though. eBay sounds easier but only if people do purchase art on eBay.

02-26-2005, 09:45 AM
Jim- Congrats on that sale! As you know, I was the opening bidder, and I had some competition. Last time I bid, I THOUGHT that I had put a high enough proxy bid on there, and then I forgot about it, and went to log on again- and had been outbid!

Your listings are well written, although like you mentioned they dont say how limited the edition is. I know that your plates don't last too long (5-6 if I recall??), so you might want to mention this, in my opinion it adds to the value.

I think that your subject matter sells well on E-Bay for a variety of reasons. First, There are a fair number of art collectors out there that appriciate figure work, especially of the quality that you are doing. Second, there is a WHOLE other part of the population, collectors of nude images of all sorts, that shop e-bay but wouldn't nesicarily be out at the art shows, etc.


The original prints are tough to find sometimes, You have to be very creative with your search terms, and go through a lot of reproduction prints... There HAS to be a better wat to list them, but then again, all of the listers on E-Bay would have to conform to it. I think that a lot of people list things improperly because they don't understand the terminology, other times I think that they list them improperly to try to increase their sales....


02-26-2005, 12:09 PM
Dear B,

Go to the eBay front page and type Etching into the search lots of spurious stuff will come up as well but you will find some pics in there and from those pics you can find the categories they are listed in. Track some for a week or so and see what happens to them and then base your listings on what you see.


My eBay name is jimread26


Thanks for starting off that particular auction I must say that one was the exception rather than the rule! But I'm learning to do what people want to buy and I think that's the secret, all the more so if you like doing it and it stretches your ability. I will send you an AP please send me your address.

Regards - Jim

02-27-2005, 04:07 PM
Congradualtions on your success on e-bay. it looks like you may have a following now, it looks like your art will keep selling. A lot of artists have told me they create art for what people want or will sell, it gives them the funds to do their other art no one seems to want, but they have to do it LOL!!!

I have tried e-bay but have not had much success with it. I was spending more money on an e-bay store and listings then I was making so I stopped for a while.

I am going to try selling my prints locally at art fairs, and build up a following. Right now I am not selling but concentrating on building up an inventory and trying to come up with the funds to do some framing. I'm going to enter exhibits too when I get the chance, that is one way to get your work out there and known.

I saw this really neat way to market, not much money in it but for marketing it is a great idea, http://www.artomat.org/home.html There are thes old vintage cigararette machines some musems and gallerys have fixed and use for selling little pieces of art. it is so cool. The great thing about it is you can put all your info on the back of the piece, your e-bay auctions website etc... It is a great marketing tool. And there are a lot of them in all the major cities.

Another marketing scheme I was going to try was to give away free art, I am going to make up some small simple canvas board serigraphs and leave them around town, at bus stop benches any where I can think of, with info on the back on where to find me selling my art. I would say something on the back like you have found this art so it is yours to keep, come and meet the artist at etc... to see some more of her fine art pieces.

Diane Cutter
02-27-2005, 04:21 PM
..... I saw this really neat way to market, not much money in it but for marketing it is a great idea, http://www.artomat.org/home.html There are thes old vintage cigararette machines some musems and gallerys have fixed and use for selling little pieces of art. it is so cool. The great thing about it is you can put all your info on the back of the piece, your e-bay auctions website etc... It is a great marketing tool. And there are a lot of them in all the major cities....
Too funny... I sent the link to my daughter that lives in Durham, NC to see if she's noticed them around (she also makes jewelry www.slametals.com). She might be interested...


02-27-2005, 04:53 PM
Dear Deborah,

Thanks for the congrats, I think I have been lucky enough to find several things all at once. Last year through talking to AnneMarie Tornabene I found that Solar printing existed, from there I went on to turning my photographs into etchings. I'd already found WC through a Google search but had not joined the Printmakers, then I saw all the brilliant work on here and was inspired to have a go myself.

I am doubly fortunate insofar as my all time No1 favourite subject for the past 50 years has been the nude and that, it appears is what people want to buy. No doubt though as it does, I shall fall flat on my face for being so big headed :D

I have been a rep for many years now and seizing a selling opportunity has become such a part of my life that I absolutely love selling my work. That may sound a bit crass but the only feeling that comes anywhere near it is the time just before your exhibition opens and you are alone to look at your work just hanging there and looking pristinely beautiful. An eBay auction comes quite close to that especially when there is a bid battle going on.

You've got some great ideas there, that's exactly what I hoped would happen when I put up the post. It's so interesting to see the amount of ways that anyone can use to market their work, I especially like the bus stop idea.

Regards - Jim

02-27-2005, 07:16 PM
I think if you enjoy selling yourself you will definatey make a business of your art and make a nice living if you don't already. One of the hardest things for most artists to do is promote and market themsleves. Most dont' like doing that. It is not easy for sure. When I was sellign on e-bay I was selling my digital art and it was a really hard sell. my stuff did not have a universal appeal. I acually did better when I sold in person. Once people talked to me about my art, they got more intersted in it. I have not tried to sell any hand pulled prints yet, I'm still building up inventory. I think I will have a much better success rate with my hand pulled prints, especially if I sell in person. Once I build up a following then I may try e-bay again, but I will still sell in person as well.

People really like to buy art on e-bay, they feel they are getting a masterpiece at a good price. In most cases they are. I thought your prices where too low priced for what they where getting LOL!!!

alice's arts
03-01-2005, 09:18 AM
Does anyone have their own website or online store and actually make a profit selling their artwork? I am wondering if this idea is worth looking into for myself. I also sell books, on amazon (I love books) ( I also make my own books) so maybe I could incorporate book selling into the whole thing...

If anyone has experience in this and can offer advice, I would welcome it.


p.s. I think I will also post this in the business forum to see if anyone there has any advice.

Diane Cutter
03-01-2005, 10:06 AM
...I think I will also post this in the business forum to see if anyone there has any advice.
Yes, Alice... if you post in the Internet Sales Strategy forum you'll get a lot of experienced info...

I use my website as a portfolio... It helps to give me credibility for people who buy from the 'brick and mortar' places I sell from here in Puerto Rico and also for those that buy off the internet. I know people visit my website because over the last year the traffic to that site has increased greatly... whether or not they are actual buyers is another thing... but I do not have an actual set-up on my website to buy from me, with shopping carts, etc... just an email contact...


03-01-2005, 04:13 PM
Dear Alice,

I've had a website for years and get about 100 hits a day, but only get about one request for a print for every two or three months months.

Personally I'd be wary of buying art from a shopping cart on an artists site. I have also asked people who have listed on those 'we can sell your art' sites if they've ever sold anything, the reply is always no.

A few years ago I had a go at selling my stuff through galleries, I travel about for my job and was able to persuade about 18 of them to take my work. In a year I sold two pictures, these were blueprints and framed, for 35 each from a gallery in Grantham.

However I think this may be a good way of doing things because most small town and suburban galleries now sell mass produced prints and some original ones would be very welcome.

The public does seem to be taking more interest in art these days, walk down any street and look into the windows, be nosy, and you will see lots of art on peoples walls.

I'll stick to eBay I love it :-)

Regards - Jim

03-03-2005, 01:24 PM
Where I live people do not know what fine art prints are, and stray away from black and white work. I am in a gallery where I have sold work to those that are informed about prints, but still people want lively colored pieces of work. I did an out of state show about a year ago, and did fairly well there. I don't let it dampen my spirits though. When I am working I work for myself and not others.

03-03-2005, 06:58 PM
Congrats Jim,

Don't sell my work for the most part...number of reasons. The biggest: I'm not prolific enough to make the effort worthwhile. Most of my work has been given, or swapped away. Tried the 'business' thing and quickly felt it drain my creativity away. I have enough blocks to work through...don't need to create more. LOL! :D