View Full Version : Sure Fire tips for selling on eBay

01-11-2002, 02:40 AM
Ok, I thought it would be nice to have one spot where we could put our best marketing strategies together!

One thing that works for me when selling on ebay is to have a variety of items at different prices. I like to have something with a minimum bid of 9.99 and then 24.99 and in increments on up to $100. Something is always selling and it is nice. I try not to be too greedy and try to keep my pricing reasonable. During the month of December I ran a 8x10 print for 12.50 and sold 90. Some fellow artists told me I should have sold them for twice the amount or more, and I am sure I could have but would I have sold as many? A lot of my sales were 2 - 6 prints to one bidder (I ran them on a dutch auction). My marketing strategy was quantity, and I still obtained a fair return of $10 per print as profit. AND I still have the original painting. $900 is not a bad months pay for one print. FYI it was an open edition.

When selling my art on ebay, I price my work by how much money I want to make an hour. I found that's the easiest way for me to keep track. Now don't go and make this mistake; I paid myself well for the painting time, but I forgot to allow for the marketing and paperwork time when I first started doing this. So be sure to charge enough to pay for all the jobs you do to get to the final sale. Sometimes I don't get as much as I want for one painting, but then turn around and make beyond expectations on another, so I think it balances out.

Well that's my tip(s)... there are alot more experienced ebayers here than I and I hope you will share your great tips! :D

01-11-2002, 10:47 AM
Between my husband and I we have 3 different ebay user accounts, 2 of which are mine. Over a year I've been selling some industrial equipment and have had zero problems with it once I found the right catagory. Plus I start my bidding at a very low price and watch it take off to close to what they were worth. Something I start at $3.99 will end up close to $200 by end of auction. My husband was selling some of the same things for his boss and had put them to start at close to what they were worth. Most of his auctions rarely had any bids.

But when it came to my art I wasn't sure I'd want to start the prices really low. Only recently I started using my account I had set up for my art under virtualpixie. I normally draw/paint fantasy type figures and landscapes. At first I set up four 8x10 prints on there for $8.00. They went fast. Another time I tried some set at $5.99 and though the price was lower they went nowhere. So to test out my theory, I tried them beginning at $8 again and they sold well. These were prints from my own printer though and the cost was fine for me.

My tip: I would say definitely use the gallery image option, and put a photo by your title. I get 10 times the hits that I'd get otherwise. Since ebay's picture service isn't that great, I do still use it in order to get the title pic too, but I also add my own image link in the middle of the page. It's helped greatly.

I'm experimenting with paintings now. I've been so nervous about it. I do need the paintings gone to make room for more I'm doing, but I don't want them to go too low. Right now I'm just selling the ones that took me only a couple hours to do.
My first attempt failed under Antiques & Art>Art>Paintings, so I switched catagories and tried it in two at once. The same painting I relisted yesterday under
Antiques & Art>Art>Self-Representing Artists
Collectibles>Art, Animation & Photo Images>Art>Painting
and there's already a bid with 6 days left. It could be it will stay at that price, but I'll keep experimenting. :)

01-11-2002, 11:28 AM
I have and still am fearful selling my work on Ebay.I have listed 6 paintings and sold 4 all at really low prices. Too low. 2 were started at $9.99, got several bids but ended at around $26.00, 1 started at $12.99-got 1 bid and the other started at $14.99 with 1 bid. The last 2 I listed, I started higher and put reserves. Out of the 2, 1 got 2 bids but only as high as $24.
Your right in saying that the lower start price bids seem to get action, but from what I have experienced, I ended up giving them away. Reserved items tend to be avoided, so how do you sell? These have been originals and I dont think bad. 2 of these paintings I posted here yesturday under acrylic. The Garden Arbour sold for $14.99 and the cat gone no bids. Any suggestions here would be appreciated. Dont know if its my pricing, my listing category or my work??:confused:

01-11-2002, 02:41 PM
Caron, I don't want to sell my stuff for too low either, so I look at it two ways. 1- sell the stuff that doesn't take so long to paint at lower prices, but make sure it is good quality. I think when some people search they look for lowest prices first. If they like your work they will check out your other auctions and that will bring them to your higher priced pieces.
2- Consider sacrificing some of your nicer pieces as cost of advertising. I want to give the customer maximum value for their dollar, and in the end you may lose on one piece but may get a long term customer or commissions off that piece. I sold a painting on Auction for America which I received nothing at all but then the customer bought 6 other pieces from me.

I hope that helps, my lunch is over and I need to get back to work. But I'll be back!

01-11-2002, 03:40 PM
Do you have any idea why people might buy multiple items from one artist? I mean, are they trying to furnish a hotel, give them as gifts, or what? It is interesting to me that somebody would come back and buy again from the same artist. In my own mind, I have such a limited budget, that I would rather spread my self out for a nice "collection." So, I'm just trying to get inside the head of these ebay-addicts...if that is possible!

01-11-2002, 05:23 PM
I started selling my art on eBay around Thanksgiving of last year, and have a regular customer. This person gives some of the works to friends & family members and keeps the rest. I even sold one to this customer off the site.
I think it's comparable to my own buying choices when collecting recorded music- If I like something by a particular artist, I almost always get the next record or CD they put out. It's quite addictive.

01-11-2002, 07:30 PM
So far, the people who have bought more than one piece from me have bought them for gifts. One lady has had me do a couple of commissions - one as a gift for her husband and one for her daughter in-law.

The 'gift' paintings (except for the commissions) have been mostly under $50. It adds up to some good money!

Bluespade, I agree with you, I would like a gallery of different works, but I think maybe artists think differently!

It is great to have the repeat business though and I can't complain! :p

01-11-2002, 07:41 PM
Oh, I have one more thought on selling work at the lower price end... the goal of it all: It is a starting point to making your name and the quality of your work known on ebay... down the line your work will become more valuable as more people bid against each other for your pieces... at least that's what we all hope for. I've seen it happen, why not to us, right?

01-12-2002, 10:24 AM
Repeat buying brings up another question: do people often want several copies of the same print? I don't know if many people on here do open editions, you said you did, but do you think having prints (lower cost) encourages repeat buying of the same image?

01-12-2002, 07:24 PM
I guess it depends on the type of print as to why anyone would want more than one print. The print I sold at Christmas was made just for Christmas and people bought it for gifts. I had one lady order 7 before Christmas and then this past week ordered 5 more for friends.

I have another print that several people have placed an order of 2. So I don't know, I guess it depends on what kind of art you do. My print prices are priced to be affordable for gifts. The art that I make into prints usually have some sentimental value and I think that is why people buy them for gifts.

01-12-2002, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by bluespade
Do you have any idea why people might buy multiple items from one artist? I mean, are they trying to furnish a hotel, give them as gifts, or what? It is interesting to me that somebody would come back and buy again from the same artist. In my own mind, I have such a limited budget, that I would rather spread my self out for a nice "collection." So, I'm just trying to get inside the head of these ebay-addicts...if that is possible!

I don't remember where, but somewhere on one of the internet sales discussions someone said that gallery owners sometime buy art from ebay as filler for their gallery. Maybe that would account for some repeat business. This morning one person put bids on 4 of my original paintings, and like you Bluespade, I have no clue why they would do this. Gallery filler seems like a logical reason. When the auction is over and if this person wins the bids, I will find out why they wanted that many paintings and let you know.

I've also heard that decorators frequent ebay also...

I have a question... how can we apply what we know about repeat business to help us market on ebay more effectively?

01-13-2002, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by CathyD
During the month of December I ran a 8x10 print for 12.50 and sold 90.

Kathy, that is fantastic. Wow. Do you have your prints professionally done or do you print them yourself on your printer?

01-14-2002, 12:06 AM
Sumafra, I am lucky to have a graphics company near my home. They do a very high quality color copy on any kind of paper that you want (watercolor paper, etc.) Of course it's not giclee or anything like that, but the prints look very good and professional. It is not to be compared with Kinko's or the local copy store color copies, it's heads above. The cost is inexpensive, I get two prints on one 11"x 17" sheet for $1.25 per sheet. Sometimes in reproducing a painting you lose something in the color. Not here, the colors are amazing. The people I have sold prints to have been very pleased with them.

I am sure there are other places like this where ever you may be located. This particular place does all kinds of specialty work, like banners, cut out life size figures, vinyl signs, all kinds of things. They are great and are only 7 blocks from my house!

01-14-2002, 02:44 PM
$1.25 for 11x17 watercolor paper? Really? Something doesn't sound right about that. Are you aware what printing process you are using?


01-14-2002, 03:16 PM
Seemed rather cheap to me..Is that right? You supplying your own waterpaper and they are printing for that amount? Tell me more..

01-14-2002, 08:01 PM
Hi everyone, oops sorry, didn't mean to infer my prints are on watercolor paper, I was just saying they can produce it on watercolor paper if you want. The paper I chose was something that a lot of artists in my area are using. The prints are on a 100 lb paper. The paper that is used is acid free and has a mat finish. It has a nice weight to it, and takes the image well.
Bluespade, it is not a printing process but a color copy produced on very high quality machines. I had inquired about the ink too and it is fade proof for up to 7 years. Perhaps not archival, but certainly worth the 12.50 cost to the customer.

Someday I may make prints on watercolor paper, but if I do that the price will jump accordingly. And then maybe giclee and boy then watch the cost jump!!!

Caron, I will respond to you later, ok? ;)


01-15-2002, 01:06 AM
Cathy, $1.25 for 2 8x10 prints, that's incredible, particularly if the quality is good. I'm looking at doing something too, I'm going to have to shop around though. The regular color copy company around here does not deliver very good quality. However there is a printing company that's doing cards for local artists and they seem to deliver good quality. I'm going to check with them.