View Full Version : OK, I gotta ask...?
02-01-2002, 05:47 PM
I've been thinking about trying to sell on ebay and have visited several times just to get familiar w/it. I'm a technoneophyte, and it's all pretty overwhelming still. But what really puts me off is seeing a good artist selling a beautiful full-sheet watercolor, for example, for $20.00! How can anyone do that?????? The paper cost more than that! Any thoughts? L.
02-01-2002, 07:17 PM
I get those kinds of questions all the time when I tell someone I sell on ebay. They always ask how much do I sell my art for....and when I tell them...they say "How can you do that?"!!!
Here's how I figure it works for me.....
Take my usual size 12x16 watercolor and have it framed and put it in a gallery (I have one that tries to get me to sell all the time at this price)....retail $200.
That sounds really good...right! But now out of the $200, the gallery is going to keep 40% (some 50%)...so now I'm going to receive $100 or $120.
Out of the $100 or $120 that I received, I paid about $65 or more for framing (the gallery can frame and give me a discount and that's the price quoted). So now I'm down to receiving somewhere around $35-50 for my "original watercolor painting".
And galleries often take several months for a sale. In the meantime I'm out expenses that I don't get paid for until the sale takes place and time and energy in traveling.
With ebay, I sell my "original watercolor paintings" 12x16, anywhere in the price range of $29-$45, and they sell in 5 to 10 days depending on the setting for my auction. I do have some overhead with the sales....it ranges from 9-12% depending on the sales in a month.
I can do all of this from my home...even shipping products are delivered to the front door.
My clients on ebay get to know me....they follow my auctions....and a lot of my sales are repeats from happy customers. Now the viewers are checking out my website and asking about larger works at higher prices. I just sold a painting this week from someone who found it on my website after seeing my work at ebay!
I was in a gallery for three years....and sold really well...about 12 paintings! In six months on ebay, I've sold over 50 paintings, mostly watercolors, some acrylics and oils on canvas, and several mixed media pieces on paper. Some of my works sold for over $300.
Auctions are not for everyone but it can be a starting place if you have nowhere else to sell. For me its where I want to be.
02-02-2002, 01:47 PM
I agree with Carly, in addition to having your work tied up, no income til it sells, there are those other considerations.... for instance what I really didn't like was getting the piece framed and running around to get it where it goes, the time it takes to do all that. You usually don't get paid for your time.
With Ebay, although there is time that is needed for putting up your auctions, bookwork, etc., you are at home, you don't have to frame or even mat your art, and the buyers pay for the shipping and handling, so it is a real low cost way to sell your work and soooooooooo convenient!!!
I love it! It fits my schedule and lifestyle and the best thing is the immediate feedback that you get from those you sell to. I love hearing how much people appreciate my paintings. It makes me feel like I am really accomplishing something worthwhile.
02-02-2002, 02:00 PM
Thank you Cathy and Carly. those are all worthwhile considerations. Does anyone have any luck selling open run prints via internet or ebay. I just recently put up a little storefront on my site. It's at:
or at the end of my index bar on my main site. If you get a chance to take a looksee, I'd be interested to hear what you think. L
02-02-2002, 08:44 PM
Wow Laura, you have some really nice work on website! I know I have mentioned this else where, but for Christmas I did a print and sold about 90 of them on ebay. It was especially created for Christmas 2001.
02-02-2002, 09:15 PM
Laura, I love your technique! I just bought a book called "Paint Radiant Realism in Watercolor, Ink & Colored Pencil". Its beautiful, but a little too intricate. I like the simpler look of ink or graphite with color added.
ANYWAY you ask about open edition prints on eBay. Right before Christmas I started selling some prints. I put up a dozen or so. One 5x7 went for $127, I posted it a second time and it went for $70. A different one went for $46. Several others went for my minimum of $8.95. Some did not sell at all. Now after Christmas I'm setting a minimum bid of $9.95 (5x7) and $14.95 (8x10) -- frankly I'm doing good to even get bids, but I have sold a couple close to the minimum. No one has taken me up on my 'Buy It Now' of $19.95 or $29.95. I would normally sell these prints on my website and locally for $25 to $35 and they DO sell.
I plan to continue posting art throughout 2002. Most are prints I DON'T yet offer on my website. I also hope to get back to some basics so I can sell some originals -- right now everything I do is digital so there is NO original!
On one hand I agree that much of the art goes terribly cheap -- in fact if I sell even a print at $8.95 I've made almost nothing by the time eBay takes a cut, PayPal or Billpoint takes a cut and I pay for my materials. BUT I also agree with Carly and Cathy -- if you really compare the time, effort and expense of selling many other ways, its worth taking the chance that you'll build up a clientel on eBay that will eventual pay "good" money for your art. I beleive my $127 sale that I shipped to Australia was a fluke -- wouldn't mind a fluke like that once in while to keep my heart racing, but otherwise I will be content to sell for under my standard prices for awhile...but not forever.
02-02-2002, 09:22 PM
P.S. You can find my eBay auctions at my ME page: http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/cat-artist/
AND LOOK -- NO CATS! at least at the moment.
02-03-2002, 12:45 AM
Laura, beautiful work. I especially love 'Three Cosmos'.
Yes, you're right, art is going terribly cheap. So you don't want to be selling your best stuff at Ebay. However, you can get rid of old inventory that hasn't sold, or you can do small quick pieces especially for Ebay. Then the lower price isn't so bad. And you hope to develop a following after a while. One artist that I know (online) is now selling a lot of his work for over $2,000. And your work is so nice, you should have no problems. But do expect low prices at first. Good luck.
02-03-2002, 12:59 PM
Lori Lee - enjoyed your site and pages on ebay... everyone needs an ocassional fluke now and then, but even so, from what everyone says on here, I am encouraged to try (might take me a while, process looks complicated, and I'm still learning how to use this machine and my way around this site!).
And Suzette, yes, it's probably a good idea to not use my favorites to start. Thanks for visiting my site, did you happen to have your speakers on?
02-04-2002, 09:29 PM
Yes, I did, and I found th music nice but barely audible. Which I didn't mind, I don't like loud music, it's intrusive.
02-06-2002, 03:42 PM
Hi Suzette - Just wondering if you're having problem w/sound card, or perhaps you need to adjust your midi controls to get better sound, esp. if you notice problem on more than one site. Thanks for looking, L.
02-06-2002, 10:31 PM
Laura, I don't have a problem with anything else. I even went back to your site and still found it to be barely audible. Maybe it's just because there's other noise in the house from the TV. But I could hardly hear it.
02-07-2002, 10:01 PM
I do sell a lot on eBay but don't put in my best or new work. Also I paint full time and work fast. (this helps).I also sell in galleries but...I would starve if I had to rely only on gallery sales.
My prices on ebay are getting higher ( after only 7 months) I have met wonderful people and have a lot of repeat customers. Also, because of ebay I have had commissions and sold off my site at full price. So...ebay has been for me a good experience all around. Go for it!!
02-07-2002, 11:23 PM
Rita - thanks for your candid take and encouragement re: ebay. What have I got to lose, right?!? With everyone's input, I'm beginning to look at the idea differently. L.
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