View Full Version : No e-bay at this time-bay

02-28-2002, 03:40 PM
I've been running through the threads here and have found alot of e-bay posts. Mind you, I have found alot of info that I normally would not have gotten elsewhere. But what about getting your own personal site and selling? Anyone out there having any success with that? I know it's more trouble, and you have to be a marketing major, but I have had the notion to build another site just for the buying market ( my current site is more of a "Hello, this is what I do" thing) I'm working on several different ideas, and I would surely love some input from those who have tried this approach.


02-28-2002, 03:53 PM
I have my own site that I sell from.
Makes no difference what you do, you have to advertise to the right market.
Target marketing & positioning is the key.

I am researching at this time more options of advertising my web site.
I except Paypal as payment method and can also process credit cards directly if they e-mail me the info. It is is very important to build trust.

Selling on EBAY helped me in so far that people can see I have been doing lots of business on the web and read my feedback. I also am signed up with an escrow service that my buyer can use if they choose to for larger transactions, there is a small fee that they know they will have to pay for the service.

Again when selling anything, but especially large dollar items it is important to make sure people feel they can trust you and they will get their moneys worth and that there is recourse in case of disputes.


02-28-2002, 04:48 PM
Ebay is a great marketing tool for your site!! It exposes you art to "buyers" not "browsers". Since selling at ebay my webpage sales have increased steadily and so have commission requests. I consider ebay a "bait" for people to see and possibly buy, my better work. I have two webpages both linked to my ME page. The results sales have been great!! Also, I think that when ebayers see the webpages and the better work they are encouraged to bid higher amounts because they understand they are getting a bargain. As Ginette says, you have to build trust...after all, these people send money to an unknown person, olften in another country and is a big risk for them. Once they know that they can trust you they will buy more from you, they will tell their relatives and friends...

So...don't knock ebay before you know a bit more about it.


02-28-2002, 05:13 PM

Not knocking e-bay, I'm just trying to find out how to make a website for an artist work. I see that there are alot of different ways to sell work, but I am looking at all options.

Besides, some of my best friends are e-bayers!:D


02-28-2002, 05:34 PM
Selling on eBay is my major selling space. I shift my older and smaller works there.

My website doesn't sell work - I tried, but it doesn't work. There are probably lots of reasons for this including the fact that eBay buyers (the majority of my click-throughs to my website) aren't interested in the higher priced works and the fact that people probably don't like to buy original artwork they can't see in person first or from a relative unknown artist. While I have bought artwork online it's been (with one exception) from an artist I already know and have seen work from.

My website IS important though even if you don't sell on it (in my humble opinion) - I use it to update current customers and my mailing list which is primarily online. I have also secured shows where the gallery received my CV and gallery sheet and was able to view more work online.


02-28-2002, 07:47 PM
I have yet to finish my website :p but as for marketing you cannot find a better tool than ebay. Thousands of people view the auctions on ebay, and it is low cost and affordable advertising for your website. There are other ways to advertise your website of course, and you would want to do that too, but while you are waiting for the sales to come in from your website why not make a little cash on ebay? It is the easiest and most enjoyable way I have found to sell my art!

Recently there was a article in our newspaper in the business section. It was about Walmart and how they had built a store in a fairly small town. The businesses around Walmart thrived and was busy continually. Then Walmart decided to build a Super Walmart a few blocks down the road. Now the shopping center where the original Walmart was located is all but dying. The thriving businesses can barely make it now and one sandwich shop went from 12 employees to 3. They now have to do extra things to bring in business like catering. So what changed? Obviously it was Walmart that brought the people in.

I look at ebay that way. Ebay is like Walmart where all the people go and by being found there it brings a lot more people to your website than you could ever do on your own. Well.... maybe if you had a million bucks to pay for advertising you could.

There you go, that's my Walmart theory of relativity!

Cathy :D

03-01-2002, 09:45 AM
Thanks CathyD,

I guess it's hands up for e-bay, but I can't believe the all the artists that are on the internet, use e-bay as their marketing tool. And again, I want to emphasize, that I'm not apposed to e-bay, I have an Aunt that sells crafts there, and she is doing well!
I am just trying to see what is working for those artist that do not use e-bay.

So far I hear that the smaller pieces go on e-bay. That of course suggests that people are looking for the low price. I know that's the norm. But even here locally I have sold to those very same people, and it's like "you do good work, but I wouldn't pay that price for it!" So, now I want to reach those who will pay the price I ask. (Remember I live in a rural community, so it's not a big dollar town.)

I do thank you for your inputs so far, I can see that e-bay is helpful! Someone have a different view altogether?


03-01-2002, 10:50 AM
T -- I have had my website up and running since Sept 2000. There's full online ordering with a secure form or the option of using PayPal shopping cart. I have promoted it by exchanging links, talking on message boards, printing the URL on EVERYTHING including my prints, paying a search engine, even some low end print advertising. I currently get up to 1000 hits a month, with 30-40 entries into my free drawing (those names go on my mailing list). I average 1-3 sales a month. Considering my price range from $35 to $100, that doesn't amount to much.

I've investigated some of the "online galleries". Just yesterday I happened onto ARTCRAWL.com. They charge a minimum annual fee of $250 + a set up fee and additional for more than 20 images. There were several artists from my local area listed so I called them by phone. I ask if they were selling or getting enquires from having an account with artcrawl.com. The short answer NO. Artist 1: member for several years, had sold one $700 painting. Artist 2: member for a year, had sold none. Artist 3: member for 3 years, had sold two watercolors at $275 each.

Unfortunately this seems to be the norm for online galleries I have investigated -- However, I think you'll find that artist's individual sites are actually doing better than the online galleries.

One of the biggest advantages of having a site on the Web -- even if you're paying to be in an online gallery -- is using it as a giant brochure and portfolio in brilliant living color. For the price, and versatility you just can't beat it!

I'm stuggling for a 'next step' to promote my site. It seems the only way is getting into big bucks advertising either on the web or in print. This is a little scary, since I have such low priced pieces. I will have to make many, many sales to just break even.

I know you're tired of hearing about eBay -- but I'm having fun with it. I started selling in November 01. I just sold a limited edition print #1 for $76. And in December I sold an open edition print for $127. Considering I would have sold these two for $35-$55 if I had posted them on my website, I'm very pleased with how eBay is going. Plus, if had framed these and had them for sale at a gallery or other outlet the profit would have been very low by the time I paid the commision. The print I sold for $76 cost me ebay fees and paypal fees totalling about $7. Thats a very economical way to sell and it was all done in 10 days! The other advantage is I have also had a few sale from my personal website BECAUSE of selling on eBay!

Keep this thread going. I want to know where to find those deep pocket clients too!

03-01-2002, 11:02 AM
Thanks dotcom,

Can one be fooled into thinking that all that is out there are cheapskates? No, I think not. Yet I am inclined to think that we can get a good price for what we do. I like that fact that you are getting good sales on ebay. I guess it boils down to this- I have had so many people dipping into my pockets for them to "sell" my work, but from past experience, it has not worked for me.

So whatcha gonna do,eh?

I will persue this to the fullest satifaction!:D


03-01-2002, 02:35 PM
Coolray, just one more thought (well for now...). Last week I sold an 11 x 14 watercolor painting for 105.00, unframed, unmatted. If I were to sell that same painting in a gallery for $300 and they take a 40 % commission, that leaves me with $180. But then subtract framing and matting $65- $70 (it can vary but for sake of example) and thats all IF the painting sells.... maybe in a few months time? I think ebay is the better deal because you get paid right away and end up with pretty much the same cash. Of course I am speaking from the perspective that I am not a "NAME" in my city and therefore don't have a following. I have a following on ebay though! I started selling in September of last year. Ebay doesn't have to be 'bargain' paintings, I think you can get good prices eventually.

just another 2 cents worth.


03-01-2002, 04:00 PM
Thanks Cathy,

There is the consideration of framed art against a print. I think that if I had the prints set up, I may be more inclined to use a source like ebay, just because you would not have to frame the work, thus cutting cost. I am probably looking too much at what I see at print galleries, and not the larger picture. (no pun intended)

We will see, what we will see.:)


03-01-2002, 07:40 PM
Not all artists at ebay sell in the hundred dollar range. Check out Jeff Cohen's work by using Cohen in your search. His paintings sell for thousands of dollars and he starts each one at a penny! There are others doing just as well.

My paintings have increased in value on ebay because my buyers are now competing to get new works. I know others have had this experience also. Ebay has brought me sales from my website as well as commission pieces. It can be a lucrative tool that works with your site.

To sell on an individual site without some type of support is not easy. You need to have a wide range of marketing tools to advertise the fact that you exist online....and that you are an artist who warrants high prices for his artwork. Buyers are more suspicious of online shopping and building trust is your most important asset! Ebay has helped me to do that with my site as well as my art.

Not long ago, someone posted the question here...Are there other ways to sell on line other than ebay? and we all ask for feedback from those who were making money from their sites. There were few answers.

03-04-2002, 04:21 PM
I have had some luck selling work from my website. it is the onlyway most people can see my work because I don't exibit much. Selling work from my website has been unpredictable. I have sold 6 paintings and made a total of about $1100. 5 of those happened in the same month. I went over a year without a sale before that. I think ebay is a better option for some people. but i'd be hesitant to try selling serious work there without easing in. I may try to sell some old drawing more to get exposure... and test out the market.

03-04-2002, 05:40 PM
I've only been at it a little over a year, so results are not really known yet. I have sold from my web site, but it's impossible to know if those sales were from folks that saw my work originally on eBay.

Traffic to my web site dropped dramatically when eBay changed their rules eliminating links from auction pages to web sites. Then my ISP went out of business so years of promoting my web site was wasted (I didn't have a domain). Since, I have purchased a domain name and am essentially starting over. I've not used eBay for a couple of months, but will try again soon to see what is happening there. I'll link to my "Me" page and from there to my web site. Some of my problem stems from the fact that much of my work is difficult to ship.

I've had some success by joining the local arts societies and local shows.

I think it will just take time and perseverance.

03-05-2002, 09:49 AM
I thank you all for the informative help!

I can see that if using ebay with your personal website, that you can capture a larger audience. I was sure that I would get others whom have used their site and have been successful.

El_Egante: I do agree that testing the waters would be a good idea. I would not like to put all my eggs in one basket. Thanks.

Jackdavis: Art shows, guilds, "Friends of the Arts",and other such groups, are very scarce around here. At one time there had been an art guild here, but it seems that noone wants to start one up or even put on shows. So I have be reserved in going to out-of-town shows because of the time and cost it takes to go. (at this time anyway.) But I would not be opposed to doing so if I could get away, and have a good amount of paintings to show.

Thanks one and all


Dave Carter
03-12-2002, 11:08 AM
I am new to ebay and new to web sites, yet I'm learning! Have a bunch of stuff on ebay...seems 'collectables' draws more interest than artwork, but a sale is a sale. I've got two functioning web sites and that mess I made at artist nation. Figured the only way to find out if it is right for me was to just do it and see. Might even offer up my collection of Garage Sale Art (highest price paid $10) on the web sites before and maybe after ebay.