View Full Version : Time spent painting for ebay & being organized?

04-10-2002, 11:50 PM
I was just reading through the most recent threads, and I was wondering how much time a week does everyone spend painting for ebay? How many paintings do you produce weekly? And are you a full time or part time artist?

I am an evening / weekend artist and I only seem to get 2 to 3 evenings a week to paint. I always plan on painting on Saturday, but that doesn't happen as much as I would like, what with cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and all. Ebay itself takes time to prepare auctions and ship paintings. Depending on the week I usually get 1 to 3 paintings done.

What are some time saving tips that you have developed to allow yourself more painting time? One thing that I have started doing is going shopping every other week at Costco.... buying larger quantities saves time and money and I love not shopping every week. Of course you need to have a few people around the house to eat the food to make it work! I have 4 kids at home so by the end of two weeks there is not much food left.

Another thing I do is to have my auctions end on Thursday and give myself til Saturday or Monday to ship. This has made a big difference on my time. The first few months of ebay selling I was running to the postoffice nearly every day, and packing the stuff everynight. After Christmas was over I thought "there's got to be a better way!" This new system works for me.

I would love to hear how you all do! Full time or part time ~ I bet there are some really great tips out there!


04-11-2002, 12:31 AM
For me it varies. I will spend three or four days painting and then take a few days off. I usually spread my auctions to end on weekdays...about three or four a week. But I don't always have that many going. Right now I have two up and need to paint at least four new paintings! But I've also shipped five this week. Shipping depends more on when I get paid...rather than when the auction closes.

Shipping is easy for me. I go by the PO every day anyway to pick up mail or send off letters. The PO is 5 minutes from home so its not a hassle and they've even seen me in my PJ's...lol! There's a new Wendy's being built next door to our PO....I'll be able to do lunch and hit the PO at the same time...yea!

Overall I spend about three full days working on my auctions - painting/shipping/online stuff. Of course I'm also cooking meals, doing laundry, and cleaning house, or yardwork, or goofing off with friends on those days too...LOL. I guess you could say I have the best life!

04-11-2002, 12:38 AM
OH...a time saving tip.

I keep all my shipping supplies in one area. I can have a painting ready to go from printing out the letter of authentication to heading out the door to the po...in 10 minutes. (my husband timed that!)

Being organized is a big part of time saving. Not having to search for something when I need it saves me more time than anything.

04-11-2002, 12:48 AM
With a full-time job, I only paint part-time, and since I'm involved with an art club (as treasurer) and participating in shows, festivals, studio tours, it's all a very tight squeeze, let me tell you. I don't list on Ebay all the time, only one or twice a month. I try to paint a couple of times per week, usually on the weekend. I keep a detailed calendar of all the things I have to do and the deadlines, it's the only way not to forget anything. I do a lot of my extra stuff, like club business, or listing on Ebay, shipping, designing my new brochure, having art cards made, mostly in the evenings but also on weekends. I have to agree with Carly, the only way to get ahead is to be organized. Everything in one place and follow the same procedure all the time. I'm looking forward to the day when I can quit my job and do this full-time. I think it'll be a lot easier then.

04-11-2002, 01:28 AM
Wow! I have no idea how often I'm actually painting for Ebay. Lol My life is very hectic. I'm in school full time for art, then do Ebay. It seems I'm ALWAYS doing art anymore. LoL

I try to put out at least 5 paintings a week. Then I usually do 10 day auctions so it make it seem like more as they double up on the weekends. Then when you add the few that I relist, I'll usually have about 14 up at any time.

One thing that I do to save time, is that I paint several paintings at once. I can get a lot more done this way and also waste less paint. I work on Arches Blocks as it's more convienent for me. So I will have anywhere from 3 to 5 blocks going at once.

04-11-2002, 01:44 AM
I am with Suzette, I can't wait for the day! I have wanted to be on the board of our art club, but have chosen ebay for now. You really can't do everything and work full time, huh!

I too have a shipping area, but what slows me down is cutting a backing board for the painting, and then shrink wrapping it. I have a shrink wrap machine from a past business, and it doesn't make sense to buy something else when I have a huge roll of shrink wrap! It is time consuming though. One thing I try to do is shrink wrap the painting before the auction is over so that all I have to do is put it in it's priority box when the auction is over, that is, uh, if it sells! I just tape the certificate to the back of it.

Wendy's has some yummy new salads now Carly, lol! It's by my postoffice too!

Details of the 10 minute packing job pleeeease Carly! How do you do it?


04-11-2002, 07:30 AM
I have a shipping "area" too with all my bubblewrap, padded envelopes, spare cardboard and tape dispenser (I finally broke down and got myself one of those fab things with the handle to do packing tape!). Whenever I receive a card or padded envelope I throw it on the pile in case it comes in handy later! I keep all my eBay paintings in their own area too. As soon as I get a bid I pack the painting, as I tend to do bits of things here and there anyway.

I do specific paintings for ebay, so I might spend x number of hours in one go as I did with the Scotland landscapes on auction now. I did all four in one afternoon. Other times it might be drafts or experiments that I sell, so I just keep everything from my work and pull aside stuff that might sell on eBay. So that stuff I couldn't put a set time on, but it's stuff that I wouldn't otherwise sell or exhibit.

I also have a receipt book and part of the process is packing, writing the receipt, and attaching a business card and flyer.


04-11-2002, 02:02 PM
Because about 90% of all my paintings are shipped rolled without any matting...its easy. I use the triangle shaped Priority boxes. Tape one end of the box...

I use white banner paper (comes in a huge roll- cost about $4 - Office Depot) I pull out a length of banner paper long enough to lay the painting in the center. Painting lies face up. I cut a piece of clear heavy plastic (this comes in a roll from Hobby Lobby - I don't remember the name of it)that's a bit larger than the painting and lay it over the painting. Then I tape the corners. This keeps the painting in the center of the white banner paper. I then take a large round tube (saved from Christmas wrapping paper)...lay it on the edge of the banner paper and roll the paper with painting to the outside around the tube. Drop the tube out one end and adjust the rolled painting to 'fit' into your shipping box. You don't want it to be tight...just relaxed. Paintings should never be placed in a tube tight against the sides! They can be damaged when removed! For a large painting on paper, you can just use the plastic to roll the painting in or the banner paper....then wrap a piece of narrow paper around everything and tape it. Never tape where cutting or pulling tape off might damage your painting!

trim any of the banner paper on the ends so it fits into the box....don't fold it over or crumple it. Keeping it smooth keeps the painting smooth too. Now I take the letter to the buyer and my bio sheet (already prepared), roll them, and drop them into the center of the rolled painting. Tape up the other end of the box...be sure not to leave any holes for moisture to seep in.

When I receive payment info, I make up my label to the buyer, the confirmation receipt and the insurance receipt and attach it to the copy of the auction with an index card with all information about that purchase. These are already to stick onto the box!

You can roll your paintings without the plastic over them...I did that for a long time...but the plastic gives the look of the painting under glass! It looks great when its unpacked! Remember...presentation!

When I pack a canvas, I tape together the priority boxes to fit the canvas. I use a flat piece of foamcore on the front of the canvas...and another inside the stretchers on the back side against the canvas. This gives you more protection than a piece across the back of the stretcher. You could just use the boxes cut to fit the canvas, too. You can have these cut ahead of time, too.

Being organized is a key....repetition will show you how to take away the things that consume your time...and simplifying it all will make it easier along the way.

Took me three times longer to type this than it would to ship a painting! and I could have had lunch on the way! LOL

04-11-2002, 08:42 PM
Thanks so much Carly, I really appreciate the time you took to put down that valuable information! And I know many others will be grateful to you for it also. I have been going to order the tubes, but haven't got around to it. I am going to order some tonight!

Kjss that's a great idea, to work on several paintings. I am going to try that. My life is hectic too and these tips people are sharing are great.

Here's something else I do. At first I had a form that I used to record my information about each auction. It was very complete with all kinds of information, from the complete breakdown of the cost and profit of the auction, the date of my emails to the buyer, payment date and how, ship date, the pertinent information about the buyer, the information about the painting. But guess what? It took me a bit of time to fill out everything. Now I have simplified it. Instead I do this: if the buyer pays by paypal, I print the page from my account with the costs, and buyer info. I add the size of the painting, the ebay costs, my communications with the buyer dates, and the ship dates. I put this in a 3 ring binder. If they don't pay through paypal, then I print the end of auction page and add the buyers information, and the other above stuff. Or, you could do it with the listing confirmation. That would probably be better, you have it in your book right off the bat. I have just been scrambling to get things done lately and so have done it after the auction. You can buy from the office supply store paper that is already punched for a 3 ring binder. That's helpful too.
Having my auctions all end on the same day helps me not let anything fall in the cracks. I just do all the paperwork at once. Carly, I too do my labels and tags at that time. The auction sheet is located in the front of my book until it's paid then it goes to the back of the book to ship, and then in the middle section when complete. The binder is all separated into sections. Then I usually package stuff on Saturday, and mail on Monday. When people send a check or money order, it usually takes about week to do the turnaround; receive check, put it in the bank, have it clear, and then I send their stuff on my next mailing day. Of course I don't hold up shipping something if it needs to go in the middle of the week, I do it then. Overall though, I am able to ship the bulk of my auctions on my designated mailing day. This has been a great help to me.

On the certificate of authenticity, I have been using just a copy of a master certificate with blanks and handwriting in the size and title of the painting, and then signing it. That way I have a stack of them printed up ready to go, just needing the pertinent info. When I have more time I would like to do something really beautiful like hairball's certificates.

well gotta go order those tubes and paint several paintings at once!

04-12-2002, 12:47 AM
I also like the idea of painting several paintings at once. They can be on similar themes using similar colors and could be done fairly quickly. Good tip.