View Full Version : My First Week On Ebay

04-30-2002, 09:39 AM
So far my first week on ebay, I have had $76.00 in sales to come home with $35.00 net, a return of only 46% and that doesn't include all the time I've spent on setting up the account, adding items etc...

seems i'm better sticking my originals in a gallery, not having to do another thing and get my full 60% on the work...as it is I started my originals for less than what's on my web page....(something I'm not going to do again...)

Granted it's only my first week and I should be thrilled, but considering that three of the items went to WC members, well I'm a bit leary. Also I listed some high ticket items just to let people know what my work normally sells for...

And hopefully I'll sell some of my fing flower paper sculptures off (but at considerably less than i was originally getting for them)...

I will give it till mid June, my reasoning being that usually this is my best time of year...so I should see what it's really like for me.

04-30-2002, 07:15 PM
Breaking into any new market can be time consuming (you'll learn a lot of shortcuts along the way!) and sometimes costly. Ebay is no exception. My first paintings sold for $20 to $30 (watercolors) but that was a way to get my name known and a clientele base established. Now the same paintings would bring three times that much and my bidders know that! Sometimes the same buyers are bidding against one another for a painting. It took me six months to begin to see a pattern for buyers and to realize a bigger profit margin...and now, I couldn't put my work into a gallery and make as much from it. The 50% commission and framing would eat up all my profit!

Another real element with ebay is the interaction with the clients. I love it. Many have become internet friends during the year. You can't put a price on that.

Selling at auction on the internet is not for everyone...but there is a niche market for everyone. Sometimes it just takes awhile to find it. Hang in there!

04-30-2002, 10:55 PM
Carly the question I have is i put some of my work up on ebay for less than i have it on my web site...have you done this? and what was the reaction? isn't that undercutting myself? or should i do a special unsigned edition just for ebay?

05-01-2002, 12:35 AM
Arlene, I think people who shop at Ebay expect a bargain and probably expect that the price will be lower than it would otherwise be. Otherwise, they'd just shop from your website, wouldn't they, why bother bidding on an auction? I don't think there's anything wrong with having a starting price that is lower than your normal price. That is what the auction system is for after all, the more demand the higher the price goes.

05-01-2002, 02:39 PM
The paintings I have on my site that are for sell....do not have prices. Buyers will email me when they find something of interest on my site...but I don't use it for sales in the same way you do. I use it more for an 'exhibit' of my work.

I think you might do well with an open edition print that could be marketed for less on ebay. You might even want to open a storefront for this. And you could try a 'dutch' auction for it also. I've never done one of those but several who sell their prints do it.

You might try a smaller format if that would bring the costs down. I have sold a small watercolor at auction and then the buyer wanted a much larger painting from my website. That gave me a good sale!

05-01-2002, 05:38 PM
Hi Carly,

Do you sell your artwork only in USA? What kind of shipping do you use?

I'm thinking about selling some of my paintings on ebay (before I end up giving them away) but I am trying to find some advice on how to do it the right way.

Thanks in advance!!!:D

05-01-2002, 07:13 PM
I'm with Monica on this one as well. I need advice before I take the plunge!
The more I read here, about Ebay, the more I want to give it a go.
It does seem that art on Ebay sell's, but not for enough money as far as I'm concerned. I just don't know what to decide as far as pricing my work, it's the major issue that is holding me back on placing that ad.
Q - if no one bids more than the starting price, do you have to
except that bid?
- Most of my work(sculpture) is in small editions, but it says that
you can only sell the one in the ad. So can I put the same piece
up again after the first one sells.
- should I say that this is No 5 of say 20.
- I also have a couple of open edition pieces that I am happy to
carry on casting as long as people still want them. How should I
deal with that?

Better leave it at that for now with the questions, before I get carried away:)


05-01-2002, 08:11 PM
I have only sold a couple pieces there, so I won't profess to speak from experience at all. But you work is gorgeous Arlene and I think the others are right...stick with it. The big ticket buyers probably want to see a 'presence' over time and more of your work...$76.00 your first week out is a great start!!I am betting that figure will rise very shortly!:D I think the market there seems to ebb and flow...who knows, next week could be a sell-out for you!

Lisa and Moniqui, I am a newbie there too.(Listed 3, sold 2) I have spent insane hours the past couple months watching the trends, studying what type of advertising looks effective, prices etc...I am taking the plunge now , starting off selling several fairly small pieces and using those proceeds to cover off the fees for listing my bigger pieces. Hope it works!

05-02-2002, 09:41 AM
Well I have a bid on another of my paper sculptures and also on my daffodil...The paper sculpture is for $45 and the daffodil is for $2.50.

Each of my little drawings (4" x 4") takes me anywhere between 8-12 hours to do, so working smaller isn't really feasible...I think doing 2" x 2" would get to be a bit small?

But I am going to consider doing the prints as open editions in a smaller size...say 8 x 10 or 4 x 6 or 9 x 12...

another thing i was considering was doing the prints in totally different colors and selling them as open editions...I can change the colors in photoshop...what do you think of that idea?

05-02-2002, 12:55 PM
Monica and Lisa....lots of great questions to be asking before starting on a new venture in selling thru ebay. When I began, I had very little information and no real guidance...LOL! So I made a lot of mistakes!!

My best advice is to familiarize yourself with ebay by buying. I was a buyer before I was a seller which gave me look at the other side of the auction process.

Next, read thru the info here that is already covering many of the questions you've ask. Take some notes. Follow some auctions by members here and see how they do...compare description pages within the auctions. See what you like and don't like! Copy the things you like and tell yourself to not do the things you don't like.

Decide on a plan for ebay sales and follow thru. Begin with lower prices and get bids...then watch your bidders raise the prices.

And yes, if the painting only gets one bid at your starting price...it sells at that price. I tell everyone, "Start your painting at the price you are willing to sell it for" Don't begin it with a .01 starting bid if you can't afford to sell it at a penny! Artists who list like that have a huge client base and know where their art will close at!

If you're unsure about the starting price, you can place a hidden reserve on the auction. That means the painting won't sell until the reserve is met by the bidders. This is an option....but from my experience, I've found that bidders don't like hidden reserves and you'll get fewer bids - many times less than your reserve so you pay listing fees and get no sales in return. It's a matter of choice...what works best for you.

Arlene, I wouldn't change my colors to do digital prints. That's an entirely different market on ebay. Check it out before you list...but then again, nothing ventured - nothing gained!

05-02-2002, 12:57 PM
Arlene...one more thought! as usual....lol.

Check out the miniatures market. Many of those artists get fairly high prices for their 2x2 paintings!

There may be a category for them...I'm not sure...or your may have to do a search.

05-02-2002, 02:07 PM
Arlene, if you're going to do prints, I like the idea of the different colours. For me, when I look at a painting, it's mostly the colours that determine whether I like or not, it's very seldom other things like subject matter, medium or technique, or even composition. So in my opinion, giving the buyer a choice of colours can only improve your chances of selling. Keep in mind however that prints will get a lower price than originals.

05-02-2002, 02:32 PM
Arlene, I do the miniature market and it has been a steady income there. I sell mini prints of my paintings too and I start them at 7.99 and they have gone for as high as 25.00. They are my fillers to keep something on auction when I don't have as much time to paint as I would like. Currently I am selling direct to a miniature dealer, so I don't have any originals on auction til I get her order filled. She found me through ebay.


05-02-2002, 02:44 PM
Thank you...so far I have sold three of my paper sculptures on ebay, each for the opening bid of $45. I'm not unhappy at this point, and i'm learning.

I'm thinking of adding some smaller versions of my larger prints and also doing the notecards.

I actually think I could do a miniature of my flowers, or if not that, at least sell miniature prints.

Kathy do you sell the originals and prints framed? And where do u get frames that size?

05-02-2002, 08:11 PM
Arlene, I don't mat or frame them, I just cut a mat board for backing and shrink wrap it. The lady who is buying 20 from me has another person mat and frame them with glass. I would charge a lot more if I were doing that too. I don't like the hassle of that, I'd rather spend my time painting. Besides I can paint a lot faster than I frame. :)

05-05-2002, 07:04 PM
Help!! I just sold some items on Ebay-- am I supposed to do that thing with sending an invoice? I used the Ebay checkout method.

05-05-2002, 08:19 PM
Lisa, I usually sne them an email explaining their options for paying. I also give them their total and provide a link to their auction won for their convienence. I also restate my payment terms (10 days from end of auction) and thank them for their bid.

If you use Ebay Payments, on the auction page they should find a button that will take them to the payment page.

I do this, and PayPal, and also accept check or money order. (10 day clearing time for checks) Both my PayPal and the Billpoint have pay buttons on the auction page. Of course I send my address as well in case they want to pay via check or money order.