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Old 09-06-2017, 03:27 PM
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Grotius Grotius is offline
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Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

Hi all,

I've been running a portfolio website and blog for a couple months (link in signature below), and I'm slowly increasing readership and visits. But I don't list prices or have a cart. I merely encourage people to contact me if they want to buy.

I'm anxious to start selling, but I'm not sure whether to add prices and a checkout cart to my site or try Daily Paintworks. I do crank out many small studies almost daily, and I don't post all of these on my blog or site. Some people say list prices at my site, as it's best to sell everything in one place. Others say to reserve my site for larger things, add prices later when I'm better known, and in the meantime sell small stuff at DPW now.

Truth is, most of my stuff is small stuff. Lots of plein air studies. I did sell one off the easel the other day, but for less than I'd like.

Any advice on what I should do?
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:41 PM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

If you don't put the prices, people can't buy. Maybe hotshots can afford not to put their prices and let clients walk away, but I sure can't. A cart lets people buy at times that are convenient to them, and that might be when they are surfing the net because they can't sleep.

I focus on selling off my own site instead of someone else's these days.

Maybe have a look at the amount of traffic DPW gets (divided up by all their artists) vs how much you get off your own site. Just had a look and their prices for small paintings sure are low. Can you tell if the people who shop there are people you want to have as customers?

Last edited by Harold Roth : 09-06-2017 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:56 PM
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

Thanks for your reply, Harold. That's the way I'm leaning -- to add prices to my site. One friend warns that that will make my site look less arty and more commercial or even tacky, but I suppose the point is to make it more commercial.

More worrisome is a relative, a fellow artist, who thinks I should wait a bit. That may mean she thinks I need to improve; she may be too nice to say, I dunno. I certainly do hope to improve! Not sure I want to wait, though. People constantly ask me if I sell stuff when I'm out painting plein air, and I did sell something off the easel the other day.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:01 PM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

That's a great way to sell.

I think prices make an artist look more professional, not less.

Re waiting a bit, my own art has improved greatly since I put up my site. When I feel like a work is no longer up to what I can do, I remove it from my site. I've replaced everything on there at least once. I think that's okay to do. I've only kept old paintings on the Etsy site, because I feel like that is a very different venue. I have sold a couple prints of old paintings on there.

Anyway, I feel like if you feel ready, you are ready. It's not up to others, really. For me, putting up a site and asking for money for my art made me look at it more professionally and critically without being so neurotic. So it was a good thing for me to do for my art as well as for my pocketbook.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:06 PM
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

Thanks, Harold! A very persuasive post. 👍
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:29 AM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

You're very welcome!
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:22 AM
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grotius
One friend warns that that will make my site look less arty and more commercial or even tacky

If you want to sell stuff, an arty website isn't going to help you. I don't know why 'art' and 'commercial' are two words that many think can't be combined, but the moment you start selling, your ARE being commercial, so you better act like it.

A website with instead of a price list a "contact me for a quote" comment is going to drive customers away. It gives the impression that this stuff is too expensive for them. And for me it comes across as if your too embarrassed to share this information, as if there is something wrong with your work.

When selling, you need to make your website as easy as possible for your visitor. People are already turning away from a website if they have to click three or more times to get where they want to be; asking them to send an email is a sureway to scare your potential customer away.

There's nothing wrong with listing the price . You're selling, so.. sell!
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:50 AM
IanBertram IanBertram is offline
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by freakstyle
A website with instead of a price list a "contact me for a quote" comment is going to drive customers away. It gives the impression that this stuff is too expensive for them.

It is like the shops with no prices in the shop window. The subliminal message being sent is 'if you have to ask, you can't afford it'.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:35 AM
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

I really appreciate all the replies! Okay, I'm convinced. I am using Squarespace, and while it's not as robust as Shopify, I think it will serve my needs. It supports PayPal and credit-card processing via Stripe. It also seems able to handle sales taxes for sales to same-state residents. I'm not sure whether to have a separate store page or simply to add prices/cart links to each painting in the existing galleries. My guess is you guys would say the latter.

Also, I'm not sure how to handle potential sales to the EU. It seems one has to list the full price inclusive of VAT for an EU customer. Failing to do so apparently runs afoul of EU law. How do people do this while quoting lower prices for non-EU customers? (Perhaps I should ask about that in a separate thread. I tried searches on taxes here but didn't find much on VAT, and VAT is too short too search on.)

Finally, is it okay to sell copies of Master works (with proper acknowledgement of course)? E.g., I have a copy of a Sargent on my site.

I'll also need to learn how to package a painted board to canvas for shipment, but I see there are threads about that here already.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:47 AM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

I don't think you have to charge VAT unless you are in the EU.

Personally, I think it is okay to sell copies of masters as long as you identify them clearly on the site and on the back of the painting. Copies of contemporary artists, I would say no.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:07 AM
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

As for packaging your painting, this is a pretty thorough vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGRkygKnsbs.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:17 AM
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

That's a good video; thanks for the link. How dry does an oil painting (on a panel, say) have to be to wrap it in glassine? Dry to the touch? Varnished with Gamvar or retouch varnish?
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:30 PM
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

Your work is VERY salable. You're ready. Have you decided on pricing?

I am selling on Etsy and on my Pattern website on Etsy. I've sold a few on DPWs but I can't paint enough non-commissions to properly test it, so dropped it.

You might test it and see if it works for you. There's no rule that you can't try a site out for awhile and see.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:55 PM
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

Thanks, Robin! I'm glad you think I'm ready. That means a lot to me!

Yep, I'm aiming to price at about $2/square inch as a base price, then add more if I've framed it or otherwise invested extra time or money or energy in a piece.

Yeah, I might dip my toe in DPW while I ready my site for e-commerce. Nothing to lose other than the relatively small fee.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:02 AM
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Re: Have portfolio website/blog. Add prices? Or try DPW first?

Good luck! Please also do some research on how to get eyeballs to your paintings, it's time consuming but doable.
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