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Old 01-31-2019, 08:32 PM
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AnnieA AnnieA is offline
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Free website, limited features OK, for someone just beginning to sell?

I haven't had many sales - I haven't really tried much yet - but am thinking of that as a goal for the future. I've got one small exhibit coming up and I'd like to have a gallery up on some artist's website that I could list on my business card. It would be great it if came with maybe some limited possibilities for sales. Most of the sites I've found either charge (and I'm not ready to commit to that), or if they're free, look kinda clunky - not the image I'm going for! I don't know if it matters, but I guess I would describe my art as "Expressionistic Realism" or at least that's the direction I'm trying to head in. A site that offers only highly realistic artwork would probably not be right for me.

Can anybody recommend a site that offers a website and some purchase feature that doesn't charge? I wouldn't mind paying a commission for any paintings that did sell. The 30-day trial that many sites offer wouldn't really work well either because the exhibit will be for about a month, and I'd be concerned that if I cancelled my subscription, a potential client wouldn't be able to reach me. Perhaps I'm looking for something that doesn't exist, but I'm hoping such a site is out there. TIA for any suggestions.

And any suggestions or checklists to use for planning/executing one's first coffee shop exhibit would be much appreciated as well.
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Last edited by AnnieA : 01-31-2019 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:49 AM
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Yorky Yorky is offline
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Re: Free website, limited features OK, for someone just beginning to sell?

I use the minimum free weebly.com site and include my email link for anyone interested in buying. No luck so far.

Doug
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:10 PM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Free website, limited features OK, for someone just beginning to sell?

My experience is if you want a payment processor, you have to pay for the platform that supports it. The only other way to do it is perhaps through putting Paypal Buy Now buttons on a free site, and I don't know how to do that. Usually with a free site they are not going to give you the capability to modify the site that much.

It's an investment in your business. You can afford it if you have cable, for instance. Turn off the cable and use the money you spend on it now to invest in a good web site with a payment processor and decent templates and use the money you have left over each month to buy art supplies. If not, well, consider that $30/mo is one dollar a day. Can you not afford that investment in your business?
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:31 AM
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AnnieA AnnieA is offline
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Re: Free website, limited features OK, for someone just beginning to sell?

Thanks, Yorkie and Harold!

Heh, Harold, I've already dropped cable, and Netflix too, just to afford supplies! I'm really not productive enough at this point to justify the expense of a full website. My main stumbling block is that having a "studio" in my very small living room seems to be a disincentive to paint.

Maybe I'll try weebly, as Yorkie suggests, or something like saatchi. For the time being one of those might work. Or, maybe I'll just continue to send people to my instagram page, where I ask people to DM me if interested in any painting. I've got that on my business card right now. For this exhibit, I'll have business cards available too.

Do either of you know of a site similar to saachi but in the U.S.?
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Last edited by AnnieA : 02-02-2019 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:51 AM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Free website, limited features OK, for someone just beginning to sell?

You can take payments on Instagram if you have a Facebook business page and they approve you. I haven't tried it yet, because I've read the process can be difficult. But it is worth a try. That would be free.

You can also take payments on Etsy. I left when they started up a subscription service, so I don't know if now they make everyone pay. At the time, they were saying if people paid $20+/mo, they got premium service--i.e., they got a boost in Etsy's search. If you were not needing to depend on Etsy's search results and could just direct people to your pages from outside of Etsy, it would work, I think. You just have to be careful how you give a link to a page in your shop. You can do it in a way that results for others don't show on your own page. At least, you used to be able to do that. They charge about 5% or something like that for a processing fee for each sale.

I hear ya about having to carve out a studio from living space. I live in a loft and until last summer, I had a corner of it as my studio--complete with cat hairs, etc. Even though I totally cannot afford it and I always have to pay the rent late, I got a studio in the same complex, and it has done wonders for my painting. I know I have to make it worth that money, so I go over there at least twice a day for painting sessions. My production has gone from a painting every two weeks to about two paintings/week, sometimes a lot more. It is expensive, but it is nice to be able to just walk down the alley.

One thing I considered was renting a small office. These are usually about $100/mo where I am and include all utilities. Just don't tell them you want to paint and put a tarp down on the carpet.

I think saatchiart.com is in the US. It's separate from Saatchi gallery in the UK. In fact there was a bit of a kerfuffle about saatchiart.com using that name. Ugallery is another one online that is free but there's a jurying to get on there.

Last edited by Harold Roth : 02-02-2019 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 03-15-2020, 07:10 AM
anngrant anngrant is offline
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Re: Free website, limited features OK, for someone just beginning to sell?

Yes, there are free website builders that could easily accomadate that. Google free website builder. Wix seems to be a good one.

Also consider Weebly and SquaredSpace

You can’t go wrong with any of the major free site builders.

Squarespace is not free though but seo friendly. I already have a basic hosting subscription for a different personal portfolio, I wouldn't have to put much more money normally, except for the domain name and some plug-ins or themes maybe.
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