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  #31   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-16-2009, 09:46 PM
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RobinZ RobinZ is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Very true.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:40 AM
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Stefan Maguran Stefan Maguran is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Not sure what Dennis is on about, but I can tell you that Stefan Maguran will never want to be represented by a gallery, apart from the one that Stefan Maguran will open himself in October. That way, Stefan Maguran can sell at the same price using all available channels.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:27 AM
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it'sALLart it'sALLart is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan Maguran
Not sure what Dennis is on about, but I can tell you that Stefan Maguran will never want to be represented by a gallery, apart from the one that Stefan Maguran will open himself in October. That way, Stefan Maguran can sell at the same price using all available channels.

Ah yes, easily the best situation of all. :-)
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:27 PM
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Sir Paul Sir Paul is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Perhaps. Perhaps not. One of the snags someone who soley does all their own business comes up against may eventually involve their own growth. Take a snapshot of a great number of artists now.. and then check-in on them again in another 5, 10 years.. and you may find that a great number of them haven't grown or evolved much at all. They're still basically doing the same 'ol pictures, and haven't really evolved much in their clientel or price levels either.
They've 'gotten by' perhaps... but at the same time they really haven't 'gone anywhere'.

I often mention "Become your OWN best dealer first".. whether selling publically or other routes.. to reach as far as you can on your own and/or in your own area(s), learning all the various ins/outs of the business, setting up a full listing of comprehensive price-points, finding clients and collectors, reading up on and getting familiar with art business, contracts, publishing.. and just become very comfortable with making and SELLING art. When the time comes to look into dealers? - Most of them would even greatly appreciate that you've already spent the time to develop your own business rather than just stumbling into their spaces for the first time COMPLETELY GREEN like a naive deer in the headlights.. (which amazingly is what so many do! - What's even more amazing? - Some do it and act cocky about it! (I hear funny stories about that all the time from dealers ..Apparently those crazy people at the beginning of American Idol try-outs? - actually exist in the art world too..)
..When you already have some experiences under your belt, you're more likely to be the type they'd want to do business with. You're commited, you're very comfortable selling your art, ..and your already a 'proven seller' to boot. Fantastic.


Many think that 'getting into a gallery' is somehow the BE ALL/END ALL of an art career. That if they can just manage THAT much.. they'd have it made. Actually, that's rarely if ever true. As I mentioned before, many dealers can be pretty much useless. They're poor at business, have little or no rep, no art knowledge, have little in the way of having/gaining useful contacts, poor advertizing, poor locations, etc.
I've even known of a few 'people of wealth' here.. that on a whim thought it would be 'Fun/a great personal social op' to open an art gallery of their own.. proceeded to do so - a rather large fantastic-looking one even.. only to see it fall apart a year or so later because of a number of those reasons. (Obviously, money isn't enough to be a good effective art dealer..)

And even if you do find a truly comitted reputable dealer willing to take you on? In some cases, particularly earlier on - you still may initially have to do a lot of your own 'hoofwork' to bring clients attentions to your art therein. As a dealer is no more liable to 'push hard' on a new unknown artist than an agent would a new unknown actor in the film biz. (The newbies are simply not worth the mula that the more 'illustrious' in the stable may garner.) Keep that in mind, and be willing to work WITH the dealer.. rather than just assume that THEY should (and will) do all the work for you. You might find yourself dissappointed if you take on that attitude.

In the end though?.. If you are at a point in your career where your doing great work, reached a certain level, and are READY TO EXPAND on your business, level of clientel (some of the better collectors I've known - hardly hang around the 'net' at all. They're not looking around for your websites), and be able to reach areas that you could not likely reach on your own otherwise.. (Other states? Other side of the country? Other countries?) then finding some good dealers to act as business partners and 'extend' your business reach.. can be quite invaluable.

Last edited by Sir Paul : 05-19-2009 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:41 AM
DJFan DJFan is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Hi Sir Paul,
I respect what you wrote because I know you have a great deal of knowledge. The problem is in art no one size fits all. There are so many ways to have an art career right now and none will give you instant success. You mention growth as an artist. If I had stayed doing art the way I had been doing I would still be in galleries and my collectors still collecting. I was a wildlife artist and it got to the point if I painted another standard wolf in the snow painting I was going to jump off a cliff. Every gallery I was in needed me to produce consistently the same subject for the same clients. I decided to grow and discover what else I could do and it turned out that I lost my galleries. I won't go back to painting the old way ever so what am I supposed to do? Wait and develop a new clientele, self represent, and then hand that over to a gallery? The very galleries that told me we love your art but no one will buy it? I don't think so. In one year I have connected ON MY OWN to all kinds of people from around the world, from customers that find my website and Etsy store to boutique owners and art and film industry execs that contact me. In over twelve years, I never met a single collector of my art through the finer galleries I worked with. I refuse to revert back into a gallery system that is an elitist,archaic, old, dying dinosaur. All a gallery is is a middle man and I don't need a middle man if I can reach people directly. In a gallery I am one of a hundred and human nature loves politics and favorites. I don't have to kiss butt or play any games. It is just me in my studio painting and selling. No one is taking 60% out of my pay. Instead of hanging in a fixed location hoping that someone will walk in, the world browses in my internet stores and Google Analytics helps me see where they are coming from. Each artist decides what is best for themselves. I just want to make a case for the artist that has worked within the "system" and found success without it.


I was proof reading this and wanted to add that my art sells for less than when I was in a gallery but people aren't collecting my art for investment. They buy it because they love it or are buying small pieces for resale in boutiques. The bottom line is I make considerably more money now for a lot less paid out. No more huge custom framing and shipping bills.

Last edited by DJFan : 05-20-2009 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:37 AM
tonymoffitt tonymoffitt is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Hi DJFan,
I think your comment about "The problem is in art no one size fits all" sums up my experiences from writing the original Post on my Blog.
I realised the moment I started putting the article together, there was just no way to offer a clear cut 'verdict' on the issue. There just isn't one. Galleries have their opinions, and even they are varied. They also went to lengths to impress upon me that each gallery would have its own policy in regards to artists with a background of using Etsy and e-Bay styled outlets.
The post itself drew a LOT of comments. I think that's a good thing. This Thread has seen some good, intelligent debate too. I think that's about the best anyone can expect from an issue like this. There are just so many grey areas and variables... and exceptions.
I certainly don't regret writing the post for the Blog... but in hindsight, the subject deserved to be covered a lot better than I did (read I should have done more follow ups and a better job, I guess).
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:39 AM
DJFan DJFan is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Tony,
I am curious about what your intentions really are. I did a Google search and found that you sell on Yessy, FineArtAmerica, and yes...the dreaded Ebay. I also see you say you are represented by many fine art galleries internationally. You would be well informed about selling online and loosing your integrity in a gallery's perception I would think. Integrity....man, now there is a word and a concept. I guess you have gotten a lot of traffic to your blog, huh?
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:01 AM
tonymoffitt tonymoffitt is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Hi again.
I actually haven't painted for some time. I pretty-much retired from painting 2007. Since then I've done some art classes for students etc.
I really stopped exhibiting in galleries almost 2 years ago. I am part of a Group exhibition in China at the moment, and that's really my last committment. (The exhibition was scheduled for 08 but got set back by the organisers)
I'm not represented by any galleries anymore.

As I've mentioned on the Blog, I've never actually sold a painting through an online gallery. They've never been a success for me. My Yessy renewal is due in November (I think). For me online galleries were always a 'web-card' because I never had my own website. I used Yessy and FAA to refer people to if they enquired about my work.

The e-Bay thing is handled by an 'agent' of mine. It's a social experiment for the Blog. When I first outlined the sort of Blog I wanted I knew issues like e-Bay and Etsy would come up. I know nothing about selling art on e-Bay, but I did want to know if an e-Bay expert could get results selling art. Since I'm not in galleries anymore there was never a conflict.

As for 'my intentions'? That sounds a bit ominous!
I thought I'd try to write a good blog. I thought I'd make the most of my background in journalism, sales and painting and share some info with people who cared to read.
That's about it!

Have I had a lot of traffic to the Blog? Well I don't really know that! No one will tell me. I don't know if the visit numbers to the Blog are wonderful, mediocre or abysmal.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:22 AM
mame mame is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJFan
Tony,
I am curious about what your intentions really are. I did a Google search and found that you sell on Yessy, FineArtAmerica, and yes...the dreaded Ebay. I also see you say you are represented by many fine art galleries internationally. You would be well informed about selling online and loosing your integrity in a gallery's perception I would think. Integrity....man, now there is a word and a concept. I guess you have gotten a lot of traffic to your blog, huh?

What is the motivation for most folks posting/participating at WC?

For me - I'm a lonely old woman who spends 16 hours a day in a studio with paint and sometimes Judge Judy and re-runs of Law and Order for compnay who just wants to "talk" to another human being who cares about art once in a while.

Last edited by mame : 05-20-2009 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:58 AM
DJFan DJFan is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Tony,
I am sorry if I offended you. The integrity comment was meant more about the gallery relationship based on my personal perspective and experience and was probably best left unsaid. As for your intentions, I was just asking why you had posed a question if you had working knowledge of what you were asking. That's all.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:17 AM
tonymoffitt tonymoffitt is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Hi DJ.
No problem, my friend. And no offence taken.

The reason I asked this question of gallery owners was because when I originally asked for questions from WC members (I think the thread was something like 'What would you like to ask a gallery owner') I got several questions posted in the thread, and some emails specifically about the Etsy and e-Bay issue.
I promised in that thread I would ask the questions that other artists wanted answered
(rather than me just asking the galleries my own questions over and over again. I was trying to ask questions on behalf of readers to make the answers more relevant.)
I underlined that in the opening post of this thread, just so readers would know I was 'reporting back' with the results to their questions.
(hope this all makes sense)
Tony
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:34 AM
DJFan DJFan is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

Tony,
I really am sorry. I don't come here everyday so missed that first post.
DJ
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:44 AM
tonymoffitt tonymoffitt is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

No worries, DJ!
Next time I'm in rural North Carolina, I'll buy you a beer!
Tony
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:46 AM
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Horsa Horsa is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

I think, again, that it is a paper tiger to suggest that *if* Dennis (eg) chose to sell his work on Etsy it would a priori neccessitate destabilizing the price of his work. If Dennis were to post a work on Etsy he could post what ever price he liked to go along with it. I would contend that he would be a fool to post anything but his standard price. His work should have a vallue that is inherent to the work and that price should be relatively constant and consistant. Undercutting himself on Etsy would indeed in the long run bring prices for his work down.

Ebay is a bit trickier of an issue as the seller has only partial control over the selling price. A seller can set a minimum bid, a "buy it now" price, and/or a reserve price that must be met, but has no control over what the final high bid will be. In many ways selling at Christies is frought with the same problem. The difference being Christies generally attracts a better informed clientelle who are well aware of assessed value and are not just hunting fro cheap bargains. But lots at Christies do still sometimes sell for far less than anticipated. Sometimes they sell for more, but that is true of ebay as well.

An online selling venue is really no different than any other. A *lot* depends on the marketer's ability to put the right item in front of the right customer for the right price at the right time.

What about galleries (or artists) that sell via their own webpages? Where do those fit? Are they internet marketers and so driving the price down?

People on Etsy complain vociferously about artists who underprice their work and by doing so devalue the art market for all. I am sure there are galleries that do the same. Certainly the galleries in my town (there are two) command prices at least one full decimal place (and often 2 or even 3) lower than the galleries where my parents live for what appear to be works of similar quality. The difference is that my parents live in an area whith a high proportion of educated and wealthy people who are educated about art. I live in a rural college town with a high proportion of subsistance incomes. No matter what you are selling, the market will bear a much lower price here than there.

"In New York, this would cost $X! I can't believe it's so cheap." is a frequently heard exclamation from college students, often over prices that cause the locals to say "$X! For that? Are you crazy, I'm not paying that much."


Of course many who sell on Etsy and Ebay may be harbouring no illusions about producing "Great Art", they may well be happy generating some revenue from a hobby or personal passion. I don't think Etsy or Ebay are primarilly selling to the same market as established Galleries. I know that when I go into a gallery I expect to see higher prices, but that is similar to buying a luxury car vs a commuter compact, both are equally "good" but they are "good" at very different things.

As my English friends say "it's horses for courses". Just be sure you know which horse is which.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:48 AM
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Horsa Horsa is offline
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Re: Warning for Etsy & eBay artists...?

And I will happily stand any of you to the beverage of your choice. This has been a very stimulating debate and has raised some interesting view points.

And I hope Dennis realizes i have no personal axe to grind with him. He just stood out as an example in this case. Other times I have been in agreement with him.
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