Monday, November 10, 2008

Mistakes that Artists (and art dealers) Make When Selling Art Online

Mistakes that Artists (and art dealers) Make When Selling Art Online

The art market of today is very different than the art market of the past. Today artists, art dealers, and other individuals can utilize the power of the internet in order to forge alliances with peers and to sell their art by exploring eCommerce capabilities. In most cases a personal website is not enough to be successful when it comes to selling art online. Thus, individuals need to promote themselves on high traffic art websites that demonstrate professionalism within the context of the mainstream art world. However, finding an online ‘home’ for selling art does not mean that your work stops there. An entrepreneurial spirit-- with the drive and ambition to succeed-- is needed.

As many of you are aware, is preparing to implement eCommerce capabilities. That is why I have decided to tackle some of the mistakes that artists and others make when selling art online. Below are what I consider to be the most common mistakes that online art sellers make when it comes to listing their art for sell-- these mistakes can easily block your efforts when it comes to selling art online. These mistakes can drive potential buyers away:

Lack of image descriptions: Believe it or not most art buyers, especially those making a purchase online, desire to know information about how an image was created and the motivation behind the creation of the image. Unfortunately, many art sellers leave options for image descriptions blank instead of taking advantage of the opportunity these options provide in order to offer more details to potential buyers. Thus, sellers need to take some time offering information about the work they are selling in order to be more successful selling said artwork online. This does not mean that the information has to be of any great length-- it simply means that online art sellers need to condition themselves to offer more content. Content is king online-- and that goes for selling art as well.

Lack of an artist statement: The lack of an artist statement does not say much for the artist or the artwork that is being sold-- literally. This is especially true for emerging artists who are not yet 'known' to the general public. Thus, having an artist statement that is easy to access online can drastically improve the chances of selling art online. Don't be afraid to write about yourself if you are selling your art online. If you are selling the artwork of others it is still important to offer as much information as you can about the artists you are representing online.

Lack of online networking commitment: In order to be successful selling art online one must be committed to online networking. Online networking is important for establishing a presence online. This is accomplished by taking advantage of networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and even myartspace in order to introduce yourself to, and establish rapport with, potential buyers. Also, by networking online an artist can establish connections with other artists who may have crucial information pertaining to strategies for selling art online successfully. To put it bluntly, you don’t exist if you fail to social network online in the market of today.

Lack of consistent pricing: Most of us would like to sell art for the same prices as Damien Hirst or another mainstream established artist. However, that is not exactly a realistic approach for pricing your art-- especially if you are only pricing works that you are extremely attached to in that manner. Thus, artists and other art sellers need to be realistic and consistent about how they price their artwork online. If your attachment to a specific work of art is blinding your judgment on pricing it may be best to not sell that specific work until you are ready to let it go. Also, while it is tempting to ask high prices for specific works the simple truth is that it is best to be consistent with pricing. In other words, if you have sold work for $500 it is best to stay in that price range. Once you raise your prices remember to be consistent with all of your prices.

In closing, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of art sites that an artist or art dealer can choose from in order to increase his or her chances of selling art online. However, the wise online art seller will focus his or her attention on art sites that are geared toward professionalism-- art sites that can prove their significance with an established track record of mainstream artworld involvement. Focus on art sites that have been involved with major contemporary art fairs because that often means that high profile collectors are aware of those sites. Only a select few, including, have been involved with art fairs directly. By utilizing art sites that are embedded in the mainstream artworld and avoiding the mistakes mentioned above an individual will greatly improve his or her efforts in selling art online.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Im glad to hear that myartspace will be preparing to implement eCommerce capabilities. I love the setup of Myartspace. I put the link on my business cards. I have also help to refer some artist to this site. They all love it. Very professional. I dont network much on here. I'm glad that you post your blogs on Myspace. I do more networking there and anywhere else. Thank you for all your hard work and your blogs. I do read them.