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Gallery to Go: Successfully Selling Your Artwork Online

For many digital artists, the most difficult part of the creative process is one of the most important. Creating comes easy, but translating your finished product into income seems virtually impossible. Buyers are a fickle bunch, especially online buyers. You can’t throw your works up on Etsy or Ebay and expect the sales to start rolling in. As with anything worthwhile, it takes time and effort to close an online sale.


The Listing Photograph

The most important part of any online listing is to ensure that the photos representing your work are clean, engaging, and exciting. Lighting is essential, and bright, natural light is best. A quick search for a DIY light box on Pinterest can be vital to selling success. The use of filters can be controversial, but so long as the filter only serves to improve the quality of the photograph, and doesn’t misrepresent how your item looks in person, they can be an important tool.

If you plan on maintaining continuous listings, each item you post should be photographed or displayed in a similar manner to ensure cohesiveness of your brand identity. Your watermark is essential to prevent unauthorized use, but it should be professional and should distract as little as possible from your featured item.


The Listing Description

A good photo can catch the eye of a potential buyer, but your product is actually sold by your product description. An ideal description should be concise, but it should include a detailed, accurate description of your work and the format in which the buyer will receive it. Nothing can be more devastating to a buyer, and in turn your online reviews, than a buyer expecting a framed, wall-sized work, and receives a postcard-sized print. Including a few sentences about your inspiration or your creative process can also be well-received by a buyer. Allowing your buyer some choices can also be a good way to set yourself apart from the crowd. Whether you offer size options, shipping options, or gift-wrapping, these simple touches can seal the deal.


Pricing Your Piece

Pricing is always a sticky point in the art world. Non-artists and those dabbling in purchasing art for the first time have a hard time understanding the creative energy it takes to design even the smallest piece. With that in mind, it can be tempting to undervalue your work to make a sale. This is a huge mistake. As the artist, you should value your time and your work more than anyone. Research prices on similar works listed in the same online platform. Note the highest and lowest prices. Compare the experience level and the quality of your piece in comparison with the ones you have identified. Price your piece realistically, but confidently.


Research Your Target Buyer

Etsy and similar sites have systems that allow buyers to individually review each item they purchase. Researching items similar to what you are selling, and viewing the feedback buyers have provided on those items can be an invaluable strategy in helping you stage and market your item. Detailed reviews can key you into where these works are being displayed, how they are being displayed, and the occasions for which they were purchased. Some reviews will even include photographs posted by the buyer of the piece in its new home. This information is powerful. Understanding your audience will not only help you to sell pieces you have already created, but it can also help you understand what your buyer is looking for and guide you as you create new pieces.