7 Mistakes to Avoid when Selling Your Art Online

Bluethumb’s online platform makes it easy to sell your art online, so long as collectors have all the information they need.

Simple issues with your listing can put collectors off from buying your art, and ultimately that hurts everyone else on the site too! Don’t be that person – read on to avoid making these seven common mistakes.


We love bringing artists and art lovers together!

1. Not Marking an Artwork as ‘Sold’ or Unavailable

First and foremost, if you sell your work privately, please remember to mark it as sold! Otherwise, it can be very disappointing for collectors who check out with the piece, only to learn that it’s already gone.

Bluethumb also gives you the option to mark your works as unavailable if you go away on holiday or have work in an exhibition. Please make use of this feature for any extended period of time, but also make sure to mark it as available as soon as possible when you return. Better yet, have a friend look after your sales while you’re away!

Artist studio

If you show a friend how to pack your artworks while you’re away, you won’t need to worry on your holiday!

2. Not Marking an Artwork as ‘Ready to Hang’

If your work is ready to hang, with D-rings or a wire on the back, tick that box! Not knowing how a piece will arrive can put collectors off from purchasing, so it’s best to just be definitive and honest.

Even better, include photos of the back of your work and make a note in the description of the exact details.

back of canvas

This is Donna Christie‘s sold piece Behind the Scenes. However, this sort of visual information is extremely helpful for collectors!

3. Entering Incorrect Dimensions

The dimensions that you list should be in centimetres, and should only refer to the artwork, non-inclusive of a frame.

If it is framed, be sure to mention those dimensions in the description too.

If you’re including an image of the artwork ‘in situ’ (i.e. on a wall), show the piece to scale if it’s a computer made image. Consider the other items in the room for reference.

4. Poor Artwork Photos

Photographing your artwork well is extremely important. So important, in fact, that we’ve dedicated a whole blog post to the task! The main thing is to make sure your main image is bright and sharp and properly cropped so it doesn’t show any background.

Artwork photography

Read our post all about taking a great photo of your artwork here.

As we mentioned earlier, it’s also a good idea to photograph the back and sides of your painting.

5. Neglecting Details of the Frame

If your artwork is framed, make sure you show the frame in a photo and mention the dimensions in the description.

If your photos show the artwork framed (for example, in an in situ shot), but the frame is not included, be sure to clearly mention this in the description.

If the frame is optional, be sure to mention any extra cost it may incur and whether different colour options are available or not.

Ed computer

There’s nothing co-founder and managing director Ed loves more than a well-described artwork!

6. Infringing Copyright

Any artwork on Bluethumb should be original and created by you, so any copyright concerns that arise can be very disappointing for a collector.

Copyright matters are not always clear cut, however we do reserve the right to remove any artwork  from Bluethumb that closely resembles another artists’ work – including photography.

It’s also important to acknowledge the original creator when reinterpreting, or making art inspired by, an artwork no longer under copyright.

For more information on artists and copyright, take a look here and here.


Art dog Grungle loves an original artwork!

7. Selling Your Work for Less Elsewhere

It’s always disappointing to learn that you’ve paid more than you could have, so make sure that your prices are uniform across every platform.

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  1. Joan Tallent says:

    I thought that Framed paintings were not permitted on the Bluethumb site (due to delivery problems). Has this policy changed ? One of the photos on this information page was of the back of a framed painting showing ready for hanging.

  2. Toni Lucas says:

    Finding the tips very useful, but wondering what is the rule on framed paintings? I have a lot of framed works under glass which are really lovely and have won prizes in shows but not sold. They are medium size, not small and not huge, but would love to list them on here. I would package them well with bubble wrap and heavy cardboard for transport so they should arrive safely, but wondering if it is acceptable? Thank you, Toni

    • Freddy Grant says:

      Hi Toni, thanks for reaching out. Our current policy is that if artists guarantee they’ll package framed artworks extremely well, we’re happy for you to sell them. Hope this helps and look forward to seeing your framed works on Bluethumb!

  3. Karen Hopkins says:

    Very useful tips thank you

  4. Kate says:

    Hey, your article is really great and informative for those who are new to the world of selling art online.

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