11 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 listings 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 eleven common mistakes.
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 with Holiday Mode if you go away 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!
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.
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.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s also a good idea to photograph the back and sides of your painting. In situ images are a useful tool for helping collector’s imagine the artwork in their space – and showing the true dimensions. However, these work best as a supplementary image and not the main one in the listing!
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.
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.
7. Pricing Yourself Out of the Sale
Setting prices can be a tricky art. It’s important to make sure that you’re including all the costs of the sale in the final price – not just the gallery commission, but also packaging, framing and shipping costs as well. This can add up but don’t be afraid – you’re worth it!
Keeping your prices consistent across your platforms is also extremely important. It’s always disappointing to learn that you’ve paid more than you could have, and this can leave a bad taste in a buyer’s mouth – and stop them coming back for more of your work.
8. Neglect the Business Side of Selling
It’s not as fun as painting fabulous creations, but there’s no denying that making a living out of art involves business skills. As tedious as it can be, it’s valuable to spend the time honing your business skills. The most successful artists know their brand and are comfortable marketing themselves online. Not to mention keeping track of the financial side of things to track growth, what’s selling and be ready for tax time.
We recently introduced direct messaging so you can communicate directly with collectors. Read our useful guide to messaging etiquette and nail your customer service.
9. Not Supporting Fellow Artists
Some people have a tendency to view other artists as their competition – but this isn’t true. These people are your community. They can provide helpful tips, support and a rally your spirit because they truly understand the trials of selling art. Embrace your artist friends and join together – who knows, it might lead to opportunities you hadn’t thought of! Join our Artists’ Group on Facebook here to connect with our community of creatives.
10. Expecting Things to Always Go According to Plan
Accidents happen. Sometimes artworks get damaged during shipping, or collectors find that their new piece doesn’t fit in the space as they’d hoped. The important part of this issue is to handle the situation with grace. Stay calm and pull out your best customer service skills. Be prepared to offer a commission or replacement, and you’ll turn a sad collector into someone who just keeps coming back!
11. Poor Presentation
Everything from the way your profile looks online to your packaging and framing is your chance to show off your professionalism. Cracked, handmade frames, bad artwork photos and not enough packaging all contribute to the buyer’s impression. Put your best foot forward with high quality materials to reassure their confidence in their purchase.