How to start selling art online
Selling art online can be a fun, fulfilling and flexible business concept. Not only can you choose your own hours with an adaptable business model, but you could also sell your prints, paintings, posters or photographs to customers all over the world.
Perhaps you’ll sell your own creations, or be an authorised seller for other artists. Either way, there are some key steps to take first. As you learn how to sell art online, these will help you understand where your art fits into the bigger picture – and how to make sure your listings stand out!
1. Conduct art category research
Whether you’re creating art or curating it for your customers, it’s important to know what art buyers look for in a new piece. Ask questions such as:
What types of art are trending online right now? Are buyers gravitating towards landscape imagery in natural tones, or more towards neon pops of colour? Is there a trend towards realistic images, or sleek minimalist styles?
As you research which customers love which types of artwork, consider art in similar categories and how it’s described and promoted. In considering how to sell your own art online, it can help to analyse what’s so popular and appealing about these pieces.
2. Find your art niche
Sourcing and selling art in a particular niche can help you build your reputation as a seller and ultimately grow your sales. Some sellers might specialise in vivid abstract paintings, while others might focus on selling reproductions of classic movie posters. Finding your niche can take a little time. You might choose to begin selling with a broad approach and then refine your offerings as you learn what sells best.
It’s also worth thinking about which customers you’ll be appealing to and where they’re located. Will you be focusing solely on reaching Australian customers, or selling your art through international online stores too?
3. Build your online business skills
Just as creating or curating art is a valuable skill, equipping yourself with online business know-how is also vital for selling success. Be sure to brush up on product sourcing, product fulfilment options, marketing techniques and other ecommerce essentials. We’ll cover these in more detail in a moment.
Of course, when first starting out it’s useful to build a business plan. This might include details about your:
• Mission, vision and goals
• Typical customers
• Key competitors
• Finances and budget
• Business workflow
4. Should you sell or resell art?
If you’re an artist you’ll probably be selling your own creative works – but what if you intend to sell someone else’s? You might choose between:
• Selling your own art or that of other artists on their behalf
• Selling authorised replicas or reproductions of art
• Reselling existing artworks
If you are reselling someone else’s creative output, it’s crucial to ensure you aren’t violating intellectual property rights by doing so.
It’s also useful to think about whether you’ll be able to reliably source or produce art to meet buyer demand.
Where to sell art online
Where will you house your ‘online art gallery’ and sell your art pieces? There are many options when you’re looking for the best way to sell paintings online, but some are ready to go with active buyers and secure ecommerce features. You might consider:
• Selling via an online store like Amazon
• Creating your own website
• Building a following on social media
You might even use all three or more, as many artists and art sellers choose to diversify their selling channels and broaden their exposure.
5. What art sells best online?
People love to buy all kinds of art online, from exquisite abstract paintings to bright wall decals. Of course art is a very personal choice, but elements such as colour, composition and physical size are all important. Making these features clear will help buyers to envision the artwork in their own home or space.
You might even consider popular interior styling trends and how your art will fit in with these colour schemes.
6. Pricing art to sell online
How do you choose the ideal prices when selling art online? There are a few factors in finding the right price tag for each piece. First, consider the time and skill that has gone into the artwork, and the scarcity of the piece. While original art might fetch more in terms of price, selling limited edition prints of that original piece might also prove popular with budget-conscious customers.
It’s also useful to factor in any seller or marketing costs that help you make the sale. Just as you’d typically pay a commission to an art gallery for the opportunity to show art in their space, online selling fees can be a worthwhile investment if it helps to build exposure for the art you’re selling.
An online store with affordable selling fees could provide great value, as it can help you share your products with a vast range of customers who are actively looking to buy art.Explore Amazon seller fees >
Selling art on Amazon
With hundreds of millions of worldwide active customer accounts , Amazon is naturally a popular place to find and sell paintings, posters, photos and creative digital prints.
It’s easy to begin selling on Amazon Australia, with tools to help create your own online storefront and grow your sales. There’s also a large library of resources to help you as you get started.
7. What types of art can you sell on Amazon?
You can sell a wide range of two dimensional art on Amazon, including painting, drawings, photos and art prints. You must ensure that the art you intend to sell does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any party.
8. Selling home décor on Amazon Australia
All listings and products on Amazon must comply with all laws and regulations, and there are some sensible restrictions on what types of art you can sell. In the Home Décor category, you can sell, for example:
• Exact replicas or reproductions of artwork if the listing includes the word "reproduction" in the title and the description
• Genuine artwork for which the seller has and can provide evidence of authenticity
9. Selling fine art on Amazon Australia
Sellers must apply and obtain approval before selling fine art on Amazon, including original paintings, drawings, two-dimensional mixed media and limited edition photographs.
There are also a number of important restrictions on this type of listing, so be sure to read and understand these if you plan to sell fine art online.See the rules for selling fine art >
Printing your art
If you’re selling prints, digital art, reproductions or replicas, you might be wanting to print artwork in higher quantities. There are several options you can consider when it comes to printing and producing artwork for sale.
10. DIY or home printing
You could print artwork at home on a high quality printer. Be sure to include details about the printing and paper quality when listing your printed products, so your customers know what to look forward to receiving in their order.
11. Commercial art printing
If you’re printing in high quantities you might prefer to work with a commercial printer who can help you reliably produce high-quality prints. This may help to reduce your costs per print so you can optimise your profit margins.
12. Specialised art printing
You might also choose to work with third-party providers who can provide specific printing services, such as dedicated archival photographic printing, vinyl printing or printing images onto metal or acrylic bases.
Marketing and advertising art
What’s art without an audience? Marketing and advertising your art listings can help customers find what they’re looking for and even lead to spontaneous purchases. It’s all about showing your art off in the best light possible, using a number of handy online tools and techniques. Here are a few to get you started.
13. Use professional photography
Blurry or unclear photos are no way to attract customers, so focus on bringing out accurate colour and detail in artwork with high resolution images. Some sellers prefer to take product photos in a DIY studio, while others prefer to invest in professional photography services.
Think about showing the details when selling art online. For example, showing a close-up of brushstrokes or pencil marks in your product listing could help to reflect that piece’s unique characteristics.
14. Write compelling and optimised descriptions
Buyers read product descriptions to gain more information and decide whether the artwork is right for them. Very clear descriptions about each art listing can also help those items be discovered when buyers are searching for something specific. Include details about the product condition, size, medium and canvas or paper quality.
Don’t forget to provide the backstory of the artwork, and what inspired you or the artist to create it. Art can be a personal, emotional purchase. What does the piece represent – and where would it look most at home?
15. Invest in online advertising
Depending on where you’re selling your art online, you might decide to invest in targeted advertising to increase the reach for your listings. Highly visible placements can help you get discovered and reach customers who are looking for products like yours. It can also help your listings stand out from the rest, particularly when selling in a popular category.
On Amazon Australia you can promote specific products, your brand or your online storefront. You only pay for the clicks your ads actually receive , and you can fine-tune your ad send and performance over time using analytics.Advertise on Amazon Australia >
Fufilling & shipping art
Customer service can be one of the critical elements of a successful online sale. Every positive customer experience could lead to more sales – both from that customer, and from new customers who have seen the great reviews!
You can deliver top customer service by delivering on expectations, clearly answering questions and improving via feedback. Here’s how to go about delivering a great customer experience on Amazon.
16. Responding to enquiries
While your art listings should be clear and informative, there may be other questions that customers have about items or shipping. Keep your average response time as low as possible when it comes to answering enquiries about purchases, returns and refunds. It’s a good idea to monitor your social media and website for enquiries too, as people may ask questions through these channels at times.
Clear product photography and product descriptions can answer many customer questions pre-emptively, so consider what types of questions your buyers might ask when creating these.
17. Fulfilling orders
Once a customer makes a purchase they’ll be keen to receive their goods. You can choose to either store, pick, pack and send your art orders yourself, or send inventory to us and use our Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) service. When an order comes in for an FBA listing, we’ll pick, pack and send that order out for you. We even take care of 24/7 customer service for your FBA listings.
FBA listings will be eligible to display the Prime badge, which helps set your products apart with fast and free shipping for Prime customers. Non-Prime customers can also access free shipping on eligible orders over $59.Learn about Fulfilment by Amazon >
18. Packing and shipping art
So you have your clothing designs ready to go. How do you bring those designs to reality? There are a few key factors to consider as you start production and create your own clothing line online.
19. Building customer reviews
A positive Amazon review for your art can have a ripple effect, giving new buyers the confidence to buy from your online store. Remember – you can maximise positive reviews by providing consistent, responsive and high quality customer service for your art sales and delivering a quality product.
Learn more about becoming an Amazon seller
As you create your online store and start making art sales, there are so many resources to help you along the way. We have guides on what you can sell, shipping and fulfilment and growing your business. You can also read more about building your online store on Amazon and expanding internationally.
Whether you’re selling distinctive art prints or one-of-a-kind paintings, it’s a great time to be selling art online. If you have a love of creativity and a commitment to customer service, why not make your start today?
$49.95 (excl. GST) per month + selling fees.