Recently were Part I,Â Part II and Part III in this art marketing series – this is all in response to Sue O’Kieffe of Sacred Circle Mandalas (http://sacred-circle-mandalas.blogspot.com) who recently wrote me “i am curious to know out of all the ways you sell your art, which is the most profitable for you and which is the most enjoyable?” I have been getting some good feedback from various people that this is being helpful to them.
What a great question, Sue!!Â I know some other artists sometimes read my blog – I hope everyone will chime in – this could be very helpful to us all!Â I am really looking forward to hearing from others too!Â We have already done an overview of offline selling (much more to be said about that!), online selling from a shop where you the seller ship directly to your customer, and online selling from a shop where the site produces the merchandise and ships directly to the customer.
Today we will focus on one online shop (Etsy) where you the artist (and seller) ship directly to the customer.Â Check back in Part II to refresh your memory of some of the pluses and minuses of this method of online selling if you like. I have several online shops where I ship directly to the buyer – there are LOTS to chose from.Â I will give you details about my 2 current favorites and tell you why I like them.Â They are Etsy and 1000 Markets.Â These are links directly to my shops – it is easy to go to the main pages from there. Some artists have other favorites and I hope you (they) will post about them in the comments!Â I have decided to break this post into 2 parts … the length is way too long to read I think … so tomorrow will be 1000 Markets.
This is a framed print from my Etsy shop that showcases my vibrant, colorful painting of Conundrum I.Â If you check out this link, you will see that I have different views of this collage.Â Most of the shops allow you to have several images of your art.Â I have the image itself, the print matted and the print framed.
Inner Flow II Framed Tile Â© Diane Clancy
If you notice, I also have a short story or description of the painting.Â This gives one a way, a hook,Â to bring the customer into the image … it helps draw someone into the picture and perhaps enhances their experience of our artwork.Â Given that our collectors are collecting us, “the artist,” besides the painting … it is useful to reflect to them our way of looking at this image.Â Of course, people can always have their own relationship with our painting … but this can be useful.Â Most if not all of the shops allow you to entice the collector in this way.Â Of course, one would also put other details about the item to inform the buyer.
But what makes Etsy different?Â The question some of you are waiting to hear answered.Â One of the best things about Etsy is the teams that are there.Â You can join (or apply) to teams that interest you.Â Some of the teams really work together to market and support each other.Â Teams can be based on various interests – where one lives, what kind of work one sells, one’s age, one’s special interests … the list goes on and on.Â Take a peek here to look at the teams (there are over 450).Â I started to sell at Etsy once I got active on a couple of teams.
Through the teams one becomes more 3-dimensional … and remember, people are buying the artist, not just the art.Â Many, but not all, of my sales have come from relationships I have built by being active in the Etsy community.Â To get back to Sue’s question – Etsy is where (by far!!!) I have made the most money from online sales where I directly ship to people.Â I have a fair amount of sales.Â Many of them are for smallish amounts, but for quite awhile I had a steady flow of sales.
Another wonderful thing about Etsy is treasuries!Â Here is the link to the treasuries – they are called “Curated, Shopping Galleries.” Anyone who is registered at Etsy can create a treasury.Â One chooses 12 items and makes a mini-gallery – often with a theme.Â Most of my sales from people who didn’t know me at all have come from treasuries … they are a great marketing tool!
Downsides of Etsy – one has to be registered at Etsy to buy an item.Â Many sellers have requested a method to allow buyers to just drop in and buy … freely!Â There are so many different shops now that one needs to work to stand out.Â Art is not the best seller at Etsy – in many ways crafts have tended to sell better there – though the artists are working to change that.Â The other shop owners at Etsy (and the buyers too) are part of what is great at Etsy!!Â I have a how-to get started at Etsy if you want me to write up that post here – I don’t think I have posted it yet – I wrote it for the Artists Resource site a couple of us had started. We can certainly talk more about Etsy on another day … and feel free to make comments and I will do my best to anser them.
So I recommend Etsy as a place to open a shop for sure.Â It has gotten some good publicity.Â I welcome hearing from others what your experiences and thoughts are!!Â We may differ for sure!Â I hope that we can help each other know the strengths of each shop.Â Please feel free to ask questions to get more information … thanks for coming by!!Â I will post the 1000 Markets in the morning – it is already written – I just broke this post into 2 to make it more readable.