A lot of people think that the best place to sell art is at a gallery. This may be true for some artists, but not all. A Gallery might take 50% commission on a sale which can make it hard for an artist to get their work out there and seen by more people. It also means that you can't control your own art marketing.
Selling art online is a great, low-cost way to get your art in front of art collectors and art lovers all around the world. You can sell art on your own website, or in online marketplaces and galleries. It's so easy to sell art online - it'll make a great supplement to any existing art sales that you have.
Selling art online: Picking your art marketplace
The first trick to selling art online is to pick where you're going to sell it. Where you sell is going to be highly dependent on where you are in your career, and the type of art you make.
Some art will fit in well at Fine Art America or at Saatchi Art, where other art might fit better on a large marketplace like Amazon or Etsy. Established and emerging artists both might do well on a print on demand marketplace like Redbubble or TeePublic.
As you pick a digital art marketplace, be sure to consider the following:
Commissions and fees
How much take-home pay are you getting for the sale of a piece, and do you get to set your price? If you're shipping a physical piece, what kind of support are you getting from the marketplace to deliver?
Print on demand
If you're using a print on demand supplier, have you ever ordered anything from them? Are they producing quality items? What's the turn around time? Print on demand suppliers are only as good as the products they're producing, so even if it's cheap, there might be better ways if you're selling prints.
Organic art business traffic
Is the marketplace well known? Some, like Fine Art America, have a strong brand. Others, like Saatchi art, may not be as well known as an online art gallery. You'll want to pick an online art marketplace that has enough traffic of your target audience. Selling art online should be easy for you.
Limited edition prints
Some online art galleries will let you sell limited edition prints. This can be a great way to legitimize your art career and increase the perceived value of your work. If this is an option, be sure that you're able to control how many prints are made, and how the edition is numbered.
Our Top Picks To Sell Art Online
Etsy: An All Purpose Arts and Crafts Marketplace
Etsy is probably the top place to sell art online, period. Even though they don't do only art, their organic traffic is huge, and so is their advertising budget. If you want to be seen by the most people, and don't want to worry about shipping or production, Etsy is a great place to start.
Redbubble: A Print on Demand Marketplace for Indie Artists
If you're an indie artist who wants to sell prints of your work, Redbubble is a great option. They have a very large marketplace and offer a great selection of products on which to sell your art.
I make a consistent $20-50 from Redbubble every month or two. I haven't made a lot of money selling art online through Redbubble, but it's enough to feed my donut addiction, with just a few good sellers on the platform.
TeePublic: A slightly more friendly user interface
I think of TeePublic as Redbubble light. It's a little more streamlined, and the online store is easier to manage. Emerging artists belong on TeePublic because they often feature a carefully curated art gallery on their front page. They love digital art, and they love their artists.
What are YOUR favorite places to sell your art?
I've only listed the ones I use, but I know there are others, including Fine Art America, Society6, and more. Where you do sell your art online? Share it in the comments below!