What is the best place to sell art online?

Picking the right e-commerce solution for your art business is an important step. There are so many platforms and marketplaces out there, which one is the best for your needs? Before comparing them we need to go over a list of 13 things to consider when you are choosing an online platform to sell art.

How to choose an online platform to sell your art

Video version of the 13 things to consider:

#1: Hosted

It’s ‘hosted shopping cart software’ for short. It allows you to have an independent online store (not on Etsy) without having to have your own website. It’s the opposite of ‘self-hosted shopping cart software’, which you install on your website.

  • Pro: You don’t need to pay for, to build or to maintain your own website. You can start selling art within minutes on your social media.
  • Con: You might get too comfortable with this simple option and forget that your brand needs an artist website. Also, you cannot add new features by customizing it.

#2: Free plan

The free plan allows you to start selling online without having to pay a monthly fee. It’s a great feature for financially struggling artists or those who don’t want to take any risks. Many hosted platforms offer this option to attract new customers.

  • Downside: Free plans aren’t really free. You might be paying more than you’d expected at the end of the day. We take Gumroad for example, the free plan takes almost 10% in total (commission, transaction fee and listing fee).

#3: Staff Account

Artists are presumably Solopreneurs, but this isn’t the case for many. If you have an agent, a friend or an intern to help you out, you might want to check out the ‘staff account’ feature. You can’t just hand over all your online credentials away to another person. Many platforms and App don’t support multiple log-ins to the same account.

#4: Payment Gateways

Different payment gateways might have different processing time, payout transaction fee, credit card rate etc. The most popular payment gateways are PayPal and Stripe. Sometimes a platform could have its own such as ‘Selz Pay’. You can’t choose any payment gateways, you must select from a list of compatible ones.

#5: Instant Payout

Cash flow is another very important factor in any business. If you don’t get paid for a month, would you still be able to run your art business? Cash flow determines if you will make it or break it.

You want to get paid as soon as an order is fulfilled, but the instant payout is not a standard for every platform. Some platforms connect the payment to your PayPal so you get the money directly from your customers. Some platforms (Gumroad, Art of Where) would pay you every Friday.

#6: Number of Products

Many e-commerce platforms that target artists don’t offer unlimited products. There is a limit of 5, 10 or 100 products. This can be very inconvenient when you sell hand-embellished works. Each work is unique, you might want to have a separate product listing for each. As you become more and more productive, you will reach the ceiling for the maximum numbers of products.

#7: Images per Product

Some platforms (IndieMade, BigCartel) limit the number of images per product. It’s limiting your ability to showcase your art. Apart from images, you want HD videos instead of SD videos. Those content will help you capture the heart of your collectors.

#8: Print-on-Demand Automation

Most of the eCommerce platforms work with Printful and Printify. Once a customer places an order, it’s automatically produced without you having to do anything. However, if you want to work with some special local producers or fulfilment centers, you need to make sure your e-commerce platforms work seamlessly with the producer of your choice.

#9: Pay What You Want (PWYW)

Pay What You Want allows your customers to price your products. You can use this as a friendly gesture for digital downloads like eBooks or customized art brushes. You can even give away freebies. If you plan to give away often, make sure your eCommerce platform doesn’t charge you for freebies.

#10: Sell Memberships Courses

Apart from selling art, some platforms allow you to sell memberships to access exclusive content, to receive product subscriptions, or to access online courses. You can use open platforms like WooCommerce to install add-ons. Alternatively, you can also use out-of-the-box solutions like Podia. With Podia, you can sell digital downloads, courses and memberships.

#11: Sell Offline

Artists and craftsmen might have their own studio-storefront or visit craft fairs regularly. You need to manage your inventory so you know which products are available. Also, you need a POS system to receive money if people aren’t carrying cash.

#12: Sell Multichannel

Imagine if you are selling on Amazon and Etsy at the same time apart from your own website, it can be very challenging to manage the product listings.

#13: Sell Services

You might say: ‘Why I would sell services?’ Commissioned works and bespoke pieces are often considered as services. Most of the e-commerce platforms allow you to sell services as ‘digital products’. But this is not the best way.

Open Call

Similar to the Artist Studios article, we propose anyone here to share his/her experience about any selling art platform. Send us an email (veryprivategallery””@””gmail.com) with one high resolution image of the actual art you are selling plus the most specific answer to those questions.

Sell Art Online Instagram account

We will always contact you back to give you any reason in the case it won’t be published. We will share the link to your website if https secured, or the actual page where the art is sold.

Plus we are dedicating an Instagram account for this subject

  1. How long have you been selling online?
  2. What kind of art do you sell online? (e.g. originals, limited editions, hand-embellished prints, signed prints or unlimited prints)
  3. Which websites do you work with? Why sell on these sites?
  4. What are the biggest advantages of using these sites?
  5. What are the problems?
  6. What percentage of your sales are from these sites?
  7. Do you have an artist website? (Do you mind sharing it with us?)
  8. Do you have a web store on your own website? Why?
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