Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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After recently releasing my own gallery of artwork, I was wondering business wise whether or not to start submitting my photography/artwork to online galleries such as Etsy and EBay's art shop. The idea is to gradually build up interest in my work so submitting to high traffic sites was one of the attractions. My question is, is it really worth doing based on experience? I would imagine that due to the shear volume of artwork on these sites it is very easy to get lost in the crowd.

I have come up with a list of pros and cons and just wondered if anyone else has an opinion on the matter.

Pros

  • A lot of sites have high traffic volumes so there is potential to be noticed.
  • Some galleries already have an established reputation with customers so increased chance of sale.
  • Some galleries allow you to sell your art with them.
  • Some galleries are free to submit too.
  • International traffic is a bonus if willing to sell to distribute internationally.
  • Already established customer service systems so easy to interact with potential customers (ebay in particular)
  • Social features in built so there is the possibility of increased traffic.

Cons

  • Some sites charge you for submitting artwork with them.
  • Some sites have massive amounts of artwork within their database so easy to get lost in the crowd.
  • Keyword and SEO becomes important for listings and artwork titles may need to be changed to improve traffic.
  • Fees for selling artowrk.
  • A mixture of poor quality and good quality artwork (eBay in particular)
  • If updating a product you may need to update a number of different galleries (takes time).

At the minute I think I will look at using online galleries but at the same time based on the above I am not too sure how much effort to put into this. I may end up concentrating more on the promotion of my own gallery through social networks etc.

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See the "answer along with the question" bit in the site faq. I think this'd do better if you move your list of pros and cons to an answer of your own rather than providing it in the question. The current approach will tend towards answers adding some small bit or emphasizing or arguing with your list. –  mattdm Jan 23 '13 at 15:11
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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

In my experience, it doesn't make much difference if you don't put much effort put into advertizing and promotion. I am with Fine Art America and I've sold a handful of photos but only one was a random buyer; the rest were friends of friends on Facebook and word of mouth. (I spent some money on advertizing on Google (which sucked) and Facebook (which was great and generated a lot more traffic)) My primary reason for posting my photos to this particular online gallery was the framing and shipping services they provide. It was time consuming and more expensive doing it myself so now if anyone is interested in a framed print they can use a button on my Facebook fan page or go directly to the gallery. In fact the very reason i chose this particular gallery was for their seamless integration with Facebook.

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Nice idea with the Facebook fan page, I have my own site and at the minute I am promoting socially with Pinterest. I was thinking of selling through Amazon as well as an alternative method. –  IconicPhotos.co.uk Jan 23 '13 at 16:10
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