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The Best Website to Sell Art Online – The Truth

by Helen Aldous

There is one question that I get asked on a regular, pretty much daily basis by artists venturing into the world of selling art online. I get asked so regularly that I thought a post addressing the issue would be a good idea.

The question is “What are the best websites to sell art?”

And the answer? It’s surprisingly simple. The answer is “your own website”

The best website to sell art online is…  your own!

Sadly there are no magic websites that will do all the work for you. That you can just upload your images to and then forget about and wait for the money to roll in. Wherever you put your work for sale you will need to promote it to get visitors to view and buy it.

And why put your time and energy into promoting someone elses site? Why not spend it on promoting your own website and domain name?

Etsy, Facebook, Zazzle, Redbubble etc all offer a brilliant service but it’s best not to rely on them exclusively for your online sales.  What if they collapse, close or change their terms of service in  way you don’t like and you want to move? What happens to all the hours you have spent getting links and promotion to your shopfront? All gone in the click of a mouse…

Rent your property or own your own home?

If you own your own domain name and website you are in control.

You can then point visitors from there to your Etsy or Redbubble shop if you want but all your promotional efforts take visitors to YOUR domain name and website first, so you can easily swap shop providers should you wish to without losing all your visitors.

I love the metaphor that it’s like the difference between renting or buying a house. You dont want to spend loads of energy and money fitting a swanky new kitchen in your rented pad only to be turfed out by the landlord next month, but any improvements made to your bought house are an investment for the future.

Still not convinced? Here are some more good reasons why your own website is the best plan for selling art online.

7 good reasons for setting up your own website

You will look more professional

You can control the way the site looks rather than being reliant on a parent shop sites generic style.

You can create your own brand

The design of your website can fit in with the style and branding of your work – again making you look more professional and giving your work a coherent showcase

You can control your own domain name

Registering and using your own domain name {ie www.yourname.com} looks great, helps with search engine results and allows you to have a proper associated email address too. No more shoddy looking hotmail addresses. And your domain name is yours to keep, so you always get the traffic directed there.

You can stand out in the crowd

Its very easy to get lost in amongst the bazillions of users on the large selling sites. You own website allows you to be able to stand out in the crowd and be easily found by search engines.

You won’t have to pay commission

Anything you sell on your own site is commission free. Hooray. [Although you may have to pay a small transaction fee to Paypal].

You have freedom

You can stop or change to another selling site easily with no problems. You won’t lose your client list or the advantage of all the promotion you have done as it will all still point to your personal website. Just change the links to your new shopfront and away you go!

Endless possibilities…

There are no constraints on what you do with your own site. You can make it your own little corner of the web. Every bit of promotion is an investment for the future. You can build your own domain and art career step by step…

if you are serious about selling artwork online or setting up a creative business then the best website to sell your art is most definitely your own… Setting it up is a crucial step that will pay dividends in the long run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Barber August 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Great article.
Just a quick note on this topic to say that on http://www.original-art-under100.com (unlike other sites) artists get a free link to their websites. Artists pay zero commission on sales and it’s completely free for 4 months – then just £20 pa. All the site requires is that the work exhibited is original and is priced UNDER £100 (posting/delivery costs can be charged on top).

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Cool Art Tshirts April 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Spot on! Awesome article! I would emphasize on branding! It’s so important for artists! Thanks for compiling this information, great article!

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Jakob August 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Your website will always be within your control, where etsy, redbubble etc. could shut or down or mess with your sales. Good stuff Helen!

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Helen Aldous August 9, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Absolutely. Thanks Jakob. Like your site BTW. Thanks for stopping by.

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Rod Jones Artist August 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Great article! It’s important for artists to quickly understand that they should think of themselves as a brand. No different than McDonald’s or Nike…and a website that is different but yet tells your story is everything. It’s the first step in making you and your art into a brand. The Van Gogh is immediately recognized around the world. If you hear someone mention that name your mind musters up a myriad of images. Some cliche…think of a bandaged ear or a scene from the movie Theo & me. Now that’s a brand. A good brand to know is my friend Swarez Art he has established a very cool brand.

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Swarez July 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Totally agree

It’s funny how many creatives still can’t seem to justify to themselves that having a website is perhaps the most important thing they can ever do, especially if they are prepared to learn from the ground up like I did!

Love the article, time for a Re-tweet me thinks!

Swarez

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Helen Aldous July 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thanks Swarez. I think it’s SO important but sometimes it can slip down the “to Do” list. Thanks for any ReTweet

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Rod Jones Artist August 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Swarez Art knows from where he speaks. Great artist.

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Swarez August 4, 2012 at 10:05 am

Wow! Thanks Rod; I’m overwhelmed by that.. Gratitude to you.

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EmmaK July 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thanks for the tip! I will try and start my own website for my art.

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Helen Aldous July 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Glad it helped. Yes, then you always control your own domain name and visitors. Love Nibbles and Raspbeary on your site BTW!

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