15 Best Places to Sell Art Online
If you’re an artist looking to share your creative works with the world, you might start by selling online. After all, the ecommerce industry is constantly growing, and selling online exposes you to a much bigger audience than even a premier gallery might be able to reach. Plus, online marketplaces and websites also make the selling process simple for individuals, and selling fees and commission rates tend to be relatively low.
This being said, if you’re wondering how to sell your art online, much of the process involves finding the right place to list your art, promote your business, and manage orders. With this guide, therefore, we’ll list 15 of the best places you can use to learn how to sell art online—including everything from traditional ecommerce platforms to art-specific online gallery sites.
How to Sell Art Online: 15 Top Methods
The best venue through which to sell your art you depends largely upon the type of art you make, the commission rate and other fees you’re willing to sacrifice, and where your target market shops. If your audience skews younger, for instance, then you’ll likely want to dedicate more of your efforts to selling your art through your social channels. We know, there are a lot of factors at play when it comes to figuring out how to sell art online.
But with that in mind, all of these selling methods supplement each other nicely. After researching these options, you may decide to choose one as your primary method and another as your secondary method (and yet another as your tertiary method, if you really want to hustle).
First, you might decide to sell your art online using an ecommerce platform or website builder with ecommerce functionality. Selling your art directly to customers through your own website ensures that you’ll keep 100% of your profits, rather than sacrificing a commission as you would by selling through a third-party platform or gallery.
This being said, there are a variety of ecommerce solutions that you might use for selling your art, however, you might choose a platform like Squarespace, that’s known for its professional, customizable templates. In fact, Squarespace markets its service particularly to creative professionals, offering templates that allow you to both display and sell your work.
To sell your art on Squarespace, you’ll need to pay for one of their ecommerce subscription plans, at either $30 or $46 per month. With either of these plans, you’ll be able to accept payments using PayPal or Stripe, and you’ll only have to pay their standard credit card processing fees. Plus, you’ll be able to connect social accounts, utilize marketing tools, and not only sell your art, but start running your website as an ecommerce business.
Artist-entrepreneurs can use Shopify to build, manage, and market a standalone online store from top to bottom. This solution makes the most sense for artists who sell their art in bigger quantities, rather than occasional one-offs, and who are seeking a scalable solution.
Shopify is one of the most powerful ecommerce solutions on the market. In addition to its virtually limitless personalization tools, Shopify offers its merchants marketing tools, payment processing solutions, integrations with your social media accounts, CRM tools, performance analytics, and a native shipping solution. You can also access its robust app ecosystem and find tools that further automate and streamline your processes, like apps that handle printing, packaging, and shipping your work.
Although both Shopify and Squarespace have tools and templates to accommodate artists, you might also choose to utilize an online selling platform designed exclusively for artists. With FASO, you’ll have access to unique features that will help facilitate your processes and expedite the time it takes for you to learn how to sell your art online. FASO offers four subscription plans, starting at $15 per month.
These plans include an art marketing playbook, library and platform, private art marketing webinars, a mobile-optimized website, blog, email newsletter, free custom domain, free SSL certificate, and more. A huge benefit of this type of platform is that it not only offers the tools you need to sell online, but professional guidance and advice as well.
4. Facebook (and other social media platforms)
If you’re looking to learn how to sell art online and make money in the simplest way, you might opt to use a social media platform, like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. With any of these platforms, you can combine your social media marketing with your actual sales strategy—plus, take advantage of the advertising tools these social media sites offer.
This being said, if you have a business Facebook page, you can create a Facebook Store that allows customers to shop directly from your page. If you use an ecommerce platform like Shopify or Squarespace, it’s very likely you can connect your Facebook store to those solutions as well.
Similarly, if you have business accounts to advertise on Instagram and Pinterest, then you can enable Instagram Shopping and Shop the Look Pins on each platform, respectively, so customers can make purchases through your posts directly. Just keep in mind that accounts have to be approved for Instagram Shopping before you can take advantage of this platform’s feature.
One of the many benefits of selling art online through social media is that platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are extremely image-focused—meaning they’re great places to reach highly engaged customers.
Etsy began as a marketplace on which independent artisans and creators could market and sell unique, handcrafted work. So this platform is a natural choice for artists wondering how to sell art online.
Etsy has an audience of nearly 33 million international buyers in the market for one-of-a-kind items, which sounds like a good bet to us. Setting up an Etsy storefront also gives you access to Etsy’s built-in marketing tools, robust customer support, and third-party apps that can further enhance and automate your selling process.
Etsy’s Standard plan is free, and their Plus plan costs $10 per month. You’ll also be responsible for a $0.20 listing fee, plus a 5% transaction fee and a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee per transaction. If this sounds like a viable option for your work, take a look at our comprehensive guide to opening an Etsy shop.
To consumers, eBay is commonly known as a platform on which to put used or secondhand items up for auction; but for sellers, it’s an equally viable channel to list original artwork.
Depending on your preferences, eBay might not be the right marketplace for every artist, however. To sell on an auction platform, you have to accept that your work likely won’t sell at the price you’ve initially set; you’ll also need to keep careful track of eBay’s several selling fees. It may be worth consulting our guide to selling on eBay to determine whether selling on this platform makes sense for you.
That said, setting up shop on eBay or another marketplace can work best in tandem with selling through your own website or ecommerce store: You can leverage an online marketplace’s huge audience to gauge demand, develop your art, and garner a customer base and then ultimately redirect those new clients back to your own website or store to establish customer loyalty (and improve customer retention by selling more work, more consistently in the future).
By selling on Amazon, you’ll benefit from the company’s massive brand recognition, huge international audience, and seller-friendly logistical tools like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which stores, packages, and ships your products on your behalf for an additional price.
In particular, Amazon’s Art pages list work by independent fine artists, printmakers, photographers, illustrators, and mixed media artists. Regardless of the type of art they’re selling (or any other type of product, for that matter), Amazon sellers are responsible for a $0.99 per item fee, plus a referral fee and variable closing fees. Amazon’s basic subscription plan is free, but sellers planning to sell more than 40 items per month should choose the Professional plan, which costs $39.99 per month.
Before setting up shop here, we’d recommend taking a close look at Amazon’s fees to understand exactly how much selling your art here would cost you.
A top Etsy alternative, selling your art online through Artfire will give you access to a unique demographic of buyers and community of local fellow artisans. ArtFire encourages artists, crafters, and other creative professionals to list their handmade and unique items through their platform, and although commercial products are allowed, they require an additional commission fee.
This being said, whereas Etsy has become an extremely competitive and even saturated marketplace, you may be able to find more luck using ArtFire. Plus, not only will you be able to sell your art through their platform, but you’ll also have access to a community to discuss tips, advice, and more.
WIth Artfire, however, you’ll have to pay for a monthly seller plan, as well as a listing fee and a final valuation fee. As with many of these platforms though, the fees you’ll pay to use Artfire will likely be lower than brick-and-mortar galleries—and even bigger gallery websites.
Society6 is an approachable option for photographers, fine artists, graphic designers, and typographers to sell their work, or to turn their work into products—among this platform’s more popular product categories include art prints and wall art, iPhone cases, T-shirts and other apparel, pillows, and stationery.
Society6 is an open community, so anyone can sign up to sell their work on this platform. If you sell an item, Society6 will produce, package, and ship your work for you. They’ll retain 10% commission, which is very low compared to other marketplaces (and certainly galleries, which typically take around 50% commission).
Artfinder aggregates independent artists internationally and exposes them to a global audience of over 500,000 customers. This platform supports visual artists (painters, illustrators, collagists, printmakers, sculptors, photographers, digital artists, and fine art reproducers), and they don’t allow the sale of clothing, jewelry, furniture, or greeting cards.
Depending on the Seller Plan subscription you choose, Artfinder will take either 40% or 33% commission on sold items, which is more aligned with brick-and-mortar commission rates. You do need to apply to sell on Artfinder, however, and not every artist who applies will be accepted after review. Artists are also responsible for handling shipping services themselves, though customers cover shipping costs.
Whether you’re a “designer” or a “maker” the popular website Zazzle is a great place to learn how to sell art online. Zazzle allows you to sign up for a free account, after which point you can either upload your artwork or list your products. If you’re a designer, Zazzle produces and ships your orders—and you earn a commission.
On the other hand, if you’re a maker, you’ll price your products on Zazzle will take a 30% commission on your sales. In this case, they’ll provide packing slips and shipping labels you can print at home to streamline the order process, plus, the shipping costs will be passed on to the buyer.
Like some of the other options on our list, Zazzle makes it easy to sell your art online, although this ease does come at a cost. This being said, however, if your art involves customized pieces, illustrations, or images, Zazzle will definitely be a great way to reach an engaged customer base.
Similar to Zazzle, RedBubble is a site that makes it easy to sell your art—in the form of designs—to customers around the world. With RedBubble, you can create an account and upload your designs to products in your shop. Then, customers find and purchase products featuring your designs. Like the Zazzle designer program, after a customer purchases your product and RedBubble ships it, you’ll receive a commission on the sale.
Again, this is one of the simplest ways to sell your art online, as you’re not required to ship, process, or manage orders—you simply upload and market your art and get paid when it’s purchased. Of course, RedBubble will only appeal to specific types of artists, like graphic designers, illustrators, or cartoonists. Unlike Zazzle, RedBubble does not allow you to sell and ship your own products, only your designs, so this is something to keep in mind.
13. Saatchi Art
Saatchi Art is the world’s largest online platform for emerging fine artists to show and sell their work to collectors in over 80 countries. In addition to reaching an international audience of serious collectors, you can receive personalized support from Saatchi Art’s in-house team of art advisors.
Artists within the Saatchi Art network may also have the opportunity to be handpicked by Saatchi Art’s curators, who can connect artists directly to designers, architects, experienced collectors, and other high-intent clients. The platform’s partnership with The Other Art Fair provides emerging artists with even more opportunities for in-person exposure to major collectors.
Considering its status as the premier global online gallery, learning how to sell art online through Saatchi art is quite accessible. To create a free account, you’ll upload a government-issued photo ID; once you’re approved, you’ll upload photos of your work and complete a profile explaining your background and experience.
Helpfully, too, the platform handles shipping, and shipping costs are included in the listing price; you just need to package your work and arrange for a courier to pick it up. Saatchi Art takes 35% commission from the final sale price. (Also, heads up: Despite the shared name, gallerist Charles Saatchi does not own Saatchi Art.)
Ugallery connects artists with a global network of independent buyers, as well as corporate clients and individual collectors seeking commissioned work. Ugallery is among the more exclusive online galleries on this list—currently, the juried platform represents about 500 emerging and mid-career artists.
That said, it only takes about 10 minutes and costs $5 to apply, so you have very little to lose (and, potentially, a lot to gain) by sending in an application. If you’re accepted, you’ll receive a call from a representative and receive a personalized onboarding process.
Be aware that Ugallery takes a hefty 50% commission, similarly to brick-and-mortar galleries. They do cover all fees associated with packaging and shipping work, however.
Finally, if you’re trying to learn how to sell your art online and avoid the commission-based fee structure, you might turn to Artplode. Artplode is an online gallery website designed for more traditional art pieces—paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, etc.—that allows you to list and sell your art with no commission fee. Instead, you simply have to pay a $60 listing fee to advertise each artwork.
Although this listing fee may seem steep, the listing stays on the Artplode website until you remove it, and you receive 100% of the price the artwork is sold for. Plus, you control every part of the sale process—from listing your art to arranging payment and shipping with the buyer. In this way, you have much more flexibility with Artplode than you do with other art selling websites.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, figuring out how to sell art online is not always an easy process. Like learning how to sell online in general, much of your process will be unique to you, as an artist. This being said, there are many platforms, social media sites, and online galleries that make it fast and easy to list and sell your art.
Of course, some of these platforms will charge higher fees, and others will require much more work, especially if you’re shipping and managing orders yourself. Luckily, many of these sites and platforms offer free trials or free accounts, so you can test out their functionality for yourself.
Ultimately, the best method for you to sell your art online will be the one that’s the most affordable, fits your needs, and of course, the one that actually brings in customers to purchase your creative works.
The post How to Sell Art Online: 15 Platforms and Online Galleries to Use appeared first on Fundera Ledger.