How To Choose Which Platform To Use To Sell Your Art Prints

Wandering Aimfully Through Selling Your Art

How To Choose Which Platform To Use To Sell Your Art Prints

Caroline ZookCaroline Zook Caroline ZookCaroline Zook

Written by

Caroline Zook

In December of 2015 I decided I wanted to do a yearlong project where I would create and sell a piece of art every day of 2016.

When I started the process of researching how to turn this #AbstractAffirmationsDaily art project into prints, I was incredibly surprised to find that there is a staggering lack of information out there on how artists have been able to turn their creations into tangible, sellable items.

Trade secrets, perhaps? I don’t know.

What I do know is that many of you out there are creative people with an interest in making money doing what you love. (And I’m of the opinion that the world is a better place when more people are able to make money doing what they love.)

That’s why I want to offer this ongoing blog series, #SellYourArt. (Simple and to the point, yes?)

Throughout this series, my hope is to pull back the curtain a bit using my own experiences and report back on what I’m learning as I work toward selling prints of my artwork in the Made Vibrant Art Shop. Maybe it’ll help some of you take the plunge and start selling your art too!

Here are a few articles you can expect in the #SellYourArt series:

+ How to choose which platform to use to sell your art
+ How to estimate your business costs to see if your project is financially viable
+ How to choosing a printing method for your art prints
+ How to launch your shop using pre-orders

Let me just reiterate: I’m learning all of this for the very first time! I’m sure there are some of you out there that have experience selling your art online, and I hope we can start a helpful dialogue in the comments so that more makers out there will feel confident in getting their art out into the world and making it a financially sustainable part of their lives.

Now, on to the info!

Last week I shared with you the launch of the Abstract Affirmations blog feed  to house each daily art piece and post.

The purpose of that was both personal — I wanted a place to see the entire collection together — and strategic — it’s important to build visibility and buzz for your work if you want to create enough demand to make money from a shop.

In this post though, I want to share with you the first few steps I took in the journey to launching the Art Shop, beginning with figuring out what platform to use to host my shop and handle the printing/order fulfillment of my art prints.


Step 1:

Determine how you want to sell, print & ship your art prints.

Based on my limited consumer knowledge, I saw my options for selling my art falling into three slightly different buckets:

  1. Use a third-party creative marketplace to handle printing & fulfillment shipping. (Included in this bucket are sites like Society6, RedBubble, Zazzle and FineArtAmerica. With these sites you simply upload your artwork and the service prints it on a number of different product options.)
  2. Use a third-party “store” to sell but handle printing & fulfillment/shipping myself. (Includes sites like Etsy and StoreEnvy.)
  3. Handle everything through my site and do the printing & fulfillment/shipping myself.

As I considered each option, I saw definite benefits and drawbacks to each, which I’ll list out for you here:

Option 1

Third-party marketplace (ex. Society6, RedBubble, FineArtAmerica, Zazzle, Printful.)

Pros:

Cons:

Option 2

Third-party store. (ex. Etsy, StoreEnvy)

Pros:

Cons:

Option 3

Do the whole kit and kaboodle yourself!

Pros:

Cons:

 

So, what were the defining factors that led me to Option 3?

Well, as I do with all business decisions, I had to take a step back and ask myself: What do I VALUE most?

When it came down to it, I value having maximum control over the buying and shipping experience. I want the entire process to feel like Made Vibrant through and through, from the buying experience to getting your package in the mail. And I’m willing to take on the risks associated with that because I also highly value learning. I know that things are almost guaranteed not to go according to plan but I look forward to facing those challenges and adaption (and sharing every bit of it with you guys!)

I also feel comfortable enough with the audience I’ve built up on my own through this email list and on Instagram that the allure of using a third-party site wasn’t enough to persuade me to take the experience off my website and onto another. If I was an artist just starting out with no audience, I think I’d probably choose Option 1 or Option 2.

Anyway, I hope that helps some of you with the same big looming question I had in the beginning: Which platform do I use?

Of course, this was just one decision in a whole string of decisions I had to make when it comes to selling my art, but I look forward to sharing that with you guys in the coming weeks!

Next up I’ll be sharing with you how I estimated my costs and revenue before embarking on this endeavor so I could make sure selling my art was a sound investment of my time and money.

Side note: thanks to Self-Made Society email subscriber and artist Kristin Cronic for replying back to one of my emails with the RedBubble/FineArtAmerica options which made me realize I should go over these platforms more in-depth!

How To Choose Which Platform To Use To Sell Your Art Prints

(Big Fat Takeaway)

IT IT

This article written by

Caroline Zook

Artist, designer + writer passionate about helping soulful creatives grow into their brightest selves. Lover of bright colors + even brighter people! One half of the crazy duo running these parts!

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