If you’re trying to figure out what to sell, why not consider selling art online? Both established and emerging artists can reach a global audience of art lovers willing to pay for custom prints. If you’re an artist, creating the art itself is the easy part. The hard part? Choosing the right platform, listing your art, and managing the business aspect of operations.
Read this guide to learn how to sell artwork online. We cover where to sell and include a list of online art galleries to help you get started.
How to Sell Artwork Online
Selling art prints online is easier than ever, thanks to the sheer number of marketplaces available. It’s as simple as finding the platforms you want to use, taking photographs of your work, uploading them to dedicated original art galleries, and marketing tools to promote your work.
You must first decide what you’re going to sell. Options include:
- Original work or reproductions (you can do both)
- Prints – limited or open edition – framed, unframed, or canvas
- Repeat prints on wallpaper, fabric, or wrapping paper
- Merchandise – your artwork printed on clothing, hats, mugs, stationery, greeting cards, etc. with print on demand technology
- Custom art – one-of-a-pieces you create in response to a customer’s request
- Licensing deals with other brands – best for photographers and illustrators
- Brand collaborations – create a special, limited edition prints collection that’s sold through your print on demand partner brand’s store
Where to Sell Art Online
There’s no shortage of places to sell art prints online. Some, of course, take more effort than others – but all of them get your work out into the art world.
Your Own Website
The most obvious place to sell your art is via your own website. This can take time and effort because you need to secure a domain name, choose an ecommerce platform, and set up your products. The good news is, you don’t need to be a tech guru to make it work, since there are many DIY builders out there that can produce professional-quality websites within a few hours. Running your own online store means you’ll save on commission fees, but you’ll have to do a lot of marketing to build brand awareness.
You can also leverage your social media following to promote and sell your artwork. Some platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, even allow you to create your own store.
To be successful, post something every day. You won’t gain traction with silence. Use tags and hashtags to get your content in front of the right audience, especially on Instagram. Engage with people in the comments section. Host giveaways promoting your art for free.
Join Facebook Groups for artists and art collectors. If you specialize in a certain niche, like dogs, join groups for dog lovers. The key here is to take part and genuinely engage in the group. If all you do is try to sell, your posts won’t get a lot of attention – and the group admins may decide to boot you. Focus on building relationships with your target market, and using Facebook Groups to help you do that.
Marketplaces Like Etsy and Amazon
Etsy is one of the most popular platforms with artists and creators. It’s free for anyone to create a storefront and sell their handmade goods and craft supplies. That said, competition is intense, especially for printables and digital downloads, jewelry, and hair accessories. You’ll have to work hard to promote your store.
Etsy fees are typically lower than what you’d pay on Amazon or eBay. Plus, you’ll get your money transferred to you immediately after you make a sale. With eBay and Amazon, you’ll have to wait until the monthly payment date.
Best Sites for Selling Art Online
As you work to build brand awareness, consider listing your artwork on some of the biggest art marketplaces. Look at this list of the 11 best sites to make money selling art online.
This online art gallery is a brilliant choice for new and upcoming artists looking for exposure. This online art marketplace features over 60,000 artists worldwide. Saatchi does more than selling art. They also organize art fairs and curator groups, and actively promote artists.
Because of the volume of artists, it’s difficult to get visibility. That’s where building relationships with the curatorial team can help. If you become a featured artist at Saatchi, it can catapult your brand.
This is one of the best websites to sell art because it facilitates a connection between artists and collectors. Artists upload their artwork, then collectors can make requests for specific pieces. To sell your art, simply provide the following information:
- Your name
- Title of the artwork
- Year created
- Frame information (is it framed? Does it have glass or plexiglass?)
- Signature info (Is it hand signed? Plate signed? Estate signed? Not signed, etc.)
Upload the photo of your artwork, then proceed with the rest of the on-screen instructions to complete your listing. Repeat for all the artwork you want to list.
If you need a free art gallery, then Art Pal is a great place to start. You don’t pay membership fees or commission fees. You can use it to list your art and buy art online from other artists. As of this writing, ArtPal is the only completely free gallery online today. They also have a print-on-demand service that makes it easy to sell custom prints with framing. As a bonus, they’ve got materials to help you learn marketing so you can make more online sales.
Picta Design is a great marketplace for artists who want to display their work on canvas. It’s a marketplace that connects people looking for home decor to the artists who create it.
Art is divided into categories like:
- Luxury Brands
One thing that sets them apart from the competition is their focus on partnering with eco-friendly suppliers. A percentage of each sale goes to planting trees in areas of the world where they’re most needed.
Redbubble is a well-known printing website option.
You want your art business to take off and this site helps you do so.
Redbubble provides an avenue to get customers, have the products printed, and then have them delivered in no time flat.
Items you can create and sell on the website include:
With a huge following and tons of products, Redbubble draws a following of both creators and customers.
Redbubble will provide you with the following features:
- Ships most products worldwide
- Fulfillment centers in USA, Australia, Canada, Europe, UK, Germany, and Netherlands
- Easy-to-use platform
- Product options galore
- Shipping costs based on the shipping method and location
- Responsive customer support by email, live chat, Twitter, and more
- Direct bank deposit and PayPal payment options
- Integration with other website platforms not available
As for money matters, sites like Redbubble let you set your profit margins with each product and just take a base price…the rest is yours, all yours!
In order to make the selling and shipping process a quick one, Redbubble uses third-party printers throughout the globe and fulfills orders at locations closest to the purchaser’s location.
Society6 centers on home decor and items to make one’s home beautiful.
If you’re a creator in the home decor realm, check out Society6 for all of your selling and printing on demand purposes.
Some things you can lay your creative vision down on include:
- Framed prints
- Welcome mats
- Shower curtains
- Acrylic trays
Sellers that use Society6 determine how much they sell their creations for and how much profit they make.
When you sell products via Society6, you use the site to do so. Therefore, no integration is available.
Print on demand clothing products reign supreme with Design by Humans and you can make your own path with the help of this product site.
T-shirts, sweatshirts, tanks, and other must-have tops are a hot commodity on the Design by Humans site.
Add your custom artwork and create a huge following thanks to the order printing services of this team.
As for integration access, the site can be linked up to your store and helps to promote artists by using a Featured Artists section.
When it comes to payment, Design by Humans sets a schedule of royalties that the sellers earn.
Fine artists looking for a spot to sell their original artwork on canvas or framed prints choose Fine Art America.
Fine Art America is an online marketplace and fulfillment center that artists can use to sell their original items and grow a fan base.
If you’re looking to put your handiwork on items other than canvas or framed prints, you can sell your original designs on t-shirts, throw pillow covers, tote bags, and more.
Artists and photographers choose a membership level and set their own prices.
Fine Art America has 14 distribution centers in five countries to get products to customers in the fastest way including the following:
- Detroit, Michigan
- Chicago, Illinois
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Los Angeles, California
- Hawthorne, California
- Denver, Colorado
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Hendersonville, North Carolina
- Austin, Texas
- Toronto, Ontario
- London, England
- Glasgow, Scotland
- Boxtel, Netherlands
- Sydney, Australia
- Brisbane, Australia
Fine Art America is an online marketplace that solely utilizes its site to sell products, so no integration methods are available.
Photographers and graphic designers use CG Pro Prints for this company’s focus on this group of individuals and the goals they look to achieve when they come to CG Pro Prints.
Some of the CG Pro Prints specialties include metal, canvas, and fine art prints.
CG Pro Prints offers the following products:
- Canvas wraps
- Wood floating frames
- Brushed aluminum prints
- Wall peels
- Canvas prints
- And more!
CG Pro Prints charges by products and is ideal for photographers and graphic designers who are searching for printing and shipping help for individual jobs as opposed to an online marketplace.
Items are created and shipped from Longmont, Colorado, and individuals are able to pick up their orders directly from the manufacturing/fulfilment area.
Threadless has its finger on the pulse of t-shirt sales, but that’s not all this customized printing giant offers.
In addition to men’s, women’s, and kid’s tees, Threadless provides the following POD products for your buying pleasure:
- Tote bags
- Phone cases
- Bath mats
- Art prints
- Beach towels
- And a whole lot more!
Artists can set up a seller online shop on Artist Shops which is powered by Threadless. The seller fees vary depending on the products sold.
Threadless is based in Chicago and has its headquarters in the West Loop neighborhood of the city.
As for integration, if you want to use Threadless you’ll have to set up an account on Artist Shops as the two are separate but also go hand-in-hand.
What is the Easiest Way to Sell Art Online?
Ultimately, the easiest thing to do is to use a marketplace. You can list your artwork across multiple marketplaces for greater exposure. There’s nothing wrong with building a store to sell your artwork online, but it takes more time and effort to get established.
When you start selling art online, working with online marketplaces is easier. They’ve already got an established presence, which helps with exposure. Art buyers are likely familiar with many of these platforms, so it’s a matter of letting people know your art is available on these sites.