Category: Marketing

Buy Fine Art From Amazon…Soon


Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is discussing plans with about 100 art galleries in the US of selling fine art online. The e-tail giant plans to create another part in its site where it will offer unique paintings, prints, and other fine art pieces. Amazon has already organized cocktail receptions in Seattle, and other big art cities including New York and San Francisco, inviting galleries to join the plan.

According to WSJ, Amazon will charge the art galleries a monthly membership fee of $100 and will get a commission of 5-20%, depending on the sold artwork. Higher-prices pieces would be subject to lower commission rates. The membership fee would be waived for art houses which would partner with Amazon in selling high-end art until 2015. Amazon will be using a retail model, which means each artwork has a fixed price, unlike art auction houses where the highest bidder gets the art.

Online selling of fine art is a double-edged sword. Amazon’s plan is a great way for art galleries to reach more people. Art lovers outside the city such as New York would be able to buy great art without traveling to the city. At the comfort of their homes or offices, people can easily buy art, even without visiting the actual art gallery. However, a drawback of this plan is that people may be hesitant to buying expensive paintings without seeing the actual painting. Most likely, art buyers won’t pay six- or even seven-figures for something that they only see online. Unlike buying a book or a gadget online, serious art collectors would naturally want to see the artworks personally.

High-end online auctioneers such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s said there is a growing market for expensive art over the Internet. Sotheby’s BidNow program was able to sell a 16th century portrait of Giovanni Gaddi for $2 million in 2012. Christie’s have been accepting online bids since 2007. It revealed that 27% of its auction sales ($6.2 billion) last year came from online bidding and regular auctions. Christie’s was able to sell Edward Hopper’s oil on canvas painting entitled “October on the Cape” to an online bidder for $9.6 million.

As of now we’re not sure if Amazon’s plan to sell high-end art will come to fruition. In 1999, Amazon forged a partnership with Sotheby’s to sell fine art but it lasted for 16 months only because the jointly operated auction site,, failed to gain traction. Also, there are many online art galleries offering a wide range of art from numerous artists that already have established markets and loyal clientele.

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5 Ways Artists Can Protect Themselves From Online Scams information age makes its easier for artists to introduce, promote, and sell their paintings using the Internet. Artists can use the services of numerous online art galleries and social media networks to establish their art business. They can also set up their own art website or art blog as platforms for their online business. The Internet makes it easier for artists to do business but unfortunately, there are scammers who also take advantage of technology. As an artist, you must protect yourself and prevent becoming a victim of art scams.

Ways to protect yourself against fraud:

1. Be skeptical. If you receive an email or an offer that’s too good to be true, it probably is. Artists are vulnerable to these scams because they are hungry for fame, excited to make that first sale, and eager to make connections in the business. Signs to look for in a scam email: wrong grammar and spelling of words, urgency to buy, and the so-called buyer insists on arranging the shipment of the painting. Check out the Internet for the lists of email scams, including popular scammer names and email addresses.

2. Establish strict rules on accepting check payments and money orders. To protect yourself, never accept postdated checks, third-party checks, and checks where the amount is more than the agreed upon price for the artwork. Don’t accept overpayment wherein you have to refund the excess amount. For money orders, request the buyer to send payment from a trusted, domestic bank.

2. Make sure the payment is correct and has been cleared. Do not ship the painting unless the check or money order has been cleared in your bank. It takes three weeks or longer before a bank clears checks and if the check you’ve deposited turned to be a counterfeit, your bank may charge penalty fees on you.

3. Protect all online transactions. Use a trustworthy online payment service such as PayPal which protects both you and the buyer. If you’re buying art online, see if the web address starts with “https” or has a padlock symbol. These signs mean that the website where you are placing payment is secure and financial information such as your credit card number is encrypted when it is sent.

4. Be vigilant against computer viruses, trojans, malware,etc. Use the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware programs and keep them updated. If a virus attacks your computer, it can lead losing all your files, including the commercial photos of your paintings. Activate the firewall to prevent online criminals from accessing your computer and getting vital information on your art business.

5. Report scams. If you’ve been a victim of fraud, report it to your State Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Affairs. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

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Where To Find Art Buyers?

Selling your art is no different from selling other items. All you need to do is to find the right people who want to buy them and the right places to display your art and make it look good, where art buyers tend to congregate, and places where you know the client can afford your asking prices. Here are some of the best places where you can find your buyers.

Still, the best place to find a buyer for your artwork is in an art gallery. You can look around to find an art gallery exhibition and display your work. Find a good art gallery to represent you, and who can arrange an art show for you. Art buyers often show up at the opening just to see if there is anything that they like. There are always potential buyers who come to these exhibitions looking for good paintings.

"Ausschnitt (Kreutz)" by Gerhard Richter

Social Media and Art Websites

There are many social networks, online galleries, and other websites online to market art. There are by far too many to mention here, but the major ones are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and many online gallery websites. Sign up and start advertising online. If you manage to sell many, you are not only making money, but are receiving free advertising! People will be talking about your art, or share it through the mail. Many will see your artworks, who would not have been able to before.

Art competions, Auction sale and Art Expos
Try to join as frequent as possible in competitions and art events. Even if you do not win, you and your artwork will get exposure. Whoever is on the judging panel will see it, be it gallery owners or curators. The more they have to judge your artworks the more they will be familiar with you and know how serious you are about your art career. Its usually best to show alongside other artists who work in the same style as you. That way, the art buyers that often buy from them, may purchase artworks from you.


Neighbors, Family and Friends
Of course, the first people who have to see your artwork are the ones who are nearest to you. Show them what you are creating. Show them to your family members, friends and you neighbours. . Even if they do not buy artwork from you, they may tell others about your creations.

It’s best to never pressure someone into buying though. If they like it, or can afford it, they will most likely purchase from you without any convincing. Observe how art is sold in as many different circumstances as possible. Watch how people sell at all types of galleries, art shows, art fairs and other venues where art is for sale. See what sales techniques work to different kinds of buyers and take note which one doesn’t. Research on what sells best and why and learn everything you can from gallery owners and fellow artists about how they present, market, and sell art to clients.

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How to Price for Your Artwork

There are different factors that you have to consider when pricing your artwork. If you’re just starting out and have not sold very much, pricing your work based on time, labor, and cost of materials is often the best way to go. Aside from explaining why your art is priced as much from a personal standpoint, you also have to explain equally from a financial standpoint and give reasons why it is a good buy most especially when your buyers are not familiar with you and your work. Here are some tips on how to fairly price your artwork.


1. How much did you spend?
You can start pricing your artwork by computing the quality and cost of art materials you’ve used. Then put into consideration the time and effort you spent in making these masterpieces. Price it at cost of materials plus hours spent creating the art. You can also do it by size. Large artworks usually are more expensive than the smaller ones.

2. Start with the lowest possible price that you can offer
It’s best to start low and raise your prices than it is to lower your prices later. But make sure that you have to gain a significant profit from your artwork to sustain your art business. You might want to price the work a few hundred dollars over the set price so you have space to negotiate just in case a buyer ask for a discount. Don’t undervalue your work. Selling your art too cheaply reflects your confidence as an artist.

3. Compare prices with other artists
Research and see what’s being charged by other artists that are at your level of work. Use that information as a guideline then set your price similar to other artists with similar experiences and work in similar mediums.


4. Price based on your status as an artist
Price your work based on your achievements, documented accomplishments, successful exhibits and number of sales. The more popular you are as an artist the more you should be confident with your pricing.

5. Be consistent with your pricing
Keep a pricelist of your paintings. Consistent pricing means that you’re consistent with the quality of your artwork. It is a cornerstone of a sound practice and eventually leads to successful sales. You can increase your pricing when you are experiencing a consistent degree of success and have established a proven track record of sales that has lasted for at least six months and preferably longer.

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Guidelines for Artists Before Starting to Work on Commission

Reading A Letter On The Beach by Dominique Amendola

Doing art on commission is a big step in an artist’s career. It boosts an artist’s pride in his work, knowing another person aside from his mother appreciates and is willing to pay for his work. It can be a very exciting and thrilling experience, especially for first-timers. Before you get all excited, here are some important things that you have to keep in mind before you start creating art on commission.

As with any relationships, communication is vital between an artist and the party commissioning his work. Meet with the other party to discuss the project. Make the specs of the project clear from the beginning and ask questions if some details are not clear to you. It’s best if you meet at your studio, gallery, or cafe where your art works are displayed so he’ll know your style and the types of work that you do.

Here are some ideas on what to ask the other party:

  • Have you commissioned art before?
  • What are you looking for in a commissioned art?
  • What do you want and don’t want to see in your art?
  • Who will approve the art?

In any business deals, a contract is very important. If your meeting goes well, you have to prepare a contract for the painting which both of you must sign. Be concise and clear with both your expectations. Define what the project entails, the characteristics of the painting, payment schedule, milestones, completion time, and delivery time. This contract will protect both parties and hopefully prevent disputes in the future.

If it’s your first time to do art on commission, asking for an advance payment may be intimidating but you have to ask for it and discuss it on your meeting. Normally, 1/3 of the commission can be required upfront and should be non-refundable. This is a great incentive for you to start with the project and obligates the other party to push through with your agreement. An advance payment is non-refundable so if the other party backs out of the agreement, the time, effort, and materials you’ve used are still compensated.

A painting can take days or months to finish, it’s natural that the other party would like to see the developments in the project. You can make it clear in the contract when the other party can visit you and your work so if there are issues to answer, any revisions, or concerns, both of you can discuss about it right then and there. It’s a waste of both your time and resources if you present an artwork which is entirely different from what’s on the other party’s mind.

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ECommerce Software For Artists To Sell Art Online

Buying and selling online has increased popularity over the years because of convenience for both the buyer and the seller. For artists who want to put up an art gallery online, a good Ecommerce software is vital to create your total art store online. Here are some of the best Ecommerce software that you can use to start your online business rolling.

It offers a variety of website designs and tools for your website. It also provides excellent hosting options, payment options and shopping cart tools. The software also create large amount of traffic to your website by integrating it to eBay and offers great marketing features.

Shopify features a customer information menu wherein you can organize advertisements and inventory. One of the easiest Ecommerce software to use. It is also known for the simplicity of tools for creating and designing websites. It also offers marketing tools to help bring traffic to your site.

This application is very easy to set up and to use. It also offers a variety of tools, from administrative controls to design tools, which will help you get your online art gallery up and running. It has been consistent as one of the leading Ecommerce software for years.

Shopping Cart Elite
Loaded with features that will allow you to set up and manage your online art store with ease. With great design options and extensive marketing tools, this user-friendly software will surely make your website busy in no time.

Ashop Commerce
Also known for its powerful management tools, Ashop Commerce also offers website design tools and templates to choose from. It features a simple interface that is easy to use. It boasts with advanced security tools and payment options. Marketing tools are also available to draw attention to your website.


Pinnacle Cart
With its powerful marketing tools and management features, you will be selling boatloads of your artwork in no time. It provides unique template designs that will suit your personality and your products. And with its superb marketing tools, attention will be at your website 24/7.

This Ecommerce software also features a variety of designs for your online store. It offers easy to use managing tools and inventory controls so you can manage your website as smoothly as possible. Although some reviews shows some imperfections of this software, generally it can still run your online business effectively.

How To Increase Traffic To Your Art Website

Now that your website is ready, it’s time to attract viewers and visitors to your site. The reasons why you want traffic to your site is to put have as many audiences and potential buyers as possible. There are tons of other online art galleries around and your goal is to divert some online visitors to see your page. You might have read a lot of these tips online and there are boatloads of them but here are some of the most basic things that you should do.

• Write search engine friendly titles
Make your titles easy to search by using keywords in your titles. But be sure to keep it unique and avoid having similar titles of other websites. Take note that search engines focus on specific keywords so make sure to integrate your keyword in your title.


• Search engine optimization
Write blogs or articles using significant keywords. This will help your blog or article to show up first when the keyword is typed in search engines. This is done by repetitively typing the keyword all throughout your article but be careful not to overdo it because you still want your articles to be sensible and informative and not annoy your readers with repeating words.

• Link your Twitter and Facebook profiles to your website
Create a social media page and exchange links to other closely similar sites to create more website traffic. Choose other credible websites to link with to attract quality audiences. Post interesting pictures, videos, or articles to your social media page and link them to your website.

like pictwitter

• Enhance your internet presence by advertising
Create free advertisements for your websites in social media pages and to other websites. This will constantly remind users that there are websites like yours. You don’t have to stick to electronic medium to advertise. You can use prints like stickers and postcards of your logo and your website and give it out to the community to increase awareness of your website.

• Keep your website updated
Post new things on your website every now and then like uploading new pictures and new blog posts to keep it updated. Let the visitors of your website know that you have something to offer every time so that they will keep on visiting your site even if they have seen it before.

• Make your website interactive
Create a forum in your website wherein visitors can leave comments about your artwork and your blogs. Keep it as interactive as possible because knowing that you read their comments and replying will make your visitors feel that they are not being ignored. You can also participate in discussions with other websites. Letting them know about your presence will build curiosity about who you are and what you can offer.

Creative Ways to Sell Your Paintings Online

Now that you have decided that you want to expand your horizons when it comes to promoting and selling your artwork through the internet, the next challenge for you is on how you’ll be able to attract people to visit your page or website and check your paintings out. Here are some creative ideas that you can use when selling your paintings online.

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Create a name and a logo for your website
I suggest that you should take this one seriously. Think of a domain that will carry your name and your work and which will also serve as your trademark. It has to be unique and interesting and very much related to your style and kind of work. Make it as personal as possible to create a character and personality to your website.

Write something about your website and what you can offer
Writing a short history and description about your site will make it more interesting. Say something about how you started and why you decided to put it up. Elaborate on your art and your love for your craft. Show how passionate you are in what you do and that it reflects in your work. This way, you’ll be able to imbibe to your readers that they are not just looking at a piece of decoration but an art worth buying.

Post well-photographed and high definition photos of your art
Remember that your website is your portfolio online. You can show your artwork to anyone and anywhere in the world. They will not be able to see the actual painting so a nice photograph of it will allow them to appreciate the details. You can hire a professional photographer or you can do it yourself provided that you are able to capture the most important details and that it will come out like you are looking at the original painting.


Use videos to advertise and to tell something about you and your artwork
Create fun videos of yourself making your paintings. A time lapsed video is a great idea wherein you video yourself creating a masterpiece from start to finish. Videos tend to create more traffic in websites because watching is more fun than reading alone. You can also share your videos on YouTube or Vimeo and create links to other social networks like Facebook and Twitter to your page to draw visitors to your website.

Write interesting blogs
You can attract a variety of possible clients by writing interesting reads about art in your website. You can write about history of art, about your favourite artists or teach art techniques through your blog. This will make you website more fun and worth visiting again.

How to Promote your Canvas Art via Twitter

Venice Oil Painting 0086

The Information Age makes it easier for artists to connect with other artists, their clients, and other people interested in art. Many social media websites are available that artists can use to their advantage. You can introduce your canvas art, connect with the community, promote your pieces and exhibits, and more.

Twitter is a microblogging service that’s one of the most popular social networking site.  Currently, there are 500 million users of Twitter, 200 million of which are monthly active users. Twitter is an excellent venue for you to network and market your work and these tips can help you expand your online community and advertise your art works.

Tip 1 – Share yourself and your work in progress. Share links to your artist blog, website, and other helpful links to artists. If you’ve posted a new article in your blog, or had an interview, include its link in your tweet. You can also share information about the piece you’re currently working on. Tell about your inspiration, what techniques you are using, incorporate a picture of what it looks like, etc. People want to get closer to those whom they follow and sharing these helpful and personal information can get you closer to your community. Once you’ve finished with your art work, tweet the link where people can see and buy the item.

Tip 2 – Tweet announcements. Announce events which you are involved in and those in your online community. If you run an etsy shop, selling a new art, or having a public appearance, tweet it. Let your followers know where you are and what things that are keeping you busy.

Tip 3 – Grow your community. Establishing an online presence is no overnight work. Patience is key to growing an engaging online community. Search for people who are interested in art, who are into art, and businesses related to the art industry. If you follow people, most likely they will return the favor by following you back. Build relationships with them by communicating with them about art and other topics. Twitter lets you start partnerships with your audience, which grows your personal and professional networks.

Tip 4 – Be an active member of the community. Twitter has tools that encourage interaction among the community. Reply to tweets, retweet, post comments on other people’s messages to let them know that you’re there in Twitter and are valuing the information that they are telling.

Tip 5 – Hold contests and giveaways. Everybody loves winning and getting free stuff. What better way to engage your community than holding a contest. You can offer one of your piece as a prize. Two of the easiest contests are the RT (retweet) to win, and Follow to win contests. Twitter contests can create more traffic to your community and increase your connections which also promotes your work to more people.

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5 Marketplace to Sell Your Canvas Art Reproduction

Thomas Kinkade Original landscape oil painting ( Natures Paradise ) Art print reproduction on canvas wall decor  Photo credit:
Thomas Kinkade Original landscape oil painting ( Natures Paradise ) Art print reproduction on canvas wall decor
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Recreating famous painting is very challenging. You have to capture every detail even the style and brush stroke to make it almost incomparable to the original painting. This will make your reproduction stand out and more convincing to buy. But where can you really sell your reproductions? Here are some suggestions that can help you find your potential buyers.


1. Annual Fair
Let’s just say you don’t have the money to rent an art gallery or to pay for registration fees for exhibits and competitions, don’t be discouraged but be resourceful instead. Why not showcase your artwork during your local annual fair? It’s the best time to attract local patrons and a great way to let your community know that there’s a budding artist in the neighborhood. This might not give you the big break you are waiting for but it’s a good start. Don’t you think?

2. Online Art Galleries
Online art galleries are readily available throughout the internet. Aside from it’s easy to join, it’s also more affordable than setting up your own website. These websites can provide exposure of your recreations to collectors that frequently visit their site. Remember that you will be dealing with financial transactions with these websites as well so choose the most trusted.

3. Local Gift shops/Souvenir Shops
You might think it’s not a good idea to display your artwork in a gift shop or a souvenir shop but think of the possibility that a tourist or someone looking for something extraordinary to buy for a gift may enter the door. Find a shop that sells other quality items and with a great ambiance to match the quality of your artwork.

4. Join Art Exhibits and Competitions
Remember, exposure is the key. Joining these events puts your art in front of a variety of audiences. A lot of artists got their first break through these exhibits and competitions even if they were not a winner. But winning an award has its advantages for you will have something to add to your profile which proves the quality of your work.

Art market in Budapest
Art market in Budapest

5. Art Galleries and Museums
You have done your efforts to reach potential clients in all walks of life. Now, it’s time to get noticed by the “cream of the crop”. Having your paintings displayed in an art gallery is a dream come true for a new artist. This will allow you to meet other artists and enthusiasts that can give you feedbacks and can even help you expand your client lists. To have your work displayed in an established gallery helps establish class and reputation of your precious artwork.
Creating and selling art reproductions will always have its pros and cons. Be ready for critics who will scrutinize your work but don’t let negative word get in the way. Remember that it’s all part of being a budding artist.