Where & how to sell your online art in 2020

I must admit, that dealing with a global pandemic was not in my plans for this year.

My calendar was filled with scheduled exhibitions, gallery openings, art fairs, and other ‘artsy’ events. These are opportunities I would use to connect with collectors and other art lovers and introduce them to the artworks I currently have available for sale. We would have a chance to talk about the artworks, I would tell the story of the artist and so on. This was usually a good chance to answer any questions and have the potential buyer have a close look at the artwork. Then a glass of champagne or two, to discuss technical issues such as packing, documentation, shipping and after deciding upon payment method the deal would be closed.

Guess that strategy is completely off the table in these new times of social distancing. Most players in the art world will have to completely rethink the way they do business, adaptability will be an important skill towards approaching the art market in the near future and showcasing and selling art online is going to be one of the main focal points for galleries and art dealers in the near future.

It still surprises me the number of galleries that don’t list their artworks for sale online, some galleries might claim reasons such as ‘exclusivity’ to keep a nontransparent approach to their inventory. Not a great strategy when you can’t rely on face-to-face sales opportunities.

Independent artists on the other hand, have been faster in using the internet to promote and sell their works. It’s become much more common to see artists thriving from their online community without the need of a gallery, curator, dealer or any other form of intermediary, allowing them to have total freedom with any single aspect of their career, from exhibitions to pricing.

For artists or galleries looking to start having a healthier online presence it’s important to deliver the information about the artwork correctly. Since the art lover wont have an opportunity to see the artwork personally, you’ll have to deliver the closest experience possible. You can do this by investing time into quality pictures of the artwork, from multiple angles and as part of the decoration, helping the potential buyer to see what it would look like at their own home.

Text is also an important tool towards delivering information about the artwork, be sure to tell a short story about each artwork, when and where it has been made, also mention the ideas and inspirations behind. Buying an artwork is much more than buying a pair of pants, you’ll need to help create an emotional connection between art collector and the artwork and having a background story can help accomplish that.

Then it’s important to find where to list your artworks, there are many established platforms that help artists showcase and sell their artworks online. Some of them deal only in original artworks, while others help artists produce prints of the artworks, to be sold at a lower price. Each platform may have their unique characteristics that may fit your art career better than others.

And if you feel you need some extra help, I’ve prepared a FREE online course on how to sell art online: check it here.

Fine art America

The world’s largest online art marketplace and print-on-demand technology company. They’ve been helping artists sell wall art, home decor, apparel, and other products since 2006 and are home to hundreds of thousands of artists, photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, and global brands.

With just a few clicks, artists and photographers can upload their images to FineArtAmerica.com, set their prices for hundreds of different print-on-demand products, and then instantly sell those products to a global audience of online, mobile, and real-world buyers. Fine Art America fulfills each order on behalf of the artists. Each product is manufactured at one of FAA’s 16 global production facilities and delivered “ready-to-hang” with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

In addition to providing an online marketplace and fulfillment service, Fine Art America provides artists and photographers with sales and marketing tools to help simplify and accelerate their careers. These tools allow artists to set up branded web stores, sell prints through Shopify, create e-newsletters, sell through augmented reality, and more.
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OnlineGallery.art

A fast-growing online art gallery based in the Netherlands, internationally known for its rich art culture, prominent design and expertise. It displays a beautiful selection of art in various price ranges. For a very small fee (from € 1.95 per month) artists may exhibit an art selection of their choice, with the possibility to communicate directly with art lovers. A larger profile can be built with links to the artist’s own website. When work gets sold, the artist receives 100% of the amount paid. OnlineGallery.Art also shares news on its website about the artists and their exhibitions.
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Artist stop bein poor CLUB

This gallery works as an artist collective formed by creatives worldwide. The platform offers the possibility for artists to sell prints of their works to collectors and art lovers.

The gallery doesn’t charge any commission for sales, only the printing costs. Participating artists pay a membership fee in order to maintain the collection and finance activities such as exhibitions and publications. Memberships start at as little as $7 a month.
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VSUAL

VSUAL is the best platform dedicated solely to selling art prints online because it’s free, makes selling effortless for artists, and offers buyers a wide range of print sizes and framing options. VSUAL can offer its premium prints due to its dedication to materials and craftsmanship: every print is made with archival ink, printed on premium paper, and framed with high-quality materials.

Two major selling points for VSUAL are that it’s free and easy for artists to get started. Simply apply for a shop, upload your work, and choose the markup you want to charge. VSUAL handles the rest. Because VSUAL handles printing, framing, and fulfilment, artists don’t need to carry any inventory or spend time packing and shipping their work.
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Azucar Gallery

Couldn’t miss the chance here, right? Azucar is a carefully curated art gallery representing some very exciting artists across the globe. Beyond being an fully functional online gallery, Azucar also is well known by hosting regular IRL exhibitions, combining the best of both worlds.
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Singulart

Singulartis an online art powerhouse with 50,000+ carefully curated artworks, made by established and emerging artists from over 80 countries. Launched in 2017, Singulart has not only established itself as one of the most promising and dedicated original art galleries, but also continues to grow at an impressive rate, thanks to its dedicated team working to support artists and collectors alike.
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Displate

It’s a global marketplace, gathering artists from all over the world and selling their designs on one of a kind, magnet mounted metal prints. Placing emphasis on the product, they give you the opportunity to expose your art on the medium in the highest-quality on the market. The membership is 100% free and the sign up is very easy. All you need to do is upload your best designs and they do the printing, customer service, and marketing for you. You get a commission for every purchase and you can earn up to 25% extra of the total sale value made through the special Share and Earn link.
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Artfinder

Another juried gallery, with a great selection of artists. Their overall website has a very playful and fun approach. They regularly feature artists from their network, giving them extra visibility. They also have a ranking of artists, updated weekly.
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Saatchi

Arguably one of the biggest art marketplaces out there, boasting around 65.000 artists across the globe. Their work goes way beyond just selling art, but organizing art fairs, curator groups and actively promoting artists.

With such large numbers it might be a bit hard to achieve visibility, but if you manage to establish good relationships with the curatorial team and get featured, it could be a great boost in your career.
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Artsper

This french website focuses solely on galleries, artists are not able to register independently. This ensures a extremely high quality level and focuses exclusively in professional artists. By excluding amateur artists, the website is a hot spot for professional collectors.

Azucar Gallery sells their work thru Artsper and the quality of their service and results are great, ensuring at least a couple of sales every month.
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Art Please

An online network that allows connections between artists and collectors. Artists are able to upload their artworks and collectors can request specific artworks.
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Jose Gallery

This website caters to both individual artists and galleries, giving possibilities to both sides of reaching art collectors online. They also offer the website in Chinese and Russian aiming to reach those art scenes.
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