Linked In has been giving me lots of new connections and interesting articles and websites to follow. One of the articles was on ten online sites to sell your work. I’m planning on combing through each of them over the next month or so, but here is the list, with some preliminary thoughts. Also, cost is an issue – at this point almost everything we do is based on free stores, with commissions off sold pieces or listing fees.
Ebay – obviously. For many of us, it’s the first place we started selling. You can see a sample of what we have for sale at the link. We’ve done very well selling remnants and some larger pieces of fabric – but definitely no larger fiber art pieces. I don’t think Ebay is the place to sell fiber and textile artwork. That said, we do have a pretty good following of repeat customers. We’ve been selling since 2004 – the first time we listed two items it took us 2 hours…..there was a steep learning curve at the time, but once Paypal resolved its issues, and we figured out how to title the items, we began to build our base. It does take time.
Etsy – slow going here, but part of it is learning how to build up the shop. Three years ago I started a shop and it had maybe five things in it….and I did nothing to promote the shop. A year ago I revisited the shop, had ten things in it, and still had no idea what was going on. With still teaching full time, I wasn’t able to get the marketing going to get it known. Along come the Textiles and Fiber Arts List with an emphasis on getting publicity for our Etsy shops. I started looking around, and besides art pieces, I am stocking more pieces of marbled art cloth, at a higher price than what goes on Ebay. That seems to be working, as our sales have started to pick up, and pieces from each week’s marbling sessions are finding their way into the store.
TAFA – The Textiles and Fiber Arts List just completed their fund raising for a new marketplace site for all things fiber and textile. The goal is “markets for members,” and the group is aiming to become a major hub on the web in this area. What I particularly like about TAFA is that all artists are juried in and pay a membership fee (extremely reasonable). This keeps the quality high and the artwork definitely unusual. This site is also all about networking for artists, so there is definite community being built at this site. I joined nearly a year ago, and now that I have some time, I am becoming active in the site. If you are an artist working in fiber and/or some form of textiles, you need to be a member. Another plus – you don’t lose anything in “commissions” – all dealings are between you and the buyer.
1000 Markets – looks like it has become Bonanza. Under the Art category was “art from the artist,” which I should browse more. There are some possibilities under the Crafts section, but I don’t like listing my work in a craft section (me, I guess….). Searching “fiber art” brought up mostly ATC’s and fiber magazines…..at first glance doesn’t look like something I will spend a lot of time on now.
Fine Art America – I have been really impressed with this site so far, even though it seems “too good to be true.” I want a site to sell my digital work, and this looks to be it – print on demand, with framing and shipping included. I have been hearing some good things from folks in my increasing business network, so I will definitely pursue this one.
Three Sisters Marketplace – I’ve heard a couple of good things about this group, and it will be one I investigate further later this fall. It sounds much more like a community, and artists are juried into this site also. I think for me personally that is a plus to the sites I decide to join.
Artfire – I’m thinking this is in competition with Etsy, as it advertises “handmade,” but for some reason I just can’t get into the site – the home page just seems extremely jumbled, and it looks like a lot of work….
Made It Myself – looks like a lot of other sites, and this says it’s geared to the hobbyist whose friends say “you can sell that.” Don’t think I’ll pursue that further.
Cafe Press – slowly in the works – this is one where I need to have my artwork settled before I seriously work on marketing my (again) free store.
Now – let’s hear from you as to your experiences. This is just a snapshot, I’m sure, of what’s available to sell your work on line. But let’s get some dialogue going with ideas, feedback, more sites – just leave a comment!