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Could You Earn up to $7000/month Selling Your Art on eBay?

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eBay is the world’s biggest online marketplace, with over 100 million global users (as of Q4 2011), where (they claim) practically anyone can buy and sell practically anything.

So what about artists? Is it possible to successfully sell your artwork on eBay, or is there just too much competition to make it a viable solution?

eBay offer their own art selling guide, which claims that it’s easy to earn extra cash selling your art on eBay. But what’s the real story?

Will it Sell?

In 2006, Dan from Empty Easel wrote an article suggesting that it was almost impossible for relatively unknown artists to sell their work on eBay for over $50.

Having studied the completed listings of original oil paintings listed by the artists themselves, he found that only around 20% of the paintings had sold at all, and those that did sell rarely fetched more than $100.

I performed the same search today, and found very similar results. 5 or 6 paintings had sold for between $500 – $1500, but many more at that price range had not sold at all. Again, roughly 80% of all paintings listed had failed to sell and the majority that had sold fetched less than $100.

Of course, this is just a general overview of the results, and there were exceptions where certain artists had consistently sold a number of paintings for $100 – $200 and occasionally more.

Interestingly, the results on were more favourable, with less paintings listed, and a higher percentage sold, many for between £100 – £200, suggesting that perhaps the market is less competitive in the UK.

A Story From the Inside

To get a better idea of the real state of the art market on eBay today, I spoke to an artist who has been selling her original art on eBay for the last 8 years.

Soniei creates contemporary Japanese paintings, the majority of which she sells through eBay auctions. I asked her a few questions about the eBay art market:

How long have you been selling your art on eBay? Have your sales been fairly consistent during that period?

Soniei: I’ve been selling my art on eBay since 2004, but I only started working as a full-time artist since 2006.  Sales were amazing, anywhere from $2000 to $7000 a month… until 2008, when the economy collapsed.  I haven’t worked as a full-time artist in the past 2 years, but fortunately I’ve been reinventing my life in the past month (after my boyfriend of 9 years and I broke up)… and I’ve returned to really focusing on my art career full-time.  Sales seem to be back to what they were when I first started in 2004, so I’m extremely excited about that!

Ebay is one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world. How do you get noticed among the competition?

Soniei: It’s important to get noticed as an artist.  eBay really helps me find new customers.  The most important tip I can give any artist, especially those selling on eBay, is find your niche!  I focus on contemporary Japanese art, so if a potential art buyer searches ‘Japanese Art’, for example, I’m one of only a few artists that show up in the search results.

Do you get a lot of buyers finding you through eBay search, or do more people find come to your eBay store via your website?

Soniei: I get a lot of buyers find me through eBay searches – that’s why I’ve kept my paintings on eBay for all these years.  I get some buyers from my website as well, but nothing compares to eBay at the moment.  I also market my paintings on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and sell prints on Imagekind and RedBubble.

How much importance do you place on writing a good listing, with the right keywords, tags etc?

Soniei: I focus on keywords for the title of the item, and I focus on smooth reading and good quality images for the item descriptions.  Get good search results with the title, and wow them when they look at your item’s listing.

Are you ever unhappy with the price a painting sells for?

Soniei: Most of my art is sold by auction, and even though my auctions might end at half the price I would like to sell a painting, I know that I’ll still be making money from that same painting from the prints I sell, the Google ads from the YouTube videos I recorded while making that painting, etc.  So, the money from that painting doesn’t stop at the end of the auction. – So, I’m never unhappy with any of the selling prices for that reason.

Have there been any particular challenges you’ve faced with selling your art on eBay?

Soniei: The only real big challenge with selling art on eBay (for me) is that everyone and their dog has an opinion on how I should do my job (it gets old after a while)… even though I’m quite content with my career choices.  That’s the only BIG challenge I face. It’s so annoying. I don’t go to other people’s jobs and tell them how to do it better.  However, as an artist… a lot of people think that it’s a ‘simple’ job (or hobby) and they know exactly what it entails, which is absolutely not true.

Are there any tips or advice you’ve learnt from experience, that might help someone who is considering trying to sell their art on eBay?

Soniei: I have written a blog post with eBay selling tips and another blog post on how to package and ship paintings.

Have you ever tried any alternative methods of selling your art? If so, what was your experience?

Soniei: I’ve tried selling my art on other websites, such as Etsy, but nothing compares to eBay, for me, anyway.  However, I’ve found success with selling my art prints on Imagekind and RedBubble.  I love the online world, but I might be looking to sell my art in galleries as well, in the near future.

You can check out Soniei’s latest auctions in her eBay store, or follow her on Facebook to watch her paintings being created.

The Verdict

As we have seen, there are artists making a decent income from selling their art on eBay. Soniei’s experience suggests that the market may be on the rise again ($2000 – $7000 per month is not to be sniffed at). But at the same time, there is still a lot of art going unsold.

There are many possible reasons why a lot of artists might find it difficult to sell their work on eBay. It could be that their listings are not appealing enough, or poorly written. It could be that they need to establish more of a following before people will be willing to buy their work. Or perhaps their art simply doesn’t appeal to the people who buy art on eBay.

From what we have seen, it looks like success on eBay could be largely determined (apart from the quality of your work) by the price you are willing to accept for your art.

If you are happy to sell paintings for between $50 – $150 (and occasionally more), then it’s certainly possible for you to use eBay to your advantage. This could work well if you can work quickly and turn out several paintings per week or month.

But if you spend a lot longer on your paintings, perhaps producing only one or two per month, and you’re looking for prices in the thousands, it may be more difficult to sell your work through eBay, at least until you are quite well-known.

That’s not to say that it’s impossible, although judging from recently completed listings, it’s unlikely that you’ll fetch more than $1500 for a single painting. If you’ve sold artwork for more than that on eBay, I’d love to hear from you.

Why not try an experiment and list some of your work for sale on eBay? If you do, come back and leave a comment below to let me know how it goes. You might find that eBay is the perfect solution for you.

If you have experience selling your artwork on eBay, either good or bad, let us know about it in the comments below. If you’d like to offer your own advice on the subject, why not submit a guest post?

50 Comments on Could You Earn up to $7000/month Selling Your Art on eBay?

  1. Phil Hewitt says:

    I have tried selling my work on e-bay a couple of different times. I find e-bay to be more for bargain hunters rather than serious art collectors. I had no luck either time and definitely won’t be trying it again. I refuse to sell my work for nothing. I’d rather give it away.
    Happy trails,
    Phil Hewitt

    • Dan Johnson says:

      Thanks Phil, and fair point. I would never recommend anyone to let their work go if they’re not happy with the price. You’ll only end up resentful of your customers, which is the last thing you want. One solution is to set a minimum price that you’d be happy to sell for, and then anything above that is a bonus, but if you’re not comfortable with that then I would probably steer clear of eBay, as you say.

      • Eisy says:

        I totally agree with this point of view, Dan, but it’s interesting to see some paintings I’ve hated end up making tons more money than my personal favorites!!!!!

    • g Starlin says:

      with you Phil–I know I am unable to create 700 quality artworks per month(as and oil painter) @ $100 average it would take 700 per month to get to the $7000 a month said is selling. the numbers don’t add–I also find e-bay to specialize in low quality, for low price bargain hunter.

  2. Great post. I’ll have to look into eBay. Currently I have enlisted with Etsy and but I’m not generating anything. Much of that has to do with not putting the energy into marketing my site. That will do it every time.

  3. Dellilah says:

    I sell some on ebay to just to bring collectors to my website. I sell mostly aceos. I know you said , she was sell $7000.00 a month I don’t see that in the sales records. I have had friends who 3 years ago were sell $4000. 00 a month but no longer sell on ebay because of the slow sales.

    I like to keep my work out in front of the public so I put some at auction. Thanks for the great review of ebay.

  4. Jason Dirks says:

    Great post Dan! It all comes down to marketing and exposure and this is exactly what we are solving at Meylah for all artists…we have just launched (still in private beta) the ability for any artist to not only create their own online store, but to now connect those online stores to each other to create online marketplaces so they can sell together with their chosen peers.

    Instead of being lost among the millions on eBay and Etsy, you now have your own niche community marketplace and there is more power in ‘we’ than ‘me’ in terms of marketing and exposure. Our innovative online platform allows artists to work together while still remaining independent sellers which allows for more sales opportunities and increased community support!

    We’re very excited about this new feature would be happy to write a guest post for you addressing the challenges and opportunities of selling with your community, using real case studies once we launch publicly in a few weeks. Here are two great examples of current marketplaces powered by Meylah:

  5. JJ Jacobs says:

    I’ve tried selling on both EBay and ETSY and had been somewhat successful. These past couple of years have been tough for a lot of people economically and I admit getting frustrated as I continue to paint and my standing inventory increases. That said, your article has given me hope to refresh my marketing efforts and try EBay again, and become more involved with ETSY.

    I have noticed several new sites like the one Jason mentioned above that are geared more towards fine art (ie paintings) being promoted but I find they don’t really advertise the results. The artists are paying fees to join/submit their listings but how can we know whether or not it’s worth our money?? EBay and ETSY have huge followings — not so sure about the other art sites though FineArt America does come close.

  6. Pingback: Artist Guide: To eBay or Not to eBay | Fresh Gloss

  7. Jalai Lama says:


    My first week on fineartamerica and I have already had 500 visitors so the traffic is pretty good. I use twitter,facebook page and google + to promote however I’m finding target keywords and good titles/descriptions are equally as important. To get an idea of what an FAA store looks like you can check out my FAA site here: Hope that helps! Enjoy!

    ~ Jalai Lama
    Awakening Visions – Love Art of Jalai Lama

  8. As an aspiring artist, I recently made the decision to set up a website to hopefully make money from my work.
    I have been very disappointed however with the experience as I don’t sell or get many visitors to my site, and I have come to the conclusion that I am either not good enough or that the subject matter is not appealing.
    Unfortunately the idea of making money from art online isn’t working for me.

    • Christina Anderson says:

      Paul, your paintings are good, but your website does not do them justice. Instead of looking professional your site looks like a school project. Look at other artists sites to get some ideas. The typeface is childish and unprofessional and the orange color is distracting, instead of enhancing the color in your paintings it makes them look dull. If you want your work to look mature you need your site to look mature. Also do some research on writing a proper Biography and Artist Statement. Good luck. 🙂

  9. Ryan says:

    DO NOT sell art on ebay. The only ones who can appreciate the time and effort put into artwork are the artists and collectors themselves. Ebay is the worst way to promote artwork. People don’t know who you are and they frankly don’t care how long it took to make your work…and Why…because they have no idea what it’s all about. They want stuff cheap! Because most people today wouldn’t consider paying big dollar for a drawing or a painting they hang on their wall. Just like every business. Whatever you do for work…It has to take aim at a certain clientele. The ones that actually know what it’s worth.

  10. Kai says:

    A complete waste of time, people are not willing to pay good money on that site, the site is full of cheapskates who want everything for nothing, not worth the trouble believe me

  11. Lester says:

    I sell my art on Ebay occassionally, and they usually sell for $50+. It all comes down to how you photograph the painting, creators and artists can visualize how a painting will look in a room, but general audiences won’t be able to or just plain don’t want to (and why should they? They have a lot to choose from). Good photos, and tell your story or the story of the painting.

    When the auction ends sell prints of the painting, that will generate more income from the same work. A lot of people only look at prints rather than the “direct from artist” area because let’s face it, there is a plethora of junk that people are trying to sell. Not everyone is going to want what you offer just because you spent 12+ hours on a painting if it just isn’t a good painting… and sometimes work you don’t think anyone will like ends up selling for way more than the ones you do. Auctions are just wierd like that.

  12. Edward says:

    About a year ago I tried to sell high end art on eBay and it was barely even looked at. I then sold it in an auction and made $500 profit. With my experiences I found that there are many other things that are better worth your time selling on eBay.

    According to the Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, on average, eBay consumers are younger than are the consumers not utilizing eBay. Being of a younger generation, most of the people I know have no interest in art whatsoever. Additionally, eBay consumers have more of a tendency to engage in impulse buying than do consumers who do not utilize eBay and it seems more likely that one would impulse buy a DVD or book and not artwork.

  13. jacqueline says:

    I sell art on ebay. Mostly ACEOs. So, yeah, I sell art for less, but it’s not just about money and I am not resentful. When I am done with a painting, I want it gone, and I am thrilled to send little paintings all over the world.
    Do I undervalue my work? That would depend on why I paint. I paint all the time for fun. When I take my income, subtract fees and shipping, and divide it by my time, I can make twice as much as a job at Walmart and I don’t have to leave my house. I would rather paint any day than work as a fast food manager or other retail, which is about the best I could do right now if I tried.

    If I constantly list, the auction prices go up. If I skip weeks or months of listing, the auctions are not as high for a while.

    I had an account on ebay for almost two years before I began listing art. I think I have been selling for about 3 years now. It starts slowly and builds as people come back again and again. I love my regular customers, but i am excited when I see a bid from someone new, because if they like my art, they may be back as many are repeat customers.

    The ACEOs I sell are part of a collecting phenomenon that can be addicting, so that is a niche in itself. I just started listing non-ACEO art. I sold a painting to someone who has bought my ACEOs. I don’t know how well it will go, time will tell.

    I absolutely agree that no one should ever sell their art for less than they are comfortable with, but make up your own mind about what you want for it instead of listening to what anyone else says. You may find you like turning over more pieces for less money.

    Just a note: I used to sell bigger painting for more at art shows, but I sold few with long periods of time between sales. I must say that the ebay situation of selling more pieces for less money is a much bigger thrill, for me, but then again, I am not so attached to finished paintings.

  14. Interesting read. I started out on Ebay in 2002 and the fact is, Ebay wrecked art sales. There are still groups with postings, now defunkt but you can read around 2005/2006 how Ebay changed the way they listed art, changed it and changed it again. They decimated the sales of individuals, favouring the “car boot sale” mentality. I could sell artwork on there for hundreds of pounds but now it is a waste of time.

    As an experiment a year or so ago, I listed one of my originals with a start price of 70 pounds. As I didn’t have an Ebay shop, it got very few views. It ended with no bids and one watcher.

    The very same painting sold in a gallery a week later for almost ten times the amount.

    It’s all about perception. I f you are serious about your artwork DON’T PUT IT ON EBAY!

  15. Luc says:

    thanks everybody, very interesting stuff!

    ‘FeeBay’ is by nature of their fee structure more interested in sales in exactly the range that was mentioned here, that people now seem to reach: 50-100 give or take a few dollars/euros. That in combination with high volume is where they make the most money out of the rest of us. So no surprise that this seems to be the general trend.

    Then it’s also not only the materials and time spent creating the artwork you need to count when calculating your income, but also the time you spend dealing with the transaction, packaging, shipping, emailing potential customers, lost or damaged shipments, etc. This can be quite substantial, and will be the same no matter how expensive or cheap the individual piece is.
    So instead of making art you will partially turn into something we in Germany call “Kleinkrämer”, steadily dealing with a whole bunch of customers. Not really comparable to mixing-in with the crowd at your occasional art-opening, is it 🙂

    As an example: If you do sell something for 50, ebay and paypal might pay out roughly 40-45 (auction plus seller fees plus their paypal fee, which is a scandalous +/- 4% internationally / 2% locally – both of which would be free with any other bank, at least within Europe).

    I then usually spend at least 60 minutes taking pictures, posting (re-post is quicker), calculating shipping costs. Then packing and shipping (waiting in line…) might be another 60 minutes.

    so if you say 10/hour for that, you only make 20-25 on the piece. You basically have a 50% cost of sale. and that is if you value your own time at only 10/hour.

    Will you still earn more then if working at bad employers like Walmart?

    Hope I didn’t turn off people to try it out. Just a heads up and a very personal ‘finger sign’ from me to ebay & paypal, who are really mean corporate gangsters in my view.

  16. Bob Jones says:

    I sold more before holiday this year, but I enjoy listing and modifying. The listing ins and outs keep me busy, and it isn’t so much about the money for me. I keep prices pretty low, but some pieces i know are worth lots more – if the buyer sees the value. I also can look up my paintings beyond my other listings by typing in the search ACRYLIC SIGNED JONES and this helps me and others locate my work. It s all fun, but i do wish i coud drive more traffic without getting a store, etc. Overall, i am having a ball -esp. when the listings are free.

  17. I am on Fine Art America I have a page Incessant Memories on facebook and I am on Google and I am on twitter. I have have been a artist all my life and I found word of mouth sold my work faster in the old days then this does. I was raising my kids for a time and I am coming back in. I put a painting on eBay and it did not sell but you have made me want to try again. I am thinking about doing like Dellilah said and put my aceos on and see what happens with that. I find it strange to sell aceo cards we called them trading cards because I am from a time we artist made them to give to each other and to show a small scale of art work for a commission job. But I think to sell them on eBay is a good way to bring in costumers to your other web sites. I have enjoyed how I no longer feel alone as a artist because of how we now can all come together on the internet in this way its a beautiful thing for artist all over. Take a look at my work enjoy and be happy.:)

  18. Instead of all the inane speculation and fantasy science just go to ebay and study a field with some parameters, such as, oil landscape paintings direct from artist original US from 2000 until present auction, then observe the results until you can recognize the work of individual artists on sight. You will note a very few but consistently successful individuals and their work is usually quite good. An artist who is doing well might start the bidding at anywhere from 0.99 to 35.00 or so. Often these receive 20 to 50 views and some number of bids, say five to ten and maybe sell for 50.00 to 85.00 or so. Occasionally someone particularly good will start a painting at 100.00 for a 5 x 7 and they might sell some 60% to 75% of those listed and rarely they might get a couple of bids and sell for a little more than one hundred dollars. This is ebay. Very inexpensive ACEOs will sell with some regularity for around five dollars. A twenty dollar painting will set there until the crack of doom unsold listed time after time after time. That people sell well on ebay or have some formula for success is highly spurious or in the vernacular, just plain bullshit. Ebay can be a great place to give away artwork to the needy.

  19. michael fitzgerald says:

    the problem with the audience
    is the audience is the problem
    the problem with the (artist )
    is he ain’t got one

    I just put some (art) on ebay sept 2013
    I also have lots on show at Saatchi online

    no one’s interested

    on the bright side

    I aint never gonna be hungry and homeless in Africa


  20. Nadira Akter says:

    Hi.I am Nadira Akter an freelance painter from Bangladesh want to sell some of my painting’s original copy at very low prices but with in 3-4 days because I need money ad soon as possible to do something betyer in life.I am trying to do something. …Please help me. ..Please help me because without your help I can do anything
    I need money me.

  21. Helen says:

    I love selling on e-bay. I am a self taught artist from a family of professional, schooled artists who thought art was only for a certain “class” of people. I enjoy selling the art I create while I am learning, It gives me confidence and happiness, and I’ve gotten only positive comments and relationships from my buyers. Sure I would like to get a lot more money, but its the “high class ” people who don’t get my work and don’t like it much. I also love to look at the art displayed on ebay. I’m so glad e bay offers this service, I never would have known how many talented people there were in the world. The good art far outweighs the bad.

  22. Chad says:

    Ebay is now heavily manipulating search results. They only want to promote listings that they know will sell. They have removed any paid methods to promote your listings. The end results… you list a painting for 1 cent and free shipping, it’s a guaranteed sale and Ebay knows it. They will push a listing like that and you’ll see it easily get over 100 hits any many many bids before your listing ends.

    You list something for 10 dollars opening bid…. Ebay won’t bother. You aren’t guaranteeing them a commission so they don’t bother. That same listing will see a few hits at most and no bids.

  23. Bill Jones III says:

    I’ve been selling art on eBay for many years – all paper or canvas prints – $20 – 75. Sales are generally slow bc people do want only inexpensive things there. Occasionaly I will have high sales for a while and then back to slow sales. The attack of 2001 killed art sales for more than a year. They started to come back by 2008, then the economic crash knocked them down again. Sales have been recovering, but overall not good enough to live on. The artist in the post above does not sell anywhere near $7000 a year, much less a month. Check the completed sales and you’ll see what she made – early 2014 about $75 a month. Check art sales overall and you’ll see most goes unsold. Buyers on eBay are looking for bargains and/or art not interested in art. Those people who are interested in art are not really looking to eBay or anywhere online for their art. They go to a gallery where someone will smooze them and give a sales job so the client can have a story to tell their friends when the see the art in the house. No knock intended here, just that buying art is a social act and buyers want to show off what they have – pretty hard to do when you buy it on eBay for $20.

  24. Pingback: Selling your art to a global market | aboutartists

  25. The title of the above article is posed as a question, Can you earn up to $7,000 per month selling on ebay?

    The answer is no.

    Whereas the $7,000 figure might lure people to the site such flights of fantasy serve no purpose. Occasionally works of art do sell on ebay for thousands of dollars for whatever odd reasons, but these are anomalies and signify nothing of use. In general a large majority of sellers will not garner more than $10 for a painting.

  26. Les says:

    Selling art on eBay can be extremely exciting sometimes and extremely frustrating most of the time. If you’ve got a style of art you can just crank out quickly and have several works always in the auctions you will get a higher yield of people viewing your works and if they don’t take long you can sell them at a lower price point and build your popularity.

    On the other hand, if you’re into extremely detailed pieces that take hours and hours or days, more often than not you will not get many views or sales because folks just don’t see that the artwork took more time and dare I say it…talent. Nothing’s more heartbreaking than spending hours getting every little detail perfect and the work doesn’t sell or has only one bid, and you priced it low to encourage bids and you find you are practically giving your art and time away for almost free.

    The other frustrating thing is popularity. It’s also heartbreaking to see a lot of extremely talented but unknown artists getting very little bidding while others producing artworks of lesser talent (not trying to sound elitist or anything, but we have to admit there are several levels of talent as in music, sports, etc.) are racking up the sales at record bids. Pretty discouraging… and then you think – well you could just hack out a bunch of works at a lower level of craftsmanship (maybe call it folk art) and see if that works – and it just might. So essentially you’re selling out but that’s what the marketplace at eBay is like. And if you’ve got awards and creds, that helps too. I’m not one to toot my own horn because I always figured you could let the quality of artwork speak for itself because customers know great art. NOPE. Toot that horn because they like to validate what they see with words. I don’t know why it works that way. Thought it was different from the business world and resumes and all that but…*shrug*.

    If you’re doing it for much needed money you’ll find it doesn’t come so easily, especially if you’re unknown. If it’s a hobby or non-essential income then it can be thrilling getting those bids.

    Just my opinion on my experiences on eBay over a decade and somewhat of a vent on what I’ve been wanting to say for years about the art world on eBay – thanks for the thread. Strangers on the bus just wouldn’t listen to me 🙂

  27. Mago Zalas says:

    wauuu..thanks for all your opinions, I’m starting since 3 months ago this ebay sales velvet art oil painting, and yes, is very slow…….I am considering all your comments……I will re-schedule my auctions and make changes….and see couple of months to see how it goes,……
    ebay: artvelvet2014

  28. DeAnna says:

    A few years ago i tried to sell my art on ebay and got no views or bids…unless i priced it to basically give it away. I noted some artist constantly making sells and getting good prices for their work so decided to observe and here is what i learned. First, i bought some of their art that had lots of bids and turned around and tried to resell it on ebay just as an experiment. I was utterly shocked to learn that it got no hits or bids! so i lowered the price and ensured that i followed all the add ons for a fee ebay offered that the original seller used…still no hits or bids. How can that be? this seller has hits and bids as soon as they put a piece of their artwork up? yet i go to resell it and nothing..i was scratching my head puzzled. I also noted that these select artist that were always getting bids had other art listings above or below their listing with similar, if not better pieces of work for far lower prices, and yet had very low hits and no bids..again how could that be?

    So i decided to make communication with some of these artist about how they get bids and views..some responded some didn’t. The one’s who did respond all said the same thing and i must say it made sense.. If you are looking for buyers through the channels of ebay you will struggle to make any sells and the sells you do make will come at yard sale prices. What they do is use ebay as a place to park their work solely to sell from. They do art shows throughout the year, promote on social media and so on. Through these various avenues they have built up a customer email list over time…when they put an item up for sale they send out a email to all their previous customers with a link to their new item up for sale as well as links on various venues they use to promote their art with their ebay listings link. This is where their hits and bids come from NOT EBAY. Yes, along the way you pick up a new customer through ebay here and there, but they all stated the majority of their views and bids do not come from ebay. This is why i could not resell their work in my experiment..because their viewer hits and bidders are not coming from ebay. This is why they can sell their work for higher prices and when a past customer or potential customer clicks on their link to their listing, they only see their listing, not the other listings who are selling for pennies. The others are selling for pennies because they are relying on a very small buying audience through ebay who only buys at yard sale prices. Sellers see other sellers with high view hits and bids and think there is a audience there to be had when the truth is, those high viewer hits or bidders are not even originating from ebay to begin with.

    Another piece of advice they gave me is in the beginning you have to focus on building a customer base for repeat buyers. You have to all but give your work away either through charities, prints and so on. You have to get your work out there and gain ground with email subscribers who are interested in your work. Save your originals for when you have become more established with a following or make small originals that you can sell at a low price point initially. It will be a guide to how much you can get for your larger original pieces that you want more money for and have the customer base willing to pay it. The single most important thing aside from making a sale and promoting your work outside of ebay is getting that buyer or anyone for that matter who may be interested in your work to subscribe to your email newsletter. These artist called this their bread and butter lined in gold that gives more and more the larger it gets. This is what i learned from talking to successful artist on ebay and hope by passing this along it can be of some help to others.

    • Ron Guthrie says:

      Sorry to chime in so late but I just ran across this article. Like others I was selling pen & ink prints on ebay in the early 2000’s. I did very well, some weeks almost making more than my day job. In 2005 I moved and as soon as possible began running auctions but it slowed way down. By the end of the year it was pretty much dead. I would run auctions sporadically since then with occasional sales. A few years back I ran some auctions for small paintings to test the waters but it was just as slow as print sales. I sold a few but really not worth the time since I had to sell very low. DeAnna’s post about artists leading customers to eBay instead of hoping to find them at eBay confirmed thoughts I had about that. That was a really good post DeAnna.

      Buying something you value for way less than the actual value is what eBay was all about. I came to eBay as a buyer first to get “a deal”. Now, as a “Seller” it is easy to be mad people don’t want to pay what a painting is worth…or even close to that but we should remember most people are still attracted by that “deal”. I guess you have to just accept selling a painting for much less than you feel it is worth or look to another venue.

  29. Randy Burns says:

    I have found that people on ebay tend to gravitate toward buying art much cheaper than what it is worth. I have time to time made fairly good sales. Most people don’t know the time, the cost of art supplies and the patience that goes into creating. A good site is I have made many sales there, including prints, and cards. Lots of exposure on that site.

  30. Oliver says:

    Years ago I used to sell lots of signed prints of my drawings and photography on eBay. I kept the price low (they were just hand signed inkjet prints – but using quality art paper and ink), and they sold well and I built a good following, so I set up a proper business doing it. But over time eBay made it more and more difficult to maintain a profit margin, and they seemed to be turning very much against the small seller. So I quit selling on there quite a few years ago. Every now and then I pop a print back on just to see what happens – and these days I can’t even cover the production and postage cost, let alone the fees. eBay is the kiss of death for art. You will cheapen yourself and other artists, and no serious collectors want to buy work from artists associated with eBay these days. Avoid like the plague.

    • Annie Forest says:

      Hi Oliver – I am sorry to hear you say this – I do not not believe that selling on ebay as an Artist cheapens me at all – it is a shop window in which to show my worth – Many serious collectors still do look on Ebay and if they see something worth having they will buy it.

  31. lowtidebob says:

    I paint more for relaxation and a creative outlet. Mainly I am a photographer and plan to offer traditional B+W fiber prints on Ebay and FB. My local outlets might as well be flea markets. The “art shows” require too much work and overhead. I would rather print/paint and reduce overhead. Fees don’t bother me considering my alternatives. As a photographer, I sympathize with many of you. I am proud of my meager collection of dead listed artists. Stunning work can be found for a song and it is everywhere! Ebay is the dumping ground for many DNS pieces from major auction houses. You can follow the paper tail many times. Throw in an obscure artist, a funky signature, along with a lazy or uniformed seller and the treasure hunt and detective story ensues. Most are dead ends, but I have scored some real finds.

  32. I have been selling on ebay for at least 8 years, my prices are from $100 to $400, and I have sold only 2 painting in all these years, I see that the paintings that come from china are on Ebay offered to the buyers for $10 with free shipping, HOW I’M GOING TO COMPETE WITH THAT???
    So right now, I’m very unhappy with my sales.

  33. Jamie Romantic says:

    Ok People. So what do I have to do to market and sell my fiance’s deceased mothers paintings that are as old as the 1940’s and are more amazing than most paintings you have ever seen? (She was an accentric French artist) She has had them hanging in Banks and Museums in our area for many years. She has oils, acrylics and charcoal drawings. Phenomenal works. Honestly. I also believe they will fetch upwards of $50,000. Thanks for any feedback.

    • Bobbie says:

      Don’t sell your older painting on Ebay. Look for a reputable auction house. IF they really are “important” then take some photos and send to Sothebys or Christys. However so saying I sent them a detailed description of something I have never seen for sale in the world. This article I was selling came with a with pedigree, was probably 150 years old and since I was in antique business (and know my stuff) and know that it came from Nazi hoard they still weren’t interested. They told me to contact a local (US) auction house which just shows how stuck in their perception of what people have because they hadn’t even seen it!

      SO take detailed photos, sizes,condition of painting, include any pedigree (background on painter, where the painting came from, anything interesting etc. BEFORE you do that do your research online to see if you can come up with anything on the painter or the era or the subject.

      Your comment about “fetching $50,000” is just not accurate I think. The whole fine arts/antiques market has collapsed with prior economic downturn PLUS the people who used to buy are growing older and saving their money for retirement. Things that used to be considered a “wonderful investment” like antiques, diamonds (now don’t get me started about those – they are mainly worthless for resale!) are no longer so. People need healthcare, food and a roof over their head. Even the rich are not so rich….interests rates are terrible, the economic world in turmoil blah blah.

      There are always store about the “one” painting fetching millions but that is one out of, no doubt, billions being sold.

      Hope this clarifies some things for you!

  34. I have listed and sold on eBay, they have changed their format and fees so I am giving it another go. I ask for less then I sell on other web platforms but what works best for me is to be everywhere. It’s a full time job being an artist , painting, photography, prints , promotion, website, online platforms, blogging, contests, social media,the list goes on and on! When all I would really like to do is paint . I am fortunate to have a wonderful husband who supports me emotionally and financially while I make my mark.

  35. Annie Forest says:

    I have only just started to sell my ACEO art works on Ebay – Within ten minutes of listing I had a bid 🙂
    I have read all the comments above and have derived this conclusion from them all – Yes, Ebay does not seem to attract the best buyers in the world, but then any serious collector may not even think to shop on Ebay and stick more to the galleries, This has created a situation where the best artists have got the message, and maybe no longer sell on ebay which is why the quality may have deminished on artworks available on ebay.

    I have been an Artist for many years, I went through a period of time where the only artworks I could produce were small due to constrictions of space, I then kept them all, not showing or offering them for sale, But now have decided to sell them all as I have been motivated by the need to become a writer and need funds for that.

    When I first started creating works of Art I did what came out of my head, But unfortunately, If you want to sell your art you need to meet the demands of the collectors – you can either make art for yourself or ones that will sell. I am lucky in as much as I cover many subjects and use many types of media. I have made ACEO artworks in crochet – clay – collage – card – acrylic….etc. So you know what, I am going to stick with it, Put it all up a bit at a time and see what happens, What harm can it do….It is all down to what you are offering, If it is of interest, I am sure it will sell.

  36. germiles says:

    no gimmicks; no bullshit; no non-sense. when it comes to selling my art, I am determine to avoid all of the headaches that follows. lets get real.. i’m in the business to sell my art. I want to sell my art to people whom dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars for some unique art . fuck the dumb shit.

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