03/15/2006: "Pros and Cons of selling art on ebay"
I have toyed with trying this but I am hesitant (not sure why) probably because I’m afraid I wouldn’t get any bids and I’d look/feel like a loser. Still, fellow Alaskan artist Judy Vars has put the idea in my head and now I can’t stop thinking about it.
The cons, well…ebay recommends setting a low initial price on art to get the bidding going, but what if it backfires and the first and only person to bid gets it for much less than your normal prices? This starts a bidding history, which shows that (for example) you have sold painting 16x20 for $150. New potential bidders may think that something is overpriced if you list another 16x20 for $300.
But then again, if you initially list it at its actual market value, it might not sell at all, which means you are out of a few bucks to ebay for the “insertion fee” and any extra features you wanted, like a super-sized photo or whatever.
I’m also hesitant because of what happened to San Francisco artist Anna Conti (though this happened even though she hadn’t been selling through ebay). I remember that Dio had sold some work through ebay but I can’t remember what the outcome was (I bid on one painting and got outbid!)
The pros are that you’ll get an entirely new set of eyeballs viewing your work and maybe, just maybe, it will sell at full value. You won’t be out of much if the work doesn’t sell, so there seems to be little to lose. There are probably additional concerns for artists who already have traditional gallery representation. And if you sell your work through your website…well, you couldn’t list it on ebay for a different price than how it’s listed on your website (could you?).
I’m curious how many of you have attempted selling art work through ebay and what your experiences were, good or bad. Stay tuned either way, as I may experiment putting up a small original oil in the next day or two, just to see what will happen.