View Full Version : Selling Your Work Online

jonathan smith
26-Jun-2004, 03:22
I'm wondering about hints for selling my work, online, ebay, whatever.

I can handle the mechanics of such a web site, but want to know how to reach potential customers (and not just the web-at-large). Are there special sites for photography sales?


QT Luong
26-Jun-2004, 04:14
Ebay is good only for selling at low prices. Nobody buys print at "fine art" prices there. The only example I know of someone selling fine art is a gentleman who sells matted, hand-printed B&W prints
of size 11x14 (or maybe it was 16x20) in very short limited editions for around $50.
There are a number of sites that are set up to sell art. Problem is that they charge you a steep (in my opinion) fee, and the chance of your work being seen is low since there are lots of photographers on the same site, and in general those sites do not attract much traffic. Better to try to reach the web-at-large on your own
site (for an example of site that is effective at doing so, see my own terragalleria.com (http://terragalleria.com/)). The ratio of buyers/visitors will be incredibly low
(0.01%-0.001%) but if your number of visitors is high enough, you still will be making sales.

Steve Hoffmann
26-Jun-2004, 07:34
In my opinion you need to have considerable marketing skills to sell photography as fine art. Selling photography on the web as fine art is even harder. I wish I could give you some suggestions based on success. Hereís my experience - I do not have any marketing skills. My image collection has been on the web since 1997. I have sold maybe 20 prints in the last 6 years and none since winter 2003. My web site averages 1000 visits a day, thatís discrete IP address visitors, not Ďhitsí. Each visitor is viewing 3 to 5 photos on average. I am indexed regularly by Google and have pretty decent rankings. I used to sell quite a few images in a year as stock for publications but thatís dried up in the last year too. Iíll be watching this threadÖ.:^)

Good Luck,


Mike Lopez
26-Jun-2004, 10:38
Wow, you guys have some nice sites. Mine pales in comparison.

26-Jun-2004, 11:05
I think eBay is ok for selling lower priced original art - under $125.00 or so. I've been buying from a Platinum print photographer:


And buy higher priced images from Russell Levin - but purchase some beautiful images by unknowns from him for under $100.00:


Here's a few other eBay photographers I keep my eye on:




If I ever get my act together I will probably sell my work through eBay...we'll see!

Christian Nze
26-Jun-2004, 11:58
Hi Jonathan

I agree with Johnny. Ebay is a good way to sell your work and to get in contact with collectors.

I sell and buy fine art photography on ebay. and I appreciate the work of Paradisi, Provost, Bidegain and some other platinum printer who sale their work on ebay.

It is a good way to start selling your work. You will learn a little of fine art selling there. But after starting on ebay you should look for other way to sell your photography. Now I have a good list of collectors and I start to contact them directly and to met them. I also look for photo fest.

If you need some more information you can log on the ebay "fine art photography group" lead by George Provost. you can get good advice here to make a good ebay listing.

Good luck and work.



http://stores.ebay.com/Nze-christian-Atelier (]http://groups.ebay.com/forum.jspa?forumID=4482[/url)


Frank Petronio
26-Jun-2004, 18:05
If you want to make money, get other photographers to pay you to "sell their work online"in one of the countless scammy dot.bomb online art schemes. And then invest your profits into building a wonderful portfolio and hanging work at academic galleries and selected competitive shows. If you are any good, work hard, and come up with new images regularly, that will get you represented by a top-notch gallery. Which will help you sell YOUR work at top prices.

Photographers are great suckers to pay somebody else to do their marketing for them. That's where the money is if you have the (lack of) ethics to do that.

jonathan smith
26-Jun-2004, 22:05
Hey Frank,

You don't have to worry about me scamming photographers. I'm not considering this because I need to "make money" per se, it's more to get my photography out there, and selling it is a satisfying way to do that. I have a music web site where I sell sheet music, and have a few of my own titles on there. It's very satisfying when I sell one of them, and I'd like to do the same with the photography. But, with these endeavors, the idea of "making money" is pretty ridiculous - a part time job at minimum wage would pay far more and that's not even considering the thousands invested in equipment.

jonathan smith
26-Jun-2004, 22:33
Thanks everyone,

After an intimidating look at terragalleria.com I made it to the Ebay stores, and there seems to be quite a variety of approaches, looks like a good way to get started.

Again, thanks!

Frank Petronio
27-Jun-2004, 01:13
Well, if you're not concerned about making money first and foremost, wouldn't it be more satisfying to control your sales and engage with your customers on a personal level? By that, I mean building your own website, presenting good images at reasonable prices, and do the transaction through PayPal or mail order? It seems that eBay doesn't really present an artist's work very well - the eBay "shell" is crass and ugly. And tying into a larger online art sales website may be easy, but I don't think people would find your work any more readily because you were in one of those, amongst the thousands of other artists. Instead, I would very clearly identify what your work is - "8x10 Palladium Contact Prints of Northern California Landscapes" or whatever - and build a search engine friendly website. It might take a few months, but the people you did get would be well-qualified, dedicated customers.

I don't mean to imply anyone or anysite here is wrong or scamming. All I know is from experience that there are a lot of scammers who do try to hook artists into various deals, and to be careful.

Francis Abad
27-Jun-2004, 02:49
As Frank has described that is the way I have done my site (www.cicoli.com). I concentrated on two things: 1. ease of navigation and 2. quality scans. I have had regular purchases since day 1 and mostly from repeat customers who now correspond with me to share information on topics involving technique and vision. I am not giving up my day job but having a dedicated site is a great way to get my work noticed and purchased at the right price and by the right people..

Christian Nze
27-Jun-2004, 03:25
Francesco and Frank

I agree with you about the uglyness of ebay. But I think it is a greta tool to advertise. There are some Gallery who sell work on ebay , so there are some collectors there. And it is interesting to sell some auction on ebay to drive collectors to your own web page.

Most of my ebay customers are collectors who correspond with me about my work and other photography. It is really interesting to share information with collectors passionate by photography.

you should also read this http://artbizcoach.com/

http://artbizcoach.com/ this may give you some idea.

Jeremy Moore
27-Jun-2004, 18:24
Chris, Thanks for that link, it has a whole bunch of helpful information about what to do and how to do it. I'd never seen the site before, but it has given me a couple of good ideas on how to go about an idea that I have had for a while.

Christian Nze
27-Jun-2004, 23:34
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Hi Jeremy

I make a mistake and forget to give a second link

http://art-support.com/ (http://art-support.com/%20)

You may also find interesting information on this one. Thing as simple as bill
of sale and so on.


Chris. Nze

www.c-nze.com (http://www.c-nze.com)


QT Luong
29-Jun-2004, 10:53
George Provost is the name of the gentleman I was remembering. Apparently since last time I checked (maybe two years ago), he managed to double his prices, which is a good sign. Steve, the problem for you is that five years ago, this kind of traffic would have put you in the top photography sites, but today it doesn't cut it anymore, as they are many more photographer's web sites competing for surfer's attention.

Steven Nestler
24-Mar-2005, 04:41
I have had my website up for about 6 months. Very little in the way of sales, but it has helped enormously in recognition and making good contacts. These, in turn, should lead eventually to sales.
I wouldn't expect anything from e-Bay.
Steven Nestler

26-Apr-2005, 08:17
Mmmmm.... very interesting thread. Would anyone recommend a scanner for producing good quality jpeg's to display on a website? Also, if you happen to have a 16x20 photograph, what's the best way to capture this as a jpeg? Would you resort to taking a digital camera shot of the photograph? Finally, do you think the scanner damages photographs or causes degradation of chemicals?

Thanks for any replies