How to Sell Art Online – A Beginner’s Guide

After spending hours painstakingly creating your artwork, you may now be wondering where the best place to sell it is. Buying and selling in the art world is no longer just done face-to-face, and even less so since COVID. Increasingly, it has moved online. Everywhere, from auction houses to galleries are seeing their online sales increase year on year.

So, it would appear sensible for you to get your work listed somewhere online, but where?

With so many options out there, it can be difficult to work out which is the best online platform for you and your art. So, we have compiled a handy list that discusses some of the top 15 online selling websites. Hopefully, you will find something on here that is perfect for you.

The Benefits of Selling Art Online

There are many benefits to selling your art online and here are just a few.

  • Democratization – As with many things, starting out in the art world is not easy, especially if you have not studied at graduate schools or within art programs. It can be hard for amateur artists to breakthrough. Selling online is a great way for artists from all backgrounds to be able to share their work
  • Global Impact – Your art will be seen (and hopefully sold) to anyone, based anywhere in the world. Artists and smaller galleries who live outside of the main artistic hubs of the world can connect with collectors all over the world.
  • Liberation – Online artists can work on their own terms.
  • Ease – It is often an incredibly quick and simple process to upload your art online, you can have your work up there in less than half an hour.

Gallery vs. Online Platform?

So, now you have decided to sell online you may be wondering, which is the best way to go, should you sell as an individual? Or should you choose to sell through a gallery? There are a few differences, whichever one you choose.

Galleries

The first thing to remember is that galleries have more resources. They have everything necessary to be able to showcase your work in the best way possible to get a sale, however, it is not just your art they will be selling, so they can feel more impersonal.

Galleries are difficult for newer artists to break into too, especially if they do not have any contacts in the art world, to begin with. Getting into galleries requires a lot of self-promotion and networking which can take up time, time that could be spent creating more artwork. That is why selling your work online is a great way for outsiders or newcomers to break into the market and sell their work.

Online

Selling as an independent artist means you can engage with your audience and develop connections with them using social media and websites. Selling online means individual artists have the chance to put their work out there, in front of large audiences without having all the legwork of trying to get into a gallery.

Top Marketplaces to Sell Art Online

pop art guy on laptop

Artfire

Artfire has been a staple of the online art selling world for around 10 years, it has almost 300,00 visitors a month.

The site is easy to add your products to and has great customer service, should you need assistance. Artfire ensures that your art is shared to all major search engines and every shop is designed to rank well, so you don’t need to worry about getting your work seen and can concentrate on the fun job of creating!

A standard shop costs $4.95 a month and 23 cents per listing, however, there are other packages available, designed for larger or busier stores, meaning your site can grow with you.

Artplode

Designed for galleries and art dealers to buy and sell back in 2014, Artplode is also great for artists and private customers. They require a $60 flat fee per listing instead of commission when the piece is sold, making it an excellent deal (assuming you manage to sell your work).

Artplode lists work from sculptors, painters, photographers, digital artists, and many more, although with an estimated inventory of more than $10million artists currently listed, you face a lot of competition to get your work seen.

There are plenty of benefits though; Artplode has a network of potential buyers from more than 40 countries around the world. They also offer to match you with a specialist art consultant who will help you set the right price and target the right market for your artwork.

Saatchi Art

Saatchi Art was founded by Charles Saatchi’s company and comes with all the accompanying credibility of selling your work under one of the biggest names in the art world.

Unsurprisingly they have a huge audience and are followed by more than 1million people across social media, plus a further 1million who receive their printed catalog, which is a lot of people looking at your work.

It is free to set up a shop and list your items (they will accept both prints and originals), and they arrange a courier to collect your piece and will ship it for you. However, they do take a large 35% cut of your sale in return.

Artfinder

Artfinder was founded in 2011 and has offices in both London and Miami. They accept work from a wide range of artists and mediums, including printmaking, collages, and digital artists.

They are quite exclusive though before you can join you must pass the selection process, which involves submitting a supporting statement and a selection of your best work. Once accepted you can set up your online shop and join a community of over 10,000 artists from over 100 countries.

Artfinder will not allow posters or reproduction prints, so all the 400,000 pieces of art currently listed are original.

Redbubble

Redbubble was founded in 2006 and is a print on demand service. The simple to use website connects artists with a client base from all over the world. They print your artwork on a huge variety of products as well as allowing you to create reproduction pieces.

Redbubble allows you to set your own profit margins, and you can increase or decrease them according to factors, such as time of year and traffic to your product pages. They cover all payment, printing, and delivery costs making it a hassle-free way to sell your artwork.

Amazon

Amazon is not usually the first thought when it comes to selling your art, but the world’s biggest e-commerce site opened its Amazon Art section in 2013 and it has become a great way to get your work out there.

There is a preapproval process, and it will not accept certain mediums such as 3D art, so if you are a sculptor, this site is not for you. You pay $39.99 a month for your online shop and there are additional selling fees, however, Amazon has a huge reach so the potential to make a lot of sales is there.

Society6

Society6 allows you to easily print your artwork onto lots of different products. They provide a flat selling price for your art prints and canvases, and you can set your own royalties on top. They set the profit for any other items, which ranges from $1.50 to $13.90.

The site covers all aspects of order fulfillment (such as customer service), ideal if you are looking to avoid all the hassle that can bring.

Your items could be selected to feature on the site’s main shopping, making it easier to be discovered by customers without them having to search for your shop. Although it may be worth listing your art on other sites too, at least until you can grow your following.

Singulart

Singulart features artworks from over 80 countries, made by both established and emerging artists. They have a reputation as one of the most original and promising art galleries.

They have carefully curated their online site and now have over 50,000 pieces listed. Since they launched in 2017, they have managed to establish themselves as a powerhouse in the online art selling world, and they continue to grow at an impressive rate due to the team behind the site who work hard to support both the artists and buyers.

FineArtAmerica.com

FineArtAmerica has the largest digital marketplace in the world, and with an easy setup, global audience, print-on-demand technology they are a great site to be on for any artist.

However, they have hundreds of thousands of artists listed on their site so it is a fairly crowded market and it can be difficult to get seen, having said that their offers if branded web stores and newsletter designs make it easier. They list anything from wall art and home décor to fine paintings, and their buyers can have peace of mind with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

OnlineGallery.art

OnlineGallery.art is a fast-growing online gallery, that displays a great selection of art in various price ranges, meaning there is a listing for every budget. They are based in the Netherlands, which is known for its great art and culture.

From just €1.95 per month, artists can communicate directly with potential buyers, whilst listing a varied art selection.

There is also the option of building a larger profile, including links to the artist’s website. The artist keeps 100% of the amount paid when one of their pieces gets sold and OnlineGallery.art makes sure to share news on their website about artists and exhibitions.

Artpal

Artpal represents many thousands of artists, and it is no wonder as there are no membership fees to pay and no commission. You can also use their free print-on-demand service to sell your artworks, they even guide you through the marketing of your art to help you get even more sales. It is super quick and easy to set up your site, meaning you could be up and selling within minutes.

Etsy

Possibly one of the most well-known sites on the list, Etsy caters to the handcrafted artists on its global online marketplace. A single search in Etsy will bring up dozens and dozens of results meaning there is a lot of competition for your work to be seen.

However, they are hugely well known and have sold to millions of people. Etsy has some low listing fees (from $0.20USD) and is easy to set up and get started, they offer plenty of support for the new seller and can help start, manage, and scale your business.

Artsy

Artsy is a huge online gallery that sells art from 1000s of artists based all over the world. They have a database of 1,000,000 works of art, design, and architecture created by 100,000 artists. To list your work on Artsy you must first submit your work for review. If successful Artsy will then share your work with potential sellers, such as auction houses and galleries.

The assessment is free however once your work is consigned to one of their partners there may be a commission charge, on top of costs for shipping, insurance, and photography.

eBay

eBay is the world’s largest auction site, millions of people visit the platform every day, and eBay Art, their section dedicated to artists, has a huge selection of art for sale. They feature auctions from world-famous art brokers like Sotheby’s, alongside 1000s of artworks for sale directly from the artist.

They have a wide variety of listings from sculptures, prints, collages, mixed media, and posters. Setting up to sell on eBay is easy and the portion of commission you pay to the website is often much lower than on other sites.

UGallery

UGallery, founded in 2006, was one of the first-ever online art galleries and has a following of collectors from more than 50 countries. It is a juried platform ensuring all art sold through their platform is of a high standard by having artists apply.
Application to the platform costs $5 and is not refunded, even if you are not successful.

Their main focus is emerging and mid-career artists hoping to move away from the traditional gallery system. UGallery selects every artist and piece they exhibit, and all artwork is exclusive to the gallery.

Summary

This list is by no means exhaustive, there are dozens of different online selling sites out there so there is sure to be one that is ideal for you and your work, and with so many sites out there, and a huge rise in the number of people visiting, and buying from, these sites there is no better time to get involved and get your work listed!

Ged Richardson