Have you made mistakes selling your art? Do you wish you could make better decisions when selling your art?
Have you ever sold a painting for too low a price and wished you hadn’t done it?
Or have you ever sold a painting to a friend or family member and then was remorseful or even angry because you felt like you got way too little money for the piece?
Don’t worry, most artists make these mistakes at one time or another selling their art.
This is very common.
I’ve made every one of these mistakes and more. And I’m happy to share with you what I’ve learned from them.
So hopefully, you can avoid these errors and move your career more quickly in the right direction.
1. Selling Your Art to Family and Friends
This is the big one.
Your family and friends love you. That’s obvious. They have the best intentions for you.
But they don’t have a clue about the art world. They don’t know that art is a valuable luxury. They don’t know how valuable your original works really are. And basically, they can’t afford them.
If you sell your paintings to family and friends for $200 to $300, you are cheating yourself. Their intentions are good, of course, and they think they’ve really helped you. But you know in your heart that your paintings are worth way more than they are paying you.
You will eventually become angry and resentful toward these people you love.
As this pattern continues over time, you will grow bitter toward them or even toward your painting. And it may kill your spirit and stop you from painting. So be very careful with all of this when it comes to friends and family.
If you want to give your art as gifts for the holidays, that’s okay. That’s another issue.
But if they want to buy your art at prices you know are too low, you are going to have to tell them “no” in a loving and tactful way.
2. Selling Your Art in Bargain Basement Websites
This is another big mistake. I see lots of artists doing this all the time.
In fact, the internet is full of artists who are practically giving their work away.
The worst bargain basement offenders are sites like eBay and Etsy.
You are not helping your career selling in these low-end websites. When you sell on these sites, you are associating your name (which is your brand image) with the idea that you are cheap, and that your art is cheap.
You are putting your unique brand image into a website that offers commodities to cheap customers. But you are not a commodity. Do not put yourself on a website where you will look like one.
People who buy from these sites are not serious art collectors. They are cheap customers. And cheap customers are the worst customers.
Cheap customers complain the most. They want more refunds. Eventually, they will give you more headaches than they are worth.
And they certainly cannot help promote your career to the next level.
Stay out of the bargain basement.
3. Selling Your Art in Art Fairs or Street Fairs
Art fairs and street fairs are just another type of bargain basement. The buyers at these events are just average people. They cannot afford to pay you what your paintings are really worth.
4. Accepting Low-Priced Commissions from Average Buyers
Your art is not average. You are not average. You are creating original, one-of-a-kind works of art. The average person can’t afford luxuries like these.
Never quote a low price on a commissioned work because someone can’t afford to pay more. Stay away from average people who have average incomes. This is not your market.
If you wanted to buy a Rolex watch and you went to the jewelry store and told them you could only afford to pay $200, do you think they would let you have it? Of course not. They would laugh you out of the store.
The jeweler knows there are people who can afford Rolex watches. And so, too, there are people who can afford to pay you what your art is worth.
These are the people you want to find.
5. Selling Your Art in the Wrong Markets
If you have a website or blog where you sell your work, be careful not to position your work toward the wrong markets. One of these possible wrong markets would be the home decor market.
Do you have a story of selling your art?
Have you had any experiences like the ones I mention above when selling your art? It might be one of these five, or something completely different. Let us know in the comments!
And for more winning ideas for selling your art, grab my FREE Video Training for Artists You’re gonna love this FREE 3-part video series that will help get you on the fast track to art selling success.