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To Artists. . . Etsy or Redbubble? Zazzle? Or something else?

As an artist, I am looking for ways to sell my art, whether it is a local gallery, or online. Anybody have any experience with Etsy or Redbubble? What kind of sales can be expected from these sites? I have a store on Zazzle, and have gotten a few responses, but no sales.

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I have been a member of redbubble for about a year and have not sold a thing. The only thing I have on there are photos so I don't have any experience with sales results for other forms of art that they offer. Hope you sell, sell, sell.
I'm a seller on Etsy - one of many! It has pros & cons. It requires A LOT of outside advertising, as there is so much for sale there. I use it as my storefront, but also have a website, blog & newsletter to direct traffic there. I don't sell artwork there, but I know that is a popular category. If you search through some shops there selling art, you can look at what they've sold & see how often their sales are. Many people are able to make their income from Etsy, but a lot seem to do it with inexpensive, easy to move items. All of my sales have been on items less than $20. That's not to say higher-priced pieces don't sell; it can all depend on the advertising you're doing. If your artwork would be suitable for greeting cards, bookmarks, prints, gift tags, etc., you may want to consider offering those items as well as your higher-priced pieces. Etsy is very inexpensive & easy to start, and it does have various teams you can join & network with - something that has gotten me several sales. It does take time to maintain your shop & keep up with networking & making contacts. I like Etsy and plan to build up my shop & even open a second shop for graphic design, but it is a time committment to get results from it.
I have my art in the following locations:

Boundless Gallery
Cafe Press (which is a lot like Zazzle)
eBay (occassionally)
and Artist Rising

Of all of these, I still don't get the sales I'd like (of course I'm realizing now how premature my work from a year ago was so no wonder it wasn't a big seller). On so many of them, you really have to work on outside advertising because there are so many artists and keyword tagging is such a tricky thing. I think for places like Cafe Press you really have to have designs that are popular, that have mass appeal. This isn't a market for everyone. If you have fine art, then Cafe Press isn't the place where you want it and it would be better suited to Boundless Gallery or one of the websites like that. Of course if you can do both, you can specialize your shop toward each site and refer interested parties to the other.

There's lots of sites out there to show your art. But just putting your art out there isn't enough. You've got to market it. As I once heard an illustrator say at a convention, "You've got to be ready with your pimp hat at all times." I was truely a newbie when I heard that and I laughed, but now I've come to see the truth behind it. If you want sales, you've got to hustle them up. If you don't, someone else will.

Can you make beautiful and educational PowerPoint presentations with your art, that teachers can use in class?

I have posted about 10 different "worksheets" on TeachersPayTeachers.com. One of them actually keeps selling pretty regularly, but there isn't much markup on a worksheet so I only make about $10 a year on it.

However, if you look at their "bestsellers" in each subject area or category, they are almost always PowerPoint presentations. Look at few of those and see if you can come up with PowerPoints teachers will use in class. You can easily charge $5 to $6 each, you make it once, and it sells over and over.

Good idea, Vicki. Must look into that.

I haven't had much experience with Etsy, but I have heard some problems about it from sellers on it. For instance the checkout system, where customers are redirected to a blank page instead of to Paypal to complete the transaction. You might be better off with your own website using a Paypal shopping cart. 


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