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Art For Sale - Website Advice.

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Hello everyone, my first post on this forum, looking forward to peoples thoughts on the following.

During Covid, i started creating some art works on box canvasses and have carried on to this very day. 

Family and friends are now encouraging me to try selling some of my works online.

I would love to hear any advice on the best way to put my art up for sale.

 

Does anyone out there have any advice on how to create a website to promote my works ?

How much would it cost initially to set up and then maintain ? Which is the best site ?

 

Does anyone out there have any experience in selling their arts / crafts online ?

 

Any advice would be most welcome.

Thanking you in anticipation

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There's lots of variables.

 

Creating a website to sell stuff can be easy or hard, cheap or expensive - it depends on what you want.

 

You can build a website yourself with a little knowledge (i.e. using WordPress), use a third-party site builder (something like Shopify), or use a third-party shop platform (like Etsy, perhaps).

 

Whatever you do the key is how you would drive traffic to it. Having a website isn't enough, you have to market it - and this is the part most people fall down on. So, you'd need to set an ongoing budget and plan your marketing strategy. Having a good social media presence is the best start, because you can organically drive traffic via your socials, and a decent SEO strategy helps. But beyond that you'd need to consider what kind of paid advertising you would do to get eyeballs on your art, otherwise you end up with a site and nobody looking at it.

 

If you don't know much about how to build a website then I would suggest a third-party platform to test the market. Etsy seems like a good fit for you as a handmade-and-craft-type site.

 

Etsy is a marketplace of lots of arts and craft sellers - you sign up and use their tools to create a shop on their platform and add your products. They have a good manual on how to get the best out of it and lots of good tips (creating SEO-friendly copy, having great photos, etc), but again you are one shop in a sea of thousands, and it is one product in a sea of millions, so you have to have a strategy for how people will find your shop/product (Etsy does have an ads platform so you can pay to get your products prioritised in search results, etc). Etsy takes a commission for each product sold (made of of sales fees, processing fees, etc) which can be quite a lot - so ensure you price your products appropriately (Etsy can be a race-to-the bottom in terms of pricing - so many people think they will stand out more if they are cheaper than the competition so totally underprice their products - don't be afraid to be more expensive than others and value your work correctly).

 

The step up from that is creating your own standalone shop through a platform like Shopify. Shopify makes it fairly easy to build a shop and add products with WYSIWYG type editors. Instead of commissions, they charge a monthly fee for use of the platform and hosting, etc. There's lots of add-ons to personalise it further too. But it isn't really a marketplace so once you've built the shop the onus is on you to get people to your products. 

 

There's a third step up which is using a platform like Wordpress and Woocommerce, which is effectively building your own website. There are hosted options for this, for a fee, but you can self-build and host somewhere for yourself. Again, this is totally on you to drive the traffic there. There's no commission as it is your own platform as such, but there will be costs like buying a domain name, hosting fees, payment processing fees, etc. Really, this is only an option if you are confident in building your own website from scratch.

 

 

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Etsy is a good site.   I buy off there regularly.

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10 hours ago, SheffieldForum said:

There's lots of variables.

 

Creating a website to sell stuff can be easy or hard, cheap or expensive - it depends on what you want.

 

You can build a website yourself with a little knowledge (i.e. using WordPress), use a third-party site builder (something like Shopify), or use a third-party shop platform (like Etsy, perhaps).

 

Whatever you do the key is how you would drive traffic to it. Having a website isn't enough, you have to market it - and this is the part most people fall down on. So, you'd need to set an ongoing budget and plan your marketing strategy. Having a good social media presence is the best start, because you can organically drive traffic via your socials, and a decent SEO strategy helps. But beyond that you'd need to consider what kind of paid advertising you would do to get eyeballs on your art, otherwise you end up with a site and nobody looking at it.

 

If you don't know much about how to build a website then I would suggest a third-party platform to test the market. Etsy seems like a good fit for you as a handmade-and-craft-type site.

 

Etsy is a marketplace of lots of arts and craft sellers - you sign up and use their tools to create a shop on their platform and add your products. They have a good manual on how to get the best out of it and lots of good tips (creating SEO-friendly copy, having great photos, etc), but again you are one shop in a sea of thousands, and it is one product in a sea of millions, so you have to have a strategy for how people will find your shop/product (Etsy does have an ads platform so you can pay to get your products prioritised in search results, etc). Etsy takes a commission for each product sold (made of of sales fees, processing fees, etc) which can be quite a lot - so ensure you price your products appropriately (Etsy can be a race-to-the bottom in terms of pricing - so many people think they will stand out more if they are cheaper than the competition so totally underprice their products - don't be afraid to be more expensive than others and value your work correctly).

 

The step up from that is creating your own standalone shop through a platform like Shopify. Shopify makes it fairly easy to build a shop and add products with WYSIWYG type editors. Instead of commissions, they charge a monthly fee for use of the platform and hosting, etc. There's lots of add-ons to personalise it further too. But it isn't really a marketplace so once you've built the shop the onus is on you to get people to your products. 

 

There's a third step up which is using a platform like Wordpress and Woocommerce, which is effectively building your own website. There are hosted options for this, for a fee, but you can self-build and host somewhere for yourself. Again, this is totally on you to drive the traffic there. There's no commission as it is your own platform as such, but there will be costs like buying a domain name, hosting fees, payment processing fees, etc. Really, this is only an option if you are confident in building your own website from scratch.

 

 

Wow, that's a very informative reply !

Thank you very much.

I will digest your reply and come back to you with further questions most likely.

 

All i would add, is that i am not very good on computers.

So, easier the better regarding finding a good place to start.

Is goDaddy an option ?

 

Once again, thanks for your troubles so far.

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8 minutes ago, CrucibleKid said:

Wow, that's a very informative reply !

Thank you very much.

I will digest your reply and come back to you with further questions most likely.

 

All i would add, is that i am not very good on computers.

So, easier the better regarding finding a good place to start.

Is goDaddy an option ?

 

Once again, thanks for your troubles so far.

To start - choose a platform, I'd say.

 

I'd largely stick with the three options I gave. Places like GoDaddy are good for buying a domain name or for basic hosting packages, but their web builders are largely terrible.

 

For an online shop, the platform is key. Etsy do millions of transactions per day, so have a decent experience for buyers, but it isn't very flexible. Shopify is a platform built entirely for custom online shops, so is the best middle ground. Wordpress/Woocommerce is more complicated, but far more customisable (and needs more technical knowledge in my opinion).

 

For a starting point I'd give Etsy a try for a little while. You'd get a URL such as [yourstorename].etsy.com and can test the market and how to create good descriptions, titles and more.

 

Once you start doing well on Etsy the 'upgrade' from there is to create a Shopify store and buy a domain name and host a store with all the knowledge you have - that's when you'd really need to up your game and start really promoting it and drive traffic. You can keep your Etsy shop if it is doing well, but focus on converting your customers across to your own website (Shopify) over time.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, SheffieldForum said:

To start - choose a platform, I'd say.

 

I'd largely stick with the three options I gave. Places like GoDaddy are good for buying a domain name or for basic hosting packages, but their web builders are largely terrible.

 

For an online shop, the platform is key. Etsy do millions of transactions per day, so have a decent experience for buyers, but it isn't very flexible. Shopify is a platform built entirely for custom online shops, so is the best middle ground. Wordpress/Woocommerce is more complicated, but far more customisable (and needs more technical knowledge in my opinion).

 

For a starting point I'd give Etsy a try for a little while. You'd get a URL such as [yourstorename].etsy.com and can test the market and how to create good descriptions, titles and more.

 

Once you start doing well on Etsy the 'upgrade' from there is to create a Shopify store and buy a domain name and host a store with all the knowledge you have - that's when you'd really need to up your game and start really promoting it and drive traffic. You can keep your Etsy shop if it is doing well, but focus on converting your customers across to your own website (Shopify) over time.

 

 

 

 

Thanking you very much,

Seems like you know your onions.

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12 hours ago, CrucibleKid said:

Thanking you very much,

Seems like you know your onions.

No problem.

 

I've done several online shops for various things. Happy to help.

 

 

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Folksy.com might be worth a look at.

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