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Sell Art Online With Etsy

Give your small fine art business a big platform!

By Mark Fenwick

If you're nurturing ambitions to sell art online - be it photography prints, paintings, name it! - then Etsy is a resource you simply have to know about.

Etsy is a community and e-commerce platform that's shaped by some very modern, and quite inspiring, beliefs. Its purpose is to reach out to local artists and crafts-people, from across the globe, and afford them the kind of platform that's usually reserved for big corporate operations.

So Etsy helps talented artists and photographers, who really care about the work they produce, but often lack the funding or opportunity to promote it meaningfully, to meet the surging global demand for 'local', authentic, handmade goods.

This article aims to give you a summary of what is involved when your sell your work through Etsy. Photography Art Cafe is a resource for photographers, so the example Etsy stores I have mentioned all belong to photographers.

But you can sell art online with Etsy, whatever weird and wonderful creations you produce, and whatever medium you love to work in. From crochet, clothing and candles, to bags, books and beauty products - Etsy is a home for creative people of all spots!


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The Basics of Selling Prints on Etsy


Selling fine art prints is an ideal way to use Etsy. It's a large e-commerce platform, that attracts the kind of people interested in what you have to offer, with a vibrant community. So setting up an Etsy store of your own is a very worthwhile step for artists and photographers.

There are lots of fine art photographers selling their work on the site already. Many of them choose to sell open edition prints (limitless print run), and often the most popular size is in the region of 10" x 8". Prints of this size typically seem to be priced between about $20 and $30.

But the great thing is, you don't have to sell open editions. You are free to specify prints as limited editions, and to set the pricing accordingly. It's your choice.

Setting up a store is easy because of all the help Etsy provide.

Unlike (which allows you to sell art online on total auto-pilot!), you have to deal with the fulfilment and delivery of any prints that you sell, but this gives you more control on the quality of the prints supplied to your customer.

The listing and selling fees are reasonable (certainly much better than eBay): The cost of listing a print is 20 cents for 4 months (if unsold after that, just pay another 20 cents to relist) and Etsy takes a 3.5% transaction fee on any sales. Payment of fees can be made either via credit card or PayPal.


How to Maximize Your Sales


So, to give you some inspiration and motivation, let's now take a look at 3 photographers who have made a big success of their Etsy stores.


Quotable Quote:

Photography is nothing - it's life that interests me.

- Henri Cartier-Bresson



Examples: 3 Photographers Who've Nailed It!


  1. First up, Irene Suchocki. Irene creates dreamy photographs of Paris, Venice, NYC, and nature. She joined Etsy in February 2007 and has sold over 7,000 prints in that time. Her shop on Etsy is called Eye Poetry. The Eye Poetry branding carries through to her website and blog. Branding is so important for anyone looking to sell art online.

  2. Next, take a look at Raceytay, a travel, nature and fine art photographer. She joined Etsy in November 2009 and has already sold over 4,000 prints. She promotes and sells mostly to the home decor market. One of the sections of her shop is dedicated to discounted prints where buyers can save up to 60% off by buying her prints in sets.

  3. Finally, have a look at what abstract landscape photographer Frances Seward has done. Frances has taken a different route to the two previous photographers, filling her Etsy shop with more expensive prints. She also lists many larger sized prints, in addition to quite a few limited editions. She joined Etsy in May 2009 and has sold over 100 prints.


Etsy is a vibrant community of buyers and sellers, with a busy, friendly forum. The forum is a great place to introduce yourself and to learn from other sellers about the best ways to sell art online through Etsy.

So, I recommend Etsy as a top notch resource for any photographer or artist who is excited by the idea of tapping into a global market, and would like to have an additional income extreme. Go have an explore, and the very best of luck!


SBI! - the resource behind Photography Art Cafe - has helped thousands of people earn a living from home doing whatever it is they love! Could it be for you too?



Have Your Say and Share Your Photos

Have you tried to sell art online? Perhaps you already have your own Etsy store. Share your stories and experiences with other readers of Photography Art Cafe.

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