5 Tips for Selling Artwork on Online Auctions
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Price your artwork appropriately
  2. Take high-quality photos
  3. Write compelling descriptions
  4. Promote your artwork on social media
  5. Offer excellent customer service

Are you an artist looking to expand your reach and revenue? Look no further, as selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces could be your key to success. In the age of the internet, artists have more platforms than ever to showcase and sell their work. However, navigating these online spaces can be tricky. This blog post provides five practical tips to help you sell your artwork effectively and efficiently on online auction sites and art marketplaces. So, let's dive right in!

Price your artwork appropriately

Getting your pricing right is a vital first step when selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces. It's a delicate balance: price too high and potential buyers might be scared away, price too low and you could be underselling your talent. Here are some factors to consider:

Understand the market

Before setting a price, take some time to understand the art market. Look at what similar works sell for on the same platforms you're considering. This will give you a ballpark figure to work from. Remember:

  • Art is subjective: What one person is willing to pay might be different from another.
  • Mind the trends: The art market can be influenced by trends. A style that's popular now might not be in a few years, and vice versa.

Consider your costs and time

When pricing your artwork, don't forget to factor in the cost of materials and the time you spent creating it. Be honest with yourself about how much you invested in a piece—both monetarily and in terms of effort. Here's an example:

  • Material costs: If you spent $50 on paints and canvas, that's a direct cost that should be recovered.
  • Time investment: If you spent 10 hours working on a piece, consider what your time is worth. Is it $20 an hour? $30? This is also a cost to be recovered.

Remember the platform fees

Most online auctions and art marketplaces charge a fee for selling through their platforms. It's important to understand these costs before setting your price. These fees can be a percentage of the sale price or a flat fee—be sure to factor this into your pricing.

By understanding your market, considering your costs, and accounting for platform fees, you can price your artwork appropriately. Remember, selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces is a journey, not a destination. It might take some trial and error to find the sweet spot for your pricing. So, keep an open mind and be willing to adjust as you learn more about the market and your buyers.

Take high-quality photos

Let's move on to the visual element of selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces — your photos. The images you use to represent your artwork can make or break a sale. Here's how to ensure they show your art in the best light possible.

Use a good camera

If you can't afford a professional camera, don't worry. Many smartphones today have cameras that can capture high-quality images. The important thing is to ensure your photos are clear, well-lit, and show your artwork accurately. Here are some quick tips:

  • Focus: Make sure your artwork is the main focus of your photo. Avoid any distracting elements in the background.
  • Lighting: Natural light is usually best. Try to take your photos during the day, near a window, or outside.
  • Resolution: Use the highest resolution possible. You want your images to look good even when zoomed in.

Show different angles and details

When selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces, potential buyers can't see your work in person. So, try to give them as much visual information as possible. Here's how:

  • Angles: Take photos from different angles to show the depth and texture of your work.
  • Details: Capture close-up shots of any intricate details or interesting aspects of your artwork.
  • Scale: Include an object for scale in one of your photos. This could be a pencil, a coin, or anything else that gives a sense of the artwork's size.

Edit your photos...but not too much

While it's okay to do some minor editing to your photos, be careful not to alter the look of your artwork. The goal is to represent your work as accurately as possible. Keep these points in mind:

  • Color correction: Adjust the color balance if your photos look too warm (yellow) or too cool (blue). But make sure the colors match the original artwork.
  • Brightness/Contrast: Adjust these if your photo looks too dark or too washed out. But again, don't change how the artwork actually looks.

Remember, the goal is to present your artwork in the best and most honest way possible. High-quality photos that accurately represent your work can make a huge difference when selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces.

Write compelling descriptions

Now that your artwork is visually appealing with high-quality photos, let's shift our attention to the written aspect — the descriptions. When selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces, a well-crafted description can engage potential buyers and help them appreciate the value of your art.

Storytelling Matters

Every piece of art has a story. Sharing that story can help potential buyers connect with your work on a deeper level. Consider these points:

  • Inspiration: What inspired you to create this piece? It could be an emotion, a place, a person, or an event. Share it in a way that invites your audience into your creative process.
  • Creation: Talk about how you made the artwork. Did you use special techniques or materials? This can give buyers an appreciation for the craftsmanship involved.

Be Specific and Detailed

Providing specific details about your artwork can help potential buyers understand what they're buying. Think about including the following in your description:

  • Size and medium: Clearly state the dimensions of your work and the materials you used. This helps buyers know if the piece will fit in their space and if it aligns with their preferences.
  • Colors: Describe the colors in your artwork. This can be helpful for buyers who are trying to match a certain color scheme in their home or office.

Use Clear, Simple Language

Your description should be easy to read and understand. Avoid jargon that only other artists might understand. Here's how:

  • Simple words: Use everyday language that anyone can understand. Remember, your audience may not be art experts.
  • Short sentences: Break up long sentences into shorter ones. This can make your description easier to read, especially on mobile devices.

Writing compelling descriptions is an art in itself. By sharing the story behind your work, providing detailed information, and using clear, simple language, you can engage potential buyers and increase your chances of selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces.

Promote your artwork on social media

Once you've priced your artwork, taken high-quality photos, and written compelling descriptions, it's time to get your creation in front of potential buyers. There is no better way to do this than by promoting your artwork on social media platforms. Here's how to go about it:

Choose the Right Platforms

Not all social media platforms are created equal, especially when it comes to selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces. Here are a few you might consider:

  • Instagram: It's visually-focused, making it ideal for showcasing your artwork. Plus, with the ability to add tags, you can reach people who are specifically interested in your style or medium.
  • Facebook: With its vast user base, Facebook can help you reach a wide audience. Use Facebook groups related to art to connect with potential buyers.
  • Pinterest: Known for its inspiration boards, Pinterest can be a great platform for artists. It allows users to discover and save ideas, which could lead to future sales.

Create Engaging Content

It's not just about posting pictures of your work. You need to create content that engages your audience and makes them want to learn more. Here's how:

  • Show your process: People love seeing the creation process. Consider sharing photos or videos of your artwork in progress. It can be a wonderful way to connect with your audience and build anticipation for your finished pieces.
  • Ask questions: Encourage interaction by asking your followers questions. It could be about their favorite piece, their opinion on a certain style, or what they'd like to see you create next.

Use Hashtags Strategically

Hashtags are a powerful tool for reaching a larger audience on social media. Here are a few tips for using them effectively:

  • Relevant hashtags: Use hashtags that are relevant to your artwork and the audience you want to reach. For example, if you're selling abstract paintings, #abstractart could be a solid choice.
  • Popular vs niche hashtags: Mix popular hashtags with more niche ones. While popular hashtags can get you more visibility, niche hashtags can help you reach a more targeted audience.

Promoting your artwork on social media can be a game-changer for selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces. By choosing the right platforms, creating engaging content, and using hashtags strategically, you can reach a wide audience and increase your sales.

Offer excellent customer service

When you're selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces, offering top-notch customer service can set you apart from the crowd. It makes your customers feel valued, and can even turn them into repeat buyers. Here's how to ace it:

Respond Quickly

When someone asks a question or makes an inquiry about your artwork, it's important to respond as quickly as possible. This shows the potential buyer that you're serious about your work and that you value their interest. Plus, quick responses can mean the difference between making a sale and losing out to a competitor.

Provide Detailed Information

Knowledge is power, especially for art buyers. Provide as much information about your artwork as you can. This includes details about the medium, size, materials used, and the inspiration behind the piece. The more information you provide, the more comfortable a potential buyer will feel making a purchase.

Offer a Return Policy

Buying art online can feel risky for some people. Offering a return policy can help alleviate these fears. It shows that you stand behind your work and are confident in its quality. Plus, it builds trust with your buyers, which can lead to more sales in the future.

Ask for Feedback

Don't be afraid to ask for feedback after a sale. This shows that you care about your customers' experiences and are always looking to improve. Plus, positive feedback can be a great promotional tool. With the customer's permission, you can share their feedback on your social media platforms or in your online marketplace listings.

Offering excellent customer service is more than just a nice-to-have when selling artwork through online auctions and art marketplaces—it's a must-have. By responding quickly, providing detailed information, offering a return policy, and asking for feedback, you can elevate your customer service game and boost your online art sales.

If you're excited about selling your artwork through online auctions, consider exploring the world of NFTs with Tom Glendinning's workshop, 'Sell Your Creations As NFTs'. This workshop will guide you through the process of turning your creations into valuable NFTs, opening up a new avenue for selling your art and reaching a wider audience.