*Our Blog post today is from Charles and Holly Swanson owners of Pacific Flyway Gallery. We encourage you to visit their Flootie Profile Page here https://www.flootie.com/profile/?id=70 they represent numerous artists as well as being Authorized Dealers for many publishing houses.*
Selling Art at Pacific Flyway Gallery by Charles Swanson
At least once a day we get a phone call from someone wanting to sell their art. -Seems reasonable as we own an art gallery- But to tell the truth, we sell more picture framing than art. Anyway, here is how a typical call goes:
Us—“Pacific Flyway Gallery, how may I help you?”
Art Seller—“Do you folks buy art over there?”
Us—“I’m sorry but at this time we aren’t purchasing art.”
Art Seller—“Well, how do I find somebody that wants to buy art?”
It’s at this moment that I think to myself, “ Here’s the real question for everyone in the art industry!” I want to ask the person on the other end of the line the same question: Where do I find people that want to buy art? As an art gallery or a collector or an artist or a private party, just what are our options? Everyone loves art of one form or another, but how do you get just the right piece of art in front of just the right person?
Over the last 28 years of selling art the options have evolved. Although art galleries are a destination business (by that, I mean a business that compels people to go there even if that business is not necessarily “in their neighborhood”) the emergence of the internet has opened new avenues for showing art to people who have never set foot in a traditional art gallery. Large “Big Box Store” type internet sites (such as art.com or allposters.com) emerged right away as a “one stop shop” for art. But what about original artwork? Not everyone wants the same piece over their couch that their neighbor has. How do we—meaning anyone trying to sell art—get someone to see our “little” web pages with so much art available online? Several art selling sites have come into existence, all having fees in varying degrees, and all have been successful in selling art online. But the bigger the sales site the smaller your listing becomes. EBay lists millions of art pieces every week, but they also list millions of pieces of clothing, cars, antiques, collectibles etc.
So far, lots of questions. How about some answers:
Well, to be honest, we don’t have all the answers , but we have come to the conclusion that any one thing doesn’t work for everyone. If you’ve read any books on sales you know the key to selling is marketing. Nobody will buy anything that can’t be seen. And you need to spend time on your marketing to make it pay off.
The degree of marketing expands with the amount of art you have to sell. First, figure out where you fit in: Are you a retail brick and mortar location or an internet only type store? Are you an artist trying to sell your own work or a collector who wants to sell your own purchased pieces from your collection? Perhaps you’ve inherited a piece and you’re a onetime seller. You will also need a place to sell your art online such as etsy, eBay store, art auction site, or your own website with product pages that can be used for retail. Then you will need an audience for your art. An email list of your own is best. Some website hosting programs will give you marketing assistance as will online companies such as Constant Contact.
Selling art today is a challenge and the ONLY online marketing site devoted to art is Flootie.com. The built-in tools on Flootie, in conjunction with your mailing list, is a full marketing program for the art you are looking to sell. https://www.flootie.com offers the tools that are a welcome addition to the traditional “art sales” platform. Put it to use to steer the enormous amount of buyers online to the site where your art is for sale.