Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Art Blog: Show Me the MONEY!

I have been selling stuff on EBAY for years. NOT ART! I sell junk I find at thrift stores and stuff around the house I don’t want anymore. Right now, I am trying to downsize a little bit. I am starting to look like one of those crazy hoarder ladies. It is times like this I log onto EBAY and put on my sellers hat. I start to unload all my excess STUFF. Show me the money, BABY!

I am in the wrong business! Being an artist is so much harder than being a stuff salesperson. At least, selling things other than ART is far easier. Let me tell you……….I put up some like new, SPINNING exercise workout DVDs on EBAY and they sold within hours. I was so shocked how quickly they flew off my Ebay page, I became flustered trying to figure out who paid and where to send which one. There is money out there. People are buying stuff on Ebay. However, the stuff has to be at bargain basement prices and about something as boring as exercising.

I know there are some artists who use Ebay to sell art. I would never do that. Besides just seeming tacky, it is such a gamble. I am not sure people realize that you have to pay just to list your stuff on Ebay even before you sell anything. Ebay buyers seem to want thrift store prices. The majority of buyers don’t seem to understand the handmade mentality. Sometimes I spit in the wind and I do put stuff like my wizzleworkz artsy stuff on Ebay. However, it usually just sits there. I never get any bids (so far anyway, knock on wood, knock on wood). I end up paying for nothing. It is all good though because I feel like I am at least trying to be positive and getting my gewgaws out there. Also, generally people would respond more to an Ebay ad, more than they would buy off my wizzleworkz webpage. Who knows? Someday I might get a sale off one of my artsy doodads! In the meantime, do you know anyone who wants a SPINNING DVD?

This is the only one left! If you know anybody who SPINS, tell them about this DVD.
It is a steal at this price! Click pic to go to EBAY sales webpage! NEVER MIND!! It just SOLD!!! Yikes!!
P.S. I am not giving up exercise. I just have too many Spinning DVDs. I am going to get more into all this fitness stuff in an upcoming post on January 1st. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm…….I can’t wait to write that one (NOT)!


Eero said...

I've tried to sell a few things on Ebay with no luck. Must be the items I listed....

Have you tried selling your work on Etsy? I'm thinking of opening up a "store" there to sell some of my small art. It's all craft and handmade....great stuff out there. I have crafty friends who've made some money.

Good luck!

Sheree Rensel said...

BEWARE of Etsy! Yes, I have had my Etsy experience. NO MORE! The sales thing is about the same as Ebay unless you make Etsy a full time job. Also, Etsy really screwed me up. Their website is weird. They charged me TWICE my monthly payment. It took me a month to straighten that credit card snarl out. They were apologetic. However, I never sold a DAMN thing! Yet I was paying them their fees. Screw that!

Martha Marshall said...

Hm. Sheree, I haven't had any problems at all with Etsy. But like you say, you have to spend a lot of time on it in order to sell. So I don't know what the actual return is when all is said and done.

Sheree Rensel said...

Well Martha,
I have. I have spent many hours calculating time, money, and outcome. As far as the Etsy situation is concerned, I got caught up in a website snafu that turned me off big time. It was a glich in their own system. We got it straighted out, eventually.

That being said, I still don't think Etsy is all that great. I mean. Do the math. You can sell stuff on Etsy if your prices are low enough and you do the kind of art that can be done fast. I have done the research. I see art works that sell for pennies on the hour. This is not to mention the cost of materials compared to the sales price.

YES, you can sell. However, selling works just to say "I sold work on Etsy." isn't appealing to me. I want to have the sales price cover my materials cost, my supplies cost, my TIME, and make a true difference in my financial circumstance. Etsy wasn't doing that for me at all.
If you like it and it is making you big bucks, go for it!

However, it would take me ten years to make ONE mortgage payment from proceeds from Etsy.

JafaBrit's Art said...

I too researched the idea of selling art on ebay and etsy and came to the same conclusions. I tracked conversations over at the business threads on wet canvas and concluded it really wasn't worth it (for all the reasons you state). Plus I saw a lot of the more successful sellers getting ripped off by other sellers who would copy their work. By the time an artist found out and filed several complaints it was too late, the copycat seller had moved on (new name, new copies).

Sheree Rensel said...

The way I see it, the only people making REAL money on those sites are the website owners. I suppose if you really crank out assembly line note pads or cutesy big eyed girl paintings, you might make some money. However, it is chump change in today's economy.
I have thought long and hard about all this stuff. I had a grand revelation this year when I figured this out:
I work at my day job 180 days per year. If I quit my day job, I would have to sell at least $280.70 worth of art EVERY DAY for those 180 days to make the same amount as my salary. This figure does not include my materials/art business costs. Even if I stretched that amount out and allowed myself the entire year of 365 days to recoup, I would still have to average around $140. per day of art sales.
I have sold lots of art in my life so far. However, sales are too few and far between to pay all my real life expenses. The stress of having to worry about selling art consistently to pay my bills would kill me. Besides, I paint far too slow and unconventionally to be able to sell that much art.
This is why I will keep my day job.

Martha Marshall said...

Not everything on Etsy sells cheap. I sold one triptych on paper for $1200 last year. It's just that it now takes more time than it used to. I don't have that kind of time any more.

Sheree Rensel said...

I NEVER said everything on Etsy sells for cheap. I never said that. I said what you make over the long haul is chump change.

Your statement "I sold ONE....for $1200 LAST YEAR".

That is great, but proves my point. Even if you count up that one sale with all the other little sales, the living you make doesn't pay many bills unless you want to live a very meager lifestyle. This is especially true if you count up materials, fees, and your time.

Now if you could tell me you sell one or two pieces a month at that reasonable price, my ears would perk up!