The best places to sell your artwork online to support your creative business.
Back in the day, artists were pretty limited in how, when and where they could sell their art. There were no sites to sell artwork. If you wanted to get your art into someone’s hands, you had to find a way to get to them in person, whether at a fine art gallery, a creative show, or an impromptu street sale.
But thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier for artists to share their work online with art enthusiasts across the globe—and to actually sell that art and support their businesses.
Let’s take a look at some of the best sites to sell artwork online so you can get money from that sale right into your pocket.
You can’t talk about sites to sell artwork without mentioning Etsy. Launched in 2005, this mega-popular online marketplace has become the go-to spot for crafters, designers, painters and artists of all kinds to showcase their work, connect with potential customers and sell their art online.
Etsy’s popularity is both the biggest draw and the biggest challenge for artists. Its online marketplace gives you exposure to one of the largest audiences of craft and art enthusiasts on the internet. On the flip side, it also has one of the largest groups of artists trying to make a living off their work, which can make it hard to break through and get your art in front of the right people online.
How to sell art on Etsy:
To sell your art on Etsy, you’ll need to create an Etsy shop. Once you’ve created your shop, you can list your products (make sure to include high-quality photos) and start marketing your products and making sales. Luckily, Etsy has a variety of tools to help you get your art in front of the right audience.
In terms of fees, Etsy charges a nominal listing fee. If your art sells, you’ll pay a 5% transaction fee and a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee. There are also additional advertising fees if you want to promote your products on the Etsy platform or off-site.
These days, people buy just about everything on Amazon—and that includes art.
Depending on the type of art you’re selling, the world’s largest online retailer has a variety of opportunities, including Amazon Handmade, which features homemade, crafted items. Plus there’s an entire section dedicated to fine art, featuring one-of-a-kind paintings, drawings, watercolors and photographs from partner artists.
How to sell art on Amazon:
Amazon has different fee structures based on where and how you want to sell your products.
With Amazon Fine Art, you’ll need to get approval through Amazon. Once approved, you’ll pay $0.99 per unit sale and a referral fee of between 5 and 20% based on total cost. You can get a full breakdown of fees on Amazon’s seller pricing page.
If you want to sell your art through Amazon Handmade, referral fees are 15% per sale (listing your art is free).
If you’re looking for versatility, consider FineArtAmerica, one of the world’s largest online art marketplaces. FineArtAmerica combines a more traditional gallery model with extensive print-on-demand offerings. Whether you want to sell your original artwork online or give people the option to have your art transformed into a T-shirt, an iPhone case, or a greeting card, they’ve got you covered.
How to sell art on FineArtAmerica:
The steps to selling art on FineArtAmerica are as follows:
- Open an account
- Upload photos of your artwork
- Choose which products to feature
- Set your prices and you’re ready to go
In terms of pricing, FineArtAmerica sets a base price for each product. Then, you set a markup, which you get to keep when the product sells. For digital downloads, you get to keep 100% of your asking price. FineArtAmerica asks you to add a 30% markup, which they keep as a commission. And if you make a sale on an original piece of work? You get to keep 100% of the sale.
If exposure is what you’re after, Saatchi Art might be the place for you. The online art gallery and marketplace has a huge audience. Their website gets approximately 12 million page views and 1.6 million visitors each month, and they have almost 500,000 followers on Facebook and over 650,000 on Instagram. Saatchi Art can also help you sell on a global scale. The platform has sold to collectors in over 80 countries around the world.
How to sell art on Saatchi Art:
To get started on Saatchi Art, you just create a profile, then photograph and upload your artwork. When you sell a piece of work, all you have to do is package it. Saatchi Art handles the shipping and takes a 35% commission on the sale.
For more on selling your artwork online through Saatchi Art, check out their Artist’s Handbook.
If you’ve always dreamed of your art lining the walls of a high-end gallery, you might want to consider selling on UGallery. Its selection of paintings, illustrations, sculptures, prints and photos are carefully curated to appeal to the true art enthusiast. This online gallery/art market is also committed to showcasing new, exciting art. So in order to keep things new and interesting, they only exhibit art from emerging and mid-level artists—and that art must be original and exclusive to the platform. Basically, UGallery is looking to recreate the experience of visiting and shopping at a high-end art gallery—just in the digital space instead of in a physical location.
How to sell art on UGallery:
UGallery has a highly selective application process. To get started, artists have to submit digital copies of their art along with an artist statement, a completed application, and a $5 application fee. If you’re approved to exhibit at UGallery, they’ll take care of marketing your art to their audience. If you make a sale through UGallery, you’ll split the sale 50/50. Their team will send you a custom box to package your artwork for the buyer, and cover all packaging and shipping costs.
Sometimes, the best way to make a living off your artwork is to take things into your own hands—and that means selling it online yourself.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that makes it easy to sell art online. With Shopify, you can easily build a beautiful, easy-to-navigate e-commerce website to showcase your work to potential buyers and drive revenue for your business. Shopify also comes equipped with a host of features (including website templates and a suite of marketing tools) that make it easy to get your shop up and running.
How to sell art on Shopify:
To build and host your art shop, you’ll pay a monthly subscription fee that ranges from $29 (for the basic plan) to $299 (for a more advanced set-up). You’ll also need to set up a way for your customers to pay when they buy your art. If you use Shopify Payments, there are no transaction fees—but if you choose to use an external payment gateway, transaction fees range from 0.5 to 2%.
Want to give Shopify a try but aren’t sure you’re ready to commit for the long term? The e-commerce platform offers a free 90-day trial, so if you want to try building a website and selling your artwork on your own, you can do it—risk-free and at no cost.
If you’ve ever walked down the halls of a large, upscale corporate building, chances are you’ve walked by at least a few paintings. And if you’ve ever envisioned your art lining those hallways, you’ll want to check out TurningArt. This service rents and sells art to commercial clients, as well as coordinates original commissions.
How to sell art on TurningArt:
There are three ways to drive revenue through TurningArt:
- Leasing: The artist earns a percentage of the artwork’s price every month it’s leased
- Sales: The artist earns a commission when they make a sale
- Commissions: The client commissions an artist for a specific project
The commission structure for TurningArt varies. For example, if an original work is sold, artists get 60% of the sale—but if a canvas print is sold, artists receive only 20%. For more on TurningArt’s pricing structure, check out the FAQ pages for the Partner Artist Program and the Affiliate Artist Program.
If you want to see your art plastered on a huge variety of products, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better partner than Society6. This print-on-demand powerhouse has one of the largest product assortments in the industry, enabling customers to explore your art through a huge variety of categories, including furniture, tech, home decor, wall art, and apparel.
How to sell art on Society6:
To start selling your art on Society6, you’ll need to create an account and upload your art to your artist’s shop. From there, you can choose which categories you want to enable and feature your art. You might have one design that would look perfect on apparel, wall art and phone cases and another that would work best for furniture.
The good news? Society6 is one of the easier places to sell art online. They take care of marketing, fulfillment, printing, and shipping. The bad news? They’re not the most lucrative place for selling art. Artists make just 10% of every sale. However, there are additional ways to drive revenue (including an affiliate program), and opportunities to set higher markups for art prints, framed prints, and canvas prints.
Zazzle is another major player in the print-on-demand world. Similar to Society6, Zazzle has a huge variety of products where you can feature your art. Currently, the platform has over 1,500 blank product types. But unlike Society6, Zazzle allows you to set your own royalty rate, which can help you earn more per sale.
How to sell art on Zazzle:
To become a Zazzle designer, all you have to do is upload your art, choose your products, and put them up for sale on the marketplace. Zazzle takes care of the rest, including printing, shipping, and customer service.
As mentioned, Zazzle allows you to set your own royalty rates. You can set your rate anywhere from 5 to 99%; then, Zazzle will adjust the product price accordingly.
Obviously, there are benefits to being able to set your own commission rate—namely, that you can earn more per sale. But because you’re passing on that rate to your potential customers, it’s important not to set it too high. Otherwise, it can be hard to drive sales in the Zazzle marketplace, especially when other artists are offering similar designs or products at a lower price.
Get Out There and Use Sites to Sell Artwork
As an artist, your top priority is to create. And with these sites to sell artwork, you can find new customers and drive revenue for your business—which will give you the financial stability you need to continue to do so. So all that’s left for you to do? Get out there, use one of these sites to sell artwork, and start dealing!
This post was updated in June, 2020.