Monday, February 25, 2008

Street Shows or Online Sales?

For years potters didnt have many choices when setting out to sell thier work. You have the art show/festival circuit, farmers markets, galleries and boutique shops. I talk to other potters all the time and a common question is "do you have a website, and do you actually sell anything from there?" Many artists are reluctant to begin the task of a website, especially today when there are sites like Etsy, My Art Plot and a host of others. I personally havent used any of the online sales sites, doesnt mean I wont, just havent to date. I am trying to get back to doing more shows especially since I recently got laid off from my day job! Allthough the setting up and tearing down can be a drag, the comraderie among the artists is nice as is exchanging info on good shows to do etc. So I am curious, what do you think of the online stores? What has your experience been with them, do you sell enough from those sites to replace shows?


babaco said...

i have sold a number of pots on etsy. the problem with etsy is that it can be really difficult to find the good stuff, although they are getting better.

for an example of a great single-artist online pottery shop, see

another example is simone walsh, a jeweler from australia. she used etsy and a number of other sites to build up brand/reputation and connect with customers who appreciate her aesthetics. now she is encouraging people to buy from her own site (where presumably she doesn't pay commission).

i have an idea, someday when i go to art school, to build an online shop for student sales. high quality, good craftsmanship art, based around a single department.

Chris McCormick said...

Thanks for the info, I will check out those sites and artists

Staci Rose said...

Selling online, I get a lot of comments like "even better than the photo!". It's not a bad photo - it's just different when you hold art of any kind in your hands or see the actual piece with your own two eyes.

However, show costs CAN be prohibitive, especially depending on booth size needed, location, and "art category". (And set-up and tear-down can be a drag...once almost had the tent flap fly away!)

And, once you tear-down, that's it. Your items might still be available and you might get lucky if a customer calls or emails, but it's very unlikely. With online sales, it's available to a customer as long as the site is running. (a current issue with Etsy - a great site that is growing faster than the tech department...)

If you don't have your own store-front, online sales can give you a larger crowd, but shows can give you a more intimate crowd.

Chris McCormick said...

Hi Staci;
I have been hearing, like you do at art shows, that Etsy is being infiltrated with buy and sell stuff. To be honest I havent spent much time at all looking at Etsy, what has your experience been?