Selling artwork

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Selling artwork

Postby Framing Frenzie » Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:05 pm

Does anyone have any advice for selling artwork. I am a framer with a display area I try to sell from. I don't get many sales. I charge 25% commission to the artist when a sale is made and it has to be my framing. I try and promote it on social media but still sales are slow if non existent. I don't claim to be a gallery although I have dabbled with that kind of wording in promo stuff in the past. I'm not on a high street so I don't get the footfall. Customers that do call in for framing say they had no idea I had so many pictures for sale but are already spending money on their framing order. Anyone got any handy hints for helping to shift some framed art please. I have shouted about it, had open days, with a great turn out. Adverts in local stuff. All the social media sites.I have a huge price range from little framed budget prints to original art for hundreds of pounds.
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby prospero » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:14 am

It's a worthwhile avenue to pursue, but a very up-and-down market. I do a bit, but don't rely on it. If it's any consolation
the market seems to be a bit dead at the mo.
I've had some pictures on SOR for ages. The market is very fickle. I recently sold a little picture that I must have had for 20-years+.
The next week another customer came in to buy it. :roll: Not best pleased it had gone. Then another lady wanted it. Go figure.

You really have to push art sales. No good putting stuff on the wall and waiting. Doing small themed exhibitions can work. Still lifes,
landscapes, wildlife, etc. Have a preview night, send out invites. Generally push the boat out a bit. All this takes time and expense but
it's the sort of thing that you can't do in a half-hearted manner but it can pay big dividends.

Vital points: If you sell on commission do impress on your artist client that they cannot sell their work directly to the public at the price
less your commission. That sort of thing is very unprofessional and leads to ruffled feathers. The general commission in the trade is min 40%.
More depending on your overheads. Galleries in prestigious locations typically charge + 90%. :o
So if you sell a work for £100 the artist will receive 60. If you find that they are selling privately for 60 then fire them straightaway. :evil:
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby Rainbow » Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:40 am

Framing Frenzie wrote:Customers that do call in for framing say they had no idea I had so many pictures for sale
Probably because it's not mentioned anywhere on your web site that you sell pictures. On other framers' web sites where they sell pictures, they typically have artists' profiles, images of their work, news of exhibitions, blogs about the latest picture etc. All this helps the artist to justify the commission as well. I'm not saying it's the magic solution and that you'll get hoards of people lining up to buy pictures once you put it on your web site, but it doesn't make sense *not* to put it on your web site and at least *tell* potential customers that you sell pictures.
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby Steve N » Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:57 am

If you are not on the high street on in a local shopping area, you will have small foot fall, so not many walking by to notice you have local artist work for sell, so...........
Why sell artist work,when you could just sell your own, framed work, all my examples of framing are for sell, so frame up some examples of 3d framing , such as a collection of keys, spoons, bottle tops, bear mats etc, the list is endless go around charity shops and pick up stuff there and car boot sales, clear the attic out :rock: put up a few mirrors, I make them out of off cuts of mirror and mouldings, buy some post cards of the local area and frame them
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby Framing Frenzie » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:50 am

Thanks for your advice. That has given me some things to think about. Really appreciate your help.
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby Not your average framer » Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:07 pm

I used to sell some artworks, mostly prints which were at one time popular with the tourists, but never made very much out of it. Local galleries seem to come and go, so I would guess that it's not always the easiest market to be in. Having said that, Galleries in Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay seem to do better and these locations have decent sized populations and probably have a reasonable number of people with good incomes.

Those that do well selling artworks, almost certainly know their market well and more than likely are selling artworks from the right artists. Unknown artists have got to be less easy to sell, than those with a following. Also some of the best artists tend to be selling direct to their customers and don't need anyone else to help them to sell their work.

I don't think it's just a matter of displaying artworks for sale, but it has a lot to do with marketing and having the right image as well. Not all of us will necessarily know how to achieve this, or for this matter the right contacts to create a successful gallery business. Gallery knowledge and framing knowledge seem to me to be two very different areas of know how.
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby poliopete » Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:58 pm

Before I retired and sold our framing/gallery business the sales from the windows, over the years, were constant and healthy.

I know we were very fortunate in having a double fronted shop on the old A17 with thousands of traffic movements a day and a good foot fall. We only sold the work of three local artist and they were all well known and respected. I would rent one of my windows for a month at a time to the artist and take a small commission and undertake the framing. They, would provide originals and prints to make the displays. It worked very well.

Our other window would often be themed, wildfowl and wildfowling, local sites of interest, maps and antiquarian prints , Sally Mitchel prints John Tricket etc. All sold very well back then (before they turned blue :giggle: ) but as others have said the market has changed and I did have the added advantage of a wife who was skilled at window dresser.

But saying that I am staggered by the amount of items I sell from my work shop walls to day, :shock: with no widow or passing trade - only customers. If I listed my sales for the past couple of months I would not be believed.

I am not convinced there is any mystique attached to this extra revenue stream. I take the same pragmatic approach as Steve N and display an eclectic mix of framing and mounting examples ALL of which are for sale. :D
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby Framing Frenzie » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:25 am

Interesting. Thanks so much for all your advice. Will have a think and try implement some of those suggestions.
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby featurepiece » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:37 pm

Steve N wrote: all my examples of framing are for sell, so frame up some examples of 3d framing , such as a collection of keys, spoons, bottle tops, bear mats etc, the list is endless go around charity shops and pick up stuff there and car boot sales, clear the attic out :rock: put up a few mirrors, I make them out of off cuts of mirror and mouldings, buy some post cards of the local area and frame them


That must look impressive! :clap:

(Sorry - cheeky I know (But it's Friday))
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby Steve N » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:43 pm

:nod: :rofl: :hi: :tongueout: Must get a new spell checker, well spotted
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby David McCormack » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:49 pm

I've seen a cat base jumping but never a polar bear.... cool 8)

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Re: Selling artwork

Postby featurepiece » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:21 pm

That was actually quite funny :clap: :lol:
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Re: Selling artwork

Postby Not your average framer » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:51 pm

I've framed an antique knife and fork mainly as a conversation piece in a anitquey looking hand finished frame and put it into the shop window with a price intended to make sure that it did not sell, but I was wrong, somebody decided it was worth buying after all. I got the idea from seeing a knife and fork framed in the Vale cafe (also known as Route 46) where we stopped on the way to the Spring Fair at the N.E.C. one year.

I'm always having a good look around at anything framed and on the walls in themed pubs and restaurants, when I'm out and about. Some of the best ideas come from seeing something somewhere, taking inspiration from it and very often adapting the idea and giving it your own twist. If you do hand finishing then it helps to show off your work to customers as demo pieces and I try to do things that are interesting and different.
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