selling prints on ebay
I see several members that have a little "ebay" tag near their screen name when they post to the forums. I've clicked on your ebay tag and can't find anyone who has prints currently on auction. I've wanted to see how you list and show your work there. I am considering doing the same with a few of my prints.
I'd appreciate any thoughts you may like to give. I've never sold anything on ebay so, I have a lot to learn. I'm thinking of setting a reserve of 50-75% of what I sell my work for on my website ($150/300 respective of size), plus the shipping. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
The bottom line is, I sold zero prints in '05... I gave away 5 as gifts. Granted, I gave them to people in "professional" occupations (doctors, pharmacists, business V.P.'s, etc) who have hung them in their offices. So, I see it as good advertising. But, it'd be nice to get at least a little something for the cost of my materials. And no one sees my work when it's sitting in my basement. The print sales for '06 is now at 5 prints sold.
I have nothing to offer regarding ebay, but I do like a lot of the work on your site. Best of luck with the commerce part.
McPhotoX, or Ryan McIntosh, has sold quite a few i believe. I have listed a print on 2 separate occasions and no luck, just someone wanting it for less. I've never sold a print anywhere so i may not be the best example. It seems like some prints do sell. Ebay doesn't charge for shipping price so many sellers have a very high shipping price that doesn't add any cost to the listing until it's added onto the sale at the end of auction.
Many have tried and have gotten out of ebay entirely as it was a waste of time (and money). Prints over $100 by relative unknowns simply do not sell. At auction, they may go for $40, $50 if you're lucky. I know a number of excellent photographers selling gorgeous 8x10 contacts in silver and platinum who simply could barely get passed the $50 mark. At those prices, you're wasting your time (but the buyer gets a good deal... I bought some at $50 or less at auctions where I'd be the sole bidder!)
Try it, you may get lucky, but be prepared for your current selling "success" (0 sales in 05) to stagnate.
Sorry to be so negative but that is what I have obeserved with ebay print sales over the past few years. Good luck, whatever you do Susan.
I sold some prints this last year on eBay. It cost me more to position them well then I made in sales. It was an interesting experiment but also very expensive for me. I may try again some time, but I think there are better avenues. Local art galleries, art fairs, and walls in any establishment you can find.
I would agree with the above statements, that the prices you get may be a bit less than you hoped for. I also think eBay is not likely to do much for building your name recognition.
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Susan, have you listed your work here on the APUG gallery? If not consider that avenue in place of ebay. Sean has plans to really promote the gallery site, last I heard and now he can give it his full attention will bet that there is a good chance that images start moving. Just a thought....and Good Luck.
As said Daniel it is hard to sell print over 100$ if you're unknown. YOu sell at this prie and higher only if your print are large print (> 16x20) and/or nude.
I sold about 600 prints on ebay but never find the way to raise my price there.
I think a better solution for you is to submit a series at photoeye at photobistro
it will give you more exposure than ebay and you 're in contact with buyer who pay 300$ for a print in opposite to ebay. The few friends I know who have a portofolio there had been contacted by gallerie and sell at least 4-5 print a year ( enough to pay the starting fee)
I started selling my prints on Ebay nearly 2 years ago, and it has been my only source of income since then. Last year, I sold close to 200 8x10 AZO contact prints, and this year I have almost topped that number in just the first few months! When I first started selling, I was listing prints for $49.99, just like many others were doing at the time. I found this price to be WAY to low, so now I'm starting prints at $75.00, however...that is still very low and I will be raising my prices very soon.
There is somewhat a group of photographers that sell their prints on Ebay, and we all try to keep our prices about the same, and when one person raises their prices...everyone else does also. By doing this, it is slowing bring up the market value of photographic prints on Ebay. It also keeps things very consistent, because if one person comes on and starts listing prints for 20 dollars, that not only makes their work look bad, but it also hurts the whole community of photographers who are trying to make a living at selling prints on Ebay.
One of the most important things with selling prints on Ebay is consistency and quality of craftsmanship. If you have these two things nailed, I find most new buyers of my work always come back and purchase more at a later date. You need to build of a list of collectors, museums, and fellow photographers who frequently purchase your work, because they are your most important buyers.
Secondly, its VERY important to ALWAYS have new work being put up on Ebay. You cannot just keep listing the same few images, over and over again because people will become numb to seeing them and you will get zero sales. Always be producing new work! If you list a print more then two times and it does not sell, stop listing it.
When you first start selling your prints on Ebay, you will probably sell zero prints. Don't be surprised if this happens, because most people dont know who you are or don't want to take a risk at buying your work. There is alot of pure garbage on Ebay, and its hard to pick out what’s quality and what’s not. After a few people start buying your print your sales will gradually start picking up. It has taken me nearly two years, but I can finally list prints now and have about 90-95% of all prints sell, any many will even get bid above my normal print price.
One thing you must NEVER do on Ebay is lower your prices. I cannot express how important this is to the success of selling your prints. Many photographers will be starting prints at 50 dollars, raise their prices up to 75 and nothing sell, so they lower them back down. You need to understand that YOU as the artist are setting the market value for your prints, and by jumping your prices up and down, you show your collectors you are not consistent and your work is not worth buying. Many collectors are buying prints for investment purposes only, so doing this can really hurt your sales. For example, your selling your prints for 75 dollars and a collector purchases a print (with hopes it will go up in value over time), well you see your prints are not selling as good so you lower your price down to 50. That collector just LOST money and your print just became less valuable to your buyer. I sell all my work in pricing tiers, and as the edition sells out, the price is slowly raised. There are many prints that people purchased for first tier pricing of $175.00, but they are now priced in the second and third tier pricing of 400-600! If people see your are consistent with your pricing, and your work is only going UP in value, they will continue to purchase prints even at the higher pricing tiers.
There are many other sites out there to sell your work, but personally...I feel that Ebay is a great market, and your prints don't sell as often on those other sites. Alot of recognized photography collectors actually buy prints on Ebay, and it’s a good thing for you as a photographer to be getting your work into peoples collections who also have many Westons, Adams, ect prints.
Well, there is alot more to it then this...but if you plan to start selling on Ebay, but be consistent, produce the finest print possible, always be producing new work, and don’t sell yourself too cheep.
If you have more questions, feel free to contact me.
Ryan, how many repeat buyers do you get?
art is about managing compromise
I have also sold hundreds of prints on ebay. I have never attempted to raise my prices -- I sell them very cheaply, but then they cost very little and take little time to make.
I use the money to keep the darkroom, and camera's fed.
What I do is pretty simple. I post up to 25 pictures at a time, feature one or a group and sell the pictures for a week or two depending upon interest. After one group has run I put up a new group. When I subtract fees and costs my over all cost (including those that don't sell) is around 25% and my hourly wage comes in at 20-30.00 an hour.
My business is mostly repeat business.
At some point I'll look at other sales channels. I doubt I'll ever try to create value as Ryan does. What I do is sell smaller images on ebay and larger images elsewhere (although I haven't tried to sell my larger work in some time). I will sell the pictures at what they are worth to me or what the market will bear, whichever is higher.