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Should you sell via a 3rd Party site or your own website?

This week’s blog is about 3rd party websites vs an artist’s website that you own and maintain.

A question I get asked a lot is “should I have a website where I sell my work as an artist or is it okay just to sell via third party websites?”

Image copyright of @youngbydesign.co

First of all, let’s get clear on what a third party website is…. it’s sites like Etsy, Amazon, new Monday, Fine Art America, ArtFinder and SaatchiArt.

Some of them are online galleries, others are print on demand / licensing services and some are general craft or art marketplaces. The point is they are owned and managed by someone else and you are effectively ‘renting’ space from them.

Now, a lot of people choose these because it feels easier. And there are definitely pros and cons to each. So I’m going to go what they are in my opinion.

Firstly, in terms of the pros:

  • You have access to a very wide audience
  • Quite often they do a lot of the marketing for you
  • They provide templates to work to
  • It’s relatively easy to set up

The downside of it is:

  • It’s really crowded so very difficult to be seen
  • You have to do a lot to stand out.
  • You don’t own the platform, somebody else owns it, it’s their rules and their algorithm.
  • They have listing/commission fees (some up to 55%)
  • You don’t have access to the customer info in many instances, the third party site does… so you can’t build a relationship with your customer (big no-no!)
  • They prioritise what they want to market/promote from one week to another, not you

So my opinion is, if you are having to do lots of SEO to get seen AND you are playing by someone else’s rules and have little/no control over your business, it’s better to spend that time and energy on your own website where you do have total control.

You can always underpin your sales with a third party site but I would not rely on it totally.

It’s easy to be swayed by short term ease instead of focussing on long term results.

Spend that time building your website, creating the right structure, so that it’s high converting (people that visit turn into buyers or sign up to your email list where you can start to offer them value as well as showing them your work). It is much more rewarding… you keep all of the profits and you can choose what you promote, when and to whom.

Yes, you have to drive your own traffic. But once you know how to do that, it’s really very simple.

Here are some stats that may interest you…a good website converts at about 2% generally, which means for every 100 visitors you get 2 sales.

So let’s say your financial goal is £3000 a month. If your pieces average £500 then you need to sell 6 to reach your goal. If 6 sales is 2% then you need to drive 300 visitors to your site each month. Simple!

The trick is to make sure your website is structured properly to meet those 2% sales.

If you found this interesting and would like to know more, why not join me on my free masterclass and learn the 4 Key Steps to Consistent Art Sales? Click here to register: FREE MASTERCLASS

BUSINESS TIPS, SELLING ART

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