10 Ways Artists Can Sell Retail

Retailing your artwork definitely has benefits, from coming to know who your ideal customer is, to getting feedback on new designs, to realizing full retail price when a purchase is made. How many of these retail opportunities have you taken advantage of?


Arts & Crafts Fair


Art fairs and festivals – Indoors or out, arts and craft fairs are a traditional way to meet the public and sell your wares. Fill your schedule with the right shows by checking out Art Fair Insiders, which offers reviews from exhibitors.

Trunk Shows – Artists can bring their entire stock (usually wearables or accessories) to sell to trunk show attendees. Sometimes this involves a store environment, where you may split earnings, but can take place at other venues where you charge, and keep, the retail price on your goods.

Home Shows – Do you sell a collection that would work well in a home show setting? The hostess invites friends, and receives gifts or credit towards merchandise from you based on sales. This can work well for jewelry, accessories, handmade soaps, lotions or even gourmet food collections. Get creative for the holiday season and put together gift sets and baskets to offer at this type of event.

Open Studio – Invite the public in to see your studio. Demonstrations often work well at open studios, as you share your techniques with potential customers. Find out how to promote your open studio here.

Art Walks – Does your art community sponsor an art walk? It’s a great opportunity to literally get your studio “on the map” as promoted artists invite the public in to browse, and to buy.

Pop up events – empty storefronts or warehouse space can be an excellent place to rent and open a temporary retail space. Partner up with other artists to create an intriguing display of work and make sales.

Private Commissions – Soliciting commissions works very well for many artists. Ask your current customers and collectors for referrals, which are the best kind of leads. Use your website to give clear information about commission work to potential customers, to create a comfort level in working with you.

Retail from your own website – Online sales are a huge industry, and growing. Take advantage of e-commerce by pricing your work and putting a shopping cart right on your website. Drive traffic to your site through social media, and including your website address on your marketing materials.

On third party websites – There are literally hundreds of places to sell your work online, no matter if you are selling expensive originals, reproductions, want Print on Demand services, or anything else you can think of. Increase your income streams by listing your work on several sites – many of which are free to use.

Using social media – Yes – you can sell your work on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and other social media platforms. The internet is the place to be for shopping, so join in, promote your work and make your art or craft available for sale 24/7.


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