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Blog / Beginner's handbook / How to Sell Art on eBay: the Artist’s Handbook

Beginner's handbook

How to Sell Art on eBay: the Artist’s Handbook

How to Sell Art on eBay: the Artist’s Handbook
Pauls Smiltiņš

By Pauls Smiltiņš

12 min read

Attention, talented artists. Have you always wanted to set up your own business but never knew where to start when it comes to selling art online?

Well, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll explore how to sell art on eBay, explaining the whole process from A to Z. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a complete beginner when selling online, we’ve got something for everyone.

Before we start, you’ll probably ask, “Why eBay?’’. Well, it’s simple—eBay is the second-largest marketplace for online sellers, with an astounding 1.2B monthly visits. For artists looking to showcase their talent, eBay proves to be a reliable online sales platform. In case you missed it, we’ve already covered how to sell art on Etsy and how to sell art on Amazon, but if you’re looking to expand your audience further—keep reading.

Ready, set, Gogh!

Is eBay a good place to sell art?

Absolutely! eBay has proven to be an excellent platform for art sales. The online art market is flying high, providing exciting opportunities for independent artists to connect with potential clients.

eBay stands out as a user-friendly digital marketplace where you’ll find a wide array of goods. Whether it’s collectors seeking rare treasures or fashion enthusiasts looking for the latest trends, eBay boasts an audience as diverse as its extensive product categories.

Opting to sell art on eBay eliminates the necessity of creating your own website, granting you entry to eBay’s extensive customer network, effective marketing tools, and efficient order fulfillment services.

How to sell art on eBay in 8 steps

Okay, enough warming up: it’s show time. Here are eight actionable steps to start your eBay store today. Hang tight, it’s a bumpy ride, but we’ll be here every step of the way. 

Step 1: Create an eBay seller’s account

Before you start making money, you have to create a seller’s account. If you already have an eBay account, you can use the same one for selling art. But just in case you don’t, we’ll start from ground zero.

a screenshot of a computerSource: eBay

  1. Open the My eBay menu and select Selling.

  2. Choose Personal or Business account, complete the registration form, and click Create account. Alternatively, sign in using your Google, Facebook, or Apple account.

  3. On the Selling Overview page, choose List an item to access the Sell Your Item form.

  4. Click Submit after filling in the necessary information. Your listing will be saved as a draft, and you’ll be directed to your seller account page. Click Get Started.

  5. Enter and verify your phone number and set up payment methods.

  6. Optionally, change your account type to Individual or Business.

  7. Review and submit your account information to complete the registration. Once done, you can start listing items and selling them on eBay.

If everything goes to plan, you should have your seller’s account all set up, which means we’re good to go to the next step.

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Step 2: Select your niche and explore the competition

Now that your account is all set up, you’re ready to kick off your eBay business journey! To improve your chances of becoming a success, we suggest picking a niche to get an understanding of your target audience.

Scan the market for untapped potential. Consider what valuable contributions you can bring to the table that others might have missed. If you’re an established artist, you probably already have a distinctive style that sets you apart. However, if you’re a beginner, start by pinpointing themes, subjects, or styles that genuinely captivate your interest. It’s important to reinforce your artistic style—through technique, presentation, or subject matter.

a screenshot of a computerSource: eBay

Examining your competitors provides insights into what other artists in your niche are offering. This step is valuable, regardless of your experience level. It allows you to understand market trends, identify successful artworks, and refine your pricing strategy based on your distinct selling points and market positioning.

Step 3: Decide on the product

Showing your art to the whole world can be daunting. As an artist and now a business owner, a crucial decision you’ll face is choosing the right way to showcase your art. Whether it’s original artwork, prints, or even custom clothing, there are plenty of options to choose from when selling artwork.

Original artwork

Let’s start with a classic—selling original artwork. You have several options available when it comes to deciding what to do with the original piece. For example, you can use the original artwork to create print-on-demand and digital art products once you finish and transform it into a design file.

What to do with the original? You can sell that too.

a painting in a frameSource: eBay

Once you’ve acquired a loyal customer base and established regular buyers, consider selling your original painting or sketch as a collectible through your store.

Undoubtedly, the original piece is truly unique—unlike any other. While it may not constitute passive income, this approach serves as an excellent means to augment the value of your store and reinforce your standing as an artist within the market.

Posters and canvas

If you have a knack for graphic design, posters or canvas prints could be your ideal product. Many people want to decorate their living spaces with visually appealing and personalized artwork, creating a substantial demand for wall art products.

a poster on a wallSource: eBay

Posters generally come at a more budget-friendly price than original or limited-edition prints. Their lightweight nature makes them easy to ship, reducing shipping costs. Canvas prints are also less susceptible to damage during transit than delicate original artworks, making them a convenient choice for sellers and buyers.

With Printful, you can sell canvas prints, large framed posters, and even metal prints featuring your original designs. Meanwhile, for those seeking to elevate their wall art game, consider exploring giclee printing—an excellent option to increase the quality of your prints, especially if you’re selling on platforms like eBay.

Home decor

Nowadays, many tend to work remotely, spending more time at home, influencing customers’ shopping preferences—there’s a growing interest in home decor. In addition to wall art, consider extending your designs to interior items such as pillows or blankets.

a group of pillows with animals on themSource: eBay

All-over printed pillows are functional items that can be sold individually or as part of a bundle with extra goodies. Offering matching items can attract customers who appreciate your style or cater to gift shoppers seeking housewarming presents.

Stickers

Stickers come with a budget-friendly price tag, making them an enticing impulse buy for art lovers. The affordable cost can encourage a broader audience to acquire your art, even if they aren’t currently seeking pricier items such as canvas prints or original artwork.

a wall art with cartoon animalsSource: eBay

Moreover, custom stickers not only provide a playful means of styling personal belongings like water bottles, laptops, and notebooks but also serve as an effective advertising tool, allowing your artwork to shine on the move.

Custom clothing

Selling custom t-shirts and hoodies is an excellent choice for artists entering the online art market. These everyday clothing essentials seamlessly integrate into customers’ daily attire, allowing them to incorporate your art into their style. Custom hoodies with even the simplest art designs can go a long way.

a white t-shirt with a drawing on itSource: eBay

Additionally, clothing items provide enough space for printing, ensuring that your artwork takes a prominent position. This allows you to explore diverse artistic styles and colors, enabling you to create attention-grabbing designs.

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Step 4: Create a Printful account and connect it to eBay

After deciding on your product, you’ll have to consider fulfillment methods. This is where Printful comes in, making the whole operation a breeze. Forget about storage, upfront investment, and all the operational hassle. Here’s how to create a Printful account and connect it with your eBay business:

  1. Sign up with Printful: First, sign up to Printful using your email address or log in with your Facebook, Apple, or Google account. Having a Printful account is free. You only pay when customers buy your product.

  2. Connect Printful to your eBay account: Your eBay seller’s account should be ready, allowing you to simply connect it with Printful. First, log in to your Printful account. In the Dashboard, click Stores > Choose platform > find eBay and click Connect.

a screenshot of a social media pageSource: Printful

You’ll land on a page with a step-by-step video tutorial. Simply click Connect to eBay and add all the general information to finalize the process.

That’s it, you’re ready to rock ’n roll.

Step 5: Design products

So, you have your product, but you’re still unsure about the design? If you’re grappling with where to begin, kickstart your creative process by brainstorming initial ideas and visual elements that will shape your custom product designs. Deciding on the product you want to showcase your art on is already a massive step in the right direction. To make it easier, you can develop mood boards that convey the aesthetic of your art, compiling images, color swatches, and typography samples aligned with your concepts.

To capture customer attention, you’ll have to create original designs—whether you’re selling custom apparel, wall art, or any other of Printful’s diverse array of 300+ products.

The good news is that creating designs with Printful is pretty straightforward. Upon selecting a product, you can upload your design or use the built-in design tool. With Printful’s Design Maker, you can effortlessly add text, images, or shapes to your product. Tweak colors, fonts, and sizes to align with your vision. This design tool empowers sellers, even those without graphic design expertise, to breathe life into their creative vision.

a screenshot of a screenSource: Printful’s Design Maker

For those with a graphic design background, you can embellish your designs using tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Canva. Before locking in your design, use the preview feature to see the final product. Once everything looks good, you can push the product to your eBay store.

Step 6: Perfect your eBay listings

To succeed with your listings, you need to achieve two essential objectives: grab the attention of potential buyers and secure visibility on eBay.

To accomplish this, thoroughly research and include relevant keywords in your listing titles and item descriptions. Opt for phrases that align with what your target audience might use while searching for similar items. It’s well-known that listings optimized with keywords tend to rank higher in search results.

Write a concise and easy-to-read description. Include details such as size, color, style, fit, etc. An effective listing guides potential buyers, addressing possible questions in advance and aiding in their decision-making process.

a poster of a woman with a tape measureSource: eBay

In addition to clear descriptions, the importance of high-quality photos can’t be overstated. According to eBay, listings featuring superior image quality are more likely to sell. The good news is that there’s no need for an expensive setup—you can effortlessly create lifelike product mockups using Printful’s Mockup Generator.

Lastly, tailor your pricing strategy based on your distinct selling points and market positioning. Simply put, if your art stands out, it sells.

Step 7: Master eBay SEO

Now that your listings are all set up, how do you boost your eBay traffic? The first step is to enhance your listings with keywords for improved visibility. Keyword research is essential for SEO. Here are a few tips to guide you:

  1. Start with eBay’s search bar: Enter your product name and observe related search queries for potential terms. Analyze top results to understand successful listing practices and include them in your strategy.

  2. Leverage eBay SEO tools: Tools like Keywords Everywhere and KeywordTool.io will provide valuable insights about the keyword search volume and competition.

  3. Take notes from top eBay searches: Visit eBay’s Seller Hub for data on trending items and sales insights. Use WatchCount to discover popular products and related keywords.

Now that you’ve completed keyword research, it’s time to optimize your eBay listing:

  1. Choose a seller name aligned with your store: A relevant handle builds trust and signals expertise—make it simple but catchy.

  2. Include keywords in your profile description: Keep it brief within eBay’s 250-character limit, highlighting what sets you apart and including niche-related keywords.

  3. Use a brand-representative profile photo: Follow eBay’s recommendation of 300×300 pixels with a minimum resolution of 72 DPI.

  4. Build a strong seller reputation: Prioritize fair pricing, accurate descriptions, responsiveness, and customer satisfaction to gain positive reviews and higher eBay rankings.

  5. Include your focus keyword in the title: Use one primary keyword to keep titles concise and readable, reserving others for your profile description and product listings.

  1. Maintain 5–7% keyword density in your description: Follow eBay’s recommendation to ensure optimal keyword usage without compromising readability.

  2. Provide multiple views of your products: Upload clear images showcasing different angles to boost buyer confidence and drive sales. If you’re using Printful, create different types of mockups to showcase your product.

By implementing these steps, you’ll optimize your eBay listings, improving traffic and improving visibility. Check out this eBay SEO guide for a more in-depth look.

Step 8: Promote your art

By this point, you’re pretty much ready for everything. The last thing left is promoting your products.

Begin by establishing a distinctive brand identity for your eBay store. Have a recognizable logo, consistent color schemes, and a clear message.

Next, draw attention to your store by introducing seasonal promotions, discount codes, or bundled deals. Whether a percentage discount or a buy-one-get-one-free offer, these incentives stand out in search results, enticing shoppers to explore your eBay store.

Use eBay’s integrated promotional tools to create and manage discounts, volume pricing, and codeless coupons. Leveraging these tools streamlines the promotion process, optimizing your return on investment.

a woman leaning on a paintingSource: Instagram

To broaden your audience reach, use social media platforms to your advantage by sharing updates on your latest product designs and promotions. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest are ideal spaces for online art businesses. Don’t forget to boost the discoverability of your posts by including popular hashtags.

Successful eBay art store example

It seems like you’re all set for your art-selling journey. Before we part, let’s look at an eBay art store that can serve as a good example.

Artscape Galleries is an eBay art store specializing in vintage and retro posters with more than 135k units sold, not to mention their 99.8% positive feedback score. Their success lies in offering unique and eye-catching designs. You’ll notice that they display high-quality images, showcasing their products from multiple angles, providing a close-up and an “on the wall’’ shot.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: eBay

Their titles and descriptions are well-crafted, using focus keywords without compromising readability. When you select a poster, you see a thorough description, giving you a brief history of the artwork and its specifications. This store excels in visually appealing listings and effective SEO strategies. You’ll also notice that the store page has a vintage newspaper look, blending in seamlessly with the posters for sale.

Follow your (he)art

When it comes to creating and selling art, follow your heart. 

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see’’—Pablo Picasso.

With what you’ve learned today, the possibilities are endless, and partnering with Printful makes the whole process a breeze. There’s no need for extra storage, expensive equipment, or upfront investment. With an in-house team of 1,000+ experts, we’ll ensure your product meets the highest standards. All you have to do is create and showcase your designs while we take care of the rest.

And with that, you’re ready to sell art online and make money.

author

By Pauls Smiltiņš on Feb 12, 2024

Pauls Smiltiņš

Guest author

Pauls is a content writer with a background in the radio. He has a degree in communication sciences, and in his free time, Pauls loves to entertain crowds by playing live music on stage.

Pauls is a content writer with a background in the radio. He has a degree in communication sciences, and in his free time, Pauls loves to entertain crowds by playing live music on stage.