Is Etsy too saturated market with no buyers for Fine Art?
Let's start with our questions: Is today Etsy a multi vendor platform saturated with sellers? There are not enough buyers wanting to purchase Art? No, I don't think Etsy is saturated with sellers, actually i think it is saturated with poor quality, bad taste, trashy, grandma style stuff… but that is ok. That items have little chance for being sold. The problem with “art” is universal. There is a subjective component on arts trade that make it very hard, every time and everywhere. The buyer must “like” your art; must “feel a connection”. Selling art is a mix between selling potatoes to Wall St stock traders and dancing Can Can in underwear. There is a bib piece of the person, the artist, the creator that must be trade at same time with the artwork. Then, people dont buy a thing, but by a “something” that make them feel in ownership of an instant of existence from another alien human. Not only Etsy, but any other platform has a limited possibility for selling art, SPECIALLY because you are operating your trade as INDEPENDENT artist, without the review or the background recommendation from an art dealer or an auction house etc etc. It is you alone in front of the wilderness. If the “art” is a mere decorative stuff, like a field of flowers or an abstract piece or Paris cityscapes; then i must tell you that IKEA is your worst nightmare. You can buy in IKEA a huge photo of NYC and Paris for $43… no one can do it better. There is another factor, in my years of experience and after living and working and traveling the planet, i saw enough houses around the world that has NO SINGLE picture or artwork on the walls. In my opinion, and according to my experience, the percentage of people that DO NOT hang anything on their walls is bigger than people that put a thing. I saw much more empty white walls than decorated ones. Many people in this world do not feel the need of having art on their houses, it is irrelevant. Selling art is difficult, but if you can do it by your own, you will be doing something super great and powerful that will help you a lot as artist and also as a member of the humankind. You will see and notice many things that before didn't mean a thing to you. That's good.
Does selling art online work? According to the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2015 the market is growing at an annual rate of 19%. In 2013 the value of the online art market was $1.57 billion, in 2014 it was already estimated at $2.64 billion. Assuming this growth continues, this will result in an estimated value of the online art market in 2019 of $6.3 billion. And what may be even more important concerning customer behavior, 52% of the online buyers said they are likely to buy more art online in the next 12 months than in the last 12 months, followed by 34% who say they will by the same amount. Also, an increasing amount of people say they are becoming indifferent to whether they buy online or offline. There are lot many great platform to display, promote and sell your art products to customers. While you spend time crafting and doing what you do best, they work as your ideal partner, providing you the tools and ammunition to come up with new creations, manage your inventory and provide you the best support out there. But, selling your own art by your own is never easy.
In general, there are two types of art that sell online successfully: very famous artists and their works and very inexpensive art mainly used with basic decorative purposes. In both of these cases, it is not really art that is being sold, but the investment and the purpose of such investment.
The other art that sells online is art that is already familiar to a customer who have seen the work physically in a gallery already or true relevant Art Fairs. I also include here art works indirectly promoted through publications and television. Therefore they can confidently choose an image from an online catalog.
YOu will be able to sell and pay your bills selling your own artworks? Perhaps, but will need to work extremely hard on it. Master level indeed.