Friday, May 18, 2007

Why Isn't My Stuff Selling on eBay?

"Kitten in a Straw Hat" - 2.5 x 3.5" colored pencil on Bristol paper.
Copyright 2007 Maggie Stiefvater.
Click here to bid.

I am curious about just how you started out on eBay - it sure does give you visibility and advertising, but do you have any tips for boosting your chances of getting bids?

I started on eBay with just ACEOs - 2.5 x 3.5" art cards, all originals. If you want to get a reality check about your competition, do a search on eBay for ACEO. You'll get thousands of hits. But the truth is that a lot of them are very . . . uh . . . middling. If you're excellent or if you have a unique style or a unique subject, there's always room for more. And it is a HUGE market. Collectors love ACEOs.

Getting started on eBay, however, will be a waste of your time if you:

  • don't yet have a firm grasp of your style - you must stand out from that huge pack in some way
  • don't do images that read well in thumbnail - high contrast images look the best when shrunk down to itty bitty thumbanils in search listings
  • aren't prepared to list at least five pieces a week, preferably one a day (you can fudge this as you get more well known)
  • aren't willing to take a hit on auctions that don't go as planned - low starting bids are the way to go - you have to risk art selling for $4-10.
If you're already selling on eBay and your art isn't selling, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • was I selling well before? is it now tax season, Christmas shopping (most people don't buy art as a present - my sales sag in December and jump in January), vacation time?
  • was I selling well before? am I being less innovative with my compositions? am I hurrying through my work?
  • what IS selling? have I done a search to see what sort of subjects and sizes are grabbing the viewers' attention right now?
  • what ISN'T selling? is the market flooded with realistic animal art cards? can I do something related but different?
Remember when dealing with eBay that a pitiful auction price is not usually a reflection of your art. I've seen beautiful pieces go for too little because the artist didn't judge the market right. Sometimes, I've been that artist.

But on the other side of the coin, if you're having auctions end without a bid or you are only hitting your minimum bid every time, it's time to evaluate. If you're good and your stuff is unique, your prices should be gradually climbing, with occasional dips, and then bigger climbs. Try and be honest with yourself. Or ask a cruel friend to do it for you. "Is this technically good?" "Is it unusual?" "Is it ME?"

Realistic art card of child - probably not going to fetch much.
Realistic art card of child playing with bubbles - probably going to fetch more.
Stylistically beautiful art card of child playing with bubbles - probably going to fetch a lot.

Got it? Now go out there and make a living.


Anonymous said...

That cat is soo cute!
I think that I'll stick with etsy. I'm not ready for tooo much right now. Thanks for helping those that are ready for that though! :)

Dolphin Art said...

Good information on eBay, I've been considering if I want to go that direction or not. You've given me a few things to think about.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the eBay info! I have a lot to consider before I try it out in earnest.

Katherine said...

Oh [momentary blaspheme]! Another Maggie post I'll have to highlight as offering excellent advice.

Have I already commented on this kitten?

Selling on Ebay said...

This is regarding that if anyone wants to sell the product on Selling on Ebay , first they should have the knowledge of the product what they are selling, how much they expect the profit. They must know everything before selling on ebay. If anyone sells the product without knowledge then it is hard to find results.