I really enjoy days when I don't have a meeting to go to or have to run any errands. I happily head to my studio and spend a creative fun filled day making art! I have been mainly focusing on art for my online sales, but now I need to get busy as new show deadlines are coming up as well as needing to take some new work to the galleries. So my brain is busy planning some new paintings.
I read an article in Art Calendar magazine the other day about selling on ebay. It was written by an artist named Jack White. The tips he listed for finding success on selling art on ebay I agreed with as I had found them to be true over my 9 years of selling there. One thing he suggested that I never tried though, was that he started all his auctions under $1! I have seen a lot of people do that, but never had the guts to do it myself. He stated that some paintings go for only that much, but for the most part, it often starts a bidding frenzy. He said that people like the excitement of bidding and that he did much better with a bidding auction than listing it as a 'buy it now' because of that. I have found that to be true, that bidding auctions have done much better then a fixed price auction for me over the years.
Ok, so I have been thinking about what he said on starting auctions below a $1. I don't think I want to start that low! Maybe $9.99 as a starting bid, then you at least cover your supply costs and listing fees. Interestingly enough, I found this past month that starting auctions at $9.99 was very successful and profitable for me. I only listed the ornaments that I have been making and every one sold, the highest reaching $41, and many averaging in the $20 range. There were several benefits that I found starting auctions at this price; Most all of the ornaments sold first time around and there were very few that had to be relisted. This resulted in lesser ebay fees. The economy has had it's effect on my sales this past year and too often I had to list things several times before they sold. Because I was asking a higher starting bid, the fees were much higher per auction, so as you can imagine, my ebay fees for the month were building and with fewer sales to show for it. (Can you say frustrating?) It was very economical fee-wise to start at $9.99.
Another benefit of starting at a lower bid price is that there is a better chance that more people may see your auction as everyone is looking for a deal and will seach by lowest price first. This can build up a new customer base as most people are willing to bid on lower priced items. I have also found out through the years that items that get at least one bid draw more views. I think the reason for this is people want to see why that particular item is being bid on, are they going to miss something if they don't look?
So have I talked myself into starting my auctions at $9.99? Let me see... here are the possible benefits- lower ebay fees, less re-listings, more sales, new customers? Hmmmm seems like it would be worth looking into to. Oh, one more thing that Jack White said about selling on ebay, you have to be pretty prolific, if you take a week to paint a painting, you won't make any money.
Ok, this is what I have decided to do, I am going to list on ebay everything I make at the starting bid of $9.99 for one month. Then at the end of the month I will evaluate my sales and decide if this is going to work for me. I will report back here, so be sure to tune in then.... it's a date ok?
I am going to keep with my commitment I made yesterday about putting my contemporary folk art on ebay.
The painting featured today t is 'Love Angel' and you guessed it, it's on ebay at a starting bid of $9.99.