Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The stark facts about selling art via POD sites.

Every few days on a art forum someone posts somewhat forlornly asking "if anyone is making sales on this or that site."

If anyone thinks they are going to make "sales" simply by uploading their work to a POD (print on demand) site they are going to be disappointed. The ratio of sales to artists is not good. As an example there are almost 100k "artists" registered at Fine Art America.. and over 2 million images.. lets say 100 pics sell on the site everyday.. I think it's less than that but it makes the maths easier. For example 100k "artists" divided by 100 PICS SELLING per day = 1 sale per artist per 1000 days.

Now bear in mind many artists on the site by their own efforts sell more than this so this reduces the odds further for anyone just uploading and "hoping" for a sale. And also those odds are increasing everyday because the number of artists registering on the site is increasing more than the number of sales. The more popular the site the harder it is to make sales because of this basic sales to the number of images ratio. So the likelihood of making a sale for most is one sale per artist every 3-5 years. Of course there are many who sell more than this but if you simply put you work on a POD site and leave it at that then those are the basic odds.

The most the vast majority of artists will get from a big POD site is the occasional POD sale, some exposure.. and some interaction with other artists ! Most POD sites are social networking for artists, a place where they can gather with others and show their work, which is fair enough if that's what you are looking for. You might also sell the odd original by having images on a POD site.. so you need to consider any POD site as a part of an overall online strategy to generate income. For the vast majority it is unlikely to ever be enough to live on. Uploading your work is only the first stage.

The plain fact is.. if you don't sell many pictures in the real world being on a POD site isn't likely to change that. Sorry.

Andy Mercer's website

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