You might find this to be a strange blog topic from a fine art gallery in the business of selling art, but if we had a nickel for each time we’re asked this very question…
Rarely a week goes by without someone calling us or bringing us a piece of art they want to sell.
Either they have downsized and their art no longer fits (I can relate), they have remodeled and their old art no longer looks good in the new surroundings or they are having financial difficulties and need some quick cash.
In any and all cases, the most important step in trying to sell your art is to KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE. Quite often people think they have a valuable piece of art only to find out it has no value (other than sentimental). Then there was the couple who thought they had a worthless canvas and gave it to GoodWill only to find out later it was worth a small fortune. (See blog KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE). http://www.artshopnc.com/blog/framing/279-art-evaluation–know-what-you-have.html
You can research the artist on line or bring it in to have Andy look at it. (There’s no charge for him to tell you if it’s an original, a serigraph, a lithograph, etc. There would be a small charge if he has to do any research to determine value.)
Here are some options for selling your art:
If you are trying to sell a poster or something with little monetary value, this can be an option as long as you are not expecting to make very much money. I was in a big hurry to get rid of some pieces when we were getting ready to put our house on the market, so I took them to a local consignment shop. What I made didn’t even cover the cost of the glass. I’d have been better off donating them to GoodWill or Habitat and getting a tax deduction. (Check the fine print on your contract. The shop lost one of my pieces and the fine print said they were not responsible for lost items. Needless to say, I won’t ever take anything there to sell again.)
This works better for artists with a more local appeal (Timberlake, Mangum, etc.). The downside is having to deal with strangers in your home, but it is free, so you can price your art without having to give anyone a commission.
This also works better for known artists, but you will have to deal with packing and shipping and possible damage. You will also pay a small percentage for using the site.
Garage Sales/Estate Sales
As in selling through a consignment shop, don’t expect to make much selling through a garage or estate sale. Garage sale shoppers especially are looking for bargains, so you won’t make very much. You are not paying any commission (unless you hire a company to help with an estate sale), so whatever you sell, you keep. You have to deal with people coming to your home as you would with Craigslist, so that is a downside as well.
If you have an original or a limited-edition piece of some value, this might be a very good option for you. Based in Las Vegas, they have been selling art via the internet since 1995. Listing is free and commissions are on a sliding scale based on value of the art – 25% for $2,000 and up, 25% for $5,000 and up, etc.
The Art Shop
Last, but certainly not least, The Art Shop may be your preferred option for selling your art. If you are selling a piece by an artist we represent, and we believe we will be able to successfully place your art, we can take it in on consignment. If you are a collector who has purchased a piece from us in the past, we are always happy to try and assist you in finding a new home for your piece.
Click Here for more information about selling your artwork through The Art Shop.