The Economy of Selling Art Online in 2014

There has never been a better time to start selling art online.

Distribution is easy. Resources for exposure are diverse and cost is at an all time low.

Photography and painting are outselling most other mediums

Here are some numbers for you.

  • In 2013, Christie’s online-only sales jumped from $4.7 million to $20.8 million. Though this was partially due to Christie’s upping the amount of online auctions they held, the result still speaks to how consumers are getting more comfortable with buying art online.
  • According to art critic Paddy Johnson, 46% of online art buyers have purchased photography online.
  • 55% of online buyers bought prints.
  • 61% of online buyers bought paintings.
  • Video art and new media had yet to catch on with online buyers.

Going online is also making the always opaque process of art valuation and purchase more transparent. As opposed to the way many galleries function (sizing up the buyer and quoting them a price accordingly) we’ve decided to make our own online gallery completely transparent.

Everything you find on Mumora has full details of where is it being sourced from, cost breakdown, and total cost of the work. Unlike most traditional galleries, we also make sure that the majority of the profit from the artwork’s sale goes back where it belongs: in the artist’s pocket.

The Hiscox Group recently published their 2014 Annual Trade Report that illuminated a few telling signs for the direction online art is going:

People like the wider selection they can find online

Another surprising finding is that nearly 75% of those surveyed by Hiscox reported that they preferred to buy art online because of the wider selection.

This is further proof that the traditional gallery system is becoming more and more antiquated.

It also means that just because you haven’t been featured in a gallery yet doesn’t mean that there isn’t a market for your work.

The same study mentions that more than 80% of buyers are interested in receiving a certificate of the authenticity from the artist when purchasing online (something we’ve recently rolled out with all artwork purchasable on Mumora).

Limited edition prints are a great way to grab new buyers

40% of purchases were for below $850, suggesting low price points are popular with new buyers, especially those who are new to purchasing art online in general.

Accordingly, repeat buyers confidence skyrockets after their initial purchase. Hiscox found that 45% of online buyers were willing to spend upwards of $8000 if they found the right piece of fine art.

As more and more folks find their way online, comfort with the process can only be expected to rise, and with it, sales.

We’ve also found the following are some of the top changes that buyers think need to happen online to increase their buying confidence:

  • Transparancy with respect to price, past sales prices
  • Return policies
  • Timely delivery

Not being able to physically see the artwork is still the biggest hurdle for online buyers

The big questions buyers are asking themselves when unsure of whether or not to buy online is authenticity and fit. We’re looking to put the question of authenticity to rest on Mumora by providing certificates of authenticity as well as only admitting art to our online gallery which one or more of our experts has inspected and verified the quality in person.

As for the question of fit, the more resources provided to help the customer visualize the art in their home and getting an idea of what exactly it is they are buying the better.

Every year the online market is growing

And the best part is every year more and more of the world is hooking up to the internet. The benefit of getting your art online now will only multiply as time goes by.

Here are a few ways to get started

  • Start publicizing your work on Twitter, Flickr, or Tumblr. If you have a smartphone, this is easy. Take pictures of your work once you’re finished and tweet them to your followers. Don’t forget to mention @hellomumora so we can take a look too :)
  • Submit your work to blogs. Find websites that already have momentum and ask if you can guest write for their site. You will be surprised how often they will say yes. This way you can take advantage of all the traffic their site already has without having to go to the trouble marketing your own blog.
  • Get your art up on Mumora. We recently launched our own online store to help promote the artists who want to focus more on their craft and offload most of the marketing on us (if you’re interested, write us!)

Don’t wait. Do something right now to get the word about your art out there.

Use the comments below this post to link to your own work!

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