An eBay Primer for Selling Original Art Successfully..

I’ve been posting the wise words of Jack White for a while now, and have been told that they have made a great difference to your art careers, and in truth a life changing impact on the sales of at least one RB artist..

Jack has made tons of sales of his originals on eBay, selling as an unknown artist under a pseudonym, earning $29,000.00 in the first year alone, and eventually becoming a Power Seller …
Although he says that artists can make a comfortable living selling their art on eBay he also asserts that it is not for "the lazy or faint of heart

For those who are interested in pursuing this tricky but potentially lucrative way to sell your original artworks, here are some of his tips…the quotes are his actual words..the others are my precis of his advice..

1.Do good work and keep good records of all sales

2.Start opening bids low (he mentions starting as low as one penny and the bid climbed to over $1,700.00), to get buyers interested…
“The biggest mistake artists make on eBay is trying to start the opening bid at a high amount. This discourages bidding.
The key to eBay is the contested bidding. This is why it’s called an auction instead of selling. I see art with opening bids of $24.99 with no bid. Worse yet an opening bid of $99. What this implies is I’m willing to sell this painting for a small amount

3.Write a solid title, with no abbreviations or catch phrases…you want people to find you immediately…never use the word “NEW” when selling a painting..
“Great titles can save you, while a bad title will break you”..
NEVER use any of eBay’s promotional deals. Instead, make art people will want to purchase and write great titles

4. NEVER list more than seven pieces of art at one time. In selling art, the axiom is less is more…if you show too many at once there is less urgency to bid.

5.Take great photographs and upload to the area that shows your art at optimum sizes…Gallery Plus is best for this..

6."Paint fast, keep your art simple and make it good. You cannot take three days to paint a 9×12 but neither will a 15 minute knockout do. Keep the painting bright. It’s difficult to get any bids on dull, tobacco juice paintings.
Don’t slap out junk, because the eBay collector is a lot smarter than you think. They know quality art. You might fake out your mother, but not the intelligent eBay bidder. One word of caution, eBay is not for the weak of heart. Your faith will be tested.
A painting you think is excellent might bomb..listen to your bidders…they will tell you what to post…as you get to know them establish a firm connection with them

7. Ship quickly the day after you are paid…offer free shipping if the bid will cover the cost…also be prepared to offer a refund if the painting is lost…using priority post will prevent this from happening and more importantly the recipient has to sign that they received the artwork…Jack says that he has never had a single painting reported lost..

8. “When you begin listing, it’s imperative you have the mind set you will stay the course for one year. You can’t start, stop and start up again”…when you get discovered, you want to keep art posted so that buyers will keep coming back to add to their collections..

Lastly…remember no one knew that they were buying work by Jack White…he painted different subject matter and different from his usual style, under a different name…his purchasers were doctors, college professors, several large cattle ranchers, and lawyers and even a rock star…so if you decide you want to try eBay, go for it…nothing ventured, nothing gained…
I have the testimony of at least one RB artist who tried it and is doing really well
.Source Fine Art Views

P.S. please let me know if you found this post helps me to decide whether to continue adding articles like this to my journal..thanks so much…


  • Pat Yager
    Pat Yagerover 1 year ago

    Good wisdom and timing, Janis! Thanks!

  • You’re welcome Pat…glad you found it helpful..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • LoreLeft27
    LoreLeft27over 1 year ago

    awesome perhaps one day
    how much does it cost to even post stuff for sale i thought there was a fee of some sorts

  • There is a small fee based on how long you leave the work up and how many you list…you also get free additional listings…no harm in checking it out…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Beatrice Cloake
    Beatrice Cloakeover 1 year ago

    Oh yes yes yes Janis, we need your articles! Thank you for all the hard work!!!

  • I actually was about to delete it earlier…. there were 30 views and no comments, so I thought no one was interested in the is the only way for me to know whether an article was helpful or even if I should continue to research and post them in future…thanks so much for letting me know that you find them helpful Beatrice…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Beatrice Cloake
    Beatrice Cloakeover 1 year ago

    By the way, in the past I have sold quite a few watercolours on Ebay…

  • That is good to will help the other readers of this article to decide whether to take the plunge…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • dgrizzle
    dgrizzleover 1 year ago

    Yes keep adding articles like this to your journal, as a beginner it is useful & interesting info for me.

  • Thanks so much for the feedback…I have no other way of knowing whether any article was helpful and if I should continue to research and post similar ones…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Arla M. Ruggles
    Arla M. Rugglesover 1 year ago

    Great info — I have avoided eBay, until now. Maybe this is the year.
    Thanks, Janis!

  • It is a great source of ready income for many artists…it was the first place I put my art up for sale…long before RB existed, but I am totally into selling POD works now, so I’ve given up eBay……

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Corri Gryting Gutzman
    Corri Gryting ...over 1 year ago

    Thanks, Janis!
    I always enjoy your articles. They are always helpful. :)

  • Glad you find them helpful Corri…encourages me to post more…thanks so much…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Mui-Ling Teh
    Mui-Ling Tehover 1 year ago

    Very useful Janis. I’m not quite ready for ebay yet – don’t know if I’ll ever – but it is an option; today there are many choices. But meanwhile, a lot of points here can be relevant even when it is not about selling originals.

  • Thanks so much for the feedback MuiLing…yes the advice can be carried over into general selling as well..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Susan Bergstrom
    Susan Bergstromover 1 year ago

    Thanks so much Janis…!
    I started selling years ago on ebay and sold many works…some originals I could kick myself for letting them go for so little
    I was one of the people who priced my items too high in the beginning and got just that!
    A wise person told me that I was leaving money on the table. If they paid the amount I was asking …they may have paid more if I could have gotten a bidding war going on…!

    Not being Faint of Heart is also sooo true… you can see a work you just love sit for the entire auction and not get one bid no matter what you have it priced at or listed as “Buy Now” .
    It didn’t do my ego any good… but taught me alot of Ebay is Timing! …that and you have HUGE compitition on Ebay… there are so many artist and artist wholesale warehouses on Ebay…you really have to suck it up and hold your nose and dive in!

    I stopped selling on Ebay because it did start to feel that I was spending more on listings and also got the feeling the potential buyers had the attitude “If They Can’t Steal It, They Don’t Want It!”…and I guess I would rather look at my art myself or give it away then sell it for peanuts.
    My top price of $850.00 for a original piece sold several years ago but those are very few and far between…

    I may return to Ebay…it is a fun way to try and sell you work… the anticipation of the auction action and hoping for a good result was always a kick… just got too expensive for the return I was seeing, even after I became a bit of a savey seller… Thanks for these articles Janis!

  • Tahnja is doing extremely well on eBay as you can see in her comment on a previous post here…
    Yes the timing is really important…how long you leave the art up, when you open the bidding and how low you start the bidding…I am sure there are lots of successful sellers on eBay, but as Jack White says it’s not for the fain of heart…there are many books on the market now that would help the novice…thanks so much for the valuable feedback Susan…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • © Linda Callaghan
    © Linda Callaghanover 1 year ago

    thanks so much Janis…it seems you need to work quite hard at it to get ithings moving …but like you said nothing ventured nothing gained..was also very interesting to read Susan’s post….information shared is always an asset so yes keep posting! if I was to give it a go I would paint specifically for Ebay…all of the works I have now are framed up or are on large canvas hanging in the studio….maybe next year…! would you ever consider this yourself?

  • See my comment above…I did eBay long before Redbubble existed, but now I sell basically POD works and I also sell my images digitally, so selling on eBay took a back seat…
    eBay is best for paintings that are unframed canvas, and of course on paper as they are easily packed, and that includes watercolour…however you can also sell the gallery wrapped canvas if it’s a small work and a small work is better as again it’s easy to mail out…
    Anything you want to succeed at takes hard work, and artists have to work harder than anyone else as we have to create and market as well…
    Tahnja has done extremely well on eBay (you read her comment) and her works are fairly large, unless she has done some small ones especially for sale there…

    – © Janis Zroback