When selling online, it is very important to have good photos and a good description of the product. Showing images of your whole artwork, details, side captures and ‘in situ’ images together with a detailed description of your artwork could make the difference between “being seen” and “being bought”. But what happens next? The inclusion of a Certificate of Authenticity and good packaging are just as important.
Think like a business and a customer at the same time
When selling online, an artist is very often a ‘one-man show’ as they are behind everything. They are not only producing their artwork, but they also promote it to their niche audience and send it to their customers. Sending you artwork is exciting, given that someone liked your artwork so much that they put it in their shopping basket and also ordered it. An artwork is something beautiful that the customer can’t wait to receive so make sure you deliver the whole package. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how would you like to receive a ‘gift’?
Good packaging is a sign of caring and I am sure all artists take their time to properly pack their artwork. If it’s a framed painting or canvas art, make sure you use plenty of bubble wrap and if it’s a digital print or an artwork on paper, make sure it is secured against a piece of strong cardboard to avoid bending. Using new boxes looks professional and there are many websites offering postage boxes of various sizes at reasonable prices.
There are many artists that use recycled boxes and in today’s climate when we realize how important recycling and re-using is, there may be many customers that will appreciate this. But how can you make an old box more appealing? “I use recycled boxes that I ‘save’ from local businesses before being taken by the recycling teams, then I wrap them in brown paper so they look kind of ‘new’. To me, recycle – reuse is a way of life and this is reflected in my packaging as well”, said Teodora Totorean.
It is a matter of finding what works for you best and putting extra care into the overall look of your packed product, just as if the customer will open a present. Now, that’s a nice thought 😊.
Certificate of Authenticity
You may think that customers are not too bothered about a Certificate of Authenticity but taking your time and producing a good one can work miracles. The easiest way to make it look professional is to print it on linen, parchment paper or any type of card. “I send out an A4 certificate out with every original or print I sell. I print mine onto a good paper, Black Diamond canvas textured paper is ideal, which gives quite a nice result, then write the details on the certificate by hand before popping it into a protective cellophane sleeve”, said our artist Peter Williams.
“I print the certificate on old fashion style paper and envelope, I then use a hand-embosser with my name and ‘original art’ on it and stamp onto a gold label to give the certificate more of a quality look”, says Michelle Gibbs, artist and director of Art2Arts.
Think from your customer’s point of view: they may want to be able to keep the certificate for a long time so make sure they can do this by providing a copy that won’t deteriorate too easily. However, printing it on a piece of paper and placing it in an envelope with a ‘thank you’ note like our artist Julia Everett is also good, as the customer can keep it safely.
It may also be a good idea to invest in a laminator so you can print it on a normal piece of paper, laminate it and secure it at the back of your artwork like our artist CK Wood as shown in the below photos. With this method, you can’t go wrong as the customer can safely keep the certificate for generations to come.
Ready to hang
Many artworks are advertised as “ready to hang” but what exactly does that mean? If it is a canvas painting, you may think that it doesn’t need any ‘hanging’ accessories, but adding a tooth hanger or D-Rings with framer’s cord like our artist CK Wood can go a long way. Not only does it show extra care but also professionalism. When submitting your work for an exhibition, it needs to have hanging accessories so it shouldn’t be any different when sending it to your customer.
We hope this guide is helpful, but please note that it isn’t an exhaustive piece of information. If you have any other ideas please feel free to share them with us, I am sure other artists will appreciate it.