How to Increase Income by Selling Art Prints

How to Increase Income by Selling Art Prints

My name is Allyson Morgan and I own a business called Prints & Repeat. I started providing the service of digitizing artwork and printing at a previous job and shortly after leaving that company, I started my own business. That was 8 years ago. I’ve been in the printing business for over 15 years. My background is in graphic design and marketing. I’ve worked with over 400 artists in that time and sold online all over the country.

I’ve been called a wizard and a magician in regards to turning artwork into a digital file. I’m very picky and make sure the image exactly reflects the original. I’ve also been told that I have fair pricing. I make sure that my prices allow artists to sell their prints for a profit.

“Can Prints Increase Your Income?” Yes, as long as you are sticking with certain strategies. 

Creating a business can mean marketing, inventory management, and accounting. For those who haven’t sold before, I’d suggest utilizing a program called Square and Venmo. The government tracks Venmo, so if you use Venmo for more than $600, you may have to worry about getting sent a 1099-K. ANY sales done should be taxed. (Contact Claudia on how to get started with registering a business and getting a tax id#)

High quality images mean better traffic results online and more positive results in person when selling or presenting to galleries. Getting a high quality scan means high quality print. 

FAQ - Where to sell?

  • You can use sites like Etsy, Society6, Facebook, Instagram, or your own website. I use Shopify and link it to Facebook and Instagram. Shopify is $30 a month, but social media platforms are free to use. There is a seller’s fee that gets taken out of Facebook and Instagram.  Etsy can be successful if you also pair it with posting on social media platforms and also promote yourself. Pages like Etsy or Society6 with print on demand options will take a much higher cut than feels comfortable and have listing fees, but they have a higher chance of getting seen more. Amazon also has a hand-made seller option, but it’s around $50/month. 
  • In person shows pop up often in Sioux Falls. Follow groups like Visual Artists of Sioux Falls or sign up for newsletters from Sioux Falls Arts Council or South Dakota Arts Council. Take the time to look at other shows and their displays. 
  • Another option is selling in bulk to store all over the country. It’s a matter of reaching out to them and offering wholesale prices, which are usually half of your normal price. Make sure to tell your printing company and they should discount you as well.
  • You shouldn’t get every piece scanned unless you really want to. Ideally, starting with one popular piece and selling prints can allow you to grow instead of starting with digitizing too many pieces up front. Pre-orders can really help guide your decision on what pieces to stock up on or put online for sale in the future. Limited time opportunities for pre-sales can motivate people to purchase. Increase interest by using social media to gain attention and gauge attraction to a piece. Do a limited time opportunity and limited run to get pre-payment and order for prints in order to increase profits and reduce risk of over purchasing.

Optimal print sizes are 5x7, 8x10, 11x14. Starting with inexpensive poster paper to keep profit margin higher can be a lower risk option. Getting smooth or textured museum quality fine art paper can raise the sale price due to higher value of print. 

  • Clearbags - packaging
  • Pirateship - postage
  • Uline - packaging

Keep in mind the cost of the compared to the sale price. You can also sell other products besides paper prints. Creating a merch line of your work can increase interest and options for customers. Consider coffee cups, tshirts, or totes. All of that just needs to be considered for the cost of the item and retail price. Start small and gauge interest online.

Once you get something scanned, you can continue to profit off the one piece instead of selling the piece and being done. 

That is what I have come to learn about art prints. I'm sure there is more that I could go on about. I love being able to be a resource for those that need it.

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