I'm currently getting a group of artists ready for a small art festival type show with Art Love Magic on 10/01/10 and I sent the following info to them today about making things easier on buyers, so I wanted to put it out here as well.
Having a webpresence is so important for all artists to help increase sales. For those who don't have websites and want to put one together quickly and for Free, please read this blog: http://www.artbizblog.com/2010/09/fb-3critical.html by Alyson Stansfield. IF you already have a website or Facebook page, please read this blog to make sure that you're providing all the info you need. The only thing I would add to it is this: if the artwork is already sold, please list it as sold. If the artwork is for sale, please list the price and an easy way for a potential buyer to contact you.
When showing at art festivals and such, let's promote happy patrons and make buying easy for them.
1. Don't make them guess about the price. When people don't see a price, they may think that your work is too expensive or beyond their reach. Be up front on your prices and proudly display them...the same way Wal-mart and Kroger do. Most of the time, you don't have to search out a sales associate to do a price check...they want to make your shopping experience as hassle free as possible so that you don't get agitated, but spend your time adding more items to your buggy. : )
2. Share info on the web and in print about your materials. This can be done quickly and easily. You don't need to write a book, just a couple of sentences. If you do jewelry, you can provide details about the kind of stones, beads, and clasps you use. If you're a painter, what brand of paint, canvases, or paper do you use? If you draw, what pencils and pastels are you using? For all: Are your materials archival?
3. Let them know how to pay you for your art. Either by cash, check,or credit card. - Do you accept credit cards? If you want to, it's really easy. Just go to http://www.propay.com/ and check out their plans. Propay is so easy to use...you get the credit card info (Full name, acct #, expiration date, type of card, phone number & email address, and signature on the credit card receipt.) and after the show you go online and enter in all the info to their website, do the transaction and then the funds are in your propay account, which can be transferred to your bank account. You can get a credit card imprinter really cheap at http://www.ebay.com/ .
Doing credit cards will also allow you to sell online as well. (Even from Facebook!!) Let's say somebody calls or emails you about one of your spectacular creations that they can't live without. Well, you can do the transaction through Propay. If somebody emails you, you'll want to get their number and call them to get all of their credit card info (Full name, acct #, expiration date). This kind of info does not need to be sent via email, for both their protection and yours. You won't have a signature on a receipt, but you can ask them to send you a confirmation via email. Example:
Dear Jane Doe,
It was a pleasure talking with you today and I want to thank you for contacting me about your desire to purchase "Field of Tulips". Before the transaction can be completed and the piece shipped, I need to have your approval to charge your credit card. If you could, please copy the text below, paste it to your reply to this email and fill in the blanks:
I, ____________________, approve you charging my _____________________ credit card, with the last 4 digits of _ _ _ _ for the following:
9x10 oil painting of "Field of Tulips" for $165.75 (shipping and tax included)
*Once you receive your confirmation from the patron, print it out and make 2 copies. Send one with the order and save one for your records. If your buyer is local, you can make arrangements to meet in person at a very public place in order to handoff your artpiece. I would suggest going during daytime hours and taking a good buddy with you. : ) If your buyer is out of state, you would not be collecting TX state sales tax. To get shipping rates, check with UPS or Fedex. I strongly suggest ground shipping because it's much cheaper, but please make sure to have a good box and cushion your artpiece well.
Rough Rock, Smooth Tile
18 hours ago