How to sell art on Facebook - TextileArtist.org

How to sell art on Facebook

How to sell art on Facebook

Facebook is primarily a social network; it wasn’t created with direct selling in mind. We’ve all ‘un-liked’ pages because we felt we were being hard-sold to on a daily basis and were receiving no real benefit in return for our patience. Our immunity levels are high when it comes to headlines like ‘Don’t miss out’, ‘Get it while stocks last’, ‘Take advantage of this offer now!’ popping up on our timeline.

But promoting art is very different to promoting discount puppy chow in bulk! And this is where artists can take advantage of Facebook. Social media is generally the point at which selling a high-priced item such as a piece of art starts, not where it ends. Go beyond the ‘like’, build up trust with your audience, offer them numerous other benefits, let them into your world, create conversations and connect with potential buyers. It may take months or even years for the sale to come to fruition, but if you are prepared to put in the time and effort required, Facebook can become an invaluable indirect marketing tool for selling your work.

Patience is a virtue

So knowing you have to be in it for the long-haul, it’s vital to get the basics right. Before you even start to think about selling your artwork on Facebook, invest time in the following areas:

I can’t stress enough how important going through the above work will be to your success. Don’t cut corners. Build trust. Create engagement. Then, and only then, can you start to truly promote your art to sell.


How to promote and sell art on Facebook

Everyone knows about Etsy as a platform for selling art, but the buyers over there tend to be interested in small, inexpensive pieces, often created as part of a series. The great thing about Facebook is its suitability for introducing bespoke pieces of art to your audience through the use of non-aggressive posting of images.

From my research into what is working for artists selling work on Facebook, I’ve put together the following list of ideas.

Post galleries of images

Many artists find that price range groupings work well when posting collections of their work. For example, you might have a gallery of prints for under £70, a gallery of small works for under £250, a gallery of mid-range pieces for under £650 and a gallery of large pieces for under £1,250.

Make sure the images are high quality and as representative as possible (see our posts on taking great photographs of your work and the best cameras for photographing art).

Always caption individual images with a title, year, dimensions, a brief description of techniques and materials, and a price. This helps potential buyers to understand exactly what is on offer.

Ask your established audience to share the galleries with their friends and families (remember only do this once you have a loyal following – asking a favour of strangers without any obvious benefit for them won’t work).

Use Paypal to accept payments

It’s the simplest and most secure way of sending money across the internet and most people are already familiar with how it works. Simply sign up for Paypal and share your email address for the account with potential buyers (perhaps in the caption alongside the other information). If someone is interested in buying a piece, simply instruct them to put ‘Sold’ in the comments section of the individual image and send you an email. Once you have had contact with them they can easily transfer funds to that email address via Paypal.

Give to charity

Some artists have seen great success by stating that a percentage of the sale price will go to a relevant charity. For example, Caren Goodrich creates paintings of horses and decided to give 50% of all sales to a group committed to rescuing horses headed for the slaughterhouse. This not only taps into a new group of potential customers (as the group are likely to share the galleries on their page too), it raises money for a good cause and gives your current fans another incentive for buying your work.

Do regular promotions and sales

But be careful not to lower prices too dramatically. High street stores increase their original prices to include a margin for discount at a later date; consider using this tactic when doing promotion of your artwork on Facebook.

Create urgency

Make sure there is a reason for your fans to act now, but be careful not to use language that sounds like you’re selling discount furniture. ‘ACT NOW!’ statuses don’t lend themselves to promoting artwork. Try something like, ‘This month I’ve got a little time on my hands so I’ll be offering commissions for small stitched portraits for just £300 (normally £500)’.

Offer free shipping

Generally people are seduced by the idea of a freebie, no matter how small. Again, you can increase your base price to compensate if needs be.

You might consider making this benefit exclusive to your Facebook fans. Posting a code for them to use at the checkout of your website entitling them to free shipping could work well.

Create scarcity

If you make prints of your work make sure they are ‘limited edition’. Scarcity creates value in the eyes of collectors so make sure they know that no more will be made and signed after the original run of 20 prints, for example.


So now you have a few techniques to try out; start off being realistic and experiment to find out what works for you. Knowing that Facebook is not specifically designed to directly sell your work will stop you from getting frustrated. Use it primarily as a funnel to your website, online store, newsletter sign-up page or blog to strengthen relationships with potential buyers; this will pay off in the end, but you need to stick with it. Good luck!


Do you have other ideas for selling art on Facebook? We’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below.

Monday 25th, January 2021 / 07:25

About the author

Joseph Pitcher is the son of textile artist Sue Stone. He is an actor and voice-over artist and has worked at the RSC, the National Theatre, West End theatres and several other leading regional venues across the UK. Find Joe on Google

View all articles by Joe

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14 comments on “How to sell art on Facebook”

  1. Mike says:

    I’ve been meaning to sell my art on Facebook but haven’t really thought about the process. Thanks for the valuable information that will help get my feet wet. I appreciate the time you put into this article.

  2. Esther says:

    I searched Amazon’s Kindle store for an Ebook on the topic “sell art on Facebook”. I found nothing, even though I was willing to spend good money. So I went to a general Google search, typing in the same search phrase, and found this article. I was blown away. And it was free! I read the companion articles too which were equally valuable. You’ve covered it all! May I suggest you compile this content into an ebook and sell it on Amazon? You’d make so many more people so happy.

  3. I am interested in this idea of selling on Facebook. I have a SCORE counselor getting me a counselor to help me with the technical aspects. I thought selling my art on Facebook was a possibility but your email came at the right time…thank you….what I do now is up to me!

  4. Thanks that really did help on how to sell art on Facebook

  5. Gayle says:

    I appreciate this info. I’m not really tech savvy, but am learning. I have a web site on FB but needed help getting it established. There’s so much to know. I dont know if anyone is interested in anything cuz I don’t know how to set it up to notify me. I understand that on marketplace, I’ll get a notice on messenger.

  6. Lee Barclay says:

    My Art is available of websites like Pixels.com. They showcase, market, and print my art in various sizes and on different mediums. From canvas to posters and even things like Duvet Covers and Coffee Cups. Then they ship to my customers. I even sell my art on T-shirts through Merch By Amazon. They also print and ship for me. Is it possible to market my Art on the Facebook Marketplace?

  7. Padma says:

    Hi, can you please let me know if we need to register or any legal formalities to sell art on Facebook.

    • Hi Padma – you only need a separate Facebook business page, you can’t sell from a personal page. Add a gallery or shop section, and tell people to message to buy, post ‘sold’ in comments on photos of work for sale, etc. Facebook make it easy to set up. You need to also make sure you don’t infringe copyright, so no images belonging to another company or artist, and if you aren’t already register with HMRC as self-employed. Have a line in your shop saying how to pay (you don’t need to add anything like Shopify, just tell people to contact you by message or email, and use Paypal, it’s the safest and used worldwide) Use ‘boost’ and facebook ads once you have a good customer base, so more people see your work when you post new items for sale, and choose your audience to make it worthwhile; you need to have followers to the page to make sales, so build those by asking friends to like the page, then post often – work in progress etc., not just a quick photo and price, make the posts interesting, and always like then comment back on every comment you get – it’s called the ‘domino’ effect, someone comments, you like that, write back, and Facebook algorithms register engagement so let the post be seen further. Otherwise, only around 10 – 15% of people see posts, there are just too many to show everyone every post. Don’t ever do ‘like tag share to win’ contests, it’s illegal and Facebook can close your page, even though you will see some get away with it, only because they haven’t been spotted, it’s not worth the risk. Best of luck

  8. Tanya says:

    HI,
    I have an important question:
    once I post it on fb (alone or in a gallery), people can copy the image and print it themselves… without paying me for a digital image file… How would you handle this best?
    looking forward to your response

    • Hi Tanya – I’ve been selling on my facebook business page as an addition to my website, for many years now. You sadly can’t stop anyone copying your work, once it’s out there for all to see, anyone can print it off and copy. I have professional artist friends and designers who constantly fight with people, mainly in China and in Russia, who copy and use their images, it’s an on-going battle! The only thing to do is make sure you have lines on your site and page saying ‘all work copyright of the artist’ and if you don’t allow prints, as I never have done, make sure this is often mentioned, ‘original work only’ ‘no prints produced’ etc. This helps, but can’t stop anyone determined to steal. I’ve even had a gallery try to sell copies of a large original of mine, until threatened with legal action!

      • Liz Prokopuk says:

        I have been puttting “watermarks” on my work like shutterstock and post them in low resolution. That at least eliminates some theives. However you can’t prtect yourself from photoshop pros.

    • Hi – sadly, once you post any image online, you can’t stop someone copying or printing it off. Happens all the time, I have professional artist and designer friends who are always checking for copies, mainly from China and Russia, and while you can try and stop them with legal threats, another will pop up. Best thing to do is make sure you have lines on your page and website, and all printed leaflets, notes for galleries etc, saying ‘all work copyright of the artist’ and if like me you never do prints, make sure it’s well-known by having it in writing everywhere ‘all work original only’ ‘no prints every produced’ ‘image licencing not available’ etc etc. Just be aware it happens, I have even had a gallery offer to make someone a print of a large original of mine, and had to given a legal warning!

  9. Jan says:

    Thank you for this great article, that echoes so much of what of what we teach our own community of artists and makers.
    Facebook is an incredibly powerful platform, its purpose is to keep its users engaged for as long as possible. The beauty with artists and makers is that you have the creative talent to share new and interesting content which the channel loves. Its a win win!
    Copying is a potential problem. Stating clearly that the work is copyrighted, and that buyers will receive a certificate of authentication will help protect you to a degree, and reassure your own buyers. The power of the platform cannot be underestimated and with the right processes in place and a consistent approach, it can reallysecure your practice – which ultimately must be good.
    thank you for a great article !

  10. MK says:

    I paint more and more pictures, but I would like to finally start selling them. Your article is very helpful. Thanks!

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