How to Sell Paintings on eBay

Decades ago, the art market thrived solely on art brokers, museums and galleries to find buyers. The Internet has changed that model to one that includes online galleries and auctions. The ease of creating a website and auction account has allowed professional art sellers and art collectors to list their pieces online and reach thousands of people very quickly. There are some guidelines to selling art successfully on auction sites like eBay. Being able to prove authenticity and show the work accurately will give you better chances of receiving good bids. Find out how to sell paintings on eBay.


  1. Image titled Sell Paintings on eBay Step 1
    Set up a personal website before advertising on eBay. This is important if you are an art dealer or an artist. Setting up a professional website with ways to contact you, photos of artwork, a shopping cart and information about yourself will characterize you as an authentic seller.
    • The best Internet-based art marketing is done with cross-promotion. You should link your eBay account to your website and also consider creating marketing emails or a Facebook account to advertise your auctions to your customers. Ebay is simply 1 part of the art selling puzzle.
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    Create a detailed eBay account. You should write about yourself in the "My World" and "About Me" sections. Your ability to distinguish yourself as a reputable buyer will pay off in increased sales.
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    Set up a PayPal account so that users can pay through this secured means. PayPal allows a delayed payment function, which means that you are paid when the customer is satisfied. Consider creating a premier or business account on PayPal.
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    Obtain Certificates of Authenticity (COA) for all the art you plan to sell. In order to gain a rating as a reputable art seller, you should aim to have a painting's documentation that you will transfer to the buyer. You can advertise this in the item description when you sell online.
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    Do research into how much the painting is worth. If this is rare art, you should have the work appraised. If it is art that is available elsewhere, you should find what other sellers are charging in galleries and online.
    • Visit eBay's Art Seller Central to research how paintings are selling on eBay. This will help you look at past and current auctions.
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    Take excellent photos of your artwork. Art lovers are visual people, so ensure that you have good quality photography for each of your paintings. Hire a professional photographer to photograph all the paintings, if you do not have the ability to do it well yourself.
    • Use the proper lighting. Indirect natural light is likely to give the best representations of color. Try to use a shaded spot outside.
    • Use a contrasting background. Black or white walls or sheets can help to create a gallery effect and bring attention to the item.
    • Photograph your paintings without extra clutter in the room. Other items or people will serve as a distraction and make the painting less likely to sell.
    • Take a photo from all angles, in order to give a good representation of the painting. Also, include a gallery photo with the painting hanging on a wall. Art buyers are used to seeing paintings in this setting, and it gives some perspective.
    • Consider upgrading to the Gallery Plus option to show your painting. Ebay will charge you some extra money to do this, but it is less than $1 per listing.
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    Advertise your painting auctions elsewhere. Use a blog, Facebook and your own website to advertise regular painting sales. Some people have found success with a "painting a day," which encourages people to check their blog or social media accounts regularly.
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    Learn to use keywords. Most Internet marketing is driven by using keywords that users type into a search engine to look for items. In the case of eBay items, you have 55 words that should include "painting," "art," and the artist, medium, country, style and any other items that will help to specify your art in a search.
    • You can research keywords to use by going onto the eBay art shop, Look for "Popular Searches" to see what terms people are using to look for art.
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    Create a banner for your page that has several of your auction items in it. If someone doesn't want to buy the item they have found, they may like another painting that is in your banner and go directly to your account.
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    Include the terms COA (Certificate of Authenticity) and O/C (Oil on Canvas) with any item description where they are relevant. Regular art buyers will recognize and respect these terms.
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    Consider using eBay's advice when selling items. Ebay tells people to put a low starting price for their items and to avoid using a reserve price, or minimum bid. They suggest that following these guidelines will help to increase the number of bids you get on your items.
    • You may want to experiment with these rules occasionally, in order to see what will work best for the type of paintings you are selling.
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    Pay attention to shipping. Wrap the items in bubble wrap, box them and seal them very well with high-quality packaging tape. Make sure that you detail how the item will be shipped and how much it costs on your eBay seller account.
    • Use crates, if the items is big. If your item is above 150 lbs., you may choose to ship it with freight.
    • Take out shipping insurance on paintings. If your package is worth a lot of money, make sure you invest in insurance in case of damage.
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    Pay attention to customer service. Notify your buyer if there is a delay, send them the tracking confirmation and thank them for their purchase. Ebay is a wonderful environment for repeat customers and seller reviews determine how reputable you look.
    • Write feedback to your customers. Feedback is important if you intend to sell a lot of art, because it will distinguish you from fraudulent art sellers. If there is a problem with an order, the way that you fix the problem may be more telling to potential customers than a perfect selling record.
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    Subscribe to an eBay store if you sell a lot of art. Paying a fee of approximately $16 per month will allow you to have an attractive eBay store front, and it will give you access to an email list. This will increase the number of people who hear about your auctions.


  • Consider consigning your painting or hiring an art broker if your painting is worth more than $4,000 to $5,000. Rare paintings by famous artists may be able to fetch a higher price if they are shown to art collector clientele. Most paintings on eBay sell for less than this amount.
  • Consider selling your paintings on other art websites, if you are a relatively unknown artist. One artist claims that the majority of art sells for $50 to $100 on eBay.

Things You'll Need

  • Personal website
  • Social media accounts
  • eBay account
  • About Me account biography
  • PayPal account
  • Certificate of authenticity
  • Keywords
  • Appraisal/price research
  • Painting photos
  • Shipping boxes, packaging and tape
  • Shipping insurance
  • Customer reviews

Article Info

Categories: Ebay | Selling Arts and Crafts