So You Want to Sell Your Art? Here Are 6 Online Platforms Looking to Help Emerging Artists Make a Buck

For an artist just starting out, the art market can be a fairly daunting place. Dealers and collectors are often impossible to reach—and even if you do manage to connect, they might not be interested in engaging unless you’re an artist they already know. Plus, there’s an entire foreign lexicon that includes words like “primary market” (and, even more intimidating, “secondary market”), not to mention the commission structure and consignment agreements that can be especially knotty for the uninitiated to decode.

Online, things aren’t much easier. There are more than a dozen websites that claim to offer artists the opportunity to sell their works directly to buyers (as opposed to art e-commerce sites that source the work from an intermediary, like a gallery or publisher). A lot of them look similar—collections organized according to seasons and color schemes, or simply by medium and size—and they usually profess to make art accessible to all. But, as an artist, how do you know which site is worth your time (and, in cases when there’s a profit share, your money)?

It turns out that “democratizing the art world” is easier said than done. To tease out some of the issues, we’ve rounded up a variety of sites that promise to help artists sell their work online and pored over their offerings, terms of service, profit margins, and overall experience to help you navigate the many e-commerce outlets. This is by no means a complete list, as we opted to include platforms that maintain “curatorial” standards—i.e. have a selection process (though this remains opaque, even to us)—and those that offer information and application processes for artists to submit. Read up below, and happy selling.

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