Miniature art is a niche that focuses on creating art in very small sizes, like paintings, sculptures, or more. As a miniature artist or miniature collector, you have many opportunities to turn your hobbies into a business. The Internet provides many such opportunities for miniature artists to showcase their creative masterpieces and make money by selling miniature paintings.
You may see a lot of paintings and crafts sold online, so is the case with miniature art. There are many websites where you can list your art that can sell for a very good amount.
If you’re a beginner you may be wondering how and where to begin your journey selling miniature art. Worry not, in this guide we have all the information you need to begin your miniature home business.
Is there an Online Market for Miniature Art?
Recently the trend in miniature art has increased, which means there is a better marketplace for it. However, it is very important that your art is of good quality, otherwise, it is less likely to sell.
Before you start selling, you should have a clear idea of what you want to sell. The miniature category has a wide variety of subcategories. There are miniature paintings, figures, building models, sculptures, and many other items. It’s important to know your specialty. You have to create a good portfolio on your selling platform that showcases your signature art. According to recent trends, most of the miniatures sold are 19th-century portraits.
List of Websites for Selling Miniature Paintings
Here’s a list of some popular online platforms where you can sell your miniature paintings and portraits:
Etsy is a great place to sell your miniature art paintings. It hosts a wide variety of artists all over the globe and attracts many customers who are interested in art.
You can start selling by creating your online Etsy shop. All you have to do is go to their website and create your account by clicking on “Sell on Etsy”. You can then fill out some details including payment methods, select a good name for your shop, and finally upload your items for sale.
It’s important to note that Etsy has seller fees and some other fees, so list your product prices accordingly. There is a 20% listing fee, a 5% transaction fee, and 3% for payment processing.
Payment for sold items is usually done via Etsy payments. However, there are other payment options to choose from as well. You can opt for PayPal or payment via check and even some other options.
As an artist on Etsy, you can network with other sellers with similar interests and improve your sales.
eBay is the biggest online marketplace that is very popular among buyers and sellers and hosts a huge variety of items for sale. Artists with prospects of earning income for their handmade goods often use eBay to make profits for their creative work. eBay has the advantage of attracting a huge amount of customers from different parts of the world.
Selling on eBay is easy; all you have to do is create your account and list the items you want to sell. The company allows you to list 50 items for free; but if you want to go beyond that it will cost you 30 cents per extra listing.
To start selling your miniatures, upload your item photos on your eBay listings. Make sure the photos are of good quality, visually appealing, and showcase your signature art. Caption each picture that describes the product in detail. Be honest when describing your product.
Selling Options on eBay
eBay allows you to sell items in either the auction-style or fixed price.
Auction style allows you to list an opening bid for the item. The buyers then bid up from the opening price. The highest bidder wins and the auction is closed. You can auction for a specified number of days with seven being the highest.
Fixed style selling, let’s you mark an item for a fixed price and the buyer can buy the product instantly.
While fixed style selling allows you to sell an item instantly with convenience; auction allows you to get a good profit if you are selling a unique or rare item. As a miniature art seller, this may give you some advantage.
Before auctioning your item, research well to know the estimated price of your product and find out about similar auctions held previously on eBay. Make sure your estimated price does justice to your work. If your artwork lacks some finesse, don’t put a price that is too high or you will end up not selling at all.
The shipping for the item is at your expense, however, you can always include your shipping charges in your item price. eBay gives a 25% discount on shipping and allows you to print labels at home.
Once your item is sold, you will get the payment via PayPal.
Sotheby’s is a British founded auction company located in the US. It deals with the auction of fine art, jewelry, etc. Currently it has more than 50 different categories of selling items which include antiques, African art, old paintings, etc.
Sotheby’s also has a category for miniature portraits. The miniature portrait auction takes place all year round in London, New York, Paris, and Zurich. Portraits auctioned at Sotheby’s consist of 19th-century portrait art style and some of the finest art collections. If you own any such miniature paintings, you can consult Sotheby’s to know the worth of your miniature art.
If you need help or guidance with selling your paintings, you can contact Sotheby’s and they will guide you on how you can sell.
Chairish is a design and décor marketplace that consists of an inventory of antique, vintage as well as modern art. If you have an artwork that you think is worthy of selling then Chairish is a good platform where you can sell it. The company offers a lot of selling categories ranging from furniture to artwork, including miniature art. They offer the advantage of free listings and a low commission charge.
Chairish has four different consignment options:
Consignor: This option is for those who are just starting out with Chairish. It offers free membership and free listings but only 1-9 active listings. Their commission rate with this option is 30%.
Professional: The professional option allows you to list a minimum of 10 items and you can list more as well. It has a 20% commission for vintage or antique items and 30% for newly made items. This option is also free.
Elite: This is a paid option of $149 per month. It offers a fast and efficient service. You will be provided some business tools and shop curation tools as well.
Wholesale: This option for manufacturers selling in bulk.
To start selling on Chairish, you will have to create an account. Once your account has been set up, select the “start selling” option to list your items.
Upload pictures of your items along with their description in detail. This includes details such as dimensions, size, age, and material. The more information you give, the easier it is to sell. Lastly, you will be required to add logistic details, after which you can submit your listing.
After 3-5 days, the team at Chairish will list your item for sale on their website once they have reviewed the item details.
After this, you can price your items. To set up a price, refer to the Pink book pricing guide available on the website. You will be notified via email if a shopper makes an offer on your item. It’s up to you to either accept the offer or make a counteroffer. This can be done three times only.
Chairish provides you with a range of shipping methods. You can either let the company pick up the item or you can drop it off yourself by attaching a prepaid Chairish label. You can even let the buyer pick up the product directly.
Once the item is sold, you can receive your payment via PayPal. The company covers all fees.
Invaluable hosts large scale auctions of fine arts. It has been termed as one of the fastest-growing online auction sites in the art world. A miniature art-work would be a great item to sell here. Most of the miniature paintings sold are of the 19th century, but there are other categories as well.
Selling on Invaluable does require you to have a valid auctioneer’s license. If you want to consign an item, you will have to do it through a partnership with Mearto. You cannot do it directly.
To get started, go to the Appraisals section. Create an account on Mearto, upload a photo of your item, and answer a few questions about the history and condition of your product.
You will then get an appraisal for your item within 48 hours. The fee for the appraisal is $25. Once the appraisal is done, your product will be added to a database and an auction house can contact you for your item.
There are three options for selling items. You can either sell your art with a fixed price option or you can auction it. Auctioning can be live or another way. You can start biding at the comfort of your home and remain updated with the progress in real-time.
Invaluable offers a tiered commission pricing which means that the higher the value of your item, the less the commission charges. For prices worth $0-4000, the commission rate is 5%, for $5000-10000 it is 4%, and so on. For $20000 beyond, the rate is 1%.
Whether you are an artist or someone possessing miniature treasures, there are many collectors looking for those items. Making the right decisions and choosing the right marketplace will be more rewarding for you.
If you are looking for other opportunities for selling your valuable items, here’s a list of websites for selling pre-owned designer handbags.