While painting digitally means you can upload your art work to ‘print on demand’ sites – and earn a few dollars in commissions, the same can’t be said for physical art work.
Canada Post put their postage prices up yet again, not so long ago – and if you have ever used their online calculator to work out what something is going to cost you to ‘put in the mail’, then you perhaps would feel like I do – deflated! I have often found it is cheaper to post items to the USA than it is to send within Canada – and being an artist (and self employed) the cost of shipping artwork can be so expensive that you can end up having the shipping costs be around 50% of what you would like to sell your art for in the first place.
So what is the answer? Sell your art cheaper than you would like to so that prospective buyers are not put off by shipping costs? Find a Gallery to represent you (and take into account their commission/fees?) – assuming you can actually find one to begin with?
Now that our plans for moving back to my home country are in place, I decided to put my art up for sale locally. Materials and time aside, I hope to sell most of the pieces I am not taking with me. Luckily some of my work I got printed I can roll up into a mailing tube, as I can with the canvas pieces I can remove from their stretchers, but the rest – I hope find a new home.
I did do a bit of a calculation, figuring in packaging etc for some of my pieces, and the average cost I got was somewhere around C$30 or so for the smaller canvas board paintings. That isn’t too bad, but when you think of removing a piece from it’s stretcher, it means that the buyer then has to have it either re-stretched or put into a frame, so that adds even more cost. Would a buyer want to spend that much money on shipping and re-framing?
In such tough economic times, why can’t Canada Post be a bit more flexible? I sent a small book that belonged to my Mother in Law, to an old friend of hers a while ago. I was thinking it might cost a few dollars, because it was a small book – but no – it was C$12.00!!! HA! If postage was cheaper, perhaps MORE small business or self employed people would use that option. I am still wondering how Amazon can offer free shipping on a purchase of $25.00 – I can’t!
I can’t even THINK about shipping outside of the US or Canada (and by the way, it is often cheaper to ship to the USA!). I had done some calculations on shipping internationally – and almost fell off my chair!
We live in a world where mass produced ‘art’ comes in from China – it’s sold everywhere so cheaply – and I don’t blame anyone for wanting some art for their home at those prices. But it does nothing to promote artists within Canada to be able to sell outside of their own local communities.
Come on Canada Post – time to stop griping about lack of profits and figure out HOW to get people using your services – the more the merrier, right?