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the ebay debate

so on facebook i wrote a blip asking if am i humiliating myself by having some wall art that i NEED TO GET RID OF NOW, on ebay...seems ya'll hate ebay. and many of you think i'm doing my art and art in general a disservice. 

i have felt the same. i've felt annoyed at times when people on etsy/ebay sell good art for pennies as it makes it hard (who knows but thats what we all say) for 'real art' to sell at 'real prices'.  given the choice between giving it away or throwing it away...i'd try to sell it for whatever i can.  all i know is i'm doing the best i can to make money. i'm cleaning when opportunities arise and you all know how much i dislike being a house cleaner but i know it affords me time to work on art.  the urgency to 'make it' is now, now that i am solo and have more financial crap to deal with.

a very gracious friend/art buyer made the point of saying they didn't want to buy my stuff on ebay.  that they didn't want to pay that little for something.  they ended up buying something on etsy which i really appreciate....and i would say that i do have 'buy it now' options in case there is any other rare bird out there that actually thinks that way!

i'm feeling frustrated that i'm being told to get my work in galleries and do this and that.  i know its hard to pay attention to what we all are doing online...but i have to say i dont have desire/time to drive 80 miles to houston and try to get into galleries.  i've had to take my stuff out of storage and its here and its now i need to get rid of it.  if i move tomorrow it gets thrown out.  if i stay here a bit longer i need more money. period.  so the wall art is the one piece of collateral that i own that i want to 'cash in on'.

anyone have any other suggestions i'm open!  i'm limited in time and energy and all i have is my online world.  i have a few friends here in huntsville but they either have my art already or are about where i am at financially and buying art is the last thing they are gonna do.  i suppose if/when i have to move that is when the final get rid of it happens.  i'm the type that would rather do something now so i'm ready for whatever! 

love your honesty and love you all speaking up. now...back to your regularly scheduled program....


Ellen said…
I just read that discussion on facebook, I get what everybody is saying, though I think I'm the odd man out. I don't think there is any shame in trying to sell and get whatever you can for your art when you have to. The game changes when your desperate for money. Though ebay isn't a place for art anymore unless it's rock bottom prices. I also think if it's work that doesn't represent you anymore, if it doesn't sell, get rid of it no matter what, because the letting go will free up some mental energy.

There's this attitude of preciousness we all have over what we create. I trashed old pieces I was holding onto for so long, ones that I hated the thought of just giving away or especially throwing out, because I thought it would mean my efforts were meaningless, but it wasn't meaningless, it was part of my journey, and letting go of the work that represented the past has helped me move forward with better focus and less anxiety. Even has made my stressful meatworld non art job that I've had to take on, more bearable as well.

You do whatever you have to do to survive and get by through the tough times. Things always get better.
paula said…
i have to agree. i think the only thing that kills me is thinking the money i spent having photos printed/laminated...all the time driving around looking for the objects to make these wall pieces with. i dont cherish them as little babies i must keep forever, never have. make it and set it free! but needing storage to house things that haven't sold in 7 years isn't an option anymore and i hear ya, ya do what you haffta do.

i also agree...that no gallery is going to want this work knowing i do not make it anymore. a few little 'faux' galleries here in texas took my wall art but they were so small and in such non-art buying areas it was almost a waste of time and effort. a few sales nothing more. it is a burden... and mine to figure out how to deal with. thanks for your comment ellen
collage whirl said…
I've revised my thoughts on throwing away art. Remember before, Paula, when I was aghast at the very idea? That was probably one of the stupid brainwashings we learned in art school, along with all the other hangups our professors passed down.

So now, I have started weeding out some of the older stuff. If Ebay is the place where you can liquidate somethings, go for it. It is freeing! I have many paintings left to sell--they don't represent where I am anymore, and someday soon they'll have to go. I also have giclees of the same series--and I just got a nice wholesale order this weekend from a gallery who has started carrying them! So don't lose hope, the only crunch is time.
paula said…
yeah i do remember. :) it troubles me when i know the art is sellable but i haven't found a new way to do it...i think you know i am not one to be attached to things. the gallery route just feels so long and drawn out and not me anymore (least not today, things always change back and forth)
anyhow. CONGRATULATIONS on the wholesale order!!!
Kim Hambric said…
I agree. Move on. Sell however you can. New art awaits. New life awaits. Don't drag all of the old with you. It's awesome work (most of it), but if you drag it with you like a ball and chain, you'll resent it. You can't look ahead when you're looking behind you at the train you're pulling.
paula said…
of course now i've decided to nix ebay ...i get tons of views on etsy so if i have a 'sale' maybe there is more hope. besides they take less % than ebay. i agree with you kim, thanks :)
Lisa said…
Late to this discussion, but I think ebay is simply a tool - one of many (like etsy) that can be used to sell art.

I auction 1 piece of art a month on ebay. I figure I drive at least 99% of the bidders to the site from my website/social media. So I'm not using it because I expect it to increase my following, I use it because they have perfected the tools need to hold a simple online auction.

There is nothing wrong with ebay. Just like there is nothing wrong with etsy. They are both tools - use them as it best suits you.

A sale on etsy seems to make more sense for you as you have quite the following over there.

Best of luck Paula!

I'm not moving, but I'm with you on not wanting a bunch of old artwork hanging around. It all has energy and I'm good with letting that old stuff go.
paula said…
true that lisa. i know a handful of artists who do quite well on ebay. i guess you just have to have the following and buyers. i gots my peeps on etsy and i know that mixed media art isn't an easy sell online. period. so i will keep banging my head against the computer screen and figure it out. or not. life goes on. thanks for your input!

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