Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Economy and Ebay ~ Daily Paintings

eBay "daily painting" auction only bids percentage - limited data

One thing that I have tried, and I am sure other artists have tried as well, is listing my small paintings on ebay under "daily paintings". Since I am one of those left-right brain folks, I needed to understand what my chances of selling a daily painting on ebay were. Recently, I decided to start keeping track of some of the daily painting data. So far, I almost have 30 data points....something needed for a good sampling and reliable statistics. However, my data is still very limited as the info included is not for a very long period of time....just a little over a week & collecting at different times of the day. However, even with those few points and by collecting data at different times of the day, I found some very insightful info that I would like to share. Over time the data will become more meaningful. I definitely plan on continuing this.

Here is what I have found so far (all numbers are for auction only daily paintings):
  • the average percentage of paintings with bids is 19.6%
  • the average number of paintings listed is 130 (auction only)
  • the average highest selling price is $161 with the average shipping price of $8.60
  • the average lowest selling price is $8 with free shipping
I went a step further and took a look at the ones with bids. It seems that those with a strong following are 50% of those daily paintings with bids. They also receive a decent price for their paintings ranging from $100 and higher.

The data for the highest and lowest bids includes the bid price + the shipping price. There are actually bids that are for much less, but typically it is made up by charging higher shipping fees.

Last year when I did this just by a quick count, the number of daily paintings with bids was closer to 30%. I hope to continue keeping track of this to see if there is an improvement over time. It could be a good economic indicator. Also, I would like to know if is really worth the cost of listing paintings on ebay.

Right now I plan on listing a few of my own paintings each week with a low starting price. This has to do with the fees that ebay charges. I am using ebay as part of a marketing strategy with a small budget earmarked just for listing paintings. It would be great to sell a painting now and then to cover the marketing budget, but that is not my main reason for listing them on ebay. I hope to gain a bit more exposure.

For now, with the very limited data that I have, I am realizing that selling on ebay is not easy. One first should have a strong following or maybe use it to develop one - one artist that I have been watching seems to have accomplished this (more on this in a later post). However, right now I feel that most of my hits on ebay that check on my paintings are probably from other artists. That is ok as artists do buy paintings and one never knows who else might take a look.

By the way, I plan on keeping track of this data and posting my findings every week. I also would love to hear how others have done with ebay and what strategy others have used.


Fred Bell said...

Wow, what a great service you are doing!! I have been there and done that. In the beginning of my listing on eBay I thought that prices would start low, I would build a following and my prices would rise. It didn't work out that way. I did build a following some of whom still follow my career and purchase from me. In order to get a decent price for your paintings you need a lot more press or advertising than just eBay. eBay is for bargain hunters. The people who do well have got some wonderful press and/or are great web networkers. I have a lot to say about this and feel constrained by this comment allotment of text. Thanks for the great work!!!!

MaryAnn Cleary said...

Thanks, Fred. You are so right about eBay being a place for bargain hunters. However, there still is that small percentage of those who seem to be buying as art collectors. I plan on continuing collecting the eBay info & posting a painting now and then. It is interesting and I love sharing my results with others.