Need a little cash boost? Sell your “art” online

Today, I am going to share one way that I make a little extra cash online. I sell my “art”. It seems pretty obvious and possibly a bit of a stupid post doesn’t it? Well, not many people actually think of doing it, but I got around $100 profit last month from doing about one days full work (I had a lazy month where I didn’t do much else)!

I’m not very arty at all, but I can paint something onto a small canvas, and that’s all you need to be able to do to bring in some extra cash, in fact, if you really hit it off you could turn it into a small part time business. So, what exactly do you have to do? Well, you paint some original pictures and sell them. It is quite a nice little thing to do, as you don’t have to put much effort in, but the returns are pretty nice!

Step 1: Gather supplies

The first thing you need to do, is to get the stuff you are going to make your art with, now I don’t want to turn this into an art lesson, so I’ll focus more on costs and materials. I buy 50x40cm canvases for just under $4 each from a DIY store near me, seriously, they are pretty cheap and probably cheaper on the internet. Then you need some paint, I find that a pack of 10 acrylics usually sets me back $15 and lasts about 10 -20 canvases (don’t worry too much about quality of paint) so about $1.50 maximum for paint costs. Then you need some stuff to package your paintings, I usually have some stuff lying around, but buying in bulk you can get the cost down to $0.50 a package. So, our total costs are $4 for canvas, $1.50 for paint and $0.50 for packaging. that is a total of $6 for one painting, and you can probably bring the cost down if you buy more from the right places.

Step 2: Paint the thing

Your next step is to paint it. Like I said, this isn’t art class, so I’ll just give you a few pointers:

  • Make it original – this is what will sell the art
  • Stick to a style – I find modern art is easiest, because it doesn’t have to resemble art that much and gives excuses for mistakes
  • Use color – color sells best and is quite attention grabbing, however, saying that I sold a nice black and white picture, but I have quite a few that haven’t sold.
  • Don’t spend too much time on it. They are so cheap that if you muck one up, you may as well start again.

Step 3: Sell your master piece

Now you need to sell your work. I use eBay, you may want to try something else it is up to you. The main thing you need to think about here is price. The minimum you want to sell it for is 1.5x, but that only leaves you with $3. I try to price mine at 3.5x the price to produce. In reality, say I sold 10 in one month, 70% of those would go for 3.5x the price, so $147 in total, then I might decide that honestly, I can’t sell two of them (they aren’t good enough maybe) so I might package them as a two for one, or just keep them. The last one might be a lot better so I sell for 5x the price ($30) so I have made up the cost of the other two. You have to really think about the worth of the paintings, and how much they honestly are worth. With the right price though, these things pretty much fly off the (virtual) shelves. Remember, your main selling point here is totally 100% original canvases.

Step 4: Rinse and repeat or expand (and final tips)

So, you can do this a few times and make some extra money, but there is huge potential for you to expand and rinse and repeat this method any time you need some extra cash. If you really want to, you could easily setup an online shop and really boost your revenue, but honestly, I’m too lazy more interested in other things and concentrate on them and just use this as an extra boost of cash if I need it.



One Response to Need a little cash boost? Sell your “art” online

  1. greg February 24, 2009 at 7:52 pm #


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