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Etsy Art Sales: The Pros and Cons of Selling Prints vs. Original Art on Etsy

Are you an artist looking to sell your work on Etsy? The online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods can be a great way to reach a wider audience and turn your passion into a business. But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to decide how to sell your art. One major decision that can increase your etsy art sales volume is whether to offer prints or original art or even both. In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of selling prints versus original art on Etsy. We'll dive into the market and customer perspectives, examine the costs and potential profits, and discuss the accessibility and unique value proposition of each option. By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of which choice is best suited to your personal goals and business strategy.

This article may contain affiliate links. I️ only include links to products and courses I️ love.


Understand the Market

To make the best decision on whether to sell prints or original art on Etsy, it's important to understand the market. Who are your potential customers and what are they looking for? Are they art collectors or simply looking for affordable home decor? Do they value the uniqueness of an original piece or are they content with a high-quality print? Understanding these factors can help you tailor your offerings and marketing efforts to appeal to your target audience. In the next section, we'll dive into understanding your customer to help you make the most informed decision.


Understand Your Customer

To make the most informed decision on whether to sell prints or original art on Etsy, it's crucial to understand your customer. Who are your potential buyers and what motivates them to buy art? Are they purchasing for themselves or as a gift? By answering these questions, you can tailor your offerings and marketing strategies to appeal to your target audience.


For example, if your target audience is art collectors who value uniqueness and are willing to invest in one-of-a-kind pieces, then selling original art may be your best option. On the other hand, if you're catering to a broader audience of individuals looking for affordable home decor, then prints may be a more viable choice.


By understanding your customer, you can also identify the platforms they use to search for art. Do they primarily use Instagram or Pinterest to discover new artists? If so, it may make sense to focus your marketing efforts on these platforms. Additionally, understanding your customer's preferences can help you determine factors such as price points and types of art to offer.



Higher Profit Margins with Original Art

Selling original art certainly has its perks, one of which is higher profit margins. While prints can be produced and sold for a lower price point, original pieces can be sold at a higher price because of their uniqueness and one-of-a-kind nature. Additionally, selling original art can create a sense of exclusivity for buyers, which may compel them to make a purchase.

However, it is important to note that creating original art typically requires more time and resources than producing prints. Artists must put in the effort and materials to create each piece from scratch. Therefore, it is crucial to price original art appropriately to ensure that it is profitable.


When deciding whether to sell prints or original art on Etsy, it is essential to consider your target audience and the demand for your work. If you have a loyal following of collectors who appreciate and are willing to pay for original art, it may be worth focusing your efforts on creating and selling original work.


Lower Production Costs with Prints

Prints offer artists a cost-effective option for producing and selling their work. With lower production costs, artists can create more copies of a single piece of art, making it easier to sell to a wider audience. Prints also offer the advantage of being more durable than original work, which can be prone to damage over time.


By selling prints, artists can make their work more accessible and appealing to a larger demographic. People who may not be able to afford original artwork can still enjoy and purchase a print of their favorite piece. Additionally, prints can be produced in a variety of sizes and formats, allowing artists to cater to different preferences and styles.


Accessibility and Mass Appeal with Prints

By offering prints on Etsy, artists can expand their customer base and make their work more accessible to a larger audience. Unlike original artwork, prints can be produced in various sizes and formats, catering to different preferences and styles. This versatility allows artists to create prints that are both affordable and desirable to a broad range of customers.

The accessibility and mass appeal of prints can be especially beneficial for emerging artists trying to establish themselves in the market. It provides an opportunity for them to build a following and gain exposure while still making sales. For established artists, selling prints can be a great way to supplement their income and offer an alternative to higher-priced original works.

In addition to affordability and accessibility, prints also allow artists to experiment with different mediums and techniques. They can create digital prints of their original artwork or create unique prints using different materials such as wood, metal or fabric. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for artists to explore and expand their creative horizons.



Unique Value Proposition with Original Art

Original artwork is a cornerstone of the art world, dating back centuries. There is something inherently special about owning a one-of-a-kind piece of art that cannot be replicated. Etsy artists who create original pieces have a unique value proposition that sets them apart from those selling prints.


For many art enthusiasts, the opportunity to own an original piece is worth the added cost. Original artwork often carries a higher price point than prints, but for those who value the uniqueness and beauty of the piece, the investment can be well worth it. The artist's time, effort, and creative vision are invested into every brush stroke, making the piece truly one-of-a-kind.

Another advantage of selling original artwork is that it increases the artist's credibility and prestige. Owning an original piece from a known artist can be a status symbol for collectors and art enthusiasts. Additionally, original artwork can be used in galleries and exhibitions, further increasing the reach and visibility of the artist.

Offering original artwork on Etsy can help artists tap into a unique market of collectors and art enthusiasts who are willing to invest in high-quality, one-of-a-kind pieces. For artists who have the skill and expertise to create original artwork, it is a strategic move that can set them apart and help them build a loyal following.


In conclusion, while there are pros and cons to selling both prints and original artwork, the unique value proposition that original artwork offers cannot be overlooked. For Etsy artists who have the skill and creativity to create one-of-a-kind pieces, offering original artwork can be a strategic move that sets them apart and helps them build a loyal following.


Want to learn more about Etsy? Sign up for my friend Monica Littles free training: Get Your Products Seen on Etsy.

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