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Artwanted.com is one of the oldest art-selling websites I’ve found—it’s been around for 8 years (which is forever online!) and it seems to have quite a few members. However, after checking it out completely, I’m not sure it’s the site I’d recommend if you really are serious about selling your art on the internet.
First off, the design of Artwanted.com is a little strange. Is it just me, or do all those bubbly blue bars make the site look a little childish?
But design can be changed, I suppose (and as of August 2008, they HAVE updated their design). What I really look for in art websites is a good amount of traffic. Unfortunately when I checked Artwanted on Compete.com I saw a downward trend over the past year. . . Not a good sign.
But just in case they were in some kind of extended seasonal slump, I looked them up on Alexa, too, which let me look back three years instead of just one.
As you can see in the graph below, Artwanted has seen better days.
What I find even more disturbing, however, is that Artwanted is still gaining new artists every year. Here, I’ll explain.
On the left are three boxes showing how many artists were a part of Artwanted in 2005, 2006, and 2007. You can see that membership at Artwanted has nearly doubled since November 2005—but their traffic certainly has not.
(By the way, I got those statistics via the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive. The Archive catalogues websites on a regular basis, which let me check Artwanted’s homepage from previous years and look at the numbers they posted then.)
And when I compared Artwanted.com’s current traffic to Imagekind and Redbubble, Artwanted had less traffic despite being 7 years older and (as far as I can tell) having more members. Just based on that, I think I’d recommend those two ahead of Artwanted.
As far as features go, I thought it would be a good idea to compare Artwanted with RedBubble and Imagekind because all three websites are community-oriented, offer print-on-demand services, and have a free membership plan. However, Artwanted’s free plan limits you to three image uploads per month, As of August 2008, Artwanted’s free plan gives members 50 images for every year they’ve been active, Imagekind allows 24 images total, and RedBubble offers unlimited images and uploads.
Furthermore (and this took me a while to figure out) you have to pay $5 per month for the premium membership to be included in Artwanted.com’s print-on-demand program. If a print gets purchased you’ll receive approximately 50%-75% of the sale. The exact amount depends on the price of the print and a few other factors which honestly were too confusing for me to want to repeat.
Now, unlike Imagekind and RedBubble, if you want to sell original art on Artwanted, you can—with both the free and paid memberships. Just keep in mind that Artwanted will take a 15% commission on every piece you sell.
If you’re really considering the premium membership, there are a few other perks I should mention, such as random placement of your art around Artwanted.com and premium placement in Artwanted’s search results. Plus, if you pay for the entire year at one time it only costs $39 instead of $60.
But all things considered, I can’t recommend Artwanted.com for anything more than its community. . . not when you could get a free membership elsewhere with more features, more traffic, and ultimately a better chance to sell your art online.