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Trunkt.org – Connecting Artists with Wholesale Buyers

EDITOR’S NOTE: Prices and information below may be out of date. Since launching our own art website service for artists at Foliotwist.com, we no longer feel unbiased enough to continue updating or reviewing other art website services. Visit the website below for their most recent information.

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Trunkt.org began as a series of “Trunkt Shows” in New York which connected exceptional artisans with wholesale buyers looking for unique handmade goods.

When the logistics of maintaining and operating a physical showroom in New York City became too overwhelming, the founders of Trunkt decided that their mission would be better accomplished through a website.

The result was Trunkt.org, an online incarnation of those “Trunkt Shows and essentially a tradeshow itself. There is no buying or selling done on the site; instead, it is specifically limited to offering more exposure for artisans who create high quality goods and can fill wholesale orders.

Please note that Trunkt is not for everyone, as it does NOT cater to artists looking to sell single pieces of art.

Trunkt.org membership pricing and features

Trunkt is very discerning as to the products that they display, so all artisans must first apply to be included on the site.

The application is pretty straightforward—you will be required to choose a product category (art objects, bath and body, jewelry, photography, etc.), provide company information (company name, location, website, etc.), login information, and 3 sample images of your product.

application

Once approved, artists can choose between a free trial portfolio or the premium portfolio. The trial version restricts uploads to just 3 product images and limits access to some of Trunkt’s marketing services, but it is free.

The premium portfolio costs $49 for the year and allows unlimited image uploads and full access to all marketing features. Taking into account how limited the Trial portfolio is, this is a much better deal.

There is no time limit in which you must decide to upgrade, but your portfolio will expire after 6 months of inactivity.

The marketing features which come with Trunkt’s premium membership include widgets, banners, showcases, gift guides, and groups.

The widgets are really cool—they are compact, interactive versions of your entire portfolio which can be embedded into a blog or any other website. Showcases and gift guides appear to be somewhat similar. Showcases are selections of works chosen by buyers and other sellers, while gift guides are frequently updated product selections curated by Trunkt itself. Groups allow artisans to interact with each other and take part in organized events.

Design and layout

The design of Trunkt is crisp, slick, dynamic, and easy to navigate. It has an overall pink and gray color theme which really ties together all sections of the site.

Most of the digital real estate on the homepage is occupied by four vertical sliding sections. When clicked upon, they reveal a featured showcase, several premium portfolios, a selection of popular portfolios, and a group of recently updated portfolios.

homepage

Each section has a “shuffle” or “more” button which loads new images each time it’s clicked. This makes it very easy to immediately locate desirable products and sellers.

Personally, I love the grid-like appearance created by the uniformly sized image boxes throughout the site—some of which reveal seller or product information when rolled over. The entire site feels clean and organized, and it really begs to be browsed!

Finding art on Trunkt

The hompage features I just mentioned make it very easy to locate art at first glance. Clicking on a product brings you to the artists’ portfolio page where all of their other products are shown in thumbnail form.

And Trunkt not only makes it very easy to find sellers, but also to stay up-to-date with new product offerings. Each portfolio page has an associated RSS feed so buyers can be updated immediately while using their favorite feed reader. Buyers can also maintain a wish list, and email product information to a friend.

If a buyer is browing through a premium seller’s page, there is also an option to browse by category—and while there’s no way to purchase artwork on Trunkt.org, they HAVE set up a shop on 1000Markets.com where buyers can buy directly from Trunkt sellers.

portfolio1

You can view Trunkt’s 1000Market shop here.

So what’s the verdict? Sign up or skip?

Well, when it comes to traffic, a chart recently published on Trunkt’s blog reveals that they are clearly receiving more visitors than WholesaleCrafts.com, GreatRep.com, and MyWares.com (who they’ve stated are their main competitors).

traffic

And after visiting these other sites, in my opinion Trunkt is also superior in terms of design and usability. . . but as I stated earlier, if you are an artist looking to sell a single painting or sculpture, you should stick with one of the other art-selling sites reviewed on EmptyEasel.

If you create jewelry, handmade clothing, or multiple prints of drawings, paintings or photographs, however, then Trunkt might be worth looking into. Check out Trunkt.org for more information or to fill out your application today.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

About a week ago I had the opportunity to read Chris Guillebeau's new ebook for artists, The Unconventional Guide to Art & Money, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it contained a lot of solid advice for artists who want to start making an income by selling their art online.

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