EDITOR’S NOTE: Prices and information below may be out of date.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.
1000markets.com is an online marketplace for artisans who make handcrafted goods and artwork. You won’t find anything mass-produced here. . . it’s all one-of-a-kind pieces, from art and handmade jewelry to clothing and objects for the home.
Pricing and features
If you’re based in the US, 1000markets is free to join, although not all artists who join and apply for a shop will be permitted to open one. In fact, roughly half of those who apply are turned down.
Applying isn’t too complex—there are about six steps, including signing up for an Amazon Payments account, and they walk you through it all.
However, the 1000market’s staff reviews every shop for both the quality of its products and the quality of presentation, and artisans who fail in either of those categories won’t be accepted.
If you pass inspection, your artwork will be displayed on 1000markets.com and your shop’s URL can be found by typing in a subdomain of 1000markets (something like yourname.1000markets.com).
In your account dashboard you’ll have control over your own blog, lots of tools for managing your art, and access to stats for how many people have visited your shop.
You can even create multiple shops on 1000markets, if you’d like. You’ll just need to have a unique email address for each shop you create.
And of course, each time you sell an item, there’s a fee (no matter how expensive or inexpensive the item is). The fee is 5.5% of the sale price plus 50 cents, which is actually very low—more along the lines of what a credit card processor like PayPal would charge, rather than on online gallery.
Design and layout
1000markets makes use of light, clean colors—mostly light blues, grays and greens—and is very easy to browse without getting any sort of “eye fatigue.”
The home page consistes of a top search bar, several lists of categories, and lots of thumbnail images showcasing various items for sale on 1000markets.com. (There are also a few featured sellers listed on the home page.)
I found it interesting that one of the requirements for shop owners is that they have their own graphical banner. . . but it makes sense, because each shop stands out a little bit more because of it.
Here’s one banner that was just gorgeous, at Plume & Bloom .
Throughout the site I was continually impressed with the design of those shop banners, as well as the quality of images—perhaps more than any other online gallery I’ve reviewed on EmptyEasel. This is due, at least in part, to the strict rules that 1000markets has for its shop owners.
Finding and buying art
Shopping for art and other items on 1000markets.com is fairly simple. You can browse the thumbnails on the home page, pick a category, type in a search term, or find a “Market” that fits your interests.
“Markets” on 1000markets.com are basically collections of artwork or objects around a specific theme—and they’re self-juried by the artisans who form them.
Markets get their own page, blog, forum, etc, and they truly can be organized around anything. One even had gifts, items, and artwork for green living .
So of course, when you search for something on 1000markets.com, your searches will typically turn up a market relating to your search term, followed by individual items that match what you’re searching for.
Here’s an example of my results when I searched for “Abstract Painting.”
In this case, I’m not exactly sure why the “New York Festival” market showed up for “Abstract Art” but perhaps it was the best fit for the search term. That market DOES include some abstract art, among other things.
Personally, I found it more helpful to drill down by category, at least when searching for a specific medium. Here’s a shot of the silk screen category, which I got to by selecting “Art,” then “Printmaking,” then “Silk Screen.”
The thumbnails above led directly to individual works of art, not markets, and all of them were spot-on. Overall, I don’t see buyers have much difficulty finding what they’re looking for.
Is it worth it to join?
I’d say yes—1000markets is a very impressive website, in part because everything on it looks so good. (And let’s not forget that low commission fee.)
Keep in mind, however, that it will take a little bit of work to go through the application process, and you won’t get approved unless you do everything correctly. For those of you who are already stretched thin with your own website, blog, or online gallery elsewhere, 1000markets may not be for you.
But, if you’re searching for a premier online gallery to show your work, it can’t hurt to apply and see if you get accepted.
So head on over to 1000markets.com and check it out for yourself—I guarantee while you’re there, you’ll probably even want to do a little shopping. :)