EDITOR’S NOTE: Prices and information below may be out of date. Since launching our other website for artists, at Foliotwist.com, we no longer feel unbiased enough to continue updating or reviewing artist websites. Visit the website below for their most recent information.
ArtByUs.com—you may have come across it before and considered listing your artwork for auction. For those of you not familiar with it, ArtByUs is one of the few auction-based art selling websites online. It functions a lot like eBay, but ONLY sells art.
As part of my ultimate goal to review every art-selling website online, today I’ll be reviewing ArtByUs.com. Just to warn you, it’s not very favorable.
First things first, ArtByUs doesn’t charge artists to list their paintings, drawings, or photographs online. It’s completely free.
They’re not a charity or anything because they still make money, partially from artists paying to feature their artwork on the front page (which I‘ll get to in a bit), but mostly from putting ads in the margins of their website.
And the ads were the first thing that sort of bothered me—not because they HAD ads, but because the ads weren’t relevant.
Sure, someone looking for classic corvette artwork might be interested in buying a car, but it’s not really the same thing, and it makes for a jarring browsing experience. I really shouldn’t say too much more because I use ads to support EmptyEasel myself—but at least I try to make them look like they belong.
I also didn’t think the design was very good. Very boring, with poor navigation. I liked the logo, and that’s about it.
But really, the site design and irrelevant ads are just a side-note. What truly matters is that nobody’s bidding on anything! ArtByUs has some traffic, but apparently it’s NOT the art-buying kind. As I looked through the pages of listings, I found—literally—thousands of paintings and other artwork with zero bids.
I ended up counting all of them (just because I’m a bit obsessive) and found that out of the 2,886 works of art listed for sale, only 21 had any bids on them. 21! That’s less than 1% success rate.
Of those that DID have bids, 5 were featured artwork. Since there were only 51 featured artworks total, it seems as though paying to feature your artwork increases your odds from less than 1% to right around 10%.
Featuring your artwork on the front page costs $9.95 for the duration of the listing. You can also bold your listing for $1.
Personally, I wouldn’t do either. Even a 10% chance is poor odds.
There’s not much more to say about ArtByUs—I’m not even going to talk about the artwork because, to be honest, I didn’t really bother to look at it. I’m sure there’s both good art and bad art listed, but when nothing sells, it doesn’t make much difference.