EDITOR’S NOTE: Prices and information below may be out of date. Since launching our own art website service for artists atFoliotwist.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.
Quick announcement - EmptyEasel has created a quicker, easier way for artists to have their own art website.Click here to learn more and get a simple art website of your own!
Zibbet.com is a new online art gallery and marketplace which just launched this February. If the name “Zibbet” strikes you as slightly strange, think of the word “exhibit” instead and it’ll suddenly make a lot more sense.
When they launched, one of Zibbet’s founding principles is “pay nothing until you sell something.” To that end, they’ve created a service which is completely free to sign up for, and won’t cost you anything unless you decide to pay for the premium option.
Zibbet pricing and features
Zibbet is free to join, for all artists. You can display and sell up to 50 works of art for free, from paintings and drawings to photography and handmade jewelry or ceramics.
If you’d like to list more artwork than that, you can either pay $9.95 per month, or $69 per year (which is quite a bit less than if you pay monthly). Artists must figure out their own packaging and shipping costs, and ship their artwork themselves, but Zibbet handles almost everything else.
For instance, after you sign up, they’ll walk you through things like uploading a banner or logo to your Zibbet shop, writing a welcome message, and creating your own “shop policies.” (Each artist can set shipping policies, return policies, etc.)
If you get stuck, they have a pretty good FAQ with a lot of answers, and a blog for more in-depth tutorials and general marketing advice.
One thing that’s different with Zibbet is that if you don’t already have a PayPal account, you’ll need to get one before you can complete a sale. In my opinion, however, that’s a good thing—they’ve set up their payment system so that money goes directly to your PayPal account rather than going through them first.
Another nice feature is that when selling art prints or other multiples, you can specify how many items you have available to sell, and Zibbet will keep track of that number for both you and your visitors.
I also think Zibbet’s stats program will certainly come in handy.
I was impressed to see that Zibbet keeps track of your total shop visits and visits through the showroom (among other things) which means you’ll be able to see if paying for the premium version is worth it or not.
Design and layout of Zibbet.com
Zibbet.com has a clean and open design. It’s a little sparse in some spots, and the all-green color scheme might not be to your liking, but overall I think it’s a good first look for this company.
I especially like how the home page is full of artwork and imagery—there are big thumbnails in the middle, categories on the top and side, and five newly listed works below everything else.
There’s also one featured artist at the bottom of the home page, so if you’re lucky enough to be chosen for that, you’ll get even more exposure.
I did notice a few inconsistencies, however, in how the thumbnails are displayed throughout Zibbet.com. On the home page, for example, they’re very large, which I love. Everywhere else they’re a bit smaller. While I understand the need to fit more images onto the screen, I still like the home page thumbnails a little more.
Finding and buying art on Zibbet
As you would hopefully expect from an online art gallery, visitors can browse and search art right away from the home page. There’s a basic color search tool, an option to pick a price range, several categories to choose from, and a keyword field.
Everything works fine there, except for color search—my results just weren’t very accurate. As I see it, the main problem with Zibbet’s color search right now is that artists are allowed to choose every single color as a “main color,” and this seems to have led to a dilution of quality in the seach results.
I’d suggest a max of 3 colors, just to ensure that no-one tries to game the color search by picking the entire spectrum.
When it comes to searching by artists, Zibbet’s not quite as good as I’d like it to be. Shoppers can search for artist by category or keyword, but there’s no full directory of artists anywhere (ideally it would be organized by name, location, or type of artwork to improve each shop’s search engine rankings).
From an SEO standpoint, the more links you have leading to your members, the better, so this type of feature would help out in a few different ways. I also think a full location search would be nice, too. (According to a recent blog post, this is a feature that they’re working on.)
So is it worth it?
The biggest drawback to using Zibbet right now is their newness (they’re technically still in beta) and more specifically, their lack of traffic. Every web business just starting out has an uphill climb ahead of them in that regard, and I’d bet Zibbet’s early adopters aren’t going to see significant visits to their Zibbet shops anytime soon.
However, in 6 months to a year, that could be quite different. It all depends on the amount of buzz that Zibbet can build, and how passionate their members are about generating traffic on their own.
The biggest reason to choose Zibbet would probably have to be their free starting price. If you have fewer than 50 works to sell, you won’t have to pay a dime. Coming in close second is the fact that they seem very committed to expanding the features on Zibbet, and slowly improving things even more for their artists.
To check out Zibbet for yourself, drop by Zibbet.com or visit their blog to learn more.
GET EMPTYEASEL IN YOUR INBOX
We'll send you articles & tutorials right as we publish them, so you never miss a post! Unsubscribe here at any time.