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Selling Fine Art Prints with Art Storefronts (Podcast 428)

Today we're going to look at a new service for selling fine art prints, called Art Storefronts. Art Storefronts have built a ground-breaking system that enables you to set up a store and sell either self-fulfilled print orders, or have the prints created by Art Storefronts, and shipped right...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
21 Comments
  • Charlie McDonald
    Posted at 03:49h, 01 July Reply

    Thanks Martin, I will have to check it out. You mentioned perfect resize…is the plugin version better than the stand alone. Just asking cause as an amateur photographer the price difference between the stand alone and plugin version is big.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:37h, 01 July Reply

      You’re welcome Charlie.

      I believe the standalone version is the same as the plugin version, but just doesn’t support round tripping from Lightroom or opening from within Photoshop. One other important difference though is that it does not work in batch, which could cost you a lot of extra time if you do intend to use it to process lots of images.

      I hope this helps!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:39h, 01 July Reply

      Also Charlie, I just checked and you can get the entire Suite for just $149 at the moment, and you can get a further 15% off that with the discount code onone15.

      http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/suite8/

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:40h, 01 July Reply

      Ah, no, scratch that. The code doesn’t work for the suite because it’s already 30% off. Still, $149 for the entire suite is a pretty good price.

  • Charlie McDonald
    Posted at 10:03h, 01 July Reply

    Thanks Martin. Such a strange pricing scheme. Not sure if I need all those filters. Although the B&W one temps me a bit too.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 10:13h, 01 July Reply

      Agreed. I use the Nik plugins but I bought the full Perfect Suite upgrade for like $79 a few months ago, basically to get Perfect Resize 8.5, but figured I’d give the rest of the suite a try too. I went through and played with each plugin, even watched a few of the tutorials, but nothing impressed me enough to switch from my Nik workflow.

      I don’t regret it, as I still got Perfect Resize cheaply, but I haven’t used the rest of the onOne suite and can’t see me doing so any time soon either.

  • Charlie McDonald
    Posted at 10:19h, 01 July Reply

    Thanks again Martin. This helps a lot 🙂

  • Thomas D Mørkeberg
    Posted at 04:00h, 10 August Reply

    Thanks for a good introduction to Perfect Resize.

    I heard that you also have to brighten your photos before printing. Does Perfect Resize also do that?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:31h, 10 August Reply

      No it doesn’t Thomas, but that advice is incorrect. You only have to brighten your images for print if your computer display is set too bright, and your images are underexposed, but you don’t realize because they look fine on-screen.

      If your images are already bright, i.e. when you look at the histogram the bright areas of your images are almost touching the right side of the histogram box, then you are fine. You would still need to darken your monitor down a little to make the two look similar after printing of course.

      If you calibrate your display, most devices offer to tell you how bright you should set your display. If you use that feature all should be good. BTW, my displays are set between 18% for my Eizo (out of 100% brightness) and around 50% for my Apple displays, and my prints never need brightening.

      I hope this helps.

  • KAREN CHIU
    Posted at 06:37h, 27 September Reply

    hello Martin, what is the cost and discount for setting up shop as print stuio with maximum flexibility with artstorefronts

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 15:38h, 27 September Reply

      Hi Karen,

      Please contact the ASF team directly for this information, as it is subject to change.

      Cheers,
      Martin.

  • karenjoslin
    Posted at 06:05h, 01 April Reply

    Martin, thanks for a comprehensive overview of Art Storefronts. I just visited your store there, and it takes a very long time for images to load – long enough that I assumed they wouldn’t load at all, but if I left the page open and went back later it would be there. Has this been an ongoing issue, or is it a new thing? (I’m on a Mac, and I tried in both Safari and Firefox.) This is more a problem with individual images than galleries, though I had intermittent issues with galleries loading also.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:17h, 01 April Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Karen! I have noticed this myself in the past, and told the team about it. I’ll let them know again.

  • W. Ice
    Posted at 21:05h, 05 October Reply

    Hi Martin, are you still using art storefronts? If so, are you happy? If not, are you willing to share why? If you’re not comfortable answering publicly, feel free to email me. Thanks!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 23:48h, 05 October Reply

      I still have an account, but I’m really not using it, not because of a problem with the system though. I just don’t have time to update and work with a new fulfillment partner at the moment. At some point, I will pick this up again. I can still say that if I was to be in need of a service like what Art Storefronts are providing, I’d still be happy to use them. It’s really a time thing on my part.

  • Matt
    Posted at 05:54h, 08 June Reply

    Wow, you were not kidding when you said they changed their pricing model. They quoted me at 2K for a startup price and 59 bucks a month maintenance. Definitely some startup costs there. They also take up to 12% from images I would sell. Still, it is a very interesting concept and they have a lot of cutting edge tech.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:54h, 24 June Reply

      Hi Matt,

      I must admit I haven’t checked for a while, but they are pretty high price tags, although I’m still confident that the team is basing this on the value that they are bringing to the artist. It does raise the cost of entry though, so it will be more difficult to simply dip your toe in the water. Having said that, selling prints is not easy, and requires a deeper level of commitment. This kind of pricing will force that commitment, so maybe is not a bad thing.

      Regards,
      Martin.

  • Matt J Cuda
    Posted at 08:56h, 18 August Reply

    Just checking back with you on this. Do you feel like the ROI was worth the investment? Drop me an email if you want to get more into the challenges and so forth.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 16:36h, 18 August Reply

      Hi Matt,

      You know, it really depends on how much time you are willing to devote to marketing your work. Art Storefronts provides the backend, and they are always there to help with some very detailed marketing advice, but as I mentioned, your images won’t sell themselves. If you are will devote an hour or so a day to carrying out the marketing advice that they send, every day, then you will probably make your investment back in no time. If like me though, you aren’t really prepared to spend that amount of time and effort, it’s probably not a good investment.

      Put another way though, if you really are serious about selling prints online, or even augmenting a physical sales model business, I do still believe that Art Storefronts offers the best service available to help you to make that business successful.

      Regards,
      Martin.

  • Matt
    Posted at 05:33h, 19 August Reply

    Thanks for your comments Martin. All my sales in the past have been provided by stock, commercial and editorial. I want to tap into print sales, but I wonder how well editorial content will sell as wall art. My feeling is that it will need to be “artsy (hate that word)” in order for people to buy it. I sell a piece now and again, but nothing that would even break even with ASF’s price structure.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 16:03h, 21 August Reply

      Hmm… That would be a tough sale in my opinion. There would need to be a certain amount of “artsy-ness” required for people to want to hang your photos on their walls. In that case, I would probably try some other means of selling for a while, and see if you can actually make sales, and then jump in to Art Storefronts once you have a better handle on that.

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