I’m currently promoting my fine art photos through two non-exclusive online platforms offering a print-on-demand (POD) service. Saatchi Art and Fine Art America (FAA) both vary in their user experience and the products they sell, as well as their sales and marketing tools, features, and programs offered to help artists promote their work. Here’s a quick overview:
“Saatchi Art is the world’s leading online art gallery, connecting people with art and artists they love.” It sells original artwork, limited edition and open edition prints including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photography.
POD products: Open edition canvas, framed or unframed fine art paper, and photo paper prints.
Free account: Unlimited images.
Service: Artists can sell prints as limited edition and/or open edition prints.
- Limited edition: Artists print and package the art themselves. Saatchi Art arranges collection and delivery and deducts a 35% commission on the sale price.
- Open edition: There’s no limit to the number of prints offered for sale. Saatchi Art prints, frames, mats, packages, ships, processes customer payments, and provides customer service. Artists receive 65% of the profit on a sale. Profit is calculated from the sale price minus production costs.
Pricing: Artists select the type of print they want to sell, set their prices, and see their profit with the price adjustment tool.
Sales and marketing: Saatchi Art promotes and features artists through various programs and marketing channels including email newsletters, home page collections, promotions, social media, online advertising, PR, their catalog, blog, editorial features, and art advisory service.
Saatchi Art requires individual artwork pricing as you can only edit prices on an image-by-image basis. Also, although you can follow artists and favorite artwork, there’s no capacity to comment on artwork and artists can only see image views and favorites by clicking on individual images.
Fine Art America
“Fine Art America is the world’s largest art marketplace and print-on-demand technology company.” It sells original artwork and POD products including paintings, photography, illustrations, digital art, and mixed media.
POD products: Canvas, framed, metal, art, wood, and acrylic prints; greeting cards, notebooks, puzzles, mugs, and apparel; phone cases and portable battery chargers; home decor (towels, shower curtains, pillows, duvet covers, and blankets); lifestyle products (yoga mats, tote bags, and beach towels).
Free account: Limited to 25 images and provides two profiles. Uploads and edits mirror across both profiles.
- FAA profile: Mostly wall art.
- Pixels profile: Wall art plus a wider range of home decor, lifestyle products, and apparel.
Paid premium account: Annual $30 fee and allows unlimited images. In addition to the two profiles, it provides a personal fully customizable POD website with all the FAA features. Uploads and edits mirror across the website and both profiles.
Service: FAA prints, frames, mats, packages, ships, insures, processes customer payments, and provides customer service.
Pricing: FAA prices all products and artists set their U.S. dollar markup prices for the products they want to sell. Artists license images to FAA to use on those products. The final selling prices are a combination of:
- The artist’s markup price. (This is the amount an artist earns on a sale).
- If the markup is $50 or under, FAA adds $5. If the markup is over $50, FAA adds $5 plus 10%.
- FAA’s printing costs.
Original artwork: 100% commission free and artists handle the entire transaction.
Sales and marketing: As well as selling through FAA, Pixels, and their own premium POD website, artists can also earn streaming income (from digital picture frames), license artwork for use on television, and sell through Facebook, Shopify, and their own website. They can also license images as digital downloads (with a separate licensing Pixels profile), setting their own prices while FAA adds a 30% markup on top.
Artists can opt-in to these discount programs:
- Wholesale buyers: FAA’s wholesale website for corporate art buyers and interior designers to bulk purchase at discounted prices. Artist profit is reduced by 25-90% for each sale.
- Retail Stores: online storefronts for many brick-and-mortar retail stores. Artist profit is reduced by 50% for each sale through these websites.
- Online Advertisements: FAA can optionally advertise products on Google, Facebook, and Instagram. Artist profit is reduced by 50% for each sale resulting from these advertisements.
- Sitewide Discounts: FAA sitewide discount promotions. Artist profit is reduced by the promotional discount percentage for each sale during the promotion period.
FAA doesn’t market artwork, but they provide marketing tools. Artists can promote events, issue online press releases, and create email campaigns, PDF sales sheets, discount codes, limited time promotions, and blog posts.
Once the default settings are set up, FAA is very quick to upload images. Also, you can bulk edit prices for images already in the gallery. Artists can participate in a large social network of groups, contests, and discussions, and they can also track visitors, comments, and favorites using behind the scenes analytics.