From the EBSQ Archives: Creating a Successful Online Auction Listing by Sonya Paz

The perfect scenario. The new auction art collector cruising the endless page after page of art, sculpture, wrought iron tangibles, wild extravagant paintings of interesting mixed media artworks and then he stumbles onto your page and viola!: this person is drawn in…..

Impressed right off the bat because your page loads fast they can now start the examination process of absorbing the valuable data contained within this precious document. Your titles are clear, the size of your piece is noted, and you have offered a prime concise image of your artwork. They are so excited that you have touched a special nerve with them as there were no fancy obstacles interfering in the thought process of why they are cruising in the first place…. to possibly buy something. Now they are completely ready. They zoom to the “place bid” area and contribute to a process that many can call history.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If you can say yes, then you are most like on the right track with doing the right things with your auction pages. If you (at this point) are scratching your head wondering why your auction pages are not working for you then chances are that maybe there is something wrong. It can be many things, from the placement of your data to the over achievement of the cool new javascripts that are available for free.

Here are a few “S-O-N-Y-A-S T-I-P-S” to help you out:

Sounds. Unless they are an active part of what you are selling and in most cases they aren’t then lose the noise. Sounds are unnecessary.

Over Achievement. Excessive Javascripts fancy rollovers and flashing things in your face. Bad very bad. These things can tie up someone’s browser and can cause some computers to crash. Don’t think that any person will be visiting your site again anytime soon. These are distracting useless toys that are bad for the auction page environment. Don’t do this to people, they really can care less about these fancy whatchamacallits. Large scrolling 40 foot long pages with a ton of ads and the big giant “sell” aren’t popular either. The best formula is to think about you driving a car and how long you have to read a billboard on the side of the road at 55 mph. Same effect, keep focused, no distractions and less “is” more.

Not everyone has high speed Internet, so please take that into consideration when creating your page. Keep image files small and content quality high. What I mean by “content quality” is to take the time to indicate the details of your piece and this also includes your shipping parameters and any special notes.

Your Images. Now here is a biggie. This is what is going to help you be the most successful with your auction pages because this is what people want to see. Whether you are using an intense photo image application like Adobe Photoshop or a simple image editor like Photo-Edit you can still produce a nice image for your viewers. Exporting the images to .jpg with a result of quality from 5 to 7 is sufficient (this all varies with your photo editor application). Try not to think that making it the highest quality is always better because then your image will take longer to download to screen.

Animations are annoyances. Two words. Loose ’em. Hopping doggies and bouncing smilie faces do it for me…. I am outta there.

Stealing. (okay, let’s for the sake of harsh words let’s call it “borrowing” shall we.) Sure, we can all get inspired from many different outlets whether it’s another artist site or page or some unique clever wording that someone be as original as possible, make a statement or add verbiage that is pertinent to your persona. Our ability to create descriptive words to enhance our art is as original as the art itself.

Templates and Technique. A simple HTML editor can assist you in designing the architecture for your page and you can keep your template and use it for all your auction pages, this way your look will always be consistent and then you can always add or delete data easily. Most editors do not have a spell checker, take the time to review your grammar.

Interests and Inspirations. Based on the way that eBay handles keyword spamming it would be best to note any additional interests, admired art legends, areas of inspirations on a separate page. In eBay they give you a place where you can own and maintain a personal “me” page if you are a registered eBay user. This way you won’t have eBay emailing you accusing you of keyword spamming and you can still get your point across to your viewers.
Practice and patience. Take your time. Learn basic HTML commands for your pages, get the most out of the cool tools available. There are a lot of handy free resources on the Internet :o)

Stop. Look and Listen. If after reading and taking these tips into consideration you need a second set of eyes to review your content and give some constructive criticism then go for it. Ask a friend to take a peek, it’s better that they give you the thumbs up before your viewing audience gives you a thumbs down…..


Sonya Paz is a professional fine artist/painter living in San Jose, California. Sonya is also an established web and graphic designer and has written many articles based on her experiences in the corporate world and how she manages her fine art business today. In 1996 – 1998 Sonya wrote the “Funky Thought of the Week” for the on-line publication Soho Saltmines.

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EBSQ Friday Five

Still Life with Hardanger by Sandra Willard
Still Life with Hardanger by Sandra Willard

1. Still Life with Hardanger -Sandra Willard and her extraordinary talent have amazed me again.

2. Lowe Mill Art Studios and Grumpy Cat – The talented artists of this large studio in Alabama, including EBSQ’s very own Tracey Allyn Greene, have been featured in The Huffington Post! Congrats, Tracey!

3. Controversies: eBay and Adobe – Tiffany Toland-Scott shares some very important information concerning this two giants. This is a must read for anyone who uses eBay to sell their art and for all Photoshop users.

4. MOTM: Simplify – Maureen Frank’s mandala for May is all about simplifying our lives. Stop by her blog to download this month’s mandala for free.

5. Fostering Friendly Familiarity – EmptyEasel.com has a superb article on how to market your art by building a relationship with your viewers, not just seeing them as buyers.

 

Is it the real McCoy? How to spot an art forgery on eBay

Alma's most recently bootlegged piece of art
Multiple copies of this piece were found for sale on EBAY. The Original is SOLD, No Licensed prints Contracted.

In the dozen years I’ve been dealing with the online art market, forgery has always been an issue. Sites like eBay have long been flooded with sweatshop copies of old masters. In fact, that is part and parcel why EBSQ was founded: it gave original artists, via the EBSQ keyword, a way to be easily found amid thousands upon thousands of copies.

With the advent of widespread and affordable giclee printing, forgery has become an even bigger issue. It’s no longer just the old masters being copied, but emerging and mid-career artists as well. Now, some copies are hand-painted by other artists as their own compositions. Beginning artists often don’t understand that this is both unethical and illegal since there is a long tradition of learning to draw and paint by copying other drawings and paintings. In these cases, these aren’t technically forgeries, but rather copyright infringement. And in many cases, this is “fairly” easy to deal with a simple C & D. What is much harder to nip in the bud are the systematic mass-produced forgeries done by people pretending to be the original artist (or a gallery), who are simply printing out (and possibly hand-touching up) copies.

Case in point is the work of EBSQ Artist Alma Lee. For almost a year, she has been fighting an eBay Powerseller who has been selling hundreds of copies of her work. Alma took all of the proper steps. She contacted eBay multiple times. She filed all the forms. Copyright infringement notices were filed by her and multiple parties, all reporting the forged auctions. Phone calls were made. Even the buyers of her originals got involved, speaking up on her behalf. And eBay did…nothing. Apparently, Alma doesn’t bring in enough money to warrant losing a Powerseller over.  So, the fraud continues with eBay’s apparent blessing.

So. Let’s assume you want to buy original art on eBay direct from the original artist. How then, do you know that what you’re getting is the Real McCoy and not one of these fakes, particularly BEFORE you are parted from your money? Alma put together a blog post listing the Top 10 Ways to Spot a Forgery.

Take a look at her list. Did she get it right? What else (if anything) would you add?

Team EBSQ: Must Have Monday

When you call them Koi, it sounds so fancy. If you were to refer to them as ornamental carp – it just looses all glamor.  So we will stick with Koi. In schools, pairs, or alone they are looked upon as a object of beauty. From the yellows, whites, blacks, and oranges the colors mix and meld to unique works of natural art. Here are some of our takes on Koi for your viewing pleasure.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Muriel Areno
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Muriel Areno
Everybody Loves Koi by Naquaiya
Everybody Loves Koi by Naquaiya
Koi Pond Mermaid by Jasmine Becket-Griffith
Koi Pond Mermaid by Jasmine Becket-Griffith Print

More koi can be found in our EBSQ art galleries by searching “koi“. More from our featured artists can be found in their portfolios:  Muriel Areno,   Naquaiya,  and Jasmine Becket-Griffith.

Next week: Graffiti so get those pencils, markers, paints, cameras a moving! If you would like a chance to be featured here use keywords “EBSQ graffiti” in your listings for next week!

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Team EBSQ: Must Have Monday

Four equal sides and four right angles.  So simple, yet so complex.

Square Abstract 8 by Kathy Morton Stanion
Square Abstract 8 by Kathy Morton Stanion
Alterered Art Doll ACEO Sujati
Alterered Art Doll ACEO Sujati
Serenity by Tiffany Matthews
Serenity by Tiffany Matthews

More “square” art can be seen from our EBSQ pool of artists in the EBSQ galleries. Be sure to check out more art from our talented featured artists: Kathy Morton Stanion, Sujati, and Tiffany Matthews.

Next Week: Digital Art

Art á la carte: Jeanne Forsyth

Arizona is my native home, and I am very drawn to the colors and landscapes.

Cherry Blossoms $25.00
Cherry Blossoms $25.00

Through vibrant sunrises and sunsets, to the beautiful cacti in bloom and mystic red- rock mountains – I never seem to run out of subjects to paint.

Needles of Light Print from $18.89
Needles of Light Print from $18.89

The artists journey is a lifetime of learning, and that is what drives me to continue to paint.

Awakening print from $18.89
Awakening print from $18.89

You can learn more about Jeanne Forsyth  on her EBSQ Bio.

To see more of her art please visit her EBSQ portfolio, or visit one of her online venues:

If you would like to be featured please contact Kris Jean.