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You’ve heard of selling art at galleries, exhibits, and fairs, but what about drop-shipping your pieces? Here’s a guide to packing and drop-shipping canvas artwork that could shed light on how to gain exposure using different avenues.
What Is Drop-Shipping?
Drop-shipping is an order fulfillment strategy where a business or owner of a website doesn’t keep their merchandise in stock. Instead, the business owner would send merchandise to the drop-shipping merchant, who would prep the product for shipping and send it to the consumer.
The business sells each individual product at retail price through its website. As the wholesaler, the drop-shipping merchant is able to sell large quantities of products and will even ship the product directly to the customer. As a result, this allows the business to conduct business operations without having their products in hand.
The reduced costs for the business allow for budget allocation towards other elements of operation like advertising and portfolio maintenance. Most businesses will focus on a niche or products in a specific industry, but overall, they may offer a wide variety of trending products to appease the needs of their customers.
How Does It Apply To Selling Artwork?
Using drop-shipping practices allows for the artist to further increase their exposure and distribute their artwork through different avenues, thus building their brand. When operating on a supply and demand structure, the more artwork and prints produced, the more product the drop-shipping merchant can sell and redistribute.
As mentioned previously, using drop-shipping eliminates the need for the business owner to maintain an inventory of artwork in stock. In the process, this cuts down on associated costs when storing merchandise. The fulfilling merchant will then establish an agreement with the artist regarding order fulfillment processing times.
In turn, this can promote transparency between the owner, drop-shipping merchant, and the buyer about the order and when to expect the purchased artwork. Having a consistent and reliable turnaround time also prevents any negative reviews for the artist or seller.
Imagine the following scenario: an online art gallery wants to work with an artist and market their pieces on their website. Customers viewing the art on the online catalog look to purchase pieces, thus ordering the product.
The order directs to the artist, who then prepares and ships the work to the customer directly from the studio. After fulfillment and delivery, the gallery pays commission to the artist in the same fashion as it would when selling from a brick-and-mortar location.
In this case, the artist is the drop-shipping merchant for the online gallery. In turn, the gallery is able to save the expense and overhead of maintaining inventory of the artist’s portfolio. The artist is then able to market the same pieces in different venues until they sell, saving on marketing expenses.
Why Is Packaging Artwork Important?
A well-packaged and maintained product results in a positive experience, therefore encouraging buyers to return to a storefront and purchase goods in the future. There’s a significant importance in packaging artwork properly.
Offers Superior Protection
Transporting artwork without any form of protection is a recipe for disaster. However, using adequate materials for canvas pieces provides a shield from mechanical damage, humidity, and sunlight.
Promotes Safer Transportation
Professional artwork packaging techniques would also support the integrity of the piece during transport. For instance, when transporting art by ground, it helps to treat and package art with the utmost care, as boxes may encounter bumps while on the road.
Can Come With Insurance
While insurance may increase transportation costs, it also provides extra protection in the event of significant damage or loss. Art is valuable, so it would be impossible to envision transporting pieces without a form of coverage.
What Are the Benefits of Drop-Shipping Artwork?
As mentioned previously, drop-shipping artwork provides multiple benefits that favor both the merchant and the business owner.
For one, drop-shipping is a relatively low-cost start-up. Most of the fees occur online with manufacturer relationships or website advertising fees. Instead of investing significant amounts of capital in purchasing inventory, a business owner—like the gallery in the previous example—would purchase the product after making a sale and acquiring payment from a client.
Offers Introverted Artists More Opportunity
Drop-shipping is a fantastic alternative for introverted artists to sell their artwork instead of doing so through an art fair, exhibit, or gallery opening. This relieves the individual from having one-on-one conversations with potential buyers.
Instead, the merchant will handle the customer service aspect of the transaction and serves as the primary point of contact.
Perfection for Artists With Other Obligations
Drop-shipping is also an ideal option for artists who have other obligations, such as other forms of employment. Luckily, the artist won’t have to be present to accept, confirm, or respond to an order. They’ll then have a certain amount of time to package and ship the artwork, making it easy to manage their other obligations.
How Do You Drop-Ship Your Canvas Prints?
Canvas prints go through a process before shipping to a customer. Artists may take high-quality images of their canvas prints for potential clients to view, and strategically place watermarks on your photos to establish credit.
After choosing prices and the preferred online venue, they’ll work with the business owner to develop fulfillment methods and other logistics. Once the owner establishes which pieces to market, they’ll add them to their catalog and list the selling price and dimensions, making selections ready for purchase.
How Do You Properly Package Your Canvas?
When packaging gallery-wrapped canvas prints, it helps to follow some suggestions to ensure they remain intact and don’t sustain damage during transport.
Use Plastic Wrap
After ensuring the print is dry, you want to start with wrapping the piece in plastic wrap. Use straight angles to wrap around and pull the material diagonally to start the next row. Afterward, create small incisions into the back of the plastic for breathing room.
Consider Single-Wall Cardboard
A single-wall cardboard provides additional padding during transport while serving as another box to absorb shock during rough handling. Measure the width and depth of your artwork and double each measurement. Fold the end over and seal the material closed.
Utilize Bubble Wrap
While it’s never a good practice to place bubble wrap directly on your canvas, you can use bubble wrap around the cardboard for additional shock absorption. Fold the material in half lengthwise, and then tape the wrap to the edges of the painting.
Use Space Wisely
After wrapping and placing in a cardboard casing, you can finally place the whole item in a shipping box. It helps to fill the shipping box with as much material as possible, leaving no space for the canvas to move.
Packing and drop-shipping artwork takes time and some planning. However, when you maintain clear communication with your merchant, you both can succeed in helping your art gain the attention it deserves. For more information on canvas prints, consider visiting us at The Stackhouse.