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Following up on Art Sales

Once you sell a piece of artwork, it’s important to follow up with the seller if possible. (Unfortunately, when you sell through a gallery or other third party, you might not have the buyer’s contact information.) This follow-up creates goodwill in the buyer, encourages future sales, and can provide material for your portfolio.

Here are a few suggestions for contact after the sale:

1. Send a thank you note along with your business card. This can be a short note of appreciation, but it’s also a chance to share the story of this particular piece, such as what inspired it or what techniques you used.

2. Ask for a photo of your artwork in the buyer’s home. Then post these photos on your website and on social media so that potential buyers can more easily imagine your artwork in their own homes. (A photo that Anderson Artists Guild (AAG) member Debbie Bzdyl received from a buyer is posted above.)

3. Ask for a testimonial. This can be a short statement sharing what the buyer likes about the piece or your artwork overall or how it was to work with you. Think of product reviews and how you might consult them before making a purchase. Bzdyl recently had success when reaching out to some of her clients. “I emailed about 15 collectors and requested a short testimonial about my art,” she said. “I got 5 or 6 replies and plan to add those to my gallery submission packet and to my website.”

4. Follow up later with photos of other artwork the buyer might be interested in. Bzdyl has automated this process. “I have an Art Alert button on my website that will send them an email each time I upload a new painting,” she said.

AAG member Matthew Brophy sometimes sends the buyer an extra piece. “If I sell a particularly expensive piece (anything over $400), I often include a small piece with it for free as a gesture of appreciation, especially if they had to pay an expensive shipping fee,” he said. “Since pottery is expensive to package and ship, I will sometimes pay for half if it’s an expensive piece that I sell outside of a gallery.”

Whatever you do, some kind of follow-up is essential. “Doing nothing is not a good business practice,” said Brophy.


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