Apparently the recession isn’t only hitting the bricks and mortar galleries. Boundless Gallery, one of my most successful online galleries is closing on March 1. I am saddened by this as I have made the most sales through them online, including one just this week. the announcement came a couple of days ago and has thrown the community of artists into shock as we fear losing our payments due.
The official announcement has assured artists that they will continue to be paid for all sales up to March 1. there is no information regarding renewal payments at this stage.
While I am sad to see Boundless go, I have watched the market expand exponentially with many new online galleries coming into fruition. some with more marketing plans, stronger designs and art buying tools. I believe online art galleries are the way forward, especially for people like myself, to tap into international markets and make continual sales despite physical limitations.
I don’t understand how their business model could be losing money, the overhead costs should be covered by artist payments and commissions. the paypal fees are passed onto the artists and maintenance should be minimal. however, I feel that in the last year or so Boundless has let it’s marketing slide, not tapping into social media enough or keeping their design modern and up to date. the mixed colors, fonts and styles have led to it looking sloppier, less high end. This has not been helped by the artists who have been lowering their prices in the current recession. all of this leads to less buyer confidence. some artists have been reporting slow payments and layoffs of staff that we know speak to this coming for a little while.
My other online gallery, Discovered Artists, has changed it’s business model drastically moving to a more traditional commercial gallery system. they represent artists, curate the works displayed and market aggressively. I believe that this model will be ultimately quite successful and their design and pricing is very high end. They are the first to use this system and while they are still emerging I do believe they will come out ahead.
For BG artists looking for a way forward, I recommend reading Empty Easel’s advice on selling online. they have excellent reviews of most online galleries.