Want to Start an Online Art Gallery Business?

by Carolyn Edlund

Online art sales are growing explosively, and gallery websites that sell art are increasing in number. Just check out Artsy Shark’s Directory of 250+ Places to Sell Art Online to see many of them. But how do these sites get started?

 

My Online Art Gallery Demo page

 

Beyond the basic business concept, it usually takes a lot of programming and thousands of dollars to develop a website that functions to upload, market and sell art.  Recently, however, a new software program came to my attention that may be very helpful to creative entrepreneurs and others who want to have a gallery online to sell artwork.

Louis Guillaume is the founder of My Online Art Gallery, a new startup that launched this software product. He has a law degree, but became a serial entrepreneur, starting and selling companies in the online travel and language learning industries first. He also has a background as an artist and did a few fairs, but says, “I understood quickly that I was more talented for online business than painting” and decided to create a turnkey gallery solution to connect artists and customers.

 

My Online Art Gallery

 

The result is a fully automated art gallery website program with lots of features that is customizable. The price? A very reasonable $590 for a hosted product and $790 for the software with access code for developers. This system is set up to sell original art and take a commission, but can be tweaked to accommodate the website owner who wants to charge monthly fees or sell reproductions, and can even work for Print-on-Demand providers.

I had a conversation with Louis Guillaume, and the opportunity to ask some specific questions on the usefulness of this product for my readers, from individuals to groups.

 

My Online Art Gallery features

 

Louis Guillaume says, “It is particularly appropriate for art guilds and organizations. These organizations can use their domain, their logo, and update the About Us page, promoting themselves as a group using My Online Art Gallery. It is a white label product which means our brand will not appear in their gallery.

Their members can register, and only their artworks will appear in the gallery. The administrator (or gallerist) can close the registration page once all the members are registered. The gallery has the ability to show an unlimited number of artworks from an unlimited number of artists.

Selected artists and artworks can be promoted by the administrator, thanks to many features that can be managed from the user-friendly admin panel, like Staff Favorites, Featured Art, Curator’s review, Invest in Art, and so on.”

Brick and mortar galleries may find this software useful to expand their offering online at an affordable price. It can also work for fine art printers and others who want to have internet exposure with an e-commerce solution. My Online Art Gallery has a built-in shopping cart that works with Paypal.

Artsy Shark readers interested in purchasing the software from My Online Art Gallery are invited to take a $25 discount off the price of the product by using the coupon code ARTSYSHARK at checkout.

 

Comments

  1. I don’t see the difference between this site and any other subscription hosting website. I am still in competition with other artists on the site, I still have to do all my own self promotion to get any buyers. In addition the subscription price is outrageous and you take a commission. I see no data on how effective your service is. I think you are asking a lot for something unproven. It sounds to me like just another way to exploit artists.

    • Gabriel, I think you misread the article – My Online Art Gallery is a software program, not a “subscription hosting website.” If you own the software program that Louis developed, you don’t pay a subscription price, you actually own the gallery business. You are on the other side of the equation! It is up to the gallery owner (you) to determine a commission percentage for artists who would participate.

  2. Joel Branthaver says

    I am interested in taking a facebook group that is an online art sharing group, and turning it into an online art gallery where the artists can post their work. I want to allow the gallery to be able to upload their own work and chose to sell prints or the originals, whatever they chose. I want to be able to take a hosting fee, and let the artist keep their own work. Is this possible with this program?

  3. Karen Von Clezie says

    Hi There,
    after the few years this software has been sold how successful have people been with it? I’m interested in seeing the results of this and if it will work for my business.

    • Karen, I have not heard feedback from users, but you are right that the software is now several years old. Other options have come along for people who want to open a gallery site, such as http://www.ArtStorefronts.com, which has a “Room View” feature. You may find other platforms as well by check my directory of places to sell online here https://www.artsyshark.com/125-places-to-sell/

      • Hi Carolyn, I’d like to leave some feedback about Art Storefronts if I may. It’s not flattering, though. After hearing of them somewhere – possibly through your site – I looked into what they are doing. It looked interesting, if a little vague, so I subscribed to their newsletter. Since then, I’ve been absolutely mailbombed by them – up to three identical emails per day, mostly running on a repeat cycle. They invite you to request a demo before they will tell you about pricing. I requested a demo and got yet another email, instructing me to watch a video first. So I did.

        I also noticed that they say they are primarily US/Canada based and only take on a few artists outside that region. I’m in the UK, so I tried to respond to an email, only to find the reply email address was a bunch of code that doesn’t reach anyone. I resent my email, this taking care to send it to the ‘from’ address that some of their emails come from. Supposedly the head of the whole organisation. After some time, I got a reply from someone else. Just a support person, presumably. Who was not very polite.

        I had asked if it’s worthwhile for me to enquire further since I’m in the UK, particularly as I note their print fulfilment service is US/Canada only – they have not partnered with any labs in Europe or elsewhere. I asked about pricing with that in mind, ie whether UK customers get a reduced price to reflect the non-availability of that part of their service.

        The reply told me that US/Canada customers are charged a one-off payment of $1,000 to get onboad, then a monthly fee I can’t remember but I think it was around $37. But a UK customer would be charged $3,000 to get onboard, then a larger monthly payment, I think around $44.

        I wrote back, asking why they would charge UK customers 3x the fee for a lesser service when everything is delivered online, thus no shipping fees or additional overheads, and why they would charge a higher monthly fee, again for a lesser service than they can provide to their US/Canada customers. Weeks later, I have had no reply.

        But I am still getting multiple emails per day, going round the repeat cycle, urging me to grab a discounted deal before it expires tonight – then when I don’t go for it, the next day’s batch of spam makes the same offer. Of course, they will be offering the US/Canada fee/discount, not the extortionately inflated UK fee.

        It seems not to be possible to contact an actual human being, let alone someone with authority to explain to me their policy on fees. I just get more and more spam from them and no actual contact.

        I have to say I’m deeply unimpressed and find their behaviour thoroughly unprofessional and rude.

        • Sorry to hear you have had this experience, Avril. I haven’t heard of similar problems, but clearly they are not right for you. My own experience (and I ran a site on their platform) was that customer service was very helpful – but I respect your opinion and so am happy to publish your comment.

          I’m sure that unsubscribing from their emails would solve your inbox problem. Have you found another platform to your liking?

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