May 9, 2012 | Alyson Stanfield

28 Questions for When Your Art Isn’t Selling

When your work sold well in the past and is no longer selling or selling at a slower pace, it’s time to evaluate.

A single move in the wrong direction might be the reason for slow sales.

Here are some questions to help you evaluate the downturn and get back on your feet.

I came across this sign that pointed to a dark, narrow alley. I hope there was a more appealing route to this gallery!
I came across this sign that pointed to a dark, narrow alley. I hope there was a more appealing route to this gallery! Hard-to find venues could be a reason for low sales.

The Work Itself

How has the work changed?

Are you using a different medium or style? Have you modified your palette? Have you changed the framing, matting, or finishing style?

Are the works larger or smaller?

Showing The Work

How have your venues changed?

Is the venue easy to find and approach? Is it a clean and comfortable space? Are the works well displayed and lighted?

How have the installations/displays changed?

Have you increased or decreased your prices?

Is the price visible – online and in person?


Did you get the word out early and often? Did you change the delivery method or the time/day the messages or invitations were sent?

Did you post to your social media profiles?

Do you write about your art in a way that engages potential collectors?

Did you advertise? Which outlet, if any, was effective?

Did you put out stacks of postcards or rack cards? Did you post flyers?

Did you send out a press release?


Do you use a combination of email and snail mail to stay in touch? Are you only in touch when you want to sell something?

Are you talking with people at the openings or in person about your work? Do you ask them what they like?

Are you meeting as many people as you can at your openings?

Are you creating special events for your VIP collectors?

Are you following up with leads?

After you have evaluated what you’ve done differently, you can implement changes one at a time until you have a winning combination.

Don’t change too many things at once or you won’t know which move made a difference.

What has made a difference in your art sales?

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