Marking works as Sold on your Web site

Jennifer Perlmutter writes:

With respect to websites . . . What is your opinion regarding marking work as "sold" in your portfolio or having an "archives" section with work that is sold.

Jennifer, I'm okay with either one. It will depend upon your goals and how you use your site. However, I offer another solution. Instead of using "Sold," use the words "Private Collection." This is just a little classier way of saying that the works are unavailable.

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7 thoughts on “Marking works as Sold on your Web site”

  1. I like “sold”. It lets people know that your work is actually selling. It reassures buyers that they aren’t paying too much, or buying junk that no one else will touch. “Private Collection” could mean you’re just giving it away to friends and family. “Sold” also gives a sense of urgency: the work is moving. Better buy quickly if you see something you like, or else someone else might grab it.

  2. I agree with Barbara’s comments. I used to use “Private Collection” but the majority of my customers, and dare I say, fans, would ask me if a work was available or not no when I used that label. I now price the artwork tastefully (you wouldn’t believe how many people used to ask if the artwork was for sale)on my site and mark “Sold” anything out of my home and “Not Available for Purchase” anything in my own collection. I think if you are trying to market yourself and reach your buyers personally, as opposed to a gallery or other third party venue, you need to be clear, yet tasteful, with your customers. Those same customers may have never set foot in an art gallery or art exhibit and do not understand what we accept as common terms.

  3. I too agree with Barbara & Charlotte. If a piece has sold, tell the viewer. There is nothing un-classy about “sold”. Assure the potential buyer that your work is worthy of purchase. That approach works on everything from counter top cosmetics to expensive cars and everything in between, including art.

  4. When I read Alyson’s statement about Private Collection I thought it sounded classy, but after reading the other comments I think sold is better. We need to remember not to use jargon with non artists. I also think “not available for purchase” sounds a little aloof. How about not for sale (we don’t have to use NSF as in a gallery).

  5. Interesting… this is something that I have been wondering about myself. Thank you for this response! 🙂

  6. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Okay. I’m beaten here. I still like “private collection” and it might be more appropriate for certain artists. If only we could just use the usual red dot.

  7. This day in age I think the artist would like the public to know that their work is selling. Conversely, the public is interested in knowing whether the artist’s work IS selling. So while the word “sold” seems a little gauche, it sends a clear message!

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