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Author Topic: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?  (Read 38844 times)

Royce Howland

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2014, 01:31:13 pm »

So, the question remains, what is the advantage of the FAA over similar "infrastructure service providers," the likes of Photoshelter, SmugMug, Zenfolio, etc. They all also provide basically the same infrastructure. They all partner with print labs. They all provide social media integration. Are some clients more likely to go to FAA in search of what they need, rather than to the other sites? Is there some kind of inherent advantage of FAA? Or should FAA be seen as just another choice when it comes to choosing between Zenfolio, SmugMug, Photoshelter, etc.?

That's a good question. :) I think for the most part, yes, FAA is one choice amongst all of the online gallery print-on-demand service providers. You'd evaluate it the same as the others -- price, features, quality, customer (you) support, end-customer (your customer) experience, likelihood of mid- to long-term survival, potential risk to your high res files, etc.

Most of these players are similar, but they do have some unique strengths and weaknesses that may make one or another a better fit. Start at the simplest one, price. At $30/year for the flat fee, FAA is essentially free. The flat fee for my PhotoShelter account is $30/month, or 12X the cost. That's somewhat more than essentially free.

In terms of the amount of appeal to print purchasers you get for the price you pay, since PhotoShelter is not really positioned as a print-on-demand service in the general art market, I'd say prospective purchasers are extremely unlikely to go to it on their own to look for prints to purchase. Certain other sites, like FAA, are much more actively marketing & promoting their sites as art buying destinations to the general market, as well as seeking opportunities to integrate with other art sales avenues where art purchasers gravitate. But if you presume that most of the selling work has to be done by you the artist to drive customers to the online sales gallery, then the appeal of the site to random "walk in" purchasers is probably a minor point.

Print pricing engines differ as well. I find the FAA model is simple but flexible, and prefer it over the way the PhotoShelter print pricing model works. However, PhotoShelter has a much better digital pricing, licensing and fulfillment capability that was its original primary reason to exist, and I much prefer how it works over the digital licensing model that FAA only just added quite recently. Having said that, the velocity of development at FAA is pretty fast, and it seems to be a lean, decisive model for how things happen. PhotoShelter in contrast has been criticized over the past few years, justly to some extent, as being very slow and unresponsive in their development approach.

End-user experience for print purchasers on FAA is much better, compared to PhotoShelter. FAA has a smooth, slick, well-integrated usability to it, and the financial transaction is simple and seamless. In part that's because of how the site has been designed, with a primary purpose of enabling print sales. And in part it's because FAA is not a platform for integrating multiple print providers on the back-end, they really only have a single printing & fulfillment partner as far as I know. PhotoShelter in comparison isn't nearly as simple, slick or seamless to use for the print purchaser, in part because print sales was never the dominant purpose of the service, in part because their web design was somewhat dated, and in part because they were a platform for integrating multiple printing services offering a range of capabilities, products and services. The financial transaction portion of PhotoShelter has been criticized as more confusing and troublesome for purchasers than it needs to be.

But on the flip side of that, PhotoShelter is far more integratable into other web sites than FAA. FAA is designed essentially as a stand-alone thing. Yes, they provide things like a gallery shopping cart or a Facebook gallery app, but fundamentally FAA is designed to be the core web site of the artist for print sales. PhotoShelter in contrast is built with the assumption that a lot of different integration points may be used. You can integrate one or multiple print providers on the back-end covering different geographies or products & services; you can also integrate self-fulfillment while maintaining most of the PhotoShelter online print sales workflow. Plus PhotoShelter galleries can be integrated into your own stand-alone web sites and blogs in a way that looks mostly seamless. FAA galleries can't be integrated that way. If I got rid of PhotoShelter, I'd have to either get rid of the idea of a full-featured e-commerce enabled gallery integrated into my own sites, or else implement a new one with some other platform in addition to FAA.

Those are just a few of the points of difference. From my description, you can probably see why I'm maintaining both FAA and PhotoShelter galleries. They're both good at different things, and neither one can fully replace the other for the full set of what I want. Depending on the price you want to pay, and the capabilities you need, you would look for a service (or 2 or 3...) that's a good match for you. But at the end of the day, the success or failure of selling through any of these services will be mostly determined by your own efforts. While most of the services fundamentally work for the basic cases of selling prints, it's the artist who brings the secret sauce to make sales happen because in general none of these sites will market your work for you.

maydavid

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2015, 09:07:55 pm »

I was on FAA for a while, gots lots of views and likes from other artists, NO sales.
I think you need to be in the US where to me it seemed most of the sales were being made and even more that that very local, ie particular states and very big on American sport images and associated products.
But the biggest thing if the $30.00 a year from 250,000 contributors, Phew, you add it up!!

David May
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telyt

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2015, 11:24:08 pm »

I was on FAA for a while, gots lots of views and likes from other artists, NO sales.
I think you need to be in the US where to me it seemed most of the sales were being made and even more that that very local, ie particular states and very big on American sport images and associated products.
But the biggest thing if the $30.00 a year from 250,000 contributors, Phew, you add it up!!

David May

I started with the free account and after a few small sales I spent the $30/yr for the unlimited account and it has paid off.  I won't retire on the income from FAA (well, duh I'm already retired from a desk job!) but the sales have been enough that I'll keep the unlimited account for a few more years.  BTW pixels.com is the same as fineartamerica.com, same images, same software, same everything; the name is supposed to appeal to a worldwide audience.  So far all of my sales have been local.
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Colorado David

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2015, 11:45:21 pm »

I haven't sold anything through FAA yet, but I haven't done much to drive traffic there either.  I do have a bunch of views from Sunnyvale, CA so I emailed FAA and asked about it. They said it's a bot.  I plan to open a Photoshelter account soon.  My income still comes from corporate work, but I'd like to sell some work while I'm eating dinner, sleeping, etc.  I have ordered some prints of my own work through them for various reasons and am mostly pleased with their work.

pcgpcg

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2015, 02:43:12 pm »

Every month that I get a FAA statement that shows which of my images were looked at, how many times and from where,
all too often, the origin of the viewer is the Russian Federation or some other nefarious eastern European country.

I seriously doubt that I have THAT many fans of my work in  the Russian Federation! Makes me wonder how they can steal the image for their own use.
Still haven't had a buyer yet but it does allow me to make a gallery page for my regular website.
They aren't stealing images. They are giving your page hits to tease you into buying more hits from them. They know that the more hits your page gets the higher your page ranks in Google searches, and they think you know that too. I have had a Photoshelter account for a few months and got excited when I saw how many people Photoshelter said were viewing my images. Then I started playing with Google Analytics and figured out what was going on.

For example, in the last 7 days my site has received 186 "visits".
165 of them were from floating-share-buttons.com
13 were from free-social-buttons.com
(if you go to either of the above you will see that they point to the same site)
6 were from m.facebook.com (meaning they linked there from Facebook)
2 were direct visits to my site

I'm considering joining FAA as well, but am hesitant because I lose control of the printing process and also can no longer sell "signed" prints.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 07:22:26 pm by pcgpcg »
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LesPalenik

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2015, 01:04:24 am »

I sold some prints on FAA, but as with other Print-On-Demand sites and stock agencies that have now many millions of images, the marketplace is becoming saturated and it's been increasingly difficult to gain visibility. The general consensus is that the number of hits on FAA doesn't help you in ranking. There are other factors involved in improving your rank and visibility, the main one being the volume of your sales. So it is a Catch 22, you can't improve your rank without making some sales, and it's hard to make a sale if your artwork is buried down between millions of other images.

As to the cost, $30 annual fee is very inexpensive for storing and exhibiting unlimited number of images, and with hundreds or thousands of images in your gallery, sooner or later somebody is bound to notice some of your work and buy it. So if you upload enough images there, you will sell something, but it is totally unpredictable what will sell and how long it will take before you make a sale. Whether the effort justifies the time to shoot, edit and upload that quantity of images, is another question.
 

 

Jager

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2015, 04:06:48 pm »

I think Paul hit the nail on the head with respect to POD sites such as FAA... in offloading the thankless task of order fulfillment, the artist also cedes what has historically been considered an essential part of "fine art" - the artist's personal touch. 

As a buyer, I know I would never consider purchasing something represented as 'fine art' from such an operation. 

maydavid

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2015, 05:12:23 pm »

Paul
Unless you are from USA and have images of Baseball teams and other US centric images I'd keep my $30.00 in my pocket and save ALL of your time uploading and tagging/ keywording to do something more productive.
I think ALL they are interested in is your $30.00 which you have to pay every year, they have something like over 250,000 conrtibutors X that by 30 and see what you get, plus the cut from ALL of your work.

Regarding getting sales I read a very interesting Blog from someone whom was successful and they had a whole bunch of software that basically just kept posting their work to Social Media and all of their contacts.

Have you looked at RedBubble, not promoting them just an option!
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ddolde

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2015, 05:27:14 pm »

Thanks for the reminder I just deleted my account there. Worthless.
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telyt

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2015, 01:08:16 pm »

... it is totally unpredictable what will sell and how long it will take before you make a sale. Whether the effort justifies the time to shoot, edit and upload that quantity of images, is another question.

Agreed!  Some that I never thought would sell have done well, and one photo sold within minutes after I uploaded it.


I'm considering joining FAA as well, but am hesitant because I lose control of the printing process and also can no longer sell "signed" prints.

I still sell signed prints as well as POD through FAA.  I sell the signed prints personally/locally.
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maydavid

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2015, 07:16:05 pm »

Agreed!  Some that I never thought would sell have done well, and one photo sold within minutes after I uploaded it.


I still sell signed prints as well as POD through FAA.  I sell the signed prints personally/locally.

Ah! the joy of retail and the taste of individuals, who can fathom it out, NO ONE!!
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TwistedShadow

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2015, 10:24:55 pm »

How do you view your FAA account and upload photos? I figured I would freshen up my account some but I can't for the life of me figure out of to do it.
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Colorado David

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2015, 10:33:14 pm »

How do you view your FAA account and upload photos? I figured I would freshen up my account some but I can't for the life of me figure out of to do it.

Sign in to your profile page.  You'll find these front and center above your images.  Click one of the upload buttons.

TwistedShadow

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2015, 10:45:37 pm »

Sign in to your profile page.  You'll find these front and center above your images.  Click one of the upload buttons.



I'm not seeing anything close to that. I get an activity page (not mine but some posting page) instead of an upload. When I click on profile, I get a generic FAA home page screen. It doesn't show my photos nothing.

I get this when I login:

Announcement - New FeatureTo continue to your account, click here.To view recent sales, click here.

I get some active stream page when click the "here" button.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 11:04:50 pm by TwistedShadow »
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Colorado David

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Re: Has anyone had any experience with Fine Art America?
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2015, 12:15:02 am »

When you log in, just click on your name.  Skip the announcement. Once you click on your name, you'll be taken directly to your profile page.  Then you should see the buttons from the above post.  Do you have the free account or the paid upgrade?  There is a limit to the numbers of images you can upload with the free account.  It might be like thirty images.  I'm not sure.  If you have a free account and have reached your image limit, you might not see the buttons.  I'm not sure.
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