Selling Artwork Abroad

Do you sell through your website? More to the point, do you sell overseas through your website?

These day most artists have a website so we have the opportunity for a global audience as never before. An audience that wanting to buy our art.

I sell my work (original paintings, limited edition giclee prints, greetings cards, puzzles) on my website via Paypal. So far all my sales have been in the UK, but I’m getting more & more interest in my work from overseas through my various networks.

So I can envisage selling to overseas buyers in the not too distant future. Thus far I’ve sold to non-UK nationals but those sales have always taken place in the UK and the buyer has been responsible for shipping their purchase home.

Presumably a website sale is different. It’s a business transaction, payment would be UK based but the goods would be shipped abroad, so that must count as an export. That implies appropriate fees and paperwork would be needed to satisfy customs.

What paperwork is required? Are there different rules for prints or originals? How do I know how the regulations vary from country to country? Which rules apply if the country is inside or outside the EU?

I’ve seen plenty of information on the web about selling art via the web, but nothing that mentions these questions, let alone answers them.

I’d really appreciate any feedback from other artists experiences or suggestions of where I can get more information on this subject. I don’t want to make things unnecessarily complicated but neither do I want to fall foul of the regulations.

So far I’ve put out a few requests on artists’ forums and to arts organisations and will post any useful answers on this blog as I receive them. In the meantime, please comment if you have any experience of this subject; I’d love to hear from you.


About Jackie Garner

Wildlife artist.
This entry was posted in Art, Business of Art and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Selling Artwork Abroad

  1. hi jackie,ive sold quite a few artworks abroad and there are indeed differing import regulations across the globe,America being the country that immediately springs to mind in terms of customs and import taxation peculiarities.The easiest way ive found to deal with these is to use an express courier,who generally speaking will advise and deal with a fair amount of the red tape for you and normally publish the requirements for each destination on there sites.I always advise clients abroad of my preferred courier and the appropriate charges at the outset and will not ship artworks untill shipping charges are agreed and paid for.i have used several shipping companies but DHL express is the one i use most frequently.It is also far easier and less expensive to ship artworks unframed.

    • Hi Clive,
      Great to see you on my blog. Lots of excellent advice there – many thanks for your help.
      Yes, when it comes to shipping I really wish I worked on paper rather than board!
      Best wishes, Jackie

  2. samuel ilori says:

    I find your blog so revealing and I wish to have my art works sold online too. I am an artist based in the Niger delta region of Nigeria. I come from a very humble background and even after struggling to round up my educatiion I have found it hard to sell my works I produce myself.

    Please I need your help to get my works sold internationally. I am willing to send them to you so you can assist me market them abroad. I have over 50 good original works in paintings and sculptures. Kindly get back to me I will be greatful.

    My mobile number is +2348168524865

    I await your kind support.

    Samuel Ilori

  3. Sorry Ramessh, Samuel and others, but I am not a gallery and I do not have the time to market work for other artists. I suggest you get a blog or website so you can share your work online, and submit your work to online galleries. You can use social media to share your work with a wider audience too.

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