Sales isn't a strong suit of everyone - so here are a few pointers, some commonly asked questions and suggestions from the Bluethumb team:

To start, here are a few quick points to read to give the clients a good impression from the get go:

  • Always be quick to respond. If you don't know the answer (or don't have the info just yet), just reply and say - "Thank you. I'll find out and get back to you as soon as possible". This lets them know their message has been received and they're at peace.

  • If you're unsure of what they're asking - phrase their comment as a question and ask if this is what they're asking (i.e. be sure of what they're asking).

  • Offer to ask if they have any questions or concerns. 

  • If possible - volunteer to send more photos of the artwork in question.


Here are some of the most common questions asked by collectors via Bluethumb and the best way to answer them:

Can you organise framing before shipping?

The short answer should be 'Yes' and Bluethumb offers framing for all artworks for the collectors. Although, double check to make sure the client and you are on the same page. Always feel free to direct them to Bluethumb or simply acknowledge their message and get in touch with us to discuss.

  • Sometimes clients mistake stretched canvases to be something that they need to frame before hanging on the wall - so if the artwork in question is 'Ready to hang', re-iterate that.

  • Send them a screenshot of the framing options for your artwork from Bluethumb (see one below). This will help them find the options if they somehow missed it the first time.

  • If they require a framing that's not being offered by Bluethumb, just get in touch with us and we can talk to the clients and handle that for them

  • If your artwork is already framed, make sure you're listing it as 'FRAMED'. To do this, select 'Yes' for the question 'Does this artwork have an external frame?' in the artwork edit/upload page.

Quick tip: Include framing info in the artwork description if your artwork is already framed.

Are you negotiable on the price (what's the best price)?

Unfortunately this is one of the more common questions you get from collectors. We stay away from freely flogging discounts and 'Make an offer' features on the site to discourage this behaviour - but people ask regardless. We always suggest keeping at least 10-15% margin in the pricing for such situations.

  • How to say 'Yes'? - If you're okay to move a bit on the price, offer them a 10% discount and let us know. We'll create a unique code for them and you can share it with them to use on this order.

  • How to say 'No'? - If you're not open to negotiations, no worries. Here's an example of how to phrase it - "Hi there, unfortunately this is the best price I can offer for this piece at the moment."

How to NOT say 'No'? - When saying no to a negotiations, stay away from explanations similar to the ones below:

I can't reduce the costs because Bluethumb takes a commission

This sounds unprofessional and also shows that you don't have a good relationship with Bluethumb as a gallery. This reflects negatively on Bluethumb. Professional artists understand and value the relationship with their agents and galleries as the lead / potential customer has come through their agent.

If they've offered a price - consider it and if it's too high, don't hesitate to go back with a counter offer.

It can be a little bit disappointing to get unreasonable offers - try and take it as a compliment as someone who can't afford your work is stretching their budget so they can have your work in their home. If unsure - talk to Bluethumb's team. There's always a solution and a sale is always a sale.


Follow ups

If you haven't heard back from a client, following them up is a good practice. People do get busy, face challenges/concerns, are unsure of their purchase, change their minds and more often than not - simply forget. Here's how Bluethumb team handles follow ups - 

  • We're always respectful and polite in our follow-ups: Phrase your email/message in a very polite and understanding manner. People don't get back as sometimes they get busy, or something more urgent things come up or they've simply changed their minds - always be understanding of their reasons.

  • We don't follow up 'too' frequently: We send 2-3 follow ups spread over a couple of weeks from their last message to us. First follow-up after 3-4 days after their last message. Second after 7-8 business days from their last contact and the last follow up after 2 - 3 weeks after their last follow up.

  • We phrase each email differently, while being understanding that they might have changed their mind: Each email should have a different motive and some new information. A good example is to ask them if they had any concerns that you can help them with in your first email. In your second email, maybe send some additional photos of the artworks so they can see more detail. And last - you can either ask for the photos of their wall - so you can do a 'digital hang' or the most effective (if you're open to it) - see if pricing is an issue with them and if a discount would do the trick. End the last email by saying - no rush and feel free to come back when you're ready - as collectors have come back after months from their first enquiry to complete the purchase.


Accepting Commissions: Points to keep in mind

Here are some bullet points to keep in mind when commissioning an artwork:

  • Be open about what can be achieved - don't over promise.

  • Always keep 1 week to 10 days in margin when quoting a time frame.

  • Never talk about pricing breakdown - workout the pricing offline and always quote them one single figure - all inclusive. Giving them the breakdown gives them the opportunity to negotiate price.

  • Share the details on how to put the deposit down before you commence (always wait for a confirmation of deposit before you commence).

  • Set clear expectations on how many revisions are possible.

  • Do not share your personal phone number. If you do, always make sure you put everything that's been discussed in writing before actioning it. If there's a disagreement later, written communication good to have to back your point.

  • In any case of disagreement, if the communication happened offline (not on Bluethumb) - our artist/buyer protection policy doesn't apply. It's very important to keep all communication via Bluethumb.

We've covered this point in detail in our article: Tips when commissioning an artwork


Things to avoid talking about with potential clients

  • Bluethumb's commission

  • Pricing breakdown (shipping costs, Bluethumb's costs, your profit)

  • Why are you charging what you're charging.

  • Direct offers

  • Sharing your personal email or phone number to discuss pricing directly

And as always, we're here to help if you're not sure of anything - so please email us at [email protected] or chat with us online.

Your team at Bluethumb 💙👍

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