Today I am learning all about what goes into selling artwork to someone over on the other side of the country. Someone in California wants to buy one of my paintings - yay! This will be my first sale not through in-person contact or through a gallery. So much to learn! But all very welcome and needed. I know I need to know this stuff. As of yet I have not included prices on any of my artwork on this site quite simply because I haven't been prepared to process any long-distance sales myself. After I get through this sale I hope that will change.
Fortunately, I belong to a few online groups that are helping me sort through the options and answer my questions, informing me of potential pitfalls, things to be aware of, etc.
I quickly decided to use my personal PayPal account - no need for a business account at this time - and use the invoicing feature. This allows me to send an invoice to the customer with shipping costs included and makes it easy for them to send payment.
To arrive at shipping cost ... that's taking a bit more time. The painting, which is similar in size to many of my pieces, will not fit in any USPS standard flat-rate boxes. That would have been too easy. So I went on a box shopping tangent and ended up finding what I need at uline.com. A set of 25 boxes (the smallest quantity available), sized 24" x 18" 5", plus postage cost comes to $2.27 per box which is less expensive than that what I can buy locally. But I will buy bubble wrap locally even though the unit cost is slightly higher since the smallest roll at uline is way more than i need and I don't really have room to store it.
So the next thing will be figuring out the postage cost. Since I couldn't go with a USPS flat-rate box I will have to take the package to the post office and have it weighed and priced. Which means I can't complete the shipping cost calculation until the boxes arrive from uline, hopefully tomorrow. And I can't send the customer an invoice yet.
But I feel so much more informed and prepared to handle sales than when I woke up this morning! I will count today as a WIN.