135 – Using Black Friday To Sell More Art

using Black Friday to sell more art

(Updated 24/11/2021). Black Friday is coming but how can you be using Black Friday to sell more art? Black Friday week is already here if you use Amazon but what is it? Is it all overseas marketing hype and do you really need to be a part of it? These are some of the questions I am often asked so here are a few answers for you.

When Is Black Friday?

Black Friday is usually the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US. In 2021 it is Friday 26th November and ends on Cyber Monday on Monday 29th November. Many retailers such as Amazon, for example, have been celebrating Black Friday week which started 1 week earlier!

Where Did Black Friday Originate?

In retail up to 80% or more of annual sales take place in the final quarter of the year due to the Christmas season. Many high street retailers have similar costs throughout the year. Many run at a loss during the first 9 months of the year. Black Friday is the time of year when Christmas sales start to take off sufficiently to clear their losses (often signified as ‘red’ in financial terms) and move them back into profit again (signified as ‘black’ in financial terms). The Black Friday weekend after Thanksgiving has been recognised as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US since 1952.

Is It Just The US Or Are The UK and Other Countries Involved?

Although recognised in the US for many years Black Friday is a much more recent thing in the UK and the rest of the world. Amazon became the first major retailer to introduce it into the UK in 2010. ASDA became the first major supermarket to introduce Black Friday deals in the UK in 2013. Since then things have increased considerably and Black Friday deals can now be found everywhere. It is a great opportunity for you to sell more art, craft or photography.

How Long Does Black Friday Last?

Most deals appear from Black Friday through the weekend until Cyber Monday (so called because of record online sales year after year). Many retailers such as Amazon are now even showing deals for a week or more.

Black Friday sale

Why Should You Be Part Of It?

Because of all the media hype, Black Friday is a time when many people will buy a great number of purchases online in a very small time. Items they might have bought earlier or later they will purchase during this weekend. They will look for the best deals available before making their purchases wanting to save money and get great value. They buy Christmas gifts for people but they will also purchase things for themselves that they have been planning because they are likely to save money at this time. As I write this I have two expensive items I need to buy for my business. I could have bought these already or could buy later but I am waiting for Black Friday because I know many retailers I can buy them from will have deals on them. I am by no means alone here!

People WILL BE BUYING during this time and if you are not on people’s radar at this time you will be overlooked. People will be spending their money elsewhere instead of buying your art, craft or photography.

How Can You Be Part Of It To Sell More Art?

How could you be using Black Friday to sell more art? Many people tell me they don’t like the idea of Black Friday. They tell me they don’t like sales and don’t want to be a part of it or what it represents. I totally get that, I really do. Many people offer big discounts during this period and if that works for them great but it doesn’t work for everyone. Not everyone will feel comfortable with it so what I would suggest is a little thinking outside the box here. It doesn’t really matter if you give a discount or just add free delivery or some extra value. The important thing is to get seen at a time when there is a flurry of online sales.

Black Friday online art sale

Think about an offer. It could be a discount but it doesn’t need to be 50% off, not even 25% off. Often just 10% is enough for someone to feel like its a good deal. Just be very visible about it so you get seen in all the noise. Send a mailing in the lead up to Black Friday before the deal is open and another once it is. Post on social media multiple times, show the offer on your website clearly. Consider a website landing page to send people to with special offers.

If you don’t want to do money off consider adding value. What about sending a free pack of greeting cards with every print sold over the weekend? What about free delivery for the weekend if this is not something you do already and so on.

If you don’t like the idea of ‘Black’ have your own day. Lucy Gell will be having ‘Orange Friday‘ this year which really fits her branding and makes it that little bit different.

What Other Advantages Are There To Sell More Art?

So how else could you be using Black Friday to sell more art? One thing many people struggle with is list growth – building a mailing list of engaged repeat customers. Once people are on your mailing list it is so much easier to contact them about anything you do. You will not be suppressed by algorithms and filters like you are in social media. Black Friday (and other sales) are a great opportunity to grow your list. If you have a deal such as a discount, rather than just give it to people, ask them to subscribe to your mailing list to get it. It must be quick and easy and they must get their discount code immediately if they want to purchase immediately but a headline like ‘Subscribe NOW For Immediate 10% Off Shop Wide Black Friday Deals‘ might just help with your list building.

Black Friday sale to clear old stock

Black Friday like other sales can also offer you opportunities to clear old stock. Do you still have some of those old prints hanging around that you would like to clear so that you can make room for new work? Maybe you have moved on and are slightly embarrassed by them now or they don’t really fit in with your new work? Black Friday is an opportunity for heavy discounts to clear old stock if you need to! Don’t just store it until it ages so much you cannot sell it and end up binning it, discount it now, make some money and clear the space!

Just A Card Indie Week

Just A Card celebrate an alternate to Black Friday with their Just A Card Indie Week. Check out their great campaign and their Indie Week at Indie Week — Just a Card.

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  1. LizzieMade Hand Bound Books

    Some really good ideas here. I have always been quite grumpy about Black Friday, because of the feeling that it requires us to offer discounts on prices which, for many, are already quite as low as we can get them. This post offers a fresh perspective and is very helpful. Thank you!

    • Paul Herschell

      Yes I think that feeling is quite common especially here in the UK and we have had less time to get used to it than our friends across the pond. Sales and discounting is a tough topic which really demands a separate blog. Sales are an essential marketing tool. Every successful organisation uses them and as small businesses we need to understand how and when to use them and price our product at a level where having one still means we are left with a good profit margin rather than cutting things to the bone. I know, hard when you are pricing competitively but price isn’t everything.

      If you can be seen to offer a high quality product you can command higher prices which then means you can discount back to competitive levels using discounts as a powerful marketing tool without losing all your margin. Something for another day but the big takeaway on Black Friday is that it doesn’t have to be a 70% sale, or 50% or 25%, often 10% is enough. You don’t even need to discount, you can add value instead by throwing something in for free where the cost to you is minimal but perceived value to the customer much higher. The key is to get seen at a very busy buying period!

  2. Jill Welham

    Very useful post and great suggestions for alternatives to offering a discount.

    • Paul Herschell

      Thanks Jill. I am glad you found it useful. I suspect that there are many more ideas out there. I often use greeting cards as an example. It costs nothing to throw in a greeting card that costs you 35p but the perceived value to the customer is £3 as that is what it would normally cost that customer to buy that card. If you throw in a pack of 10 cards with a £100 print as a special promotion on Black Friday, for example, that is like a £30 discount to the customer. To you, however, the cost if £3.50. It is a very different way of looking at it but can be just as affective as large discounts but doesn’t hit you anywhere near as hard!


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