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Guest Artist Setup Guide

Updated 11/20/2020

Thank you for accepting my invitation to join me as a special guest artist! My vision is to build a curated mini-marketplace for trading card-inspired artwork & other related creations. It will benefit all who participate by developing a target-rich destination with growing traffic.

As you begin to set-up your shop, I'll be checking in on your progress to ensure that your shop is meeting my personal standards and set up for success. I'd like you to start by setting up your shop Landing Page and just 1 Product Listing. Then, I'll provide some feedback, tips, and suggestions. Expect to have a number of back & forth input rounds with me, in order to lay a successful foundation template, and have you moving forward on your own.

This resource guide will help you begin. There are 4 main topics here... you can click on any of them to quickly navigate further down the page. 

1. LANDING PAGE DESIGN

2. PRODUCT LISTINGS

3. SHARING YOUR PRODUCT LINKS

4. SHIPPING & PAYMENTS


LANDING PAGE DESIGN

When setting up your account profile, a number of form entries and image uploads will be used to create your artist landing page. 

Please reference the sample screen shot below to understand where all of your images will be displayed. If you scroll below the screen shot, I've provided a detailed list of these elements, with some guidance on best practices. 

The photography and other elements you choose, should be selected with a purpose... to build and match your consistent online image. We want to make your artwork, and your shop, instantly recognizable to your followers. 

 

STORE BANNER IMAGE

  • Please use clean photography here to best represent your overall artwork.
  • Do not include any logos or text. Use photography only.
  • By default on the seller application... the directions in the image upload area recommend a dimension of 900 x 225 px. Disregard that info. Your banner file will be 1920 x 320 px.
  • When uploading your banner image, there will be a crop tool. Use the tool to resize the "box" and cover your entire 1920 x 320 image.
  • If you need assistance with your banner, I can help.

SELLER SHOP LOGO

  • If you have a logo, here's where to use it. 
  • Save your logo on a white or transparent background for uploading.

SELLER SHOP NAME

  • Give your shop a name! It can be something other than your billing name, which will be used elsewhere.

SELLER PROFILE & STATUS IMAGE

  • This image should be a snapshot of the art you sell.
  • An image that matches or compliments your banner.
  • When customers navigate through the list of all the Guest Artist Shops, they will see this image.
  • This image should be uploaded in a perfect square dimension
  • Do not include any text or logos. Your name will appear in text below the image.
 

SELLER NAME

  • This should be your billing name.
  • It should be different than your shop name.

SHORT STORE DESCRIPTION

  • Treat this section like a short social media profile.
  • Briefly describe your artwork in 1 or 2 sentences. What inspires your art? What makes it unique?
  • You can also create links to your social media here, with text like, "Follow me on Twitter!" 
  • Format this as left-aligned paragraph text. Don't use any other format (such as heading text), or alter the color of the text.

DETAILED STORE DESCRIPTION

  • Here's where you can add as much info about your artwork as you'd like. Some examples:
    • Provide an artist statement.
    • Detail your process to provide some insight.
    • Mention your expected shipping timelines.
  • Treat this info as additional selling points to the customer.

PRODUCT LISTINGS

Much of the process for setting up your product listings is pretty straightforward, but I wanted to touch on a few items that might raise some questions. However, before I do so... let me first talk about product photography.

My website is built with great purpose to a create a consistent, professional, high quality presentation for my customers. Think of it as an art gallery, and first impressions are extremely important. Your guest shop is a reflection of me... therefore, I will kindly ask you to adhere to my standards. I'll be providing feedback and suggestions along the way.

When photographing your work, be a little creative. Think to yourself, how might my product look if it was displayed for sale in a brick & mortar store, like Urban Outfitters? Create a little scene if you can.

The DO'S & DON'TS of product photography:

  • DO use a consistent photographic style to best represent your collection of work. Here's how you can achieved this:
    • Always photograph your work in the same setting. For small items (like cards or figurines), find a clean surface in your home or studio that can serve as your backdrop... a table or desk, a wooden floor, a wooden board, a wall shelf, a neutral fabric, a pile of cards, etc. For wall art, hang your stuff in the same spot. 
    • Always photograph your work in similar daylight. Lighting is important! The type of light you use alters the color of your photographs. I recommend setting up near a window to take advantage of sunlight during the mid afternoon (when the sun is up high, not forcing strong shadows through your window). Overcast daylight is also helpful to soften shadows. House lamps can be too harsh, make things look yellowish, and also create strong shadows.
    • Take full size pics & close-ups. Online customers aren't able to hold your art in their hands. So, highlight the details of your work!
  • DO use a wide (landscape) format
    • The default instructions on the upload area suggest a 1024x1024 size. Disregard that. A wide format will allow your full image to land higher up in the browser window, so customers don't have to scroll down to see the whole picture.
    • A wide format will also preview better when you share your product links... more info on this later. 
  • DO upload your product images at the highest resolution possible.
    • Shopify will take care of downsizing images for faster site loading. 
    • If transferring photos from your phone is posing a challenge, you can always email them to yourself and upload from a PC.
  • DON'T layer any logos or text over your images.  
    • This is highly important to maintain a professional, gallery-like atmosphere. If you do so, I will ask you to replace the images.

Your photography and description are your best tools to sell! Provide information to let the customer know what they're getting and sell them on they should get it!

  • How big is it?
  • What is it made of?
  • How many are made?
  • What does it ship with? A signed thank you note? A card colder? Etc.
  • What's the story behind why you made it? Telling helps the selling!

Thank you for adhering to my direction on photography. Now let's get into the listing details...

When adding a product, you will be asked to CHOOSE PRODUCT and PRODUCT TYPE.

  • Your product will default to be labeled as a Normal Product. This just means it's a physical product... requiring you to ship it to the customer.
  • Your product type is Guest Artwork. This is how your products are categorized into the larger scope of my website. You may need to begin typing this in yourself... it should auto-populate. 

Your product should default to auto-check the REQUIRES SHIPPING box. For PRICING DETAILS, you'll have two forms to fill:

  • PRICE: Set your current price here. Keep in mind that:
    • My site offers FREE shipping to customers in the U.S.
    • Your items will be also available for customers in Canada and Mexico... those customers will pay an extra $7.50 shipping fee.
    • You need to ship it yourself.
    • I ship my cards (with Ultra Pro card holders) via USPS First Class mail in a padded envelope that typically weighs less than 4 ounces... which is ~$3.00 to ship across the country. 
  • COMPARE AT PRICE: Initially set this as the same as your price. Then, in the future... if you want to put this product on sale, you can change it's price, and the product will display as marked down from it's original (Compare at) price.
  • The SALES PRICE is the final price that the customer sees... with my 5% markup added on. 

When it comes to INVENTORY, if you have a limited number of inventory (perhaps a 1/1 card design, or small print run), you'll want to make sure that inventory tracking is turned on... so you don't accidentally sell things you don't have! If you're selling an unlimited product (perhaps a print-on-demand item), then you can turn tracking off.

Don't overlook the PRODUCT TAGS! This will help your products become more searchable by customers on the entire site. Things you should be tagging:

  • Players in your product
  • Teams in your product
  • Anything else relevant to the product: nicknames, card brands, cities, pop culture, etc.
  • Your artist name and shop name. This will help if customers conduct a keyword search by your name!


SHARING YOUR PRODUCT LINKS

When sharing links to your product pages on Twitter and other social media, an image preview will appear. Think of this as an advertisement for your product. Twitter has provided a web page for you to preview how your link will appear... it's called the Card Validator.

Best practice for your image is to use a wide, landscape format. How to adjust the image that appears in your links:

  • Wide or landscape image formats are best for your product links. A square or vertical image will get auto-cropped and cut off your artwork.
  • If you're using only 1 product photo on your product listing: this photo will appear on your links. 
  • If you're using 2 photos on your product listing: the 2nd image will appear on your links.
  • If you're using 3 or more photos on your product listing: the 3rd image will appear on your links.
  • You'll be able to re-arrange your photos by clicking "View All" in the image upload area.


SHIPPING YOUR ORDERS & GETTING PAID

Using the ORDERS tab, you'll be able to see a list of your sales, and what needs to be fulfilled. You are required to fulfill the shipment of your own orders. While, my own user dashboard allows me to purchase shipping labels directly from Shopify... this unfortunately is not available to you as a Guest Artist. 

My shipping recommendations:

  • In your profile, set up your payment account to be PayPal.
  • You should be able to purchase your shipping labels from your PayPal account at a good rate from PapPal's purchasing power.
  • I choose USPS First Class for all small items. It's the most cost effective method to ship. 
  • Most of my cards are shipped in an Ultra Pro one-touch holder with a thank you note card, and a stick of Bazooka Gum. All of this inside a padded 6x9 Bubble Mailer envelope weighs under 4 ounces. The postage is ~$3.00 for me to ship these across the U.S... keep that in mind when you set your prices.
  • Shipping my cards to Canada costs approximately $11.00, so Canadian customers on our site will pay an added $7.50 shipping fee on their purchase. You will get that $7.50 credited to your sale, to help offset the increase in shipping cost.
  • If you have larger items, you can choose USPS Flat Rate, UPS, or whatever best fits your needs.

    You will be required to provide a Tracking Number with the Shipping Method when fulfilling the order, and that info will be emailed to the customer. 

    1. In the Tracking Number field, enter the number (quite obvious)
    2. In the Shipping Method field, enter the provider (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.)
    3. Pasting a Tracking URL link is optional. 

    Payments will process every Friday. Under the ORDERS tab you'll be able to see your sales and payments owed. Each Friday, I will manually submit payments to your account via PayPal or other preferred method. 

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