I've been talking to a few peeps already who asked me about some basic tips for adopts - and I'm so lazy to repeat myself
So I'll share it here.
All the tips following are my own viewpoint on the topic and are based on my own experiences - they might not cover everyones opinion and differ from other people's experiences - but I think the basics still apply.
Why do people create adopts? Mostly it's a love for designing characters or things and eventually not needing them. Often connected to the need of money or other things. Sometimes own characters get old and unwanted and are shoved away as well. The reasons are all legit and common. For some adopts can earn quite some cash so it's understandable many will try their hand on it. For those there are a few things that should be kept in mind beforehand.
Why do people buy adopts?
some peeps are not as comfortable with art as others and they have stories and ideas they'd like to visualize, but cannot on their own - ordering commissions can be too expensive or too hard (explaining things right, getting a slot, etc.) - so if someone created a thing that fits into their story it's a win/win situation for both ends.
because they collect - there are tons of adopts, some belong to fandoms, some are so called 'species' - it's the same in the end and some simply like to have something - because it's pretty, because it's popular, because they want to be part of something - sounds odd at times but it's rather natural.
Know your audience:
Do they want something pretty to collect and look at or do they want something they can actually use? So are you selling plain designs or entire characters?
know the age and finfancial range of your audience - are you catering for kids and teens with little income or adults who know what they want and are willing to pay good for it
if you draw for a specific fandom - how far can you stray from the fandom - for example I draw Transfomers alot, so it's unwise to create an adopt that would not work with the logics of the fandom, because it would be unlikely someone would want to use it. On the other hand, if you draw certain types of animals, unnatural color pattern or fur types and such can make your adopts more interesting. Some adopts sell better if they are common and logical to their fandom, others are better with uncommon details. Same goes for species
How to portray adopts:
if you are selling plain designs it seems common to use a base and simly recolor it or change details - I personally am not a fan of this - but it's less work instead of creating unique images so the adopts can be sold cheaper
instead of using such bases or the same pose over and over, try to use unique poses for each adopt - communicate not only the design but also the character through pose, expression, colors and so on. It is way more likely for a buyer to identify with the adopt, see something akin to their ideas and draw parallels between the adopt and a character they might have in their head already. I know posing can be hard, but everyting is better than a plain mirrored front-view (honestly, seeing those makes me cringe each time) - mirroring is a sign of less effort in my eyes and you often can't really tell the char's 3D look with a plain front view. Try to give them a bit of depth with their pose and give them some character as well through the image itself
Choosing colors is a very personal thing, so sometimes the color pattern you choose will work out, sometimes it wont. Letting the buyer choose th colors can be a good alternative. Some prefer to be able to decide how the char will be painted and it does safe you a tiny bit of work as well (yes, coming up with good color patterns can be a pain in the butt
keep in mind that some people intend to use those adopts in their own artworks, so try to make them interesting in detail but do not drown them in tiny pieces or make the design so complicated no one else but you can draw it properly
make sure the different parts and details of your adopt are visible - if your colors are too dark or the details too messy people won't be able to clearly see the design and judge whether it's worth the money
Uploading and rules:
when uploading, use a proper resolution - if you upload the adopts in a small resolution and people won't be able to see all the details, your chances to sell reduce. But also don't upload in the biggest resolution possible, keep the true resolution only for the buyer
ALWAYS USE WATERMARKS!!! excuse the caps, but I cannot stress this enough. If you upload a design, protect it with a watermark, otherwise it will be a piece of cake for someone else to simply save the image, upload it elsewhere and sell it for their own profit. Watermark-free versions should only go to the buyer, period.
add rules to your adopts - let people know beforehand what they receive and what they agree upon - how they are allowed to use the adopt (sell it, trade it, change it, copy it, commercial use or privat and so on) - how payment will be processed (methods, installments, etc.)
update your adoptables regularily throughout auctions but do not be pushy! If you update with every bid people will get annoyed, update every few days and if an adopt doesn't sell, wait a week or two or even longer - sometimes adopts need longer than others but shoving them into people's faces every day will probably have a negative effect
never give out true files until you have been paid full! Don't discuss such things, stand your ground, otherwise you might have a hard time.
pricing: (how I handle it)
this is a tricky topic and is connected to the following: effort and time put into your adopt, your audience(how big it is, what they can afford), the fancyness of your adopts/species
most adopts sell in auctions and require a starting price, a minimal bid increase and an autobuy option
the starting price should be what you feel you should get for your adopt at a minimum - if you do commissions, a full body adopt of a certain style should be at least priced the same as the appropriate commission of that kind
bid increase should be logical and not too high, people are more inclined to pay a little extra to win an auction
autobuy is what you would be happy to get - but still be reasonable for the work you did (most of the time even autobuys are below the actual hour working price of most artists, sad but true)
for a starter in adopts, observe your audience and check out what they want and what they can effort - make polls or journals ir whatnot, check the market! See how others sell and how they probably don't and figure out why
it's wiser to start with lower prices and once you see the demand exists you can raise them slowly
as usual - advertise! No matter if your audience is small or larger, use groups! There's many adopt groups out there, many offer specific kinds of adotps and therefor attrackt a specific kind of buyers. Find your market and take part in it
be patient - sometimes it takes longer for adopts to sell - one of mine took 6 months, so if you are not in desperate need of money, sit and wait and update once in a while
and lastly and most importantly:
there is no guarantee your adopts will sell - simple as is - even if people say they want this and that, no one is signing a contract to eventually buy such an adopt if you come up with one
so don't be whiny if your things don't sell - figure out the reasons why and try to adapt to the market if need be - you might end up with unsold designs but adopts are a bit of gambling, there's no promise you will win (in the end you can keep them and have them wait for a new home, or make something own out of them or trade them)
try to avoid haggling about prices or lowering reasonable prices - if you do this once, people will notice and face it, everyone looks out for their cash - if they see you gave in once, they'll try to make you give in again
Adopts can be quite fun and lucrative but it's a market and being successful on any market can be hard and needs time and effort! Everyone needs cash, logically, but this adopt business does not work out for everyone, so better not build your survival on it
thanks for reading, I hope this was somewhat informative for some - if there's any questions or annotations, let me know!