- Your prices must be consistent. You don’t sell work more
cheaply from your open studio than at a gallery. You have one price and do not
undersell your representatives. If you do, word will get around and no one will
be willing to represent you.
- Start on the low end, while paying yourself enough. You can
always raise your prices. It’s nearly suicidal to lower your prices and it
won’t make your current buyers happy at all.
- Don’t forget to pay yourself a wage! This is the most common
mistake, I think. Yes, you have to cover overhead and materials, but you also
need to be paid for your time.
- As a general rule, originals sell for more than
reproductions and larger works sell for more than smaller works.
- As a general rule, works with more expensive materials (bronze,
precious gems) command higher prices.
- You have competition. They are not doing the exact same
thing you’re doing (who is?!), but they’re working in the same genre (abstract,
local landscape, portraits). And, they’re at about the same level as you (beginning,
emerging, established). What is their pricing like and are they selling?
- The faster you work and more prolific you are, the lower
your prices–in general!
- Of course, if you can’t produce enough work to keep up with
the demand, it’s time to raise your prices.
- Instead of lowering your prices, you’re free to offer
discounts for friends, family, and your best customers. Call it a discount and
write it up as such so they know the true value.
- When you draw up a contract with a gallery or art consultant (YES! You should have a
contract with everyone!), make sure you list your prices as retail prices. That
means they should be sold for that amount. If you list them only as wholesale
prices, the dealer could sell them for three times as much as you’re asking and
you get only 1/3 of the sales price. Fair? Hardly. You need to know what your
work is selling for. You need to have control of it.
Are there more than 10 rules? Anyone? Anyone?
Robert Genn wrote
an instructive letter on this subject called “Pricing for Joy.
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