7 ways to price your art

Angela Fehr recently shared a couple of good posts on pricing your art. She gives 7 ways to price your art: by size, by time, by cost, by comparison, by circumstance, by experience, by instinct.

Read the first post: How to Price Your Art, Part 1

And the second post: How to Price Your Art, Part 2

I think she’s spot on. We can make up all of the formulas we want, but we have to use instinct to arrive at those formulas. Read her posts and let me know what you think.

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8 comments to 7 ways to price your art

  • rosalie babler

    I just found your site. very interesting. thanks. I’m new at pricing.

  • Joe

    I price by size, with minor variation to account for more expensive framing. I can’t really price by time spent, because some of my best paintings are the ones done the quickest. I can’t price by how good I think the painting is because people have very different ideas than I do about which of my paintings are the best. So I price by size – it might sound very un-artistic, but I think it makes the most sense, and people generally expect bigger paintings to cost more than smaller paintings by the same artist. And it frees me from worrying what I should price each individual work!

  • The other thing to take into consideration is “what the market will bear”. You might think your work is worth thousands, but if people are only willing to pay a hundred then that’s what it’s worth. Determining your starting price is VERY hard because of the “never lower your prices” rule. You can’t just test market your work at a certain price then lower it later to see how that affects sales. Big no-no! The only way is to start really low. Then you have a couple ways to adjust upwards from there: 1. You can slowly raise your prices until you begin to detect a slight price resistance. Stop there! 2. If you find you’re selling your work faster than you can paint, then it’s time to raise your prices.

  • I also price by the size. I think it is the fairest way. If I’m working on a new subject or experimenting with new materials and spending more time on the painting, my patrons should not have to pay more for that. And like Joe sometimes the painting comes quickly and seems effortless. Pricing by size shows a level of consistency and professionalism. It also is much easier to quote a price for commissioned work. I also think Barbara is right, finding that starting price is crucial and if you are starting out it is better to start low. Once you’ve sold at that price you can establish that as your baseline for figuring your prices for larger works. I think framing should be calculated separately.

  • Thanks for linking to my article Alyson. I have agonized a bit since publishing that post – the whole “instinct” thing sounds so nebulous. Anyhow, whether I’m right or wrong, I think we as artists need to dialogue with each other about how we price our work. One comment on my blog mentioned educating the client on the value of art – a whole new challenge. BTW, I’ve answered to the name “Alison” for years as it’s my sister’s name & we look alike!

  • I carry my work back and forth between 2 countries so I work in one standard size…the largest that will fit into my largest suitcase. That being said, I also price according to size because size is a component the public can understand when they begin to compare art and price. Sure, some may say that a certain work should have a higher or lower price, but now we are talking about subjectivity and the “eye of the beholder”.

  • Tracy

    Yea I’m new to pricing as well, the size one makes a lot of sense but i have no clue on where to start. I can produce work of a professional. but i am under pricing because i don’t know where to start. what price did you guys start at?

  • Daly

    Hi, I make cherry decorative wood plaques at home. They have different designs ranging from a home behind a fence with flowers. (the fence is handmade using ribbons) from a snail with flowers, penguens, ladybugs, (stickers and some handpainted, sometimes the flowers are handpainted or made out of jewelry), The hanging tools are included whether they are made of jewelry, ribbons, or wire, My friends and family say they are good and they suggest that I sell them on-line. I don’t have a clue how to price anything or how to go about it. Can u please provide some suggestions. I would really appreciate your help. Thanks!