Yep, It’s Art and It’s for Sale

Imagine the scenario: A patron visits your open studio event, walks around for a few minutes, and asks, “Are these for sale?”

Or this version: A friend shares an image of your art that you posted on Facebook. Hundreds of people see it and a handful wish they could own it. But they think they can’t afford it because there’s no price. So they forget about it and move on.

These stories might seem crazy to you, but I didn’t make them up. My readers shared them with me.

yep-for-sale

If you think about it, it’s not so mind-boggling that viewers don’t know your art is for sale.

Many people are accustomed to seeing art in museums, where there are no prices because the work isn’t for sale. This could lead to the misconception that all art without prices isn’t for sale (or isn’t affordable).

Are you sure that people know your art is for sale?

Post the Price

The easiest way to tell people that your art is for sale – short of a giant sign that says “THIS ART IS FOR SALE” – is to post the price when you show it.

I’m not talking about neon signs or obnoxious flashing red text with Buy It Here arrows. I’m just talking about a simple price notification.

Pricing Your Art With ConfidenceIf your art is for sale and you want to sell it yourself – rather than sending traffic to a gallery for the sale – post the price when you share your work:

  • In your newsletter
  • On blog posts
  • On Facebook or Pinterest
  • On exhibition labels next to each piece
  • In brochures
  • On postcards

I understand that posting prices everywhere is a bold step for some artists. But try it.

Nothing says, “This is for sale” like revealing the price.

 

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115 comments to Yep, It’s Art and It’s for Sale

  • lin

    When I post my stuff on FB – and it’s only once a day – I try to make it clear that it’s in the shop. I don’t put a price on the item in the post though. Maybe I should.
    Working in a gallery, I have encountered that question though. In our gallery prices are posted next to the art if it’s for sale. Some pieces are not for sale. I was in a show earlier this year where prices were not posted and I thought they should have been because the implication was that they weren’t for sale. Instead the prices were in a book nearby. But I didn’t see signage that indicated that there was such a book.
    Which is probably why I’ve never sold anything at that show B-)

    good article, thanks

  • Finally! Someone peels away the pseudo-intellectual bunk re: posting prices or not. POST THEM! We are either in the business of selling our artwork or we are not! A mortgaged does not get paid on hot air. Thank you Allyson.

  • Yes. Yes. I heard you… I’m on it!
    Such a simple thing and yet… sometimes all a person needs is permission.

  • OH ALL RIGHT… I have always felt that posting prices online, on my website, and so on was … well, rather crass. And now that I am doing work which is more “salable” and attractive to the public, I know I need to advertise it as “YES IT IS FOR SALE>.. and YOU could be the LUCKY owner!” The heat is on…

  • I realize that I have had people ask if something is for sale after I’ve posted it on FB, but the penny never dropped that I should have been POSTING MY PRICES! It does feel like a big step, and as Karen says, rather crass, but then again, people want to know. We are just helping them to know, right? I’m going to make the effort to post prices – it will be an interesting exercise.

    • Way to go, Dorothy! You’re looking at it correctly: NOT posting prices creates more work for people. It puts up a barrier between you and potential buyers. It also could be read as elitist and, therefore, unattainable.

  • LOL. It’s obvious, and not that hard! Nothing crass about wanting to eat and having a roof and studio over one’s head. The only way for an artist to accomplish that goal is to let their potential customers know that their work is indeed for sale by pricing it. I know that if I’m in someone’s booth at a show and 1. nothing is priced and 2. the person in the booth (often the artist) doesn’t greet me or seem particularly open or friendly (that’s another post!) and 3. I have money burning in my pocket with the intention of supporting a fellow artist…then…I’m probably gonna keep it moving. Thanks!

    • You’ve been posting prices everywhere, Beth?

    • If I am at a venue and I anticipate sales, then it has a price on it. I don’t always price work that I put on Pinterest because often it’s sold before I can get it online. It’s about exposure. During my show season I won’t post a lot of new work because as soon as I put it online, it’s gone. I enjoy engaging my customers, and I want the customer to make a purchase. I also want to establish a long-term artist-collector relationship with them. Because of this, sometimes my prices are fluid (depending on the piece and what all they want to buy). I am flexible, and discerning. Everyone at my booth can spot a tire-kicker, and they tend to squirm at my prices and keep it moving. That’s OK. It’s something they can aspire to, or they can buy a print! I am confident that it’s gonna go home with the right person!

  • Funny how artists have this feeling that posting prices is crass, or pushy, or salesy. You’d complain if you went to buy some furniture and there were no prices posted, right? Yes, your art is not the same as a commodity like furniture or lighting, and somehow we find the whole idea of speaking the value or our passion to be very tender. So breathe deeply, throw away that polyester suit and the big flashy arrows and go ahead and post those prices.

    Your potential customers need and want a simple way to support you. We think it should be obvious that it a piece is for sale if we show it. But people need a path and a clear call to action. So it is an act of service, not sales to help them bring your art into their lives.

    I now require my web design clients to post their prices. And provide simple sales directly on their site.

      • Yes, Alyson… I now do require certain things of my design clients. I only take 6-8 clients per year, and I only work with one at a time so that I can provide a high level of service and end up with a website or a book that really serves the artist’s particular needs. My ideal clients are artists who understand the importance of engaging web visitors and encouraging sales — creating a site that begins a conversation and a connection instead of simply a portfolio/bio/statement brochure site. It makes the work satisfying to me and beneficial to my clients!

  • My main reason for making art is to share visual beauty and themes. Secondarily, I need to make money. In a show and on my website, posting prices takes away from the sharing as people’s eyes go toward the price and then they start thinking about price instead of the piece. So I compromise and on my website state a price range ($800 to $8000). I would like to direct people to a price list on the site but have not put the time into keeping a list like this updated as availability changes weekly. So they just email me for prices. In shows, I have a “yep, it’s for sale” but the price list is in a separate book that they are directed to.

  • I agree that posting prices is a great idea. However, I have noticed on Facebook that when I post a photo of my artwork or even a status with a price included, those posts are barely seen. If I post a photo without a price it is much more likely to be seen and in greater numbers.

  • Alyson, Your reply using the words/concepts elitist, unattainable, and barrier, really hit it for me! That is so true, and the operative is exactly the opposite. Thank you! I can hardly wait to send out a next post, and display the price with the image information! Thank you so much, Cherilyn

  • This is one of my hot-button issues. I’ve been ranting about posting prices with your art for years, and finally the tide seems to be turning at least a bit. I’m an art buyer as well as a producer, but my default thought when I’m asked to “email for prices” is that if they are not stated, they are likely too high for my budget so I’m not going to ask. Ditto with non-priced work at shows and sales. Also I dislike the onus being put on the potential buyer to jump through hoops to get more information. It seems a bit “precious” on the part of the seller, as if they’re trying to put themselves on a level above the rest of us. Selling is selling, so put the prices on. One of the maxims I try to live by applies here as in much of life “It never hurts to state the obvious”.

    • I totally agree with you Judy! I can’t count how often I’m interested in another artist’s work on a website or even at an art festival and they don’t list the price of the work! I just leave. Don’t make me just through hoops to find out what something is selling for. If it’s not marked, I figure it must be too expensive.

    • woah-I kinda like your sassy way of explaining this:) thank you:)

    • Exactly Judy!! There is a local art museum that never even posted prices. Soon they were having trouble getting good artists to show because nothing sold. I went in there and fell in love with a piece but had to phone them later to ask for a price!! I sent a nice letter letting them know that they were losing sales, bad for them and for the artists, and for why?? Now they have a book with a price list but again, why the extra step? Someone will connect with the piece, and then look at the data (artist, medium, size, price etc). If they don’t connect with the piece, they won’t look at the tag. It’s so easy.

      • Museums have a different mission than galleries. They are not in the business of selling art and, ethically, shouldn’t be in competition with galleries. I would never expect a museum to post prices or to sell art.

  • Laurynda Williams

    Great ideas! Working on my Fb page now!

  • Yay! Thanks for this charge to post prices. I have been on the fence for so long.I know that I would not purchase say a book from Amazon without knowing the price, nor a dress from Title 9 without a price. So why is the work I’m selling any different from any other retail item? Time to get with it.

  • Lynn W

    Does Pinterest allow you to put prices on your work? I’ve never seen prices posted. Sometimes social media doesn’t allow that type of stuff. Also, I really dislike it when prices are not put on the work at art shows, or if the tags are upside down (as with jewelry) so that I have to try to look underneath when it’s on a clear shelf, or ask if it is not. The only reason I could see for jewelry artists (or artist’s making other small items) not pricing is so that you have to ask, and then they can get the piece out and put it in your hands, hoping that you become attached to it, and are not dissuaded by the price. However, for larger items, and art hung on walls, no reason not to have a visible price.

  • I love how you give us permission to shine. :)

    So is the extended answer to “are these for sale” supposed to be our own version of “Yes they are — which ones are you interested in”?

  • I’m guilty. I stopped posting prices on my blog along with the PayPal button because when I upped my prices (which I’ve done over 5 years) it was too time consuming to go back and edit every post. Now I feel challenged to create a price page or put it in the sidebar. Thanks Alyson.

    • Yes, I didn’t think of changing prices on old posts. Let me know how you handle that, Stephanie.

      • Hi, You can just go to PayPal and edit the buttons with the price .. not make a new button and it will show up on your buttons. I have PayPal on my website, blog, etc. You only have to change it on PayPal. Of course if it sells you need to remove the button.
        I think prices are necessary on your work by the way.

  • It sounds like a lot of us needed that confirmation. So many artist’s’ sites I’ve visited do not have prices, I assumed it must be considered tacky. I started adding prices to mine anyway awhile back. Now Facebook: that is my next step. What a great wake-up call! Thanks, Alyson!

  • Thank you for this. I have had this conversation with 3 artists in the past 48 hours.

  • I always had prices on my blog, but rarely on FB. How stupid is that?! Thanks for the kick in the butt!!

  • You are the bomb Alyson…I always post all the particulars on FB when I finish a drawing but not the price (I do post them on my website tho)…I’m literally hitting the back of my head…what a ding-a-ling I am!! Thanks!!!

  • Guess I’ll be joining the ranks, too, and posting prices on FB! I see a whole lot of $ signs showing up there soon! I realize now that I also missed an opportunity during two recent artist demos I gave where I had some small art on display to show what they looked like finished. Duh! I didn’t have prices on them! Lesson learned.

  • Hi. This has been a very touchy subject for me. Especially posting prices on FB. I started creating albums of work – collages, drawings, etc that say Collages -work for sale.There are no prices listed – expecting “someone” to ask me via message.. It does seem tacky to post a piece with $400. next to it. People like the work and no one asks is it for sale. I never see prices for artwork or any merchandise on FB.
    I’m redoing my website and adding a shop. I will be adding prices for everything. I’m in the process of that now as well as adding new works with their prices. Something came up that brought some fear. Maybe someone has some help..If i’m posting a price for a collage piecee say 11″x17″” for $500. and then I’m at a gallery or approach a gallery there will be issues with the gallery and the price. Why would a client pay $1,000. at the gallery if they can buy it for $500.?
    All of these comments and info are extremely helpful! Thank you very much Alyson!

    • Hi Tim,
      You know the answer is that they wouldn’t buy it for $1,000 if they could get it for $500. The way I look at it is, a gallery will do a lot of work for you to get that painting sold – a good gallery earns its 50%. So, the price at the gallery and the price on your website need to be the same. I finally actually get that. I want $1200 for a 22×30 painting. I have the painting in an online gallery that takes 45% of the sale – in a very short period of time I have come to accept that if it sells I will get less than $700 for the painting. If I wanted $1200 – which is what I think is the right pricing for the work – then I would have to double the price – and I don’t think the painting would sell at that price.
      So if you think your painting is worth $1,000 then charge that – knowing that you will only get $500 for it if sold in a gallery. If you think the price should be $500 then sell it for $500 knowing that if a gallery sold it you would only get $250. I think it all has to do with what you are paying the gallery to do for you. No?

    • Tim–I agree with the others–prices have to be same as in gallery–otherwise galleries won’t want to show your work if you undercut them.

    • Tim: Everyone here has given you good advice. You have 1 price for you art – no matter where you show it.

  • I met with an artist friend recently to prepare for a presentation on marketing your art online. She has been very successful with her sales – especially through her newsletter – and I mentioned to her that my online sales have been scant. I told her about my blog, my presence on FB, my twitter account, my website – and then let it slip that I don’t have a buy button. She laughed – “you have it all there but no way for people to buy your work.” Yes, what kind of marketing is that anyway? I laughed when I thought of how absurd it is that I make people ask if my paintings are for sale, and what a goofy thing it is to expect people to ask, “can I buy it?” Without a price, a post of my art is the same as a post of my garden, or a post of me having a drink with Hugh Jackman on the plane – just another invitation to the viewer to “like” a post. Adding a price, however, makes it an invitation to buy A without saying “buy it now.” I use the word invitation lightly – I just mean it opens the door to the possibility of purchase – and takes the guesswork out of it.

  • My husband and I travel all over the USA to shop at Antique and Flea Markets.We rarely ever buy anything that does not have a price tag on it. Many times I will not even ask a person- if one is available, no matter how badly I want an item. I think many people assume if the price isn’t listed, it must be too expensive!

  • I don’t put prices on FB or pinterst unless it’s a piece I know I can sell right off, or that I can go back and change it easily and quickly if I need to, or mark it sold.

    reason being – I raise my prices once a year, and ppl cruising thru and finding old prices isn’t cool. I do put them on the work on my site, though, and very definitely if I’m at a show.

  • yeh…guilty too…I was debating this last year…and then I had a conversation with a gallery that said they don’t take artists on who post prices on-line…
    Loving reading this whole discussion…

    • Brooke: You’re in the Art Biz Incubator. Listen to the Interview with Jane Sauer (Santa Fe gallerist). She said she liked seeing artists’ prices on their sites. That if the prices weren’t there, she didn’t know if they were a good fit for her. And she didn’t take the time to contact them and ask for prices.

      Bottom line: Some artists have to make a living and can’t wait around for galleries to sell their art. (Man, you’d all be broke!) Any gallerist with his or her salt should understand this and appreciate that the artist is working hard to sell the work. An artist who works hard to sell the work is one I’d want in my gallery.

      • Thank you Alyson–I had seen that during Bootcamp…and wanted to hear more from multiple gallerists before making the leap…I heard mixed responses since then…That being said…There are some REALLY good points here…and from the point of the buyer. I also like hearing the comment about having trusting relationships. I would want to have a conversation with that gallery before making the change…I really appreciate all the thoughts behind this….
        Since I wrote the other comment earlier today–a message arrived from a man in Dubai who has been following me on social media for the last year asking if my paintings are for sale….I am seeing how the lack of prices can leave uncertainty, extra steps, and all the other less than pleasant translations listed above:)

    • Brooke, My feeling is that if a gallery either does not want you to price your work on-line or asks for you to take your prices down is trying to hobble your ability to make a living.

      Since we are talking business, the way to counter a gallery not wanting your prices on-line is: ” I’d be glad to take them down as long as you give me X Dollars (the amount your normal life requires in dollars from art) per month. This amount comes out of the galleries pocket not as a loan against your work selling.”

      The gallery is asking you for a concession to your normal way of making & selling work. You are within your rights to demand a similar concession from the gallery – if you want to work with a gallery that obviously does not have your best interests at heart. People in business as a norm ask for concessions – don’t be a pushover.

  • Love! Yes! Will do!
    Thanks so much Alyson, as always, for the nuggets of gold xx

  • To Brooke’s point – a gallery in Scottsdale approached me several years ago about showing my work. When I told them I had prices on my website they expressed concern, but would still consider. Turns out I had to decline due to other commitments. However, having that encounter, do others find the freedom to post prices on your websites (which should obviously reflect gallery prices) when represented by a gallery or galleries?

    Alyson – love the Facebook artwork price idea!

    • I display the prices upfront, but have a link to the gallery where they can purchase the piece. Since the price is the same everywhere, there shouldn’t be a problem. Also, they get a couple of extra hits from interested parties. The world is changing because of online purchases. Galleries can’t be afraid of that anymore. If they can trust the artists with whom they work (and we must be impeccable with our honesty in giving our galleries credit and their commission when on-line customers are the gallery’s customers) we should be able to move forward into this new age.

    • Nancy: See my response to Brooke.

  • Just added prices to my paintings in the Available Paintings widget on my blog, Alyson. Thank you.

    I’ll make sure to post prices when I post the paintings on Facebook.

  • I was under the impression that you can’t post prices on Facebook. Is this true? What about on one’s FB business page?

  • How would one know if FB was showing one’s art to fewer people if the artist posted their prices?

  • I grew up with the Rockefeller phrase – “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”. If the price isn’t posted somewhere I won’t ask. The fear I have is that if I ask and I can’t afford it I will feel stupid for asking.

  • An interesting topic and one I’ve long wondered about. My question is if one puts prices on a website is it a good idea to suggest in some way that one is open to negotiation? Where I live, a lot of art is bought by associations and they always have a budget and will not contact you if the art is even slightly above budget so I need to have some leeway. Being bought by associations is a great networking tool and needs to be considered.

  • LW

    On April 30th I left a comment stating why I thought some jewelry artists would not price their work, because they want to get it into people’s hands. I just saw this comment on a jewelry blog today:

    “I actually hate all tags, and numbers are not my best feature (OK, I’m calculolexic), so I absolutely need to mark all my work. After 36 years in business, I finally decided to use only an inventory number on each tag, which means I only have to write one thing on the tag. There’s really never enough room on each tag for all the information about a piece, since I also title many of my pieces. This number correlates with my inventory list. So… how this works…while I look up the price and the stones,etc. on the list, I’ve handed the jewel to the potential collector to handle and try on and fondle and admire and fall in love with…by the time I have retrieved the information, that person has had an intimate conversation with the jewel.”

  • I have just finished constructing an on line retropective and could not decide whether to post prices or not. I finally decided to put a link to a web site that has an on line gallery with most of my recent paintings with the price and a link to paypal. Most artist’s web sites do not post prices. I agree the price does kind of get in the way of just enjoying the work and if you want to have paintings on the site that are sold the little red dot also gets in the way.
    How much is actually sold on Facebook I wonder. Anyone know? I have sold work from my blog where the price and a link to paypal is included but not from Facebook where the price is not included. Not sure if that says anything or not.

  • Excellent post Alyson – and I especially appreciate the comments. I normally mention when I post to FB that prints are available with a link to the photo on my website which has a shopping cart, but can now see the value of also including a price range when I post. Thanks!

    For those who are concerned that – like mine – their prices increase often, here is an idea. When posting prices on FB or a blog, simply state that the price listed is the current price at the time of posting and that prices may increase or change without notice. I think there is value in the customer finding out that prices have increased – it shows the artist is growing and that the collectors investment will likely grow as well.

  • Interesting question and responses.

    I have, over the years, put pricing on my website and then taken it off and then put it back on again. : )

    I have asked numerous people their opinion and have gotten a split response with slight favor going to “not” having pricing listed. The main reason, and what made me take the pricing off last, was the thought that if a person found your work interesting enough to buy, but found the price out of their range, you’d never know (if you listed the price on your site). Whereas, if you don’t have the price listed, but put something like, “contact for price and availability,” the person knows it’s for sale. And, if they like it enough, they’ll contact you. If the price is not in their range, you’ll, instead, know that — in addition to having a new potential customer for future, less expensive pieces. You can then take all that information that you’ve just gathered and use it to make your business more successful.

    I believe, however, the bottom line is that you’re true to yourself.

    • Not posting your prices online is just like not posting your prices at a show – people will not take the time to ask. Whenever I am shopping for something online, if a price isn’t listed, I move on to the next website. If you look at the most successful ecommerce websites out there – like Amazon – everything has a price.

      You want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers – why make them go through hoops just to find out if it is in their price range?

      I am also always suspicious of businesses that don’t post prices and makes me wonder if they are just coming up with a price for me. Will they have a different price for someone else? A different price next month? Having prices written down gives more credibility.

      • Just coming to this conversation — but Matt, other than on your website on a special page, I don’t see that you do post prices — not on Pinterest, anyway, nor Facebook. So now I’m confused! Have you read something or gotten feedback that changed your mind? I know it’s been a few months…

        • I post prices on my website on a special page, and prices are clearly available on every photo when looking in my photo galleries. I have a presence, but am not very active on Pinterest. The majority of my marketing is done through my website & bog, newlsetter, and art festivals and especially with followups to those potential customers – and everyone is emailed pricing. I haven’t been too focused on social media lately – it is not where the majority of my customers come from.

  • Diane McGregor

    There was a huge response to a question I posted on Facebook of putting your prices (or a shopping cart) on your website. Most of the responses were against it. To read the thread check out: https://www.facebook.com/diane.mcgregor.547

  • loved this.
    and why is it that most (many?) artists have trouble with ‘pricing’ their art? not just ‘posting’ the price, but naming a “price” . . .

    i know i do.

    i tried to do a search on your site to see if you have posted on this topic in the past, and i was not able to find any.

    ps: i really enjoy receiving and reading your newsletters. keep ‘em coming.

  • When prices are in the hundreds, posting a price seems okay. But when prices are in the thousands I think that buyers need to see the work up close and in person. I doubt if online buyers mentioned in the other posts are paying prices over $5000 for individual artworks. Even when juried exhibitions have cash awards, monetary award decisions are made from the viewing of the actual artworks on the wall, not from high resolution images submitted. And our online images are not even high resolution (should not be to prevent copying).

    • Linda, Prices are a nasty part of business. Get over it. Yes work sells easier when it is priced in the hundreds of dollars. That is because more people have disposable income in the hundreds of dollars range instead of the thousands of dollars range.

      Last year sold a sculpture for $15,000 on-line – sight unseen by the buyer. Was a great day/month/year in our household.

      Customers are not turned away from high prices, they expect to see high prices for larger/meatier work. It is just our own perception that “Oh no, I would not pay $5,000 for that work”. The people who say out loud “Goodness that is priced way too high” really are not your clients or paying customers. No matter how low you set the price they will never buy it. If you gave them 50% off, then the person would be suspicious that there was something wrong with the artwork.

      Remember the used car salesman’s adage: There is a butt for every seat”. There really is a buyer for each artwork. But to get that buyer – post those prices.

      • Carl–Thanks for feedback on my earlier post.
        Cool sculptures by the way–lovely.:)Great to hear your perspective.

      • Carl, I am not afraid of pricing. Maybe I feel the way I do because of two incidents from a few years back. I had coffee with a well known museum curator. I told her that I could not understand why women would spend $10,000 and more on a designer outfit, but balk at spending that much on art. This curator’s advice was to keep prices low. At the opening reception for the show that featured my work in this museum, a show in which there was no pricing, one of the wealthy trustees was interested in my piece on display. He asked me the price. I said without flinching $5,000. He said I’ll call you tomorrow morning. He never did.

        • Linda – how do you know that the reason the gentleman didn’t call you back was because of the price? Did you get his contact info to follow up and ask him?

          If not, then you are only assuming that the reason why he didn’t call back was because of the price. That may not necessarily be the case – and if you don’t ask, you don’t know. In my experience selling my high ticket photography (from $5K to $10K) it can take a lot of followups on my part before a deal is closed. Wealthy people get distracted, forget, they are always traveling, going to meetings, have others tugging on them left and right, etc. If a wealthy person likes a piece, $5K, even $10K doesn’t mean as much to them as it means to us. Everything is relative.

          Further, if a museum curator or gallery who is selling artwork says to keep prices low I would run away and find a group who can sell high ticket items. Selling expensive pieces takes confidence, and if the seller doesn’t think the piece is actually worth more than the asking price – even if it is high already – then that seller has no business trying to sell it. A smart shopper will see right through them.

          Lastly – if you don’t show prices, then you have to answer to everyone about the price. Many people who ask will not be able to afford it and then walk away. This will lower your confidence in your price. By having the price listed, it pre-qualifies certain people – the people who you want to talk to and sell to. When I am at a busy show, I don’t have time to try to sell to those who can’t afford it. Showing the high price then allows me to cater to those who can.

  • Some interesting points being made but I don`t think there has been enough discussion of what our work means. I`m a landscape painter who spends large amounts of time outside and then paints by improvisation. I fight for my paintings, they do not come easy. And they are not decor, they are about my perceptions of nature and the effort to say something original and personal through painterly means. Putting a price beside it isn`t right for me. I think a price interferes with an honest encounter with the work. Now having said that, at the end of each blog posting I put a link entitled “available work in my studio”. Having read the comments, I may try being more blunt; “work for sale in my studio”. And when I post a link to a blog entry on Facebook, I may include a price there. As an experiment. I also have a price list in the sidebar and on my website on the ‘contact’ page is the link to ‘available work’. I`m trying to make it easier for a buyer without reducing the painting to just commerce.

  • On my FaceBook business page I haven’t been posting prices and people have asked “is this for sale?”so this is a question I’ve been wondering about – thanks for the discussion! I may experiment with a halfway measure adding a link to the image with its price on my website which would then be updated as the price changed…I have a separate price list on my website currently … once I can see how to attach prices to works (which appear in several places) and change easily will go that way but on a slightly different but related topic, how do people handle shipping and insurance? If folk pay by PayPal and shopping carts do you automatically generate an additional charge for different delivery locations and different size and weight works before they pay? At what point does your potential buyer see what that additional cost will be?

  • Kerry, about two months ago I added a separate page on my website with PayPal buttons under each painting. My website builder has an app for PayPal and through this app I add shipping cost. If someone clicks the button an Order Summary opens from PayPal which includes the shipping cost. With individual buttons I have customized the shipping cost based on size of painting. The shipping cost I included will in no way cover all the shipping and handling but it helps. Hey, that might be a whole new topic Alyson – charge shipping or not?!

    For out of state sales my state does not charge sales tax, so that is not an issue. There are ways to include sales tax using PayPal’s setup on their site. Hope that helps.

    Since PayPal buttons are a new feature for me to use, the verdict is still out as to their sales aid. But I have always had prices with my (website) artwork with contact info to inquire about purchasing. No sales ever developed from this ‘contact’ method.

  • I would hate going into a retail store and have to ask for prices on each item I’m interested in, so why do artists make it so hard on buyers? I never feel comfortable asking or emailing for prices! Too much work and too embarrassing if I can’t afford it. I don’t usually put prices on Facebook however, because I heard that FB “penalizes” it. But I now include it under every image on my newsletter and certainly on my website. I also have them listed on each painting in my studio but was shocked to find out that people visiting during our monthly Open Studios still did not understand that they can buy directly form the artists! We are an art center with 40 working artists studios, so we create AND sell our work there but some visitors think we create our art there and then ship it off to all these wonderful galleries across the globe to sell! Don’t I wish! I learned not to take anything for granted and put up another sign that reads: “Yes, all art is for sale!:)”

  • Kathy Kolada

    Alyson,
    You were surprised by “museums” selling art, as was I when I first encountered it at Bakersfield, CA. The local newspaper featured the opening of the new art museum, so I eagerly went. The “museum” was
    simply a large room with local artists’ work displayed, all with prices. So one town’s gallery can be another town’s museum.

  • Great info Alyson and great comments… A lot to think about now!

  • And yet — I just saw that someone had repinned my art onto her “Art I Adore” board– that makes me happy! — but I was the only one on her board with the prices right out there. Great to be next to all sorts of wonderful artists’ images, some famous. Felt tacky to be the one with my prices hanging out! Any suggestions?

    • Hey, Julia! After reading this post I thought I would also try listing my prices on my Pinterest boards. But I quickly took them down again for a couple of reasons. One was the very thought you had – cringe – my work is the only stuff with blatant prices attached. Secondly, what if I decide to change the prices or the item is sold? So my compromise is to make sure my website is listed in every picture description and if people like the work they can visit my site where prices are posted prominently. Maybe not ideal but I feel more comfortable with this.

    • You guys have got to get over this fear of selling. That’s kind of what we’re talking about when you use the words “tacky” and “blatant.” Would you feel the same about anything else with prices on Pinterest?

      What’s wrong with blatant prices attached? That’s how things are sold.

      Beth Hayden adds, “When you add prices to your pins, they may be featured in Pinterest’s “Gifts” section.”

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