Have you ever created a body of work just so you could sell at lower prices? If so, you might have created a problem for yourself.
Do any of the following ring true for you?
- You are afraid that people won’t buy your art if you charge what it’s worth.
- You believe that the people in your geographical region buy only cheaper art.
- You’ve started making smaller pieces because they’re less expensive.
- You have signed up for a service like Fine Art America to begin offering multiples of your art, even though the originals aren’t selling.
If you have created lower-priced work for any of these reasons, you might be lowering the bar along with your prices.
Let’s face it: selling lower-priced art is safer. There are many more people in your pool of prospective buyers at the low end.
But I can’t believe that your goal is to appeal to the masses. You, like my clients, surely have big dreams, and that means selling big art at fair prices.
So I have to ask … Are you running to this safer place of inexpensive art because you’ve been inconsistent with your studio practice, marketing, exhibitions, and networking? In other words, are you producing “more affordable” art because you don’t want to do the work required to sell your best work?
I’ll just come right out and say it: I am tired of watching artists and arts organizations live on leftover scraps. In my 23 years of working with fine art, I have witnessed repeatedly how frugal the arts are. Not to the patrons with the big bank accounts, but to the artists, without whom their passionate interest would not exist. Frugal isn’t bad by itself. In fact, frugal can be good. But frugal becomes detrimental when it feeds the idea that we are not worthy of more.
Guest blogger: Debby L. Williams
Have you noticed on Antiques Roadshow that the appraisers always start with: “Tell me about this piece” ?
Appraisers are trying to find out the story and history of the object and how much it means to the owner. Before they give any valuation to the owner, they want to know what the emotional investment is.
This is the sentimental value and is different from the monetary value that the appraiser is going to hit them with at the end of the segment.
The value of a work of art is based on how a person feels about the object.
Your creativity, use of materials, technique, and the spirit you infuse into each piece make your art valuable to you.
These things are subjective and can change from time to time and from artwork
I wish I could pull a number out of the hat and tell you how to price your art.
It’s not that easy, as you’ve surely discovered. Here are general guidelines to begin with.
1. Start lower. It’s easier to start low and raise your prices than it is to lower your prices later. But . . .
2. Don’t undervalue your work. Selling your art too cheaply means you’re probably not getting paid what it’s worth.
Also, low low prices set you up for all kinds of problems later and will result in a mess of anger from other artists who see you as “the cheap one.” When buyers see that your work is “cheap,” they question higher prices from other artists.
3. Never ever ever undersell your galleries. You have one price for your art
Pricing art is difficult for many artists–especially if you’re just starting out. In this Beginning Biz Basics post, I give you 10 guidelines for nailing those prices.
Most art consultants are asking artists to give them their wholesale pricing. Is that okay? What happens when you give the consultant–or even a gallery–leeway to choose their own pricing?
Artist Mckenna Hallett used her wordsmithing skills to create a template you can use to inform collectors about price increases. She says any contact you make with buyers is a marketing opportunity. Don’t miss out!
All artwork must go! Select pieces up to 50% off! No reasonable offers will be refused!
Sounds like the giant art sale at the airport hotel, huh? Loud sales proclamations just don’t work well when selling fine art. Mentioning SALE seems to cheapen the art.
But we do know that even high-end galleries offer discounts to valued collectors as well as to museums. So why can’t artists have their own sales? You can with the right strategies in place.
©2010 Michael Newberry, Himalayan Flight. Oil on linen, 36 x 48 inches.
First, consider any ramifications your sale would have on relationships with gallerists, collectors, or retailers. Plan accordingly with the following 8 tips in mind.
1. Have a reason for the sale. It can be an anniversary, holiday, birthday, or moving sale, but it should be tied to a
Audio version of the post with the same name. Even high-end galleries offer discounts to valued collectors as well as to museums. Artists can have their own sales, too, with the right strategies in place.