Have a Sale with Class

Carol W. Larson, Relic III

Carol W. Larson, Relic III. Hand-dyed and painted textile. (c) The Artist

I’m having a big sale this week. I can recall only one other sale in the history of ArtBizCoach.com and that was my 5-year anniversary sale last year. This is even bigger because all of the audio is 20-40% off. It was time. If you’ve ever had a sale or ever considered having a sale, read on.

I don’t usually recommend sales for artists. They seem to somehow cheapen the art. You’d never witness a high-end gallery with a neon “SALE” sign in the window. As they say, it just isn’t done. Our product is above that. But we do know that even high-end galleries offer discounts to certain collectors as well as to museums. So, why can’t artists have their own sales? You can. Just plan it right.

Before you do anything, consider any ramifications your sale would have on your relationship with galleries, dealers, or other retail outlets. There’s no reason to make enemies while having a sale.

Have a reason for the sale. It can be an anniversary, holiday, birthday, or moving sale, but it should be tied to a reason. My current sale is tied to the season. I call it the Super Summer Sale.

Don’t hold your sales too close together or buyers will just wait for your sale to purchase from you.

Be very clear about what is on sale. Use your best photographs if you are promoting the sale to online visitors. Set up a special sales page, like I have done at http://artbizcoach.com/summersale.html

Extend your offer to your collectors first. The main reason art shouldn’t be discounted is that other people have already purchased similar works at a higher price. They aren’t happy to find that they could have gotten it at a lower price if they had waited. Make your collectors happy by sending them a personal letter well in advance and offering them first choice and maybe even a little extra discount. Perhaps you call it pre-sale for collectors only. Don’t use email for this. Instead, extend your collectors-only offer through regular mail, using a distinctive letter that makes them feel special.

Be honest and sincere with the language you use. There is no need to hype the sale of your artwork. Remind people of the value they are getting during this one-time offer. The value in my Super Summer Sale is 20-40% off all audio products, with a bonus CD for all orders over $75.

Set a time limit for the sale. It can’t go on forever. My sale starts today and lasts 7 days. That’s it. At midnight next Sunday, the sale is over.

Provide a call to action. Don’t assume people will know what to do. Tell them where to click, whom to call, or how to email. For instance, if you want to take advantage of my summer audio sale, go to http://artbizcoach.com/summersale.html. Don’t forget that the sale ends at midnight on Sunday, July 20.


You can have a sale.
You just need to plan it right.

What’s a good excuse for having a sale?

DO THIS———-~>
Have a sale. Pick the right time, plan ahead, and do it with class.

Listen to the podcast of this issue on the Art Biz Blog and leave your comments about having a sale.

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