How do you price your art? In this episode we talk about the different ways we’ve tried, or considered, for pricing our work. Along the way we talk through various questions that come up when trying to put a price on creative work. 

Does where you sell your work affect the price? Does it matter what prices other people are charging? Can you price textiles in the same way as paintings or other forms of art? How do you account for all the costs involved? Is there a difference between pricing and selling art made as a hobby, with art made for a living?

Here are some of my suggestions for pricing your work. This is not a definitive list, but hopefully it will give you some starting points!

  • Why are you selling? Is it a business, or a hobby and you’re just selling to family and friends? If it’s a business, you need to think carefully about all your costs – not only the costs of your materials, but also the cost of your time and of course your workspace or studio and associated bills.
  • Where are you selling it? A village hall market is a completely difference audience to a fine art gallery. Different audience means different expectations for the sort of money they are “expecting” to pay for an item.
  • The price can reflect the quality, whether you mean it to or not. Just because it’s a hobby, you’re selling to a friend, or you just don’t feel comfortable with high prices, be very careful with setting a price that’s too low. A low price can indicate that something is literally “not worth more” and is therefore of inferior quality – which may not be the case at all! It also makes it harder for people who are making work to sell for a living, if similar work is always sold at a low price.
  • Look at the prices charged by other artists selling comparable work. Where do you fit in? Do you have as much experience and skill as them? Are you nearer the beginning of your textile journey, or are you more established?
  • Whatever you decide, be consistent! Your prices should be the same (or very close) wherever you sell your work. So if you sell through a gallery, the price you sell work privately should match the gallery price – and don’t forget, a gallery will typically add 50% to the price you quote them.
  • Be prepared to stand by your price. Some people just always want to haggle, and feel like they’re getting a good deal. As long as you think the work is worth it and the customer agrees with you and loves it, and wants to have it in their home, then they’ll happily pay the price. If they want to knock you down, then hold your nerve and wait for the person who really does value it!
  • That said, try and separate facts from feelings. Just because a piece is your “favourite”, if it’s for sale alongside other similar pieces using similar materials and similar techniques, the prices should also be similar. This is a trap I’ve fallen into in the past, pricing my favourite pieces higher because a little part of me didn’t want them to go! Slightly ridiculous, really.
  • Take a moment to consider the equivalent cost of the alternatives. When someone is considering buying your piece of work, what are they comparing the cost to? A takeaway sandwich or a good bottle of wine? A week’s grocery shopping or a fancy meal out, or a weekend break or a new sofa? Because these are the mental calculations that we all do, mostly subconsciously, which affect our willingness to pay the price. And of course, different people are comfortable with spending different amounts of money, and have bigger or smaller budgets for discretionary spending.

Just remember – if something doesn’t sell because you’ve got the price wrong (too high or too low) it’s not really worth anything – at least, not money-wise! – and it will take up space in your studio that you could use to create more work. Which takes us back to my first point – why are you creating and selling in the first place?

Ultimately, it’s all a bit of a guessing game, but hopefully considering some of the points above, and those discussed in the podcast, will help!

As usual, we don’t have all the answers so please get in touch to let us know your experience of pricing your work! You can leave a comment for me, right here at the bottom of this page (or email me) and you can contact Gina here at www.ginaferrari-art.co.uk. You can also find us both on Instagram too! To find me, you can click here or the little icon on the side of this page, and you can find Gina here.

Also mentioned in this episode:

Great British Sewing Bee

and

Artists and ADHD

ADHD in women

And I’ll go into more detail about the last two links in another blog post, another time!

5 Thoughts to “Putting a price on art (12)”

  1. Tanya Nuttall says:

    Thank you for your newsletter today. If anyone can tell me how to do a review on spotify, I’ll do it. (I know it will be simple, and I’ve worked out apple but must have a block with spotify). I’ve enjoyed all your podcasts so much. Your organisation podcast had me transfixed as I identified with every bit of it (and I’m not a professional sewist/textile artist so have no excuse for my disorganisation as you and Gina certainly do have for any that arises). The discussion reminded me of how so many ‘aids for organisation’ purchased in the past (not every last one, but nearly) have ended up adding to the clutter, while the everyday pots, baskets, cans, and trays have shown enduring worth. Thank you very much to you both for all the lovely podcasts.

    1. Isobel says:

      Thank you so much Tanya! I really appreciate your kind comments on the newsletter, and the podcast – I’ll certainly pass them on to Gina. It’s good to know that I’m not alone with my struggles to organise myself, it’s a daily challenge! As you say, it’s interesting to see what lasts the test of time. I’m definitely enjoying having a daily open-ended diary in the form of a bullet journal, where I can “invent” new pages for new ideas, but keep everything together in one place. Why on earth did I stop using one?!

    2. Isobel says:

      Oh, and I’ve had a Google, and I can’t see how to leave a review on Spotify. I think Apple is the one to go for as it has the most impact. Thank you for your review there!

  2. Mara Webb says:

    Good morning ladies. Another interesting discussion. Very easy to listen to. Thanks for the mention and complement, Gina. I really must do more about selling off some more of my work. Norwich is such an arty city in normal times. I have really missed all the exhibitions this year.
    Hopefully the delayed Graduate show for my Advanced Stitched Textiles course will go ahead at the end of July. I will let you have the details nearer the time.

    1. Isobel says:

      Thank you for listening, Mara! And from what Gina has told me, your beautiful work would be treasured by those fortunate enough to snag some, so you should absolutely go ahead and sell it if you are willing to part with it!

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