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