It is challenging to figure out how to price your Art, especially when you haven’t sold your art before. Ultimately it is the artist who assigns value to their art. However, putting too low a price or – even worse – too high a price on your art can sabotage the whole process of creating demand and sales of your art.
Here are a few key points to think about when pricing your art. Especially for the first time….
Look at what price similar art is selling for.
Even if you are starting out, you want your art to be relatively priced the same as art that is in similar markets. If this is your first time selling your work and you are just trying to establish a history of selling then it is ok to be a bit under the market price, but only by just a little. Your art will sell mostly because the buyer likes what the art looks like, not because it is the best deal.
Prices only go up when sales go up.
The ideal situation is to have a demand for your work. If most of your work is selling, even if it is a low price then this is great. You can, over time, increase the price of your work. Do this slowly; maybe 5% a year, keeping in mind that the most important condition to maintain is the brisk sale of your art. Raising the prices too high, too soon, can absolutely stall this condition.
Base prices on size
Create a document that lists your prices for all the sizes of art that you sell. Prices are related to the size of your art. The bigger the art is, the higher the price. Whether you like some images more than others is totally subjective. Keep your preference out of it and instead go strictly by size. Make all your art at a specific size, the same price.
Keep prices consistent
Once you have created a price list, stick to it. If a gallery, an agent, a friend or even you, sells your art, the price remains the same. Having different prices out there for your art creates confusion and undermines the value you are trying to establish.
50% of the price covers the cost of selling the art.
There are many people who can sell Art. However there is only one person who can make your Art. If you prefer to be an artist with your time then look towards finding galleries or agents who can sell your art. The price of your art should be high enough to pay someone 50% as payment for selling your art. Thinking you can sell your art at a 50% discount because you are not involving an agent or gallery is short sighted and maroons you in a place that requires you to be the one always selling your art. Additionally, selling your art at rock bottom prices is not a good strategy for increasing perceived value in the market. Whether you or someone else sells your art, the price should remain the same. Always.
It is common to become fixated on the pricing of artwork as the key driver for sales. From my experience, if your art is in the ballpark of what is selling in similar markets, then you will be ok.
In the end, the most important driver for sales is not the price. The biggest determining factor by far, in terms of creating and maintaining robust sales of your art, is simply to focus on making the most powerful, authentic art you can.
And that, thankfully, is entirely under your control.