Monday, April 30, 2012

How Much?

Nitty Gritty Nugget
The paradigm for pricing that I started with is:

- Sell your art for the least amount you can bear (told to me by a successful gallery director.)

- Once you are selling faster than you can produce, you can increase your prices (don’t know where this piece of advice came from, but it’s fairly common sense.)

Am I in the Painting or Shipping Business?
My first 4 x 4” oil paintings (which at that point were my practice pieces) were listed for $13 (free shipping in the US).  So you figure a couple of dollars for fees and $2.80 for shipping and I was getting $8.  Figure in supply costs and I was making enough to buy a cheap cup of coffee. They sold like awesome organic blueberry hotcakes.  I spent so much time shipping paintings that I barely had time to paint. 

I increased the price of the 4 x 4’s to $19 - a more expensive cup of coffee, and maybe Starbuck’s perfect oatmeal on the way to the studio.  The sales slowed down a bit, but I was still painting at a fever pitch.

In a really bold move I shot up to $25, and then….in a blinding flash of confidence went to $30.  And while I was at it, I added in the selling fees, for a nice round $33.  I began to set my sights on paying my studio rent with my sales. 

To my 4 x 4’s I’ve added 5 x 5’s, 5 x 7’s and 6 x 6’s.  I’ve come up with a standard pricing so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel as I go forward.  I don’t go back and change old listings in my shop.  My thought is if it hasn’t sold by now, raising the price is not going to help.  At some point I have considered taking the old paintings off and letting them breathe for a while, and then relist them as a totally new item.

I also work in pastels and I have added pastels to my “impulse buy” category.  They are 6 x 6” paintings and take a while longer to complete.  I just added them in the last month, and have sold two at $60 apiece.  In about 6 months I will review my sales and decide if I want to increase the price on my pastels.
6 x 6 Pastel on Paper
Click Here to Purchase Painting

What’s the Competition Doing?

There are a million and one daily painter artists these days, and prices are all over the board.  Some prices are way too high, some way too low.  I try to compare my paintings with similar styles and sizes, and maybe price a hair lower.  As always, those with name recognition can ask higher prices.  (There’s a subtle piece of advice for you, build a following.)
What's Next?
1.  For each product you are going to sell, what is the lowest price you can bear? Remember this is not about what YOU think it's worth.  It's about what others are willing to pay.  Be sure to remember your selling fees and shipping costs.
2.  Check out what others who paint/create similar products are charging.  As in real estate, price a hair lower.  If a buyer has similar products to choose from, one factor in the sale is the lower price.
3.  Have a plan for when you are selling alot and working too hard, that's the time to increase your prices.

1 comment:

  1. I mostly price by size
    need to be more consistency in my shop