I have struggled with pricing artwork since I was a eight and made my first sale of a portrait I drew of a rancher during a cattle auction.  From childhood I have dreamed of being a working artist and in the past ten years or so, that dream has become a reality.  Now that I dedicate myself to the business of producing and selling my work (while still working as a full time, public school art teacher) I have been all over the map with pricing. (By the way - the rancher happily gave me $5.00 for his portrait and his family still has it after all of these years.) 

Recently I made the decision to be consistent with my work online, at galleries and at festivals.  I've been holding my breath for fear higher prices that work great in  real life will be unsuccessful online - so far - still holding.  For instance, I have been selling prints of my work on Etsy at much lower prices to match what I notice in other Etsy shops.  That didn't seem fair when I have higher prices at local shops and festivals.  It seemed wrong to have a patron purchase something in person only to follow up online and discover they could have found it cheaper even with shipping.  Now it's the same across the board.

I'm anxious to hear back from others about how they deal with this issue.

I recently stumbled on this list from Canadian artist, Robert Genn and some other online insight to pricing and selling art.  I agree with a lot of it so I thought I'd share.....

Most of my work is $250.00 or less for a framed original.  I have sold more expensive, challenging pieces but I think this range works best for what I am currently doing.

I'm not a fan of setting prices based on size or time.  (I have created some really intricate, small work that I wouldn't value by it's tiny size.)  I generally price what I think most folks can afford.  I wander around notable galleries and dream of the day someone might want to pay thousands for one of my pieces but I'd much rather sell reasonably priced pieces that find happy homes.


PaintingWrite said…
Pricing is the thing I hate most about art. I have sold a few commissioned pet portraits using a stippled ink technique which is really time intensive and the length of time taken depends on the subject and size of paper used. For those I have based it on an hourly price although I do have these on my etsy shop at a fixed price on a fixed size of paper so I know what you mean about having different prices in real life and online. It's so hard though as on etsy I see folk selling prints for more than I'm selling original art and I have reduced prices and increased prices just to see what works as there is that thing of some folk not buying work priced too cheaply as if it's more expensive people seem to value it more. I'm not sure if that works online or not. It's really a minefield but I like those pricing commandments-I've broken most of them but I think I'll try to stick to them in future!

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