Should I Change The Pricing of My Art?
Hello everyone!This week’s Facebook Live is about pricing your artwork, and whether the pricing should change depending on where you put it. The last couple of weeks within the Hub, we’ve been focusing on pricing and selling, and a really good question came up about changing pricing based on the location of your artwork. The person who asked this question tends to sell in markets and art fairs, and what they’ve noticed is that there’s an obvious difference. People at the markets don’t want to spend as much as the people at the art fairs, so what they’ve been doing is adjusting the pricing, giving the artwork a lower price point at the markets to fit the clients. It’s something that I see happening often and not something I would recommend doing, so I just wanted to explain why and share some tips of what you can do instead.
Consistency is Key
First of all, imagine if you’ve sold a piece of artwork online for a certain price. A week or two later you put the same piece of artwork in the market for 20% or 50% less. The same person who brought your artwork online happens to go to that market and sees the artwork at the lowered price. They would feel really disappointed as they’d be thinking they’d could have saved themselves some money. Is it worth what I’ve paid? You don’t want your customers to feel disappointed. Having consistency across your pricing is really important as it helps you to build up trust. The best way to price your work is to price the individual pieces on the value that they have and not on where they’re going to be sold.Let’s take Sharon for example. She is a ceramic sculptor and has different places where she will put her work. Some places don’t fetch as much as others, but the work and pricing are consistent across all the galleries and locations. So, what Sharon does (and this is something I advise doing) is she’ll adjust her work to fit the locations and not the price. Let me explain. If you have a market where you know your artwork will sell and there is a great customer base, but they are not willing to spend as much as an online customer, create different artwork to fit. This could be prints or smaller pieces. However, the important thing is, you are not devaluing your work to fit a particular location. And then the same applies to the higher price point.
Recently, Sharon has been found by a gallery (which is amazing) but they said “we love your work, but we need it to be a thousand pound more expensive because our customers spend a lot more money on artwork.” Now, she can’t just take her existing artwork and add an extra thousand pounds on top because it just doesn’t work like that. So, Sharon is now coming up with some new work that will fit that new, higher price point.
Find your price points!
If you’re thinking you want to be in a certain gallery, but how can you make the current work that you’re selling different, so that you reach that new price point, you need to start working out what could be your entry price point. This would be the lowest price point that you’d sell for, and you then need to work your way up. Have a range of smaller pieces and prints that might fit into a smaller price range. Then look at the most expensive piece of art you have. It may be bigger, took you longer to create and is more high-end and a luxury piece of work. From that point, you can then find your middle price point, once you have set the lowest and highest. It really is great to have that hierarchy pricing structure as it just makes it so much easier in the long run.Once you have that pricing structure in place, you can then start to think about the location and where you are going to sell certain pieces, and price points. Just remember, never devalue your art because it’s not selling at a certain location. You want people to be confident in your pricing and you want to be confident in yourself too! All in all, I think set a price and stick to it.
However, there are certain scenarios where you may find someone wanting to haggle at the price. When this happens, I’m much more in favour of keeping to that set price but then adding more value for the customer. For example, you can say ‘no that is my price, I am sticking to it, I’m not coming down from that, but I will be more than happy to give you one of my prints as well.’ You want to show the customer you value them by adding extra value. Be confident about your pricing as you don’t want to get haggled down, as it won’t show the person buying, the true value of the art. Galleries, they work in a similar way. If you have a piece of artwork in a gallery, priced at a certain point and you’re still selling that artwork as well, make sure it’s the same price as it is at the gallery. It doesn’t matter if the gallery gets 50% commission for selling it, you don’t need to reduce your selling price – you want consistent pricing. It’s fair on the customer and easier for you!
One tip, as you grow, make sure you have those different price points so that your artwork is affordable to people and not just those at the high-end price point. If they can’t afford the original painting, perhaps offer them a print or a smaller piece within their budget. There are lots of ways to work with your customers so you don’t have to reduce your prices or devalue your work, but they can still get the art they love. Remember, you want to put your prices up and up over time. Hopefully, this helps clarify how you can do that successfully, easily and clearly.