Should people take a % when they sell your art?
We put a lot of work into making our art, to then have someone else sell it and give them 50% of the money when they didn’t make it can feel crap.
This question came in via one of our Hub members this week. This member had their artwork in a cafe. There is about a week left of these artworks exhibiting in the cafe. The cafe has come back to the artist and asked if they could reduce the price of the artwork because they think it’s too expensive. On top of this, they are taking a 20% commission.
The artist asked for advice around the above question inside the Hub (this is where we offer support and advice to members). They didn’t know how to handle it and what was best to do. I want to just share my answer and some thoughts around this question with you.
My points on this…
There were a few points I highlighted first as it is so easy to take this sort of comment to heart as people will generally not realise the time that has gone into creating a piece of art. So, perhaps look at it from the cafe owners point of view:
- One, that cafe must have a particular price range and your work falls outside of it and now they can’t sell it.
- Two, they may just not be very good at selling art and they want to earn their commission. There is definitely an art to selling art and not everyone will be able to do it well.
- Three, they may not know enough about art in general to be able to sell it and to create that desire, need and want to prospective buyers.
- They are just not experienced enough in selling art to understand the value of it and the impact of reducing the price can have.
You can say no!
It’s a case of going back to them and saying, no. I can’t just slash my prices because if I do it here, I will need to slash prices everywhere else. It will also mean I am taking a pay cut (this is effectively what they are asking).
However, there are other things you can do instead if you are still wanting to exhibit your working in local cafes etc. Perhaps put smaller pieces in or maybe even prints at a lower price point, but sticking to the original pricing.
This whole question led to another debate over in the Hub about whether people should even be taking a 20% commission for selling your art. Now, I am very pro commission but I do also believe that people can successfully sell their own art and earn all the revenue.
If you want to hear more on the commission, how it works, the do’s and the don’ts, listen to this week’s podcast episode or watch below.
Commission when selling
There is a huge potential to make and sell your own art in today’s world, you don’t need anyone to sell for you.
But, there is also a great opportunity to collaborate with others who have access to your buyers. People in the art world and not in the artworld.
If you find the right people and they can sell your work, the 50% is worth sharing.
Before you go off and give any % to others for selling your work, always make sure that the % you receive is still worth your time and effort! This has to be mutually beneficial to both of you.
So, just bear all that in mind. I hope this helps some of you who are trying to get out there to sell.
P.S. Did you know you can become a member of United ArtSpace and receive access to our Hub that contains incredible resources to help you make art you love and turn what you love into a living.
You can join the wait list here: https://members.unitedartspace.org/