Are you making these 10 common mistakes when pricing your art?
Alright: pricing. We all know that pricing is what separates business owners from hobbyists. If you tag a price on your art, it means you’re selling, and it means you’re in business. Adding a price also means you’re adding a certain value to your work – and you should be careful not to assign the wrong value to a piece. Sounds like a big deal? It is – but it doesn’t have to be hard. Listed below are some common mistakes that you should avoid to make sure your prices are always spot on.
Mistake #1: Ignoring your competition If you haven’t done your homework and you’re not regularly looking around at what your competitors are doing, you have no comparison at all regarding what you could charge for your work. Check out what artists with similar experience and materials are charging, but always make sure to look at what they’ve sold, since this gives you a good indication of what people are buying and what they’re willing to pay for it.
Mistake #2: Not knowing who your buyers are With no clue on what your specific audience is, knowing their experience and budget will be based on guessing and hoping, and that is certainly not what you would want to do. Check out the demographics of the visitors in your local art gallery, your current client database, your personal network and who the visitors on your blog or website are.
Mistake #3: Forgetting where you are Are you selling your art through an art gallery, selling it yourself on an online marketplace or putting them up for auction at eBay? Every venue has a different approach with a completely different audience and marketplace. Take the factors of your surroundings in consideration when pricing your art and you won’t make the mistake of over- or underpricing.
Mistake #4: Limiting your collection to a certain size and medium Artists who broaden their horizon by offering small prints of big artworks and different sizes with different pricetags will not only build a larger client database, but they also create a chance for them selves to connect with people with a small budget, who could possibly become serious collectors later on.
Mistake #5: Selling too early in your career When you’ve just started out as an artist, don’t be too eager to sell too soon in your artistic career. When your work isn’t quite ready yet for the public and you feel your prices are getting too low before they eventually sell, just wait around for a while until you have the experience and confidence to price your work professionally.
Mistake #6: Charging the same amounts for commissions It is flattering to get a request for a customized piece of art, but when you take into account the time that is spent on discussing the work and having it match the taste of your client, the price of a commission should be higher than your regular works. Don’t be afraid to charge more; most people will be willing to pay more for customized work.
Mistake #7: Hurting your hourly rate by working ineffectively Taking a close look at your workflow and determining where you could add some improvements to save yourself some time, will increase your hourly rate since it will take you less time to finish a piece than before.
Mistake #8: Undervaluing your work in order to sell more No matter how badly your sales have stalled, always think twice about lowering your prices and therefore undervaluing your work. Not only will the value of your artwork decrease, you will also upset your current client database and collectors by showing them your work is going down in value instead of up. To solve the problem of a sudden lack in sales, try adding more value to the work by taking a second look at it or increase your marketing efforts.
Mistake #9: Offering too many discounts While offering a discount on your prices is a good substitute for permanently lowering them, offering too many discounts may hurt your business because of the expectations people will start to have. Why buy a piece from you now when they can wait a while until a new offer comes around? Having your buyers wait around before buying is never a good idea – they often will get on with their lives and forget about the purchase at all.
Mistake #10: Being too emotionally attached to your work Don’t overprice a piece of art because you don’t really want to let go of it. Becoming too emotionally attached to a piece can mess with your pricing system as it will confuse your audience and yourself. Don’t be afraid to let go of your work – there will be a new favorite in your collection soon.