16 Oct Top 10 Tips on How to Price your Artwork
Top 10 Tips on How to Price your Artwork
Pricing your artwork can be really hard, especially when you’re just starting out as an artist and don’t have much of a reference point yet. It’s important to start off in the right manner as consistency in pricing is key. Art buyers don’t like to buy a painting and see one of your similar works on sale somewhere else at half the price they bought it for.
Pricing by the amount of time it took you to create a painting may seem like a good option, but most art buyers and investors are more interested in the quality of your work than how long it took you to paint it. Also, once you become more experienced your artworks will not only become better but they will likely also take you less time to create.
The most common method artists use to price their original artwork is by a set formula: a certain price per square inch. If you have a painting that is sized 20″ x 24″, this equates to 480 square inch. If you sell your painting at $5 per square inch that makes the painting 5 x 480 = $2,400. Pricing your art per square inch ensures consistency of pricing and gives art buyers and investors peace of mind.
No matter what method you use to decide your price, we’ve pulled together 10 handy tips and tricks that can help you decide how much to charge per painting.
1. Make sure you make enough money to live off
If you’ve spent weeks painting one artwork, you want to ensure that when you sell the painting it brings in enough income to actually live comfortably off in that space of time. When you’re still a student you may be very excited when selling your first artworks, but once you do it for a living you want to make sure it brings in enough money so you can afford rent, food, and clothes and still have some money left for other purposes like a well-earned holiday.
2. Do research on comparable artwork
Do your research and look at artworks that are similar to yours to see what their price point is. You need to take into consideration whether those works sell at the advertised price, are sold for less than the asking price, or are hardly sold at all. This will give you a good indication on how you should price your own art.
You can do your research in your local area when you mainly sell from your studio, but you can also extrapolate your search and look at online platforms like ArtChain Global. ArtChain Global will have one of the biggest collections of art in the world on one online platform and they are accepting registrations now at artchainglobal.com. Remember the early bird catches the worm.
3. Be aware that galleries will take a large commission
You have to keep in mind that if you sell or are planning to sell your art through a gallery, they will take a significant commission for selling your paintings, sometimes up to 50%. While at first sight it may seem logical to increase the prices for galleries and not your own studio, this is not fair to buyers or to the gallery. You will basically become a competitor of the gallery by having artworks for sale in your own studio for less money. When galleries find out about this they will probably drop you and it will be really hard to find another gallery to take you on board.
4. If you don’t sell your artwork, consider changing your price point
Some artists find that their price point isn’t working somehow. Either their prices are too low and art buyers are not convinced they’re the real deal, or their prices are too high and art investors will simply buy comparable art for a lesser price elsewhere. If you find yourself in a situation where your art doesn’t sell, don’t be scared to try a different tactic by raising or lowering your prices. It might make a world of difference as you’re likely targeting a different market of buyers. After all, people who are in the market for a painting of $500 to $1,000 won’t be in the market for a painting that is over $2,000, and vice versa.
5. Add raw materials to your total price
Don’t forget to take into account the costs of your raw materials, such as paint, brushes and canvas. These base costs can become quite high and you’ll need to recover these when you sell your artworks. It is wise to at least double your raw material costs. After all, when your art is sold in galleries – who can take up to 50% commission – you don’t want to be out of pocket for your raw materials.
6. Produce art in different sizes
If you price your art in such a way that smaller artworks are less expensive than larger ones, it may be a good idea to produce some smaller works of art and not stick to your usual size of artwork. Producing smaller works might enable younger art buyers to afford your art. When they continue to love your work as they grow older and have a higher budget, they may come back and buy your more expensive art. This is essentially a good way of targeting your future customers.
7. Consider the economic times
When a country is in recession, it may be harder to sell your expensive paintings as art buyers and investors generally have less money to spend on art. You may be surprised though and notice that some of your more expensive art sells well and your less expensive art doesn’t. It’s good to keep an eye on economic trends so you can focus on the type of art that does sell well in a given period.
8. Take into account the area you’re selling your art in
Different regions and countries have different economies and you will need to take this into account. Paintings will sell for a higher price in the US than they will in a country with a lesser economy. Should you wish to sell your art outside of your own region it’s a good idea to look at what everyday products cost in those regions. You can come up with a reasonable price for the other regions you want to sell in by inflating or deflating the price of your artworks by a similar ratio as everyday goods are priced there compared to your own area.
9. Consider raising the price when most of your artworks sell
If you find that you sell 70 to 80% of your art or even more at your current price, which is a really good result, you may wish to try raising your prices and measuring the impact. Generally speaking, raising prices by 10 – 20% may not affect the sales percentage much but any higher price increase might scare off art buyers and investors. You will need to test this yourself and decide on a price increase that will deliver you the most income.
Similarly, it may be a good time to raise your prices if you win a prestigious award or get a lot of media attention.
10. Discount for repeat buyers
Whether you want to do this or not is up to you, but many artists give repeat buyers a discount. Create loyalty amongst your customers and they will continue to come back to you to buy art. It is easier to sell to people who have bought from you before than having to find new buyers each time, so giving a loyalty discount is definitely worth considering when you usually don’t sell all your paintings.
BONUS TIP: Test your pricing on an online platform such as ArtChain Global
A good way of testing the price of your art, is by uploading your art to an online platform like ArtChain Global. You can search for similar art on the platform once it is live and see whether your pricing is in line with them. Your artwork is also accessible and searchable for everyone in the world to see, so you can quickly work out whether your price point is at a good level from a global perspective.
The platform is built to enable emerging artists to showcase and sell their art to the world and get discovered by thousands of art buyers and collectors. Apart from testing your pricing and getting discovered around the world, some other advantages of ArtChain Global’s platform are:
- There is full transparency around the creation and history of your artwork, such as its original upload, sales and ownership etc… This will help you as the artist to keep track of what’s happening with your artwork post initial sale, such as at what prices your works get resold, and it will give prospective art buyers trusted background information about your art giving them added confidence to buy it.
- Royalty payments for a resale of your artwork can be automated, so you keep earning money each time one of your artworks is resold on the platform.
- Unlike most platforms that only charge artists for listing their original art, ArtChain Global actually rewards artists for uploading their artwork to the platform and adding more information about the artwork. A win/win situation for you.
Pricing art is not an exact science and what may be a good price for your art today may not be so tomorrow, but we hope we gave you some good tips and inspiration on how to price your art.