How do I price a work of art? This is a question that too many experienced and beginning professional artists pain over.
Here are three steps to help you establish you pricing your fine art.
1. Make a list of all of your fine art offerings and the prices.
Start with where we are now. Make a list of each type of item you offer and the current price.
Make another list of your entire sales history and determine the current average price of you art.
Now ask yourself, “Could I expand or modify my offerings so that I create more value for a bigger price tag?”
When I started my business 5 years ago, I limited my original oil paintings to plein air studies of four sizes. Two years ago I expanded and offered large scale commissioned oil paintings. The result? The average sale for a commissioned painting leaped to $22,000 versus the $3000 I had limited my market to before. True story.
I let the market decide and they decided that they were willing to spend 7.3 times more than what I was offering initially.
So think big. Keep it simple. And create options for collectors with added value and a bigger price tag.
2. Complete an appraisal of your art.
Knowledge is power. Just like appraising a house you have to look at homes with comparable value.
- One place to start is to ask a number of gallerists or art consultants for an appraisal of your work.
- Do some research yourself. If you add more unique value then account for that. When you know the value of your work then you can convey that with confidence to your collectors.
- Note. The problem is usually that artists price their work too low, not too high. And the price of their art is tied to their self confidence, not the market value.
3. Maintain the price of your art. Do not discount your art.
If you don’t maintain your price, don’t expect anyone else too. Have your options and prices clearly stated in writing, just like any sound business. If you don’t want to talk about the price of your fine art then just hand your prospects the price list.
A common problem with galleries is that they often discount. I think this is an incredibly stupid thing to do. I know. Tell me what you really think.
Choose numbers that are rounded. Not $999. Just call it as it is, $1000. You’re not fooling anyone.
And remember, art is a luxury. It’s not supposed to be cheap or go “on sale.”