Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I follow (on facebook) a rude(!) but successful Australian business/marketing guru who charges $8-10K for a 4 day residential, immersing you in strategies to succeed and it appears her students do extremely well. She posted this today and I thought you may find it interesting as many of us do undervalue our work...
I am right in the middle of this discussion with myself and my prosperity coach (!). I have been pricing my work at a consistent $1.15-$1.25 per square inch, and he has been urging me to:
1. Abandon the square-inch pricing idea
2. Price my work higher
I've recognized that the problem with pricing my work higher has nothing to do with the value of the work, but has everything to do with the value I place on myself. I am not trained, I have not been to school, I have not been painting for long, my paintings aren't "serious" and on and on and on.
Fact is, they are selling, and selling faster than I can make them. If I need any confidence-building, all I have to do is look at my track record and allow reality to venture in.
Here is something that happened recently. I had a 36x60 painting, a really good one, probably the best one I've ever made. It was what Coach Joe called a "signature piece" - a cowscape. I took it to a show and set the price at - gasp!!! - $4,000.
It didn't sell that first day - but four other paintings did. And honest to God, they looked like bargains.
I lost my nerve, and marked it down to $2,500 the next day. It didn't sell, and no other paintings sold. When the show was over, a woman who had loved it at $4,000 bought it for $2,500. That was an excellent outcome for me - but for me, the lesson was in the day that I had it priced at $4,000.
Yes, you're right - having some higher priced items definitely make your lesser priced items look like a bargain! I wonder if you would have sold the $4K painting to that woman without the markdown?
If you're items are selling faster than you can make them it does indeed sound like they are underpriced.
Carrie, I am courious, what would you had normally priced the cowscape at before this happened? I find this very interesting...
Hi, Jacque - I've been struggling with the whole pricing thing, as I said, since the beginning. To sort things out, I settled on a per-inch price, which put the cowscape at $1900. I normally would have priced it somewhere between $1600 and $2000, depending on the venue and my mood.
This post and its information couldn't have come at a better time for me. I am in between shows right now and have been questioning myself just as the article notes. The lesson learned by Carrie gives me the incentive be honest with myself and not bow to other strategies. Thanks for sharing the article.
I'm glad its proving helpful David :)
I always struggle with my pricing. Every year, I increase a little more to see what the market will take.
This is a very timely post. I'm always struggling with how to price my pieces. I'm always scared that it'll be too expensive and that no one will buy it at those prices. So its good to read a post like this!
I've just seen someone's work that has a very limited range but those items are in a similar style to some of mine and she has the same target market. She has less skill and next to no knowledge about what she is selling. She is charging at least 2 to 3 times what I do. And she's apparently successful. She must be making easily 500% on some items, if not more AND I suspect a couple of her items are buy/sell (yet she attends a handmade market...yeah right, handmade by who!?)
That's it. Big changes ahead for me!!!