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'd so much rather sell the one piece for $100 - though I'd prefer to sell it right at the very beginning of the show, rather than the last day.
I'm a recovering alcoholic, sober 26 years plus change now. When I got sober, people told me I would have to leave my old friends and my old haunts behind, or I'd never make it. I was sure I would end up friendless and lonely. But guess what? I didn't!
To some degree, I feel the same way about raising my prices. I feel like I am leaving my old friends behind, the ones who bought paintings from me for $35 and $45, when I had NO IDEA what I was doing, or where this would take me (truth be told, I still don't) - and if I don't have them, I will be slicing out a part of my buying public.
I mentioned this conundrum to my prosperity coach, and he told me to let those original customers know that they will always get price breaks from me. So that solves it for me, and reminds me that it is all in my discretion.
That solves one of the conundrums we will all face by rising our prices, looking after our loyal clients.
Great post! I too am going through the process of raising my prices. I sold almost 1/2 of my inventory at Arts in the Park and many folks that bought told me that my prices were too low. I had to work like a mad man to rebuild my inventory for the next show. Since then, I have raised my prices, and guess what, the items have still sold. Although, I haven't done an honest art festival since Arts in the Park. My thinking is that if the items sell at wine festivals, I should do well at real art festivals. Syracuse will be the big test.
Evan, how much of a discount do you give your returning clients? I do have some that have been buying from me since I started doing shows. I am sure that they have noticed my prices going up, but have not had any complaints for them.
Thanks Evan, that sounds like a good idea and I will try that.
Of course if that “Australian business/marketing guru” said that we should all cut our prices because we’re overvaluing our work - he probably wouldn’t be doing those big money shows for very long :)
I suppose a lot of it depends on your product and/or target market – however looking at the long term benefits I would personally prefer to make the same amount of profit on a couple of sales then on just one. At the end of the day I’ve got the potential of multiple return customers instead of just the one. That extra profit on that one item will be gone in a day – but those extra customers (compounded over many years) can help pay my bills for the next several decades. A larger customer base really comes in handy during slow times.
At the end of the day I keep decent records – as long as I’m making a reasonable profit for my effort I’m happy. My customers, sales figures and competition will let me know if I’m overpriced or underpriced.