Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I just got an offer to buy out all my canvas pieces.. all 23 of them. I have no idea what this buyer intends but I get the impression its for resale. I tend to sell on the very inexpensive side (30x30 canvas acrylic for $90 and 48x60 for $140)... so a single transaction for $2500 sounds good, but something about it feels wrong. My next art festival isn't until last weekend of August so I'd have time to do more pieces, but I can't decide if this is a blessing or a really terrible idea.
I'm only painting and attending 3-4 art festivals a year as a hobby and an excuse to spend a day or weekend outside, so the dollar amount is not important. I'm not attached to my artwork, but I'll get more joy out of seeing a lot of happy people walk off with my art then I will watching one guy in a van driving off.
How far can I interrogate this potential buyer - and do I have any right to anyway? I just redid my website (rickscrib.com) and was also considering upping my prices by double on canvas pieces, but he got pricing already...
First off, congratulations for getting a great offer! 2nd, I see no problems with asking what they intend to do with the art. Do they have a business you can look up? Are they local? Cash is cash, so I say if you're satisfied with the answers to your questions, take the cash and keep on painting. Yes, your prices are waaaaay too low. a 30x30 canvas at $1.00 per square inch should be $900. .75 per square inch $675, .50 per square inch $450 and should be your minimum for that size. i agree with the others that doubling your prices is to much to fast. I would say raise up $30-$50 maybe each year? Then eventually get to the numbers I mentioned above. The point about contracts is a good one! Get everything in writing, consider is they want to make repro's of your work, and change your selling price. Write up the contract both ways, and list each item in the sale. Good luck and let us know what you decided!
I have to agree with Barrie. You might as well be giving your work away.
I went to your website and you've got some wonderful pieces. (I could go into detail why I think that, but that's a whole other discussion.)
I wouldn't price any of your work for less than $495. (These are originals!)
And...I'd raise your prices immediately. I think you should, at least initially, be thinking about selling in the four-figure range. If you want to sell your art in the <$100 category consider doing prints. You could also consider Giclees for your larger pieces. I have a friend who routinely gets five figures for his large pieces and mid four figures for smaller pieces (11X14, 9X12). He makes prints of all his work which he sells for from $100 to $200. He prints Giclees on canvas and sells them for about 1/10th the price of his originals (framed, BTW).
Of course, all this depends on if you want to "go pro" rather than looking at this as a hobby. You have the chops to do it, but your life will change.
Most artists underprice their work. In fact, all the artists I've met underprice their work. I think it has something to do with "The Artist's Curse." But after a lifetime of sales and marketing, I can tell you that if you price your work cheap, people will perceive your work as cheap. I realize this is counter-intuitive, but it's true. You can sell anything at any price...it's all just marketing.
I suspect, as others have said, they are going to reproduce your work. Good luck policing that. At my last Art League meeting, a very successful Florida artist freaked us out with stories of how her work was reproduced (illegally) and unless she wanted to spend tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees, there was nothing she could do to stop them.
Well, this was posted over 2 months ago...What did you finally do???
I did not sell everything in one shot. Just couldn't let it happen. I did find that this guy had a shop on etsy so I guess that's where it was headed. Due to this thread I am now reconsidering my stance on both pricing and only selling originals. I'm so pigheaded it's not even funny.. but I can change. I have a 3 art festivals coming up in the next 45 days so I'm stocking up inventory and my house is about to sink from the weight of 200+ canvases )
Good for you!