Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Newbee here getting ready to launch in 2018. I do unique mixed media 2D flat art that sells in the range $450 - $750. I'm leaning towards not posting the prices next to each piece on the theory that forcing the customer to ask about the price opens up an opportunity to engage in a conversation with the prospect. I've seen it both ways at some of the festivals I've scoped out. What's the case for or against?  Also, sticking labels directly to my artwork would not work well in my case. Anyone have a proven method for labeling on a mesh wall? Velcro labels to the wall? Thx

Views: 1826

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Unless you're in the stratosphere with your prices, always label the work to prevent wasting time answering unnecessary questions that take you away from selling your work to interested people. People will walk away if you are busy or may even think your work is too expensive for them.

Larry Berman

I have read and heard that if it's not priced, most people will automatically assume it's too expensive for them, regardless of the price range ... from the under $100 range all the way up.  I agree with Larry to take time to price it before the show.  BTW, I have also heard, and experienced first hand, that even if something is priced, some customers still ask the price.

Ok - good feedback - Thx. Now I just have to figure out how best to secure labels to the Trimline Mesh wall. 

If you find a good way with the labels, let me know.

I use the mesh walls and do not label my work either.

I've considered it, but have chosen not to, so far. I may wish to post some information with the pieces.

I too am on the fence as to which is better.

My prices may be higher than what they see in some other booths, however when I speak with the customers, they realize why.

By them asking a price, I can determine if they are interested, open conversation, realize by their reaction, if it does not sell it might have been the price.

If the prices are displayed, and they do not buy, without discussion... is it the price or did they not like the piece?

Often, if they ask the price, they have some interest.

Not an absolute, just my view on it, so far.

One of the galleries I'm in, does  not post the prices, on the front of the pieces. Customers have to ask for the book. Another gallery places a label next to the piece, with the price.

That's the same case I make in my mind for holding back on the price. How would I know if price is an issue or not if someone simply walks in and out of the booth without saying anything? For all they know it could have a $100 price tag.  Compare that with someone who walks in to the booth and comments...."love your stuff - how much is this piece over here?...." If they pass on it after learning the price, that might tell me something valuable about its relative appeal wouldn't it?

Exactly how I feel. However I have heard prior, what has been aforementioned about people assuming if there is no price, then it is expensive. I don't think that way, however it is the thinking of the customer, we must take into account.

Therein lies the quandary.

I remember a "customer" walking into my booth. After looking around stating something to the effect of "this work is amazing, it's great, I've never seen work like this, your art is wonderful" then they left. Never asking a price. how does one interpret such a thing?

I almost chased after them and wanted to inquire?????????

If I had prices posted, Id have been sure it was the high price that killed the sale. After all, they loved my work, so if they did not buy, it must have been the price. Obviously that was not the case.

Oh, Kreskin where are you when we need you?

If I do a show with poor sales and the prices are posted, I might assume my price structure is faulty.

When I do a show without posting, my prices are not the problem, when they do not ask the price.

From my perspective with 30 years experience:

Price it. 

Many, many people will not ask. I know I don't. I agree with the other reasons previously mentioned.  

Another reason not covered so far: Asking the price can be construed as a more active interest that a viewer might not have developed yet. It's common for people to walk the show first, and they don't want to be seen as an active prospect until they have narrowed down their choices a bit. They don't want to get your hopes up. They don't want you to start selling them either. They don't want to have to then say, "But, I'm just looking," with you assuming that the price is what scared them away. When really, they are just not "there" yet. 

When I'm skimming a show there's a lot of work in a lot of booths to go through. I want to be left alone to narrow it down. 

Simple recent example: Over the space of 3 fall shows, I was in search of a handmade hat to go with a specific coat. I have been looking for at least several YEARS. Color and style would be far more important than price. But if I didn't see prices posted, I eliminated that booth from my prospects immediately.  Most booths had other shoppers in them and I didn't want to take the time to ask or be "sold."

If it is a scenario of "...When really, they are just not "there" yet. ..." then  seeing the price might only eliminate the sale, not enhance it:

My thoughts, as they are not going to buy yet, seeing a price that is too high, sinks in and they don't come back when they are ready.

Whereas, seeing a piece they like, without a price, might encourage them to come back and ask when they are ready to buy.

If they are not ready to buy, usually they wont ask the price.

Except in the cases I've had where it was another artist trying to gather info on what the "competition" had.

I tend to engage with my customers, even without them asking the price.

I am not hard sell, so they do not have to fear that. I'd rather talk with them about their thoughts on the pieces.

Thx for the interesting discussion. There's a valid case to make either way. That said, I've decided not to go with price tags - for now. If I had smaller stuff to sell, in say the $50 - $200 range, the case is stronger to price tag it. But my bright colorful mixed media stuff falls in to the category of "eye candy" which draws people to it naturally out of curiosity, if for no other reason. The unanswered question is, what role does price play in preventing a real prospect from pulling the trigger. Even if they are only in the booth out of curiosity, their reaction to the price could tell me something valuable. I feel it would be a lot more difficult to get the answer to that important marketing question if I price tag up front.

When you tell them the price to see their reaction, you will be able to tell how rich they are, not how good your art is. If they are shocked, then it tells you they have probably never been to an art festival. If they are stoic, then you don't learn anything. It really tells you nothing of value going forward.

Do you like shopping for clothes without price tags? Do you like ordering food at restaurants with no price tags? It just seems almost disrespectful to make everyone have to approach you in the awkward exchange just so you can pretend to "read them", plan an attack of salesmanship based on their reply, and then later, after a day of intimidating introverts, justify it in your mind as a valuable experience (for you, not them).

In some states it's a law that you have to show a price.

Dinah, please cite law & resource of said law, that requires prices must be displayed for, artwork in any given state in the U.S.A.

I find many laws or regulations regarding the rules when prices are displayed, however I have not found any law that requires prices be displayed, for artwork.


Fiber artists -- use this resource to find new buyers:  Advertise with Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

Our 50 Best Art Fairs

Look Inside the our latest Art Fair Survey:
Who Won and Why

Join the MasterMinds Group for personalized coaching on your Internet Lifestyle Business! 

Video Website Reviews

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service