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How low can you go?? When a customer wants to bargain...

Pricing art...the hardest thing for me. I can price other artists art, no problem. But when it comes to mine, yikes! Am I too low? Too high? Ok, I finally decided on my price...but then...The "bargainer" comes.

OK, I'm easy to convince and yes, sometimes I go down a little in some paintings, if it is a harder to sell, or getting close to the end of season, end of day, etc etc. But how low can I go? 

Guy: OK, this painting is 180.00?

Me: Yes Sir, 180.00

Guy:What about 120.00?

Me: Mmmm...I can't go that low. That painting is very popular and it took me hours to make.

Guy: Ok, how much and I will give you cash right now?

Me: OK...160.00

Guy...NOPE! 130.00 or nothing

Me: I'm sorry Sir, I can't

Guy: OK, no deal. (walked away)

Me: Thinking...Ok, No deal...Whatever! Don't try to take advantage of my me and my work.

I didn't care but at the same time the lower they want to go I just want to say: Hey dude...Seriously?? Go and call a plumber, an electrician, they will charge you that just to go and take a look at your toilet (nothing against plumbers or electricians, just an example)...who do you think I am?? World Vision??? Unicef? Angelina Jolie?? No working for charity dude, but how low is too low? Or what kind of deals do you offer if they are interested in more than one of your pieces?

Views: 2004

Comment by Annette Piper on July 15, 2012 at 5:14am

Oh yes, I'm with you Carla - I get so annoyed with people buying a cup of coffee and a sandwich in a cafe that is gone in 5 minutes could have bought a pair of gemstone and silver earrings from me that would last a lifetime!    If I don't know the person asking for a discount, or haven't been chatting with them to get some empathy going between us I just say, no, I'm sorry, the price is $180.   I had two people recently ask for hefty discounts at a show - I stuck to my guns and left them to it and sure enough the bought it.      Doesn't always work, but hey, I'm not going to make NOTHING on my work!

Comment by Pat Sorbini on July 15, 2012 at 8:32am

It is particularly annoying when they have a hand stuck in a 10 buck bag of kettle corn. I usually just say that my prices are reasonable and I give a lot of thought into the pricing. If they persist I have had luck saying, with a twinkle in my eye, how would it feel if your boss came  by with your paycheck and asked how  much less you'd be willing to take.  Same same.

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on July 15, 2012 at 8:58am
Similar question covered in Discussions section with some good info.
Comment by Gary Anderson on July 15, 2012 at 9:58am

"Look, it's my misery that I do this kind of painting, it's your misery that you love it, and the price of the misery is $1350."  - Mark Rothko -

I keep a little sign in my booth showing this quote.  

Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on July 15, 2012 at 10:26am

Carla, you have the right idea.  Shoppers have no idea that you have to factor in yout time and supplies plus your work shop.  Oh, and your traveling, motel, food, booth fees, etc at shows.  Shoppers have no idea.

Comment by geri a. wegner on July 15, 2012 at 10:37pm

I was at a booth today at Krasl and a customer asked the artist for a break on two pieces.  (each piece was $50 each)  The artist told the customer that she was sorry but she had been selling them at full price all weekend and it wouldn't be fair to the others that had purchased the same type item.

Sounded like a reasonable answer to me.

Comment by Bill Sargent on July 16, 2012 at 6:19am

Depends on the customer's attitude.  When they are obviously lowballing we them simply NOPE and do it with a friendly smile.  If their offer is anywhere near reasonable and they ask for a break for buying several pieces, then we feel better about giving a break.  After all, they're being rewarded for liking our work that much.  

    Go with your instincts.  If someone is being a jerk about the price, just be nice about it when you tell them to screw themselves instead of you.  

Comment by Barry Bernstein on July 16, 2012 at 9:16am

A couple was in my booth discussing which of their 3 houses they wanted me to ship the $120 piece they were going to buy.  The guy then asks me if I could do a little better on the price.  Note to customer: Don't let the artist know you have 3 houses.  I good naturedly ask him if he was a lawyer which of course he said yes.  I proceeded to mention that instead of asking me for a deal, he should be offering me 3 times what I was asking because I obviously was charging way too little for the quality of the piece and he could easily afford to do so and I could use the money.  He got the point. 

Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on July 16, 2012 at 9:53am

Great respons, Barry!  Somebody told me at our last show that I wasn't a "cheap date."  Just smiled and said, "No, I'm not."  Who wants to be known as a cheap date?

Comment by Leslie Christopher Bookout on July 16, 2012 at 10:01am

I draw the line at $1.25 an hour. That's it! No lower than that. I got my standards to live up to.

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