As I mentioned in a Exhibits and Pricing, I've always had a difficult time pricing my photography at my exhibits. I THINK I FINALLY found the sweet spot.
At $45.00 I've been selling more prints since I increased my prices last year. The trick for me has always been finding that sweet spot. I’ve had other artists tell me that when they increased their own prices, the same thing happened:
Their own sales increased.
This seems to be completely opposite of what you’d think. Alas, I’ve seen the results. There is one explanation for this:
A higher priced piece of art suggests the quality is representative.
You do have to have some quality to represent though. I think the best thing to do when just beginning to sell your art is price it according to what you believe the quality is. You can increase your prices as you progress.
It can be challenging to find the right spot for your pricing.
--You don’t want to price yourself out of the market.
--You don’t want to insult yourself with too low prices. If you don’t appreciate your work enough to charge what it’s worth, your potential customers won’t appreciate your art either.
--You also want to make sure you recoup your processing fees.
In other words, you want to make sure you have a profit after you frame or mat and print your artwork. Otherwise why are you selling your art? Potential customers realize that artists do this and as long as you don’t gouge your customers they will understand. When I started selling my own work on the web and at local shows, I compared what other photographers were selling their prints for and stayed within that range, online at least.
For my local exhibits, I took into account how much each photo cost to process, the cost of printing and the cost of matting. Once I knew that amount I was able to decide on the lowest price point I could use and still make a profit. As my reputation and presence increased, I increased my prices each year. Now I have the sweet spot and my prices will remain steady for some time. I have the advantage in that I typically show and sell one size photos and I only mat my photos now. This way I’m able to keep my prices steady and at a price where I don’t necessarily scare potential customers away.
In fact, I fretted over increasing my prices to $45.00 for an11x14 mat last year. People aren’t even blinking when they see my prices. And as I said at the outset of this column today, I’ve been selling more photography at my local shows than I ever did. To my own thoughts, that tells me I made the correct decision. As artists, our first thoughts are usually centered on creating. However, creating is just one aspect.
The thing creatives sometimes lack is analytical ability which is why we find it challenging to price our work, which is why we find it challenging to market ourselves. If we want to succeed we have to overcome these tendencies. We have to pull ourselves away from our art and do the things that will create abundance in our lives. When we can do that, we will be on our way to creating the life we crave.
In the meantime:
Focus on what's ahead of you.