How to Price Art

Pricing art isn’t like choosing a number from a hat. If you’re trying to sell your art, it’s because one or more reasons have driven you to make the attempt. Therefore, why not honor those reasons by using reasoning to determine your pricing?

There is an article titled “How to Price Art,” which covers some key points we think every artist should consider when attempting to sell their work. Written by industry expert, Barney Davey, this article is a great place to start for anyone seeking pricing assistance. In it, Davey covers topics ranging from how prices affect sales, to what factors should and shouldn’t be considered when assigning value to your work. Here are some takeaways we gleaned from Davey’s piece:

1. Pricing can outweigh expertise.

By this, we mean that skill and subject matter alone do not control whether or not something sells. Ultimately, selling price is determined by the buyer and what they are willing to budget towards acquiring your art. Davey suggests that it is “good to know what buyers are buying,” and while knowing this may not change the type of art you feel inspired to produce, it will at least provide you with realistic expectations regarding sales.

2. Pricing art should not be based on emotions.

Davey suggests, “… you must be able to justify the prices you are asking.” This means you can’t sell your favorite pieces at higher prices based solely on your preference for them. Chances are, your buyers may not share your preferences or emotional responses for each piece. Instead, try using quantitative reasons, such as numbers of hours worked and value of materials, to establish easily translatable baselines.

3. Being a successful artist may be synonymous with being a successful marketer.

While the fantasy involves buyers flocking to spend thousands on your art, the reality is that selling art tends to require marketing skills. To be a successful marketer, consider answering questions such as “Who do you want to buy your art? What are their buying patterns? and “What are similar pieces of art selling for in your target market area?” Davey provides a list of similar questions which artists can use to influence how they price their work.

While these are just a few of our thoughts on the subject, we encourage our readers to peruse the entirety of Davey’s article for additional insight on this important topic. We’d also like to thank Barney Davey for his efforts, which have allowed us to share this article with you.

You can access Barney Davey’s entire article on pricing art by clicking here.