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How do you decide on a price for your paintings?

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  • How do you decide on a price for your paintings?

    Hi peeps,

    I was wondering for all those who sell their paitings how do you go about deciding on a price to sell them at...

    1) size of canvas

    2) (or) what support you've used, box canvas, canvas board, paper etc!

    3) the framing (if framed)

    4) time spent on painting

    5) all of the above

    6) something else...

    I would really appreciated the advice, I dont want to price too high, but also i dont want people to think oh thats cheap, it must be poor quality!

    s.x
    Sophie.x

    Sometimes what we say is not what we mean & what we mean is not what we say - that's why I paint!

    My bloggity blog

    My Etsy shop

  • #2
    Pricing paintings

    This is a difficult area for any artist. Especially for artists who are not 'known' or don't have an established customer base.

    I wrote an article on this subject some years ago, I will try and look it out and post it here.

    The main thing is not to be out of pocket. Are you painting for enjoyment and hoping to make a little money, or are you painting and hoping to derive some sort of imncome from your art?

    What markets are you going to be selling in? galleries, exhibitiuons, crafts fairs, eBay? They all have different pricing methods.

    I'll go and see if I can find the article.

    Andrew
    Remember a long road is best travelled with plenty of breaks.

    Even the best of us make mistakes!

    Comment


    • #3
      pricing

      I've been having the same thoughts about my embroidery and asked the same question. I did get a couple of replies which said don't underprice it, if people really want it they'll pay for it.

      I've decided to keep a track of the number of hours I spend on each piece, cost of the fabric and threads, and then price of framing. After I add it all up it'll give me a realistic price and then I'll decide if I think it's too much.

      I'm also aiming to sell at the gallery where I get my framing done, it'll be a better market for a realistic price it'll come to I think.
      Janey

      www****ido.blogspot.com
      www****ido.org.uk
      www.nejiribana.etsy.com

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      • #4
        what about trying an auction on Ebay, might give you an idea of what peoplewould be willing to pay

        Comment


        • #5
          Paintings

          In the past I used to sell hundreds of paintings as I had a backdrop business.
          The big problem was gauging what the market could afford to pay, (in my case photographers) and balancing that against costs and time taken. I tried to add ten pounds an hour for time but in practice this would have made the backgrounds too expensive. I would suggest if you go for quality rather than mass production and you are good, you should get your price but it may take you longer to find a buyer. If you like to reel them out fast and get a production line going, look at what the competition sells for and be slightly cheaper. Don't make the mistake of being good quality and selling too cheap.
          Chris W.
          x
          Gemstone Jewellery and Gifts

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree it's a big mistake to price too cheap, but art isn't necessarily an easy thing to sell. It can be a dilemma.

            I know an awful lot of artists sell on ebay, but I can't help thinking it's not a good place to establish prices, as you are competing against cheap production-line imports sold at rock bottom prices. My feeling about ebay is that it's a great place to sell things cheap - so maybe a good place to have a clear-out sale, but if you have other avenues to sell your art, you'll probably realise a better price for it.

            I price by size of canvas. Sometimes it's quick to complete, and I get a good hourly rate, other times it's the opposite, but I think it would be too confusing for the customer to have widely differing prices for the same size painting. I know others may disagree, and we all have to find a pricing scheme we are comfortable with ourselves.

            You have to remember, too, that all the time spent: ordering art materials, planning and sketching, selling at craft fairs, maintaining a website, blogging, packaging up and trotting to the post office, promoting though directories and online galleries etc., is all time which your sales should be covering.
            digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
            blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
            hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
            blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

            Comment


            • #7
              I can't find the article at the moment, probably buried someway on my hard drive!

              As Chris says, if you can afford to wait for the price you want then eventually someone may buy it.

              From my own experience selling on eBay I can relate the following.

              When I was selling my full size semi abstract paintings I started them at £5. Low you may think, but I soon found out that people like to go up from alow price rather than start at a higher one. Bearing in mind that some of these paintings took around half an hour to paint and many went on to sell for £20 plus... Some sold for just the starting price which although wasn't great covered material and listing costs and importantly got me customers that may go on to buy other paintings.

              At the moment I am concentrating on miniatures for the dolls house market and in general I can paint one in around an hour, some a little quicker and some longer. The start prices are from £4.50 for a small one to £9,95 for a larger painting. The market will then determine what it will pay, but again if I start at a higher price it may not sell, but started at a lower price may go way above what I would have expected. Then again it also depends on how many buyers thgere are for a particular painting, get a couple of bidders really wanting a painting and the price can go skyward. recently I sold a painting for nearly £40, not bad for something that took around and hour to paint.

              So as I said in my first post it really depends on your market, the type of work you produce etc. But make sure that you cover your material costs with a bit on top for yourself. The difficulty is getting a customer base who are interested in your work, and getting your work out into the public domain, beit on eBay, exhibitions or art and crafts fairs.

              What sort of work are you doing?

              Andrew
              Remember a long road is best travelled with plenty of breaks.

              Even the best of us make mistakes!

              Comment


              • #8
                Sophie, love your blog!!

                Your writing is lively and interesting, keep it up!! Also, your sunset series is great.

                Wendy
                digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
                blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
                hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
                blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is always going to be a dilema and whilst I agree with some of what is said here, some of it I disagree with.

                  My main vehicle for selling paintings is ebay, and I started off quite low but never sold a painting at a loss. I also have a website and estabilished prices on there. At the beginning of this year I took a decision to sell my paintings at the same price no matter where they are, and this includes ebay. You do get buyers on ebay that are prepared to buy the artwork at a price you want. You may not get as many but that is the perfect solution in my mind anyway, less sales better margin. I get frustrated by artists who put their original work on ebay at low starting prices, it gives the perception that other peoples more realistic prices are too high.

                  You did ask how people price their paintings, I add up the cost of all my materials, canvas, paint, fittings, varnish and the admin costs such as packaging and then add a profit margin that I want to make. I agree with Wendy that sometimes you get a good 'hourly' rate and other times not, but I don't tend to think of things like that, I more look at what I think the customer will pay in the market I'm selling to and ask am I happy with the money I'm making.
                  Amanda
                  xx

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    wow! thanks all for your replies. You've all been really helpful!

                    ty

                    s.x
                    Sophie.x

                    Sometimes what we say is not what we mean & what we mean is not what we say - that's why I paint!

                    My bloggity blog

                    My Etsy shop

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Andrew


                      ty, for taking the time to look for the article!

                      I'm doing mostly abstract at the moment, I'm working on a sunset series, but doing some other paintings along the way. I would say tho that I am pretty much an abstract artist. although I have just finished doing some paintings for my sons bedroom...child type paintings..space rockets and the like! lol. My partner thinks they are worth selling, so i'm thinking about it! I dont want to mass produce the same painting, not that I think there is anything wrong with that, but only because I have a short concentration span and get easily distracted!

                      I'm not looking to use ebay tho at all. I'm in the midst of sorting out my website, which I will use to sell from. But I was also thinking of etsy, but mostly only if I get into the kids painting side. I hadn't really thought about galleries or exhibitions tho. I'm not in it to be 'big'. I just enjoy painting and would like to sell them as I don't have room in my house for all these paintings!

                      I will keep track of al my reciepts! I reall dont want to end up out of pocket. Your right about ebay tho, when items are priced high to start with they dont seem to attract much attention!

                      ty again for you time

                      s.x

                      Chris

                      Thanks chris. This makes sense. I only do my painting when I have some spare time, bcoz I work also. So mass production is not for me! thanks for your advice

                      s.x
                      Last edited by sweet; 13-04-2008, 04:47 PM.
                      Sophie.x

                      Sometimes what we say is not what we mean & what we mean is not what we say - that's why I paint!

                      My bloggity blog

                      My Etsy shop

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by colourart View Post
                        This is always going to be a dilema and whilst I agree with some of what is said here, some of it I disagree with.

                        My main vehicle for selling paintings is ebay, and I started off quite low but never sold a painting at a loss. I also have a website and estabilished prices on there. At the beginning of this year I took a decision to sell my paintings at the same price no matter where they are, and this includes ebay. You do get buyers on ebay that are prepared to buy the artwork at a price you want. You may not get as many but that is the perfect solution in my mind anyway, less sales better margin. I get frustrated by artists who put their original work on ebay at low starting prices, it gives the perception that other peoples more realistic prices are too high.

                        You did ask how people price their paintings, I add up the cost of all my materials, canvas, paint, fittings, varnish and the admin costs such as packaging and then add a profit margin that I want to make. I agree with Wendy that sometimes you get a good 'hourly' rate and other times not, but I don't tend to think of things like that, I more look at what I think the customer will pay in the market I'm selling to and ask am I happy with the money I'm making.
                        thanks for your advice! some paintings can easily be made in no time at all but still retain your style and others definilty do take longer, i suppose it does even itself out!

                        I think it is a good idea tho to keep them at the same price despite where advertised. As a customer if i saw your painting on one place cheaper than another, i would go for the cheaper one everytime! I'll keep this is mind!
                        s.x
                        Sophie.x

                        Sometimes what we say is not what we mean & what we mean is not what we say - that's why I paint!

                        My bloggity blog

                        My Etsy shop

                        Comment

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