Monday, October 5, 2009

Question of the Week on Money

Q: Dear Slash,
With the economy the way it is, do you think it’s ok for me to lower the prices on my artwork? I have bills to pay and my husband says I should do what I need to do to bring home the bacon.


A: I’ll have to disagree with your husband. I recommend that artists just starting out find out their appropriate range, price their work accordingly, and then stick to it. If you want to go high end and target a smaller segment of the population, you shouldn’t suddenly lower your prices because you have some bills to pay. Also, if you set your price with the going rate, you shouldn’t price one piece based on how attached you are to a particular piece. These fluctuations will ultimately hurt your business.

If you have a soft spot for some of your more financially challenged consumers and you truly feel that art should be available and affordable to everyone, there are ways around it, that won’t affect the price scheme that you’ve established.

Remember, most people who buy your work are looking at it as an investment. If they find out you sold a piece like the one they purchased for a much lower price, there’s a very good chance you’ll lose them as a patron. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Offer “Special rates for a limited time”
  • Have a “Scratch and Dent” sale
  • Create some smaller items, products or services with extremely low prices
  • Have a “I’m Cleaning out my Studio” sale
  • Offer Package Deals
  • Have a sliding scale
  • Have artist-only fees

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