ARTEXPO NEW YORK - Pricing 101 for Independent Artists

  artexpo March 25 – 27, 2011
Pricing 101: Best Practices for Independent Artists
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  Dear Artist

As we draw closer to our spring show, I've received a number of requests from independent artists about pricing their work. The fact is, there is no one-size-fits-all approach; there are many business aspects to consider with every sale. Once you know the basic rules of the game, however, you'll be better positioned for market success.

Here are three basic tips for pricing your artwork—at Artexpo New York 2011, and beyond:

1. Put Yourself in the Consumer's Shoes
When displaying your art, be up front about your pricing. Consumers can feel afraid or embarrassed to ask a price or may lose interest if a price is not immediately clear.

Use what I call the TAPS approach to retail pricing: Title, artist, price and size should always be clearly displayed. This encourages the consumer to ask questions, which opens up the piece for discussion and allows you to engage the consumer, encourages sales and get a feel for the type of pricing the market will support. Read more

2. Analyze Your Abilities & Determine Your Focus
Now that you have a general idea of the rules of retail pricing, it's time to tailor it specifically to you. Ideally, how much would you like to make per hour? How long does it typically take you to create a piece? How many pieces can you produce in a month?

Determine the level and focus of your artistic skill. If your artistic strengths lie in time-consuming works like pointillism or Photorealism, you'll need a strong gallery that will command higher prices. Conversely, more prolific painters who are productivity-oriented can produce more works and therefore hit a larger gallery base. Read more

3. Remember the Big Picture when Working with Galleries and Publishers
Galleries and publishers can provide the needed marketing and exposure necessary to turn lesser-known artists into a well-respected talent. Remember, galleries are going to mark up an artist's work by at least 100 percent, so it's important to keep this in mind—and the benefits a gallery is offering you—when it comes to pricing your work for wholesale. The best approach is to start with a retail price knowing that you will receive 50 percent or less of the price paid by the consumer. Read more

We can only fit so much information into our emails, so I encourage you to read the full article I've written on this topic: Pricing 101: Best Practices for Independent Artists.

Your comfort level with pricing will improve as you gain more experience. Remember, it takes a lifetime to become an overnight success as an artist!


Eric Smith
Artexpo CEO
Mark Shapiro
Artexpo Sales Manager
Eastern US and International
Sara Vesely
Artexpo Sales Manager
West/Midwest US and Canada
Debbie Kuhn
Artexpo Sales Manager [SOLO]
Arek Reeder
Artexpo Sales Manager
[SOLO] Studio
Eric Smith
CEO - Artexpo New York
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