Pricing prints is an art form unto itself and many artists just beginning in the art world, particularly when selling art online, may sell prints for a low price, thereby losing money. Other artists may sell their fine art prints well above market prices and risk losing potential buyers. The goal is to price your art at a reasonable price and come up with a pricing structure that includes the cost of materials, your hourly rate, skill level, and the size of the print being sold.
Selling Prints in the Art World
No guide on how to price your art would be complete without a brief mention of marketing. Successful art sales not only depend on a fail-safe pricing formula but also on developing tried and true marketing strategies. This includes branding yourself, ads, or even business cards.
Marketing and branding are other skills that many emerging artists or even young artists might overlook and can make or break your art business. Reading about how to market your art online can help, including how to sell your art on Instagram, Etsy, DeviantArt, or eBay.
Keep in mind that another option is to align with an art gallery that supports local artists. This may be the only way to gain the interest of serious art collectors quickly and is worth pursuing if you live in an artistic town or city. This method may also help with name recognition and can help you meet fellow artists. Remember to keep track of marketing expenses as they must be added to the selling price of your art.
Creating Art Prints That Sell
Selling art takes time, and building a following is one of the first steps to be on your way to selling prints. While you can compare the prices of other artists, it’s essential to only compare yourself to artists in a similar situation as you. Price ranges should be in line with how long you’ve had an online presence and how developed your marketing and branding strategies are. As you become more popular and build a following, you can start selling at higher prices.
Although some artists charge based on their emotional attachment to their artwork, this isn’t the best approach if you plan to have a successful art career. Neither is pricing art prints that you aren’t happy with at a lower cost. The value of art is decided solely by the person buying it, so even if you price your artwork at $400 and a potential buyer believes it’s worth $150, then you have to revisit your pricing.
In addition, selling work that is different from other artists’ work, like photographs printed on metal, acrylic, or canvas, means you can price art prints at a higher price than similar artists printing their photos on a simple matte paper.
Determining the fixed costs of creating your art should be the first step in deciding art prices. These include gallery fees, rent for an office or home office, electricity, and other fixed expenses. Other considerations should be kept in mind when pricing your art, like the cost of materials, which we’ll cover in more detail below. Some variable prices are covered below.
Whether you are selling an original painting in watercolor, oil, or acrylic or if soft pastels are your medium, it makes sense to include the price of your materials in your total cost. A professional artist may spend hundreds on their materials, which means that particular piece will have to sell for much more to break even.
Keeping a list of all materials used, down to paintbrushes and easels, and for photographers, the cost of electricity, printer, frames, or a mat is the base price that can be added to fixed expenses. Materials are part of the variable cost we mentioned above.
Looking for more outlets to sell your prints? Our top pick for Best Canvas Prints Company, Metal Prints Company and Acrylic Prints Companies also hosts artists work to sell on their platform. Check it out!
Decide on an hourly wage that you feel comfortable with. Sometimes deciding how much you want to make a year can help you determine an hourly cost. For example, if you want to make $30,000 from your artwork per year and make $20 per hour, how many hours would you have to work to reach your goal?
If it takes you eight hours to work on your art piece, that’s your hourly wage and should be added to your base price above.
Size of Prints
The fact is, art pieces can be priced much higher depending on the size of the painting. There is no right or wrong way to estimate an average price, but one formula to establish the selling price by size can be determined by the square inches of the piece.
The cost of prints can be decided by the square inch or by the linear inch. Prices selected using linear inches are– the square inches of your painting + your hourly rate + materials + marketing and other fees = total price of your painting. Other prices can include post office prices or paying a friend to take professional photos of your art.
Compare and Contrast
After deciding on the above selling prices, you’ll want to check out the art prices of other artists whose work is made in similar styles to your own. Compare how many prints sell for what price. Review their expensive stuff and determine if it’s the same size as your prints. In addition, see how much they’re selling a limited edition painting for. Limited edition prints can cost much more than regular prints.
The success of your art business depends on pricing art to sell. Convincing people to pay what you believe your art is worth is part of your marketing pitch. This takes trial and error, and other artists use no specific science.
Present your pieces in the most professional way possible and pay attention to detail. Know your audience, which is something determined in the marketing and branding steps, and you’re a few steps closer to pricing your art to sell.