Betsey's Question of the Week
Money, Money, Honey
Pricing our work is one of the hardest things to consider when selling. We don’t want to price our work too high or too low. Let’s not forget, we are competing with major corporations like Target and Walmart, who sell large prints on canvas for $40. However, the clients who buy our work appreciate the story, the journey, and the creative process behind each piece.
Image by Betsey Iannarelli
In my personal experience, it wasn’t until I attended my first craft show that I realized I was pricing my work a little too high. I judged the prices strictly on size and the medium used. After doing some research on how other artists priced their work, I rearranged everything. Many artists will tell you to give yourself a fair hourly wage, for example, $20 an hour. If a painting takes you four hours to complete, you multiply that by 20, and then include materials used: canvas, varnish, paint, etc.
20 x 4 = $80
Canvas = $25
Paint = $10
Total = $115
Image by Paige Smith
Some artists discussed taking the materials and multiplying it by two, so that you’re still making a profit off of the materials used. Sharifa Callender says, “I price my work by adding materials, expenses, profit, and labor (set price per hour) and then doubling the total. When it comes to shipping, I include it with large paintings, but charge separately for smaller ones. Sometimes I slightly increase the final price based on how I feel about the painting. Pricing is tricky, but I find that having a set formula makes it easy to place value to my work. At the end of the day, I tell myself that if I don't value my work, no one else will.”
Image by Sharifa Callendar
As for Dyan Brisson, she’s heard from other crafters who say she should take her materials and multiply it by three. “Some of my base products are seventy-five cents, so that won’t work. I think the best way is to research the internet, look in boutiques and any other places that may have similar items as yours, see how they are priced, and go from there. I am at the point where I would like to charge more, but I am worried it is a mistake to do so.”
I know we always say, “Don’t compare your work to others!” but in this case, we suggest it! Sometimes looking into others work, the materials they use, and the size they work with is best when determining what you think is a fair price.
Tell us, how do you price your work? We’d love to hear more suggestions!