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how to price art

One of the things I’m enjoying most since coming back into the world, is connecting people.

Yesterday, for example.

Karin is a successful Dutch artist, and Roberta is owner of the Casino gallery and La Conca Arts Club.

So logically, I asked Karin if she wants to show her work, and Roberta if she wanted to see it.

They both said yes, so last night we sat in the gallery and Karin pulled out three small canvasses.

Roberta liked the work (no surprise) but what happened next was nothing short of impressive.

“So how much do you sell these for?”

“590 Euros”, said Karin. I looked up from the frame and at her face to see she didn’t even blush.

“For the three together?”

“No, each”.

Well, I tell you: your friendly little Stellar was more than a little impressed.

Compare that to the far more common “I sell at low prices, because otherwise people don’t buy my work”.

Like I’ve said before: if you price low, you turn people away instead of attracting them.

Something that has a lower perceived value simply isn’t as attractive.

And what’s not attractive doesn’t get sold very much.

You know what’s attractive?


And Karin has it.

Not excessively, mind you – just a well-developed awareness of what her work is worth and how well it’s appreciated.

Of course you shouldn’t be arrogant, and you shouldn’t overcharge either.

But sticking on the right price, and stating it without flinching?

Of course. Why wouldn’t you.

If your art is quality? Absolutely.

Imagine if you will, a nice woman taking art lessons. We’ll call her Suzy.

One of her fellow students – let’s call him Jimmy – likes her, and he would love to go out for a coffee or a walk.

So one day he musters up the guts and says: “Hey, um, I thought that uh… well you know… if it’s no bother… that, well… if you like, of course, and you can say no if you like… that um… we could maybe have a coffee? If you like, that is?”

Now let’s imagine Jimmy with confidence.

After a lesson he walk up to her.

He’s relaxed, looks her in the eye, smiles, and says: “Hey Suzy, want to get a coffee, have a chat?”

I’ll bet you ten to one that Jimmy #2 is far more likely to spend some time with her.

And why wouldn’t he be comfortable and at ease?

He’s friendly, funny, intelligent – he’s ‘quality’ – so why would he be insecure?

And you, knowing that your art is good – why would you be insecure?

Why would you devalue your art by sticking too low a price on it?

C’mon. If someone asks about your prices, they already like the work.

Don’t make them like it less by charging too little.

Same thing with your website, and how you present yourself and your work there.

If it looks apologetic, if you’re not clear about the value you know your work has, it’s not going to appeal to people, and they won’t take action.

Which is why you’d make a smart move having me look over your website and create a custom optimisation report for you.

It won’t get you a date with artists named Suzy, but it’ll sure make it easier to get subscribers and sales.

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