HOW TO PRICE YOUR ART

4Culture.org 

4Culture.org 

One of our readers asked the question:

"As of now I'm not a photographer for hire, but I'm preparing to release and sell a large group of photographs. If I print them on 4x6 at local drug store, how should I price these? I don't want to go too low, also don't feel they're worth a lot, especially seeing as this is my first sell"

First, NEVER say that again about your art. Ever! They came from your creation and that makes them worth a lot. Some people may disagree, but that's not your business. Your job is to create beautiful works and price them as you see fit. That's the key here, as YOU see fit.

1. I would say, start a bit lower but do not devalue them. It depends if you'll sell as prints only, or they come framed? Make certain that your hard costs (Printing/Framing/Any other monies spent on the project) are covered. Prints at the CVS store are $.29 per 4x6. Factor that in, and if there are frames for it and an hourly wage. In this case because you're a newer photographer, please keep the hourly rate low. Factor in the gas for your car, any lunch money spent, etc... Once you have all the hard costs, you'll know how much you should make from the sale. At the very least, price it 2x what it cost to make. 

2. Decide how many prints you're doing. Generally, the more prints you make the less value. Sometimes artists number their prints in the back like "2/5....". The buyer know that print would only exist in a few other places, making the value of the art more. 

3. Size matters here. Generally, the bigger prints are considered more valuable than the small ones. When you go the size of a 4x6, you're in the world of postcards. While they're great to have, the market already dictates the value of postcards. They are mass produced images, generally about $1 each. Also it seems prints over 16x20 retain value because images that are smaller aren't considered originals generally. That's because Jpegs are stolen online and people can duplicate the art. If it's a larger size, you'll notice if it was full res or not.

4. Give it life. Tell the prospective buyers about the art. Talk about the HOW and WHY of it. Let them understand it through your eyes, and in fairness...you owe them that. One of the reasons why I created this page was to up the value of photography again. Tell them you cut yourself hopping a fence, etc.. When people put art up on walls or shelves, they like to know its history. Give it life! Get them to emotionally invest in your creative voyage, and I assure you...that story will be repeated to visitors in their home. 

5. Define your market: Where are you selling? Art walks are tough. They bring in the new enthusiasts who want to see creations, but you're also competing in a heavy market. I've seen the Downtown LA art walks and they have a couple prices. They have art walk pricing and private seller pricing. That buyer knows the price will increase if they don't make a purchase on the spot. If it's a private sale, you can price higher. If it's partially for charity, people are willing to pay more because it goes to a good cause. But define your market and see what others are doing.

6. Make it easy to buy. You can now sign up for a Square credit card process, and PayPal offers it too. You can take credit card info from your smart phone and very few people carry cash. 

7. Understanding your art is important. The value of art is what a person is willing to pay for it. Ask yourself, what would you want to purchase?