How do I find the right price for my art? Tips to determine the value of your art. The question of the right price for a work of art has been on the minds of artists and gallery owners for a long time and probably cannot be answered conclusively.
Today, art collectors have countless opportunities to buy art and compare prices, which makes it all the more important to set an appropriate price for your art. But an adequate pricing is composed of many aspects, which can not be calculated mathematically accurate. Nevertheless, we try to show you how you can approach the right price for your art.
Which aspects are important for the pricing of my art?
The following aspects play a role in the pricing of your art:
- Demand: The most important factor in determining the right price is the demand for your art. Every work of art is unique and your production possibilities are limited, so if demand exceeds supply, this should have a positive effect on your pricing.
- Artist’s experience: Your position as an artist in the art market certainly plays a role in pricing. If you have had a professional training as an artist at a university, if you have been accepted into the program of a renowned gallery or if you have already had exhibitions in art spaces or galleries, you will be able to raise your prices accordingly.
- Size of the work: Of course, a larger painting of the same type should cost more than a smaller one. With the size of the work of art, the effort and material costs increase. Many artists always use the same formula to calculate the price of a work of art, e.g. length in cm + height in cm x 2.5 (whereby this number is variable) = price of the work of art in Euro
- Creation effort: Depending on the design and shape, a picture of the same size can be differently complex to create. For example, if you are an artist and create detailed pencil drawings, your work should cost more than abstract paintings, which can be completed in a few hours. On the one hand your time expenditure is much higher in the former case and on the other hand your works are therefore also rarer and available in smaller numbers.
- Material costs: Especially at the beginning of your career, the material costs can be a big financial burden. It is important to reflect these costs in the price. The costs of an oil painting on canvas are much higher than for a drawing on paper, and this should be reflected in the price.
What is the personal value of my art?
Besides more rational questions, the personal value of a work of art plays a role in the pricing for many artists. Beyond that, however, personal, emotional questions such as “How important is it to me that I can earn money with art? or “What do I personally care about this work? In principle, however, the emotional relationship to a work of art should not influence the pricing too much, as this is difficult to explain to the collector. So it is better to decide not to offer your own work of art for sale at all than to demand too high fantasy prices. The pricing should always be a process, that is, the price should evolve over the years and with increasing demand and always remain explainable to the collector. Basically, the more expensive a work the more difficult it is to find a buyer and the longer it takes.
The price development – When should I increase the price for my art?
In the beginning the costs of materials should certainly be covered and a certain amount of money should be charged for the creation costs. At the beginning it is advisable to compare the prices with works of artists with a similar experience and to go rather deep, so that works can actually be sold and a certain customer base can be built up and demand can be developed. It is important that you are aware of the price you want to pay for each work of art before it is published. Of course you can accommodate some collectors in exceptional cases, but never ask the collector himself what price he wants to pay.
If your new, good works are then regularly sold at the set price within a half-year period, the time has come to raise the price. But if you suddenly demand double the price, you will drive away old collectors who may no longer be able or willing to afford your works. It is advisable to raise the prices step by step, perhaps by 10-20% at a time, and thus to constantly develop the price, the market determines the selling prices. Of course, single events like a solo exhibition or the admission to a renowned gallery can also be reasons for a price increase. But don’t suddenly demand too high fantasy prices that you can’t explain, this will deter existing and potential buyers and damage your reputation & credibility in today’s very transparent art market. Always remember, it’s your loyal collectors who are the key to your long-term success. It can therefore be worthwhile to make these loyal collectors from time to time a very special offer.
By the way: If a gallery wants to buy your paintings directly, they usually offer you a discount of about 50%, which does not mean that you should sell your art cheaper than the selling price in the gallery, even if you still earn more in the end. Because no gallery will exhibit your work if you offer it privately at a lower price.