Price your art right
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"Don't sell yourself short as an artist"
How to sell art

Can relate to this situation? You’re selling at an art festival and the day hasn’t been particularly kind in regards to profit. A potential customer approaches your work and begins perusing your artistic creations. They come upon a piece that catches their attention. They pick it up and smile as if it’s recalling fond memories. They turn it around and look it over. They toss it in the air. They take a bite out of the middle. Basically, they’re showing all the signs of becoming a potential buyer. Desperate for a sale, and sensing an opportunity, you decide to tell them they can have it for $20 instead of the listed price of $40. Their look turns to one of distrust and they quizzically mutter something along the lines of “really, only $20?” After a couple polite minutes they put the art back and walk away.

So what went wrong? Were they simply walking down memory lane and had no intention of buying anyhow? Did something more attractive at the next booth catch their attention? Those are possibilities. Though chances are just as good your desperation cheapened your art and turned your customer away. This is a very easy trap to fall into for many reasons, some of them quite legitimate. Bills need to be paid. Your ego needs a boost. The baby needs diapers. But if you want to survive long term as an artist you’ll need to overcome this impulse. You’ll never make a living off the “Freddie flea markets” out there that only look for deals. Respect and money come when you respect your work. Most of us can smell desperation a mile away and will surely know when you’ve been swimming in a huge pool of it.

Find the fair market value on your art and stick to it. Then focus on the other aspects of why customers make buying decisions. Excellent customer service. Superior quality products. Going that extra mile just to name a few. What we need to remember as ARTrepreneurs is that price alone is rarely the reason someone makes a purchase. The majority of us would rather spend $100 on something that’ll last five years instead of $20 on something with a life span of two months. So get out of that smelly pool of desperation and towel yourself off. Your customers are waiting to pay to be wowed!

Robb Scott
Greenfield, NS
Articles copyright 2008-2009 Robb Scott ©

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