Of all the questions I receive from the arts and crafts producers, questions on pricing your artwork tops the list. Pricing has no simple rules that apply to every product you create — especially if you have unique or high end creations. The simple formula of cost x 2 = wholesale price; wholesale x 2 = retail price often does not work for this group of items. Perceived value of an unique items is more important to the pricing than cost, in most cases.
So, I am always on the lookout for featured articles on this subject of pricing to share different viewpoints that may be helpful for those who are challenged by this issue.
The Arts Business Institute, as always, has posted an article on the subject that makes some very important point when pricing your artwork:
… Are you currently retailing your work, but want to expand your business by selling wholesale? You might find that cutting your retail price in half doesn’t work – this is a common complaint. Take a close look at your costs of doing business, however, and you might find that your current retail price is too low….
Pricing your work at wholesale realistically means that you make a profit – not that you break even….
Perceived value can be increased by a number of factors.
- Your presentation is important here – what does your product say about the owner? …
- Your authority as the creator also increases the perceived value….
- Functionality also increases perceived value …
- Packaging can add perceived value …
Awhile back, I was working with a jewelry maker whose mission statement (listed on her website) stated that she was creating the best work for the lowest price possible!
Bad approach, in my opinion! Jewelry is an impulse buy (in most cases) and adding the comment about “lowest prices possible” was greatly compromising her perceived value on her handcrafted items. She sounded like she was competing with Walmart when in reality, she should be building up her value on the beautiful items she made.
If you struggle with this concept, I suggest you take your items to an outside party and ask what they think your handcrafted items are worth! You might be surprised by the answer!