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Archive for August, 2014

some recent correspondence made me ponder about the pricing and valuing of one’s artwork. Pricing has been something I often struggle with, when running my independent handmade business.

 

Is it common practice for a gallery to have a work priced high with the artist taking home just half of the selling price? I have been recently approached to conduct workshops/ sell my artworks and often, I am asked to name my price (in workshop fees or in artwork retail price). what surprises me though is the fees/price listed officially to the final participants or customers is sometimes twice the amount of what I stated. That’s with the commission thrown in and while I understand that these organisations have to make their living too, what happens when they request to take a significant commission from the sale and instead of:

1) maintaining the selling price and reducing the final take-home for the creator,

2) they increase the selling price to include their commission so that the take-home amount for the creator remains unchanged.

Which is the better solution for the creator? while it is good to be taking home as much as requested, in the long run, the new higher selling price will affect the value of the creator’s products in the eyes of the consumers. if you are a creator, would you like to be seen as charging so much and having your value of your work doubled? these are the many questions I ask with no answers to. Eventually it boils down to how much control you would like to have over the valuing of your work. since the consumers sees only the final retail price and not the breakdown in amount that goes into commission.

 

I consider many factors when I think about pricing and usually most of my thoughts goes into the perspective of the eventual consumers. How much are they willing to pay for the service/goods? Is the price reasonable for them? If i were the consumer, would I also be willing to pay that amount? and a lot of times, it comes back to giving the consumer a fair service/product for the amount they pay. Pricing is something inextricably linked to how we would value something; If I pay a high price for a craft workshop, I expect to get a lot more out of it as compared to if I had paid a lower price. Price set expectations. Another thing I consider when putting a price on anything, is who is it I wish to target. With my involvement in community arts, I always like to price my goods reasonably, so more people are able to own and enjoy my works. These are the many considerations that goes on in my head when a gallery asks me to ‘name my price’.

 

Unfortunately, there is not straightforward answers to all these questions. I am still learning about pricing even when I have been running the business for 5 years now! maybe that what sparks local sites like Haystakt with tagline “Order Creative Goods at Crowd-Determined Prices”, how would you like to have the consumer decide the price they wish to pay instead of having to go through the headache of pricing yourself?

 

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