Tips: Price Your Art to Sell

2 Jun

Price Your Art to Sell

(Don’t miss other tips on rocking your art life; sign up for the monthly Femme Cartel newsletter!)

Femme Cartel has promoted and priced hundreds of works of art to sell in cafe shows, gallery shows, and directly to art collectors. We’ve also chatted with a handful of our top-selling artists to hear what what works best for them. Here are some solid tips on what really works. Happy art-selling!

You have three good options for setting the price:

  1. Base your prices on your recent sales history. Pricing art is like being awarded a higher wage in a new job. Both are mostly based on what you earned last time. Every time you have a successful period of sales, raise those prices!
  2. Or, base it on an hourly wage + supply costs. If you are super-new to the art-selling scene or have switched mediums and don’t have much “history” selling that kind of art, you may want to calculate your prices based on an hourly wage (you pick it!) and the cost of your supplies.
  3. Ask the curator or gallery owner. “I didn’t know how to price my art, so I just asked the curator/gallery owner. She must have set good prices, because all 15 pieces sold and I got a great check.” -Artist Renee Castro, aka Ladi Reni

What not to do:

  • Don’t base it on the wrong stuff: Try not to think about how much emotion you poured into it. Or how attached to the art you are. So…see #2 for what to do. Art sales is about commerce in the real world. Save the heart-felt stuff for your artist talk!
  • Don’t devalue your work, lady! Historically, we women undervalue our work (in every field!). So…if you’re wavering between two possible sticker prices, pick the higher one. Boom!

And some savvy sales tips from artist Laura Gonzalez:

  • Make written transfer of sale documents to let your buyer know they are purchasing an original—it gives the sale a little extra touch.
  • I normally up the prices when showing at a gallery—if it takes a percentage.
  • Stay calm, selling (or lack of) can be very stressful, but try and have fun with it. Stay friendly!

(Don’t miss other tips on rocking your art life; sign up for the monthly Femme Cartel newsletter!)

One Response to “Tips: Price Your Art to Sell”


  1. How to Score Your Very First Art Show | FEMME CARTEL - 09/08/2014

    […] use these early shows to hone your art show time management skills and learn everything about pricing, hanging, and promoting your work. Then you will be ready to ROCK it seamlessly when you show at […]

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