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What You Need To Know To Price Your Artwork
Attempting to put a price on your work is one of the hardest tasks there is. To do it properly, you have to remove your emotions about your creation and view it solely as a commercial product. You must then assess objectively how it compares with other similar art, consider why they should cost more than some and less than others along with what your clients can afford, and ultimately come up with a pricing structure.
Before you settle on a number, you need to understand all of the costs you will incur so that you ultimately profit from the sale. It's possible that some artists in the market have their own reproduction equipment, or have supplier agreements that allow them to sell work at a price that you not be able to.
Understanding your costs:
This may be obvious, but you need to know the cost to create or reproduce your work. Don't underestimate your time for the time you spend doing this you are taking time away from other important processes. If you are doing the reproduction yourself, it's simply the cost of the materials and your time, which you should base on an humble per hourly rate, in order to create the artwork.
If you decide to subcontract the reproduction of your work; use the cost they are charging you to do this. It's important that you ensure that their quality is up to your standard as it will be a reflection of your work. While you should price around to get the best deal, cost is not always the most important factor as the partnering company should to be responsive to your needs.
Also, don't forget about shipping costs, sales tax, and credit card processing fees. If you do not understand the cost structure around these fees in your transactions, your total margin will be significantly cut.
Recapturing Operational Expenses:
Try to build in some amount to recapture expenses for the initial creation of the artwork, and help cover other operational expenses (i.e. advertising, web site hosting, photography equipment, film). Coming up with this number will be a best guess that will evolve over time as you get a better handle of your expenses.
This is what you'll ultimately make on each sale. Each person needs to decide for themselves what their price strategy should be. You may want to consider, for example, setting lower price points thus making more money by moving more of your product. The alternative is to price your work higher and make more per unit. It is somewhat of a fine line, as you do not want to instill in the mind of collectors that your work is not of great value. However you want to keep your prices high enough so that you reinforce the value of your work to the collector base.
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