When Should You Increase Your Prices?
I often get asked by artists when is the right time to increase their prices, as it can be tricky and needs to have some reasoning behind it if queried.
I have raised my prices steadily over the six years I have worked as a professional artist. After working out my initial prices for my paintings, cards, and prints, there was a lot of testing and measuring to find out what worked well. This is what I found:
- There is a sweet spot when starting out. Start low, but not too low that you under value yourself and your work.
- It is much easier (and looks better!) for your prices to go up than come down.
- Avoid discounting if possible.
- Have different price points for your art business. Depending on what you are selling, have some lower-priced items such as cards, mid-priced items such as prints, and higher-priced items such as paintings.
- Raise your prices in line with your experience. On average, I raise my prices around 10% for each year of experience I gain working as a full-time artist.
- If you are consistently selling out, it's time to raise your prices.
- On the other hand, if your prices are very low and you are not selling your work, raise them, and see what happens. People associate higher value with a higher price.
- Work out what feels right for you intuitively. Too low and you may feel resentment for giving away all your hard work, too high and you may feel uncomfortable about sharing your prices, as it may bring up some money blocks for you. What feels right?
- If you are investing in more expensive art materials then it's time to raise your prices to cover them.
- If you are selling your work through a gallery who are taking a substantial commission, then raise your prices to make sure you get paid enough, and so that your prices remain consistent across all platforms.
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