Do you display your art prices? This can be a divisive question with both sides fiercely defending their opinions. Some see it as too salesy, but there are business of art experts that see it as crucial to increasing sales. Either way, it is a personal decision.
But, how do you choose what is right for you and your art business? We recommend looking at both sides of the argument to see where you stand. Here are a few pros and cons for displaying your art prices:
“Post your prices if you’re trying to sell your art.” -Alyson Stanfield of ArtBizCoach.com
PRO: It Makes It Easy for Potential Buyers
Interested people at art shows and festivals may shy away from unpriced art. Some people feel uncomfortable asking about the price. Others may simply think it must be too expensive and continue on their way. Neither of these outcomes are desirable. If there are no prices on your blog or website, people may think the work is not for sale or over their budget. So, consider showing your prices to make it easy for potential buyers to become customers.
PRO: It Shows Transparency
According to business of art expert Alan Bamberger of ArtBusiness.com, if you don’t display your prices it turns into an uncomfortable game of how much people are willing to pay. People want transparency, especially when they are buying a valuable item like art.
PRO: It Saves You and the Buyer from Uncomfortable Situations
If you find speaking about dollars and cents uncomfortable, displaying your prices can save you from less-than-desirable situations. You also won’t run into a potential buyer asking about prices only to find out that they can’t afford your art. Showing prices lets people decide on their own if they’re ready to make the purchase and if it’s on budget.
PRO: It Makes It Easier for Galleries
Some artists believe they shouldn’t show prices if they are in a gallery. According to Alyson Stanfield of Art Biz Coach Blog, “A good gallery shouldn’t fear artists trying to sell their work. On the contrary, they should be thrilled that artists are doing everything they can to drive sales.” Also, it helps gallerists who are considering your art online. If there are no prices, it’s harder for a gallerist to decide if you will be a good candidate. When you’re hoping for representation, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for galleries. When your prices are there, a gallerist won’t have to waste time deciding if they should contact you or not.
“No matter where you sell your art, make sure it's priced and that people can see the prices.” -Alan Bamberger of ArtBusiness.com
CON: It Can Be a Hassle
Some artists don’t display prices because they raise their prices often and don’t want to update the prices or accidentally leave an old price online. You also have to make sure that the prices are inline with what your galleries are charging. While it does take time to do this, it can lead to increased sales and be worth it in the long run.
CON: It Can Lead to Less Interaction with Buyers
If there are already prices on display, perspectives may be less inclined to reach out for more information. With no posted prices, they will have to call you or the gallery. In theory, this can be a wonderful way to engage the potential buyer and turn them into an actual buyer. But, it can also dissuade people because they have to take an extra, possibly uncomfortable, step.
CON: It Can Make Your Site Look Too Commercial
Some artists worry about their websites looking too salesy and uninviting, so they keep prices out of view. That is fine if you’re creating more of a portfolio or online museum. However, if your goal is to sell, consider showing prices to help out interested art collectors.
How Do You Get the Best of Both Worlds?
We suggest following established and successful painter Lawrence Lee’s example. He uses his website to show large images of his latest works. If a buyer wants to see more he can click on the “Archive & Current Work” button that links to Lawrence’s Artwork Archive Public Profile Page. Lawrence has one on the bottom of every website page. He keeps all his priced available work on his Public Profile Page where it is automatically updated every time he updates his inventory. Buyers can contact him through the Page and he has already sold numerous paintings ranging from around $4000 to $7000.
Do You Show Your Prices? We’ve love to hear why or why not.
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