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Topic: Help me price my paintings?  (Read 998 times)
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« on: September 01, 2007 12:56:33 PM »

I'm hoping to sell some of my illustration-style originals soon but I'm having a bit of trouble with the pricing. My artwork can be seen at my blog (link in signature) but there are two in particular that I'm thinking of putting up for adoption, if you will, and they're my paintings Elspeth and Sukey.

They're mixed media (oils, ink and watercolours too, in the case of Sukey) on 6x6 canvas board (not actual canvas, it's a thin, hard, textured board).
Now, I'm having trouble figuring out how much I should ask for them, mostly because my venue for selling is Etsy, and thus in American dollars. I live in Ireland, and the dollar is pretty weak against the euro so what sounds expensive in $ is really not much at all in , but I also know that I can't charge too much. I think too that the fact it's on canvas board (rather than canvas or something) could work against me, and they're pretty small too (they're petite and a nice size, but I just worry people might think I'm overcharging) - but, I don't think it should be valued at the worth of the materials, but at the worth of the artwork.

The thing is, I love what I make and I want to see it go for a price that does it justice. I was thinking before that I'd just set a price that I could bear to give them away at, but at the same time, that might be too high and I would also like to sell.

So, I'd really appreciate some opinions on prices, in USD or euro (preferably USD really, because that's what I'll be selling them in). Shipping would be about $5 too on top of that (maximum, I wouldn't want to charge any more but because the boards are light enough that should cover it). And Etsy take a 3.5% cut (before shipping is added) and Paypal take some sort of cut too.

Even if I decide not to sell the two above, it's a good indication of my style and the size of my pieces, so opinions are welcome across the board (if you want to suggest things for other pieces on my blog that's more than appreciated too!)

Thanks so much for any help!

Wists beyond measure are man's greatest treasure... Wink
Come check out my art and craft blog and say hello! LAST UPDATED: 7th September!
My artwork at Etsy!
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2007 05:06:10 AM »

If you could sell them for the price you want, what would it be? People have been known to pay ungodly prices for art they like. For small pieces like that, though, you might consider selling them as a set for one price, and up the price for individual.

« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007 11:38:46 AM »

First off - I think you're a great artist, and could do really well selling them.

To start with though - I wouldn't buy them without some sort of frame, especially since they're done on board. If they were on canvas, a frame wouldnt be an issue.
If you look at Kris Atomic's paintings - http://www1.fredflare.com/blog/?p=1215

You can see that she's really added to her simple pieces by having them in a cute frame. I'd much more likely buy hers than yours. How are people supposed to hang them without a frame?

$85 USD is a lot of money for a small painting with no frame. I'd pay about 20 at the most (about $40 USD, not sure of euro rate).


« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007 11:55:52 PM »

One problem I've run across during my limited time in Europe is that things that would cost 20$ (Can or US-- they're roughly equivalent now) cost about 20 Euros. Of course, it doesn't really make sense to figure out your price in Euros and then just charge that number in dollars because it's quite unfair to you, but I would recommend  setting a price in euros that you're happy with, changing over to USD, and then knocking it down some.

Also, when I set costs for my paintings, I usually begin by simply calculating materials for them. Then I add on around minimum wage for however long I spent working on them. Usually that ends up sounding like a lot of money, but there's always room to adjust up or down (and calculate in your paypall and etsy cuts/expenses)... This strategy doesn't really make you a lot of money, but it does sort of reimburse you. I would say, for this size of painting you are probably looking at 15$ for materials (about 3 bucks for the board and then some for paints/pens/whatever) and then let's say you worked for about 5 hours at 7$ an hour (35$)-- that comes out to 50$. I don't know if a lot of Etsy customers would be willing to pay this much, but I don't think you should undersell yourself, either.

If you're thinking about frames, I would look out for standard-sized ones at the dollar store or thrift stores. I don't think the presence of a frame would influence me all that much, however...

Cute paintings! I definitely wish you luck in your pricing adventures!

« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2007 07:07:40 AM »

Thanks so much for the feedback!
I know $85 is a lot but I just put it up intermittantly for the time being, going off similar-style originals I found from sellers like theblackapple and thedreamygiraffe. I'm going to bring the prices down in a minute.

The reason I don't include frames (aside from not having any cute ones around here) is because it would add so much to shipping and packaging costs it wouldn't be at all worth it (plus glass could break on the way). This way people can frame it if they want, in whatever frame they'd like to match their room, or even leave it unframed if they'd prefer (for one of my Etsy photos I stuck it onto the side of a bookshelf with the sticky side of an address label, so I think it would be really easy to hang however you'd want to).

I think part of the problem is that I draw these girls, and I have all these stories behind them and they're like characters, really...I get very attached and I don't want them to think that I think they're cheap Wink

Anyway, I'm going to run off and change the prices now - the currency conversion is such a pain in the butt because for instance, $50 is 36, and 36 is so little here - but $50 looks like it would buy you loads of things in the US/in dollars, if you know what I mean? I think if I had prints available too it might look better, if that makes sense, but I'm still working on getting them sorted out.

Wists beyond measure are man's greatest treasure... Wink
Come check out my art and craft blog and say hello! LAST UPDATED: 7th September!
My artwork at Etsy!
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2007 10:51:35 AM »

You have to remember though, that to an American, $50 doesn't look that much, it looks the same as 36 does to us.

Another reason I think a frame is important is that whoever is willing to spend $85 on painting is probably not the sort of person who will just blu-tac it to the wall.

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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2007 06:43:36 AM »

as someone who paints and has purchased original art, here's my two cents:

Why not try selling *prints* of your paintings? Keep the originals, print out high quality archival prints on acid-free paper, and charge $25 per print plus shipping. Even though I was kind of broke at the time, I fell in love with some prints on etsy and bought them without a second thought. They came very nicely presented in a plastic sleeve with a note from the artist.

This way, you get to keep the girls while offering reasonable prices on your art, and if you decide you want to sell the originals you may have made more $ off them than if you had only sold the paintings without selling any prints.

Either way, good luck!!!

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