How To Price your Art like a Pro | Art Pricing Guide

written by Sabrina
published on May 21, 2019
How to price your art? This is a big question for emerging artists and pro’s alike. Determining a price for your art is not always easy. You don’t want to over or under price your artwork. Especially when you have not sold many pieces yet, it is difficult to determine a proper price tag. Also, there are no set rules for pricing your art. Every artist does it differently.

After my experience with accessART, I listed below 2 proven methods to help you price your art work like a pro! I also give several tips to get you started. Do you have any other tips or do you have a question? Share in the comments!

How to price your artwork

There are 2 simple ways to price your artwork.

  1. Calculate the total costs
  2. Calculate a cm2 price

Using one of these methods will make sure you have a fact-based approach to pricing your art and emotions won’t get in the way.

Why pricing your artwork the right way is important

A happy artist is an artist that sells. You may argue with that, but in my 2,5 years working on accessART I have never seen a happy artist that wasn’t selling! A crucial part of selling art is getting the price for your artwork right and fact-based.

Why this is important? Have you ever said: “I love this painting so much, I will price it higher”. This is NOT a reason to price your painting higher 🙂 . What is important to understand while selling art, is that you need your potential customers to understand your price setting. If you price your artwork consistently and fair, you will sell more for sure!

Art Pricing Method 1: Calculate the total costs

     Materials used

Simply add up all costs you have made in creating a piece of art. For example the price of your canvas, the frame, paint, brushes and finishing. Some of these costs are one off (like the canvas or other materials), other costs such as brushes or paint you may use for multiple paintings. You can divide the costs of these over the amount of paintings you think you will be able to use them.

     Hours of work put in your artwork

When you have calculated the costs of the materials, calculate the number of hours you have put in your work. Multiply this by an hourly rate. How high this hourly rate should be depends on many aspects. You could think of your experience, the country you are living in, your living standard, etc. But, take this calculation with caution: some artists take weeks or months to complete a piece – this may not always be a good reflection of the price of a work. 

     A bit of math to price your art

(Materials + hours) x margin = price of artwork

When you calculated your materials used and the hours spent on a piece of art, add a percentage of margin you would like to earn. This should be a good indication of a sell price for your work.

Bonus tip 🙂 > if you use expensive materials or very much paint to create a special texture, make sure you show this on your website. This way buyers  can understand the pricing better. 

Art Pricing Method 2: Calculate a cm² price

It can be helpful to calculate a price per square cm. This way you can easily check the price for an artwork against your other pieces, or the work of others. But note, this would only work for pieces that are made similarly (materials, hours).

An example: say you have a piece of 30 x 40 cm. The surface area would than be 30 times 40 = 1200 square cm. If you have priced this work at 300 euro, your price per square cm would be 300 divided by 1200 = 0,25 euro per square cm.

If can now compare the price of comparable work of say 20 x 20 cm. You simply multiply the price per square cm with the new work’s surface area: 20 times 20 = 400. 400 times 0,25 = 100 euro.

Using this technique you may need to consider to raise the price for smaller works slightly as they might need just as much to setup as the larger ones do. You probably want to start with a fixed starting price, and then add a price per cm2.

price your art - art pricing guide

Pricing your art: 4 tips

Here some tips to take into account to put the finishing touch to pricing your artworks.

Tip 1: Rounding (and some science)

Your artwork could be any price. We do suggest however you do not use numbers behind the comma. So instead of pricing a piece at 179,50 rather use 179,- or 180,-. Although there is much debate in marketing research on this topic, a recent research finds that rounded prices are easy for the brain to process. In addition to that, when customers make an emotional purchase (like art!), their brain prefers to stay in the “easy” mode.  At accessART we aim to sell art through images, storytelling and creating a relationship between the buyer and the seller so this would be an emotional decision. So yes, we do advise to pick a simple price that people can process easily.

Tip 2: Compare

In order to see if you have calculated your price well, you compare your prices with that of the other artists. You can look up other artists on Instagram for example what they do. Use art hashtags to find relevant artists. Have a look at similar works in size, artist experience and style to get an idea on how to price your art. 

TIP 3. Don’t over price!

Once you have sold at a higher rate, you are at risk of upsetting that buyer if you choose to lower your rate in the future. Start low, build up momentum and if things are going well, slowly raise the price due to demand and the fact that you are selling out.

TIP 4. How To Price Your Art Consistently

Make sure your buyers understand what you’re doing. Although you could experiment with lowering and increasing your prices over time, make sure you are consistent in your price (range). Potential customers would find it difficult to understand if your prices would go all over the place and this might put them off.

TIP 5. Vary your price range

It is great to have a range of prices. If you have a €995 piece of art, it may be out of reach for a large group of potential buyers. If you offer a €295 piece of art as well, then there is something for everyone. This way you will appeal to a larger audience. And the buyer that  buys that more affordable piece of work, may come back later to get a bigger or more expensive piece!

My experience with accessART is that young people between 25-40 years old consider prices under €300 easily bought, whilst prices above €600 are considered an investment. Purchasing pieces with this price tag take more time to decide on.

Good luck on pricing your art!

If you have any questions related on how to price your art or on these guidelines, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

Cover Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Photo in text by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

1 Comment

  1. You got my attention when you said that you could upset buyers if you would choose to lower your rate in the future after selling artwork at a higher rate. This gives me the idea of how beneficial it could be for artwork to be appraised to know their value and be more consistent with the selling price. My mother has a collection of artwork that she might want to sell, so I will your tips with her.



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