Pricing art for most hungry artists today is a difficult task. Most haven't paid a whole lot of attention to figuring cost and commission, gross net etc.Me neither. At least not for a very long time. Here is a little table I put together using a price per square inch method that seems to be popular. Let me say that that's not how I determine my prices. I simply look around the internet and galleries to see what comparable pieces are selling for. It's surprising how similar the results of my method are, which is kind of random,to the complex table I've built.
First let me explain why I did this. I have a small group show coming up that will be charging a 40% commission. I am selling on several online sites that charge up to 30% commission. I sell on my site. I have to have a mechanism for pricing thatcher the price consistent across the board. The same price has to be listed on all internet vehicles. My site and one of the online sites have a "Make an offer option" that lets me negotiate price.
Now lets be clear. I sell about 10 paintings a year. Mostly small watercolors though I do sell a few 'expensive pieces'. I sell nothing on the 'Big' online sites. That's all okay now I've retired back to painting. I doing some of my best work but the marketplace is insane.
here is the commission and fee structure for ART•FINDER a popular online gallery service, from their FAQ;
It is free to display your works on Artfinder. However we charge commission at 30% on sales made through the Artfinder platform.
The following commission and fees are charged when you sell a work on Artfinder:
For an artwork selling for £200.00 with shipping of £10.00, the following deductions will be made:
Okay. So the commission is a straight up 30 percent. But thats not all. There's a processing fee on the price of the basket.
Example: $1200 x 30% = 360. Your package includes 80 shipping 1280 x 3% = $68
your $1200 piece gets yo a check for $772 not bad at all unless you hadn't considered commission fees when you priced you work.
What I have done is work up a table on a worksheet that does the following;
Consider you've done a painting on line that you bought online 16x20 for about 25.
The square inc value at 4 per square ince is 1280. Sounds good. If you sold that on ART•Finder the commissions and fees would be 422.5 your check would be 857.60.
not bad I guess but... If you markup to accommodate for the commission using the equations in the table here's what you might get.
The selling price would be 1864 including the cost of the canvas. AF's commission at 30% would be 559, you'd get 1305. thats a lot closer to your valuing your art at 4 pressure inch than the 2.68 outcome of the unmarkedup example.
You'd be happier and I think AF would be to.
*The square inch price is applied on a cure(ish) way. Smaller paintings less persqin more. This will need some tuning
***weekly overhead... really needs some tuning
When a manufacturer makes something they have cost. Labor, overhead, materials that sort of thing. Let call these costs "cost of goods. They then have to sell the widget or bicycle or whatever and make some sort of profit lets call this expected margin 'markup'.
So we have "cost of goods" + "markup" equalling shall we say "wholesale cost".
"cost of goods" + "markup" = "wholesale cost".
To sell this there is a selling cost lets call that "commission". So the final 'selling price' looks something like this.
sellingPrice=(costOfGoods + markUp)x(commissionPercent/100). This is an idealized and simple equation of the real process.
As artists we are essentially manufacturers or in today parlance we are 'Makers'. We make art. Because art is such an ephemeral thing it's really hard to determine the value of what we are making. How do we come up with a price for all of our time, materials and effort? Even harder is how we deal the charges and fees with the sellers, the galleries both online an bricked mortar, that we have to work with.
more to come