at our peer to peer meetings and on line, we’re occasionally asked the question “how much should i sell this for?”. our key role is within the development of ideas and practice, so it’s a challenging question.
however from the many times it’s come up, it seemed to be about time that we share what we’ve learnt about the pricing of work for someone new to selling. this is by no means a definitive list, more a checklist to consider when thinking about starting to sell work and have emerged in our group discussions.
so in no particular order:
be honest with yourself about selling what you’ve made. if you’re making work because it helps you to ‘get something out’ or express a moment, do you really want to sell those ?
understand what is already being sold in the genre that you’re interested in selling within. research, research, research three key things when beginning to sell work.
be confident in what you make.
talk to people who sell work for others, show them what you have.
know how much you spend to make the work.
know how much you spend on promoting your practice.
know how much other works in the genre that you’re working in sell for.
be flexible in one’s attitude to money. living within the capitalist model means that what a work can sell for is set by those already successfully selling.
be prepared to negotiate a price from an informed position of knowing what the piece cost to make and what similar items are selling for.
talk to people who make, and sell work.
talk to people who buy.
research local businesses offering services that might help you in selling your work, for example scanning and print for painters, can your image be made into a limited edition print and sold that way.
if you’re working in paint, research what other painters are charging per squared centimetre. does this way of costing a painting work for you?
be honest about where you’re setting out from. are you setting yourself up as a full blown business or as someone who makes lovely things that are available to buy. do you need a business plan or a way to fund what you make?
use the best materials that you can afford and your idea warrants.
talk to a business adviser.
talk to a gallery owner.
tell your friends that you have work for sale, offer them stuff to buy.
know your work, your practice, your passion.
have an understanding of what else is happening near to you, research, research, research.