How do you put a price on your work?
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  1. #1
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    How do you put a price on your work?

    Ok, so suddenly someone is interested in buying some finished art from me and I personally don't know how to put a price on it. This was rather unexpected, so I'm not at all prepared for this.

    Would it be reasonable to just use my houerly rate and charge based on what time I think I used at the time or would use today?
    Or should I find other ways to price them?
    Also would it be reasonable to have him pay for the shipment?


    I did do a search, but didn't go trough that many pages. This is kind of urgent. I don't want him to change his mind before I present the prices

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  2. #2
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    The price should reflect what the piece is, not how long it took you to make it. Why should someone pay more just because you might be working slowly?
    Charge based on the materials used, the quality of the craftsmanship, the size of the piece, the use of the piece after sale (reproduction rights command a higher price than a simple fine art sale).
    In short, artists charge by the job, not by the hour.

    As the ego shrinks, so the spirit expands.
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  4. #3
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    Ok, thanks. Still feel pretty clueless though. To my experience people don't really like paying much for art

    Hmm. So say I charge by size and a somewhat objective feel. How do I know I'm not charging too much?
    Does 41$ for a small piece at 215 x 1351px sound reasonable or even too much?

    All my work has been done for hobby or contests and are mediocre at their best. They're all made digitally. 3 of them has been featured in a free magazine (artist of the month kind of thing), and one of them came 3'rd place in a contest (Although I got the impression people didn't generally agree with that), but they are not really that special.

    Ouf. I don't want to sound like I'm trying to promote myself here, but I really don't want to rip myself off or sound like I think I'm worth more than I am.

    Last edited by Lady Medusa; June 12th, 2012 at 01:28 PM.
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    Charge what you want for it. Your work will only ever bring in what you charge for it. People are very impressionable. If you tell them your work is mediocre, everyone will believe you. If you tell them it is wonderful at least some people will believe you. You had no intention of selling this work before he approched you, so it's not like you're out anything if he doesn't like your price. So just charge either what you think your work is worth or the least you part with it for... whichever is the higher number.

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  7. #5
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    Ok, thanks. Will do that
    Oh, he told me it's amazing, hehe. He actually wants to hang them on his walls, and yeah, he's buying more than one.
    I don't go around presenting myself as mediocre to people, haha . That's just silly.

    More that I had no expectations of selling anything at this level. The hope has always been there though. Which is why this is kind of a really really big deal for me. You know, don't want to fuck up the first time anyone shows that much interest to it.

    Last edited by Lady Medusa; June 12th, 2012 at 05:14 PM. Reason: I'm rambling too much.
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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MephistoLV View Post
    In short, artists charge by the job, not by the hour.

    I price by the hour. Otherwise I couldn't tell whether the job is worth taking.

    But I might not tell the client that I price by the hour, and just give them the quote.

    The size, medium, etc. all affect the price because they all affect the time you have to spend making the actual piece of work. It just coincides with the trend of bigger pictures being more expensive.

    Consider this: Even if you price it by the market and not the hours, you still get an hourly wage. You get X money for an object you spent Y hours making. X/Y gives you your hourly rate willy nilly. So it helps tracking that to see if you wouldn't have been better off flipping burgers and drawing for your own enjoyment and improvement. E.g. if you get paid $40 for something you spent 20 hours on, you are doing something wrong.

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  9. #7
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    Robert Hughes once said "A fair price is the highest one a collector can be induced to pay." hahaha

    But seriously, going by Chapter Two of 'The Artists Survival Guide' there are a number of factors you need to consider. The first is the materials you use, of course you'd be charging a lot more for an enormous oil painting on homemade canvas than say a drawing on a piece of Rives or something. A lot of people take their works and arbitrarily assign whatever price they feel like to them, but if you compare their figures and break it down on "price per-square-inch" you find they're all over the place. Having no rationale to your prices is bad, and it makes you look bad.

    I've only sold somewhere in the range of 30 paintings in my life and maybe 10 drawings (100 if you count Fiverr, I don't lol) so you know, take what I say as just a personal testimony.

    I tend to look at other works sold, using similar materials that are of the same quality and caliber as mine, break them down to how much they cost by square inch then apply it to my own. Things like how long it takes don't seem fair to me. I could sell off a work that took me "2 months" when I spent like 3/4 of that watching television, working on other things, sleeping etc etc

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  10. #8
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    What helped me when i began doing commissions for people was (being in south africa) i found the actual site for the freelancer's guild in South Africa, wherein there's a list of prices that should be asked of certain levels of work. this i don't really use as a stable but more a good way to convince someone that i'm not asking too much for what i am making for them.

    as for your work that you have already made and isn't digital or anything, something being the only of it's kind, there is no way to define how much you want of it, in truth it should be able to define the significance of the particular piece.

    what i would advice is look into an official freelancer's template of prices to sell yourself to others through something official.


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