Tips on When and How to Raise Your Prices

Hello my fellow fine artists,

Today, I want to tackle an important question that many artists have been asking: How do I know when I should raise the prices of my original art and prints? This is a tricky one, I want to share some insights and guidance based on my own experiences so you can make this decision more easily yourself. 

So, first, we need to assume that you’ve been selling your work for a while and that the pricing you chose back then is no longer serving you. If you’re not already selling your work then check out my video on pricing to help get you started.

Assuming you’ve been selling for a little while, there are a few indicators that it's time to raise your prices on your original work.

First, your work all sells within 6 months of creating it. If you have trouble keeping inventory that’s a sure sign it's time to raise your prices.

Second, you want to work with a gallery and your work is priced significantly lower than the other artists at that gallery. This is definitely a sign that you need to work to get your prices more in line with your peers.

And third, your cost of materials has gone up. A couple of years ago I noticed my framing and shipping costs had both gone up quite a bit and I hadn’t raised my prices to match. That definitely made a difference in my bottom line. (This is also what I look for when raising prices on my prints: increases in the cost of printing and shipping. I try to maintain a consistent profit margin there so that’s an easy one to calculate.)

The last thing you should think about when considering whether or not to raise your prices is whether your current pricing and sales allow you to reach your goal income.

If you’re charging $100 for an 18x24 painting and you can only make 10 paintings a year, you’ve capped your income at $1000. If you want to make more money than that you need to work to raise your prices. I know that sounds obvious, but I’m always surprised at how many people don’t even consider these kinds of things.

And of course, just because you need to make more money does not mean you can automatically raise your prices and people will pay that price. But, it does show you that you will indeed need to get your prices up if your goal is to make more money and your job now is to work on building an audience who appreciates your work at the new value you’ve assigned. 

OK. So let’s say you’ve determined you’re ready to raise your prices and you’re not sure how. There are really two methods—you can either make a big jump or do it slowly over time. I like the big jump if you have a smaller audience and have suddenly realized you are way underpriced. Just make the jump, like ripping off a band-aid and go from there.

A lot of artists are afraid to do this because they think people will judge them for doing so, or be put off by the new higher price. But if you don’t have a big audience right now, hardly anyone is going to notice. So just don’t worry about that.

But if you need to raise your prices a little, what I like to do is raise them by 10% with every collection launch. And if that’s what you’re going to do you can absolutely let people know in advance. It’s almost like having a sale on your current work when you let people know that come March (or whatever date your next launch is) prices are going up by 10%. And then you can either leave your old work at the old price or increase your prices across the board. It's all up to you.

So there you have it, my friends – my thoughts on knowing when to raise prices on your original artwork and your prints. Remember, pricing is as much an art as it is a science, and finding the right balance requires careful consideration, ongoing evaluation, and an understanding of how your work (both original and prints) is positioned in the marketplace.

Until next time,


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