Universal Pricing

OK, it is a theme i have brought up before.  It is back.  And at this point it is a mantra that I live by.  What is universal pricing?  If i frame a photo and charge $30 when it is in a craft show , art show, or event where i set up my booth, then it is the same price if i consign with a gallery, or sell it on etsy.  why?  Because my customer who saw it at a show but did not buy it deserves the right to buy it for the same price no matter where i am.

Universal pricing is a moral decision also.  I recently participated in an event where many of the artists understand that the clientele are people of great means…. and many of the artists up their prices 20, 30 or 40% because they believe that market can bear higher prices.  When i first heard this story I winced.  As someone who is always conscious of price, and always sensitive to unfair practices, I completely disagreed with their tact.  My price is my price and fair is fair.

So at this high end show a woman came over, picked up a few of my wire crochet pieces and said “are you serious about these prices… you are far too cheap… they will never value the work.  I have scissors and a marker… you need to take these prices up to double what they are marked.”  OMG…. I really began to freak when she grabbed one of the leadership of the event and brought her to the table, and began to discuss pricing.  The woman looked me in the face and asked “why would you not charge more here?”  And you know i repeated my mantra of “Universal Pricing”.  It helped that i mentioned the items are also in a gallery of the former president of that organization, and she is here… i wanted to keep my integrity and that means universal pricing.  The official agreed… case closed.

But since then i have had 3 more people tell me to upcharge by the percent of commission… if something is $20 and there is a 40% commission they suggested pricing the item as $28 so i still get my price, and the commission does not affect me. 

Instead i think what i need to do is visit a few artist friends, lay my work out before them, and independently have each give an estimate of what the price should be.  Using their  concensus and perhaps a quick peek at etsy, i can build a better pricing structure.

Interestingly about sunday, i held my ground on universal pricing, and almost sold out on the wire crochet… pins and bracelets were flying off the table.  The event resulted in a one day personal best sales day of my art career.  I think that when you hold to fairness and principles God rewards that step of faith.    That is my story and i am sticking with it.


One thought on “Universal Pricing

  1. It’s professional and ethical to keep your pricing universal, I think you’re making the right choice there! If you’re constantly selling out of work, that is a good indication that your prices could increase. It’s always better to increase prices slowly over time than have a huge spike. I’ve heard many artists raise their prices by 5% per year, no matter what happens in sales. This makes sense to me too… it’s like getting a raise after much hard work 🙂

Leave a Reply