Part 1 Pricing for Art Shows & Craft Fairs
Admittedly, there are many more than 5 things to consider when pricing your work. This is a huge and important subject. How seriously you approach pricing is critical to your success as a working professional.
Art show and craft fair season will be here before we know it. The key to any fruitful show season is pricing your work to sell and make a profit. Easier said than done, I know. But here are some solid tips to get you moving in the right direction.
1 Buying Power. First and foremost, the best thing you can do for your business is buy in bulk or wholesale to reduce your cost of doing business. It’s by far the best way to be competitive with fellow artisans and increase your bottom line. This applies to all of your business related purchases including everything you need to make your art, as well as packing materials and office supplies.
2 Production Time. The second most important aspect of marketing hand crafted goods is production time. You’ll want to streamline the fabrication process of your product line to fit specific, popular price points. You’ll want to have some small, flashy pieces, that are fast and easy to make. These are the pieces you price low so they move and ensure you have steady cash flow. Often these pieces cover show expenses while the larger ticket item sales are the ones that line your pocket.
3 Perceived Value. This term refers to meeting buyer expectation for worth, while keeping the actual production cost low. The goal is to increase the perceived value so you can sell the piece at a higher price, while satisfying the buyers desire to get their money’s worth. In other words, the piece has to look like it’s worth more than what you’re charging; but in reality it costs less than you’re charging to produce. This is marketing in a nutshell. Think about diamond earrings. Small package, big price. But you buy them anyway because of your perceived value of the glittery studs.
Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to increase perceived value.
Add a card that reads, hand-made-by, along with interesting information about the artist. Take it a step further and have care instructions on the back. Add a ribbon, people are suckers for a neatly tied ribbon. Include the candle, include the soap, tie a spoon to the spoon rest, with a ribbon of course.
Make it easy for the buyer. Get creative with your display and make sure your artwork has a clear purpose. If you’re selling bottle stoppers, have a few displayed in wine bottles. If your selling cheese trays include a small knife. Yes, tied with a ribbon. Display the tray on a place mat or table cloth. If it’s wall art, hang it. Items that need no explanation always sell better than those that require directions.
4 Popular Price Points. Show goers want to buy something, a memento to take home to commemorate their outing. Twenty dollars is pocket change. People will part with it easily. They actually go to the fair hoping to spend it on something artsy and unusual rather than on food or hand-squeezed lemonade. Think of these inexpensive items as ice breakers. You have to engage with the shoppers before you can sell the bigger pieces.
Popular price points for show souvenirs are $9.95, $19.95 and $24.95.
Popular price points for mid-range artwork sales would be $29.95, $34.95, $49.95, $75.00 up to $125.00.
Price points for serious art collectors are $125.00, $175.00, $225.00, $300.00, $500.00 and above. Of course, you can price things anywhere in between if your confident you have the best number for that piece. Collectors are less concerned about the dollar amount and more interested in owning something that moves them.
Remember, whichever price point you choose, the artwork must be designed, fabricated, presented and displayed in such a way that it gives the impression that it has greater value than your asking price.
Optimally, you’d have pieces on display in all of the above price ranges. It might be wise to calculate the total cost of doing the art show. Then bring enough souvenirs and mid-range items to cover the cost. The collector priced item sales are then a welcome bonus.
5 Show Stoppers. These are your ego pieces, the ones you make and display to show off your incredible vision and supreme artistic talent. These are the pieces that people talk about after the show, the ones that get you noticed during the show and bring people flocking to your booth. Every booth should have a least one. It should be big, flashy and in keeping with the rest of your product line’s theme. For example, if your product line features beach themes then your show stopper should as well.
A note about your presentation.
Show focus. A booth display is much stronger and more inviting to shoppers if the artwork exhibited shares a common style and has an obvious theme. This shows that the artist is enthusiastic and confident about her work which builds trust in buyers. I’m sure you’ve seen the booths that have fifty totally different pieces of art for sale. You wonder if that crafter just emptied their closet of seconds or unloaded their garage of unsold left overs just to come to the art festival. Don’t be that amateur!
As mentioned in the beginning, pricing hand-made products is complicated. It’s a multi-faceted endeavor. It begins with developing your product line to meet buyer expectation for a particular venue whether it’s a county fair or big city art show. The secret to success is getting organized. Make lists, as many as it takes to clear your head, and then steadily tackle those items. You will then be well on your way to a profitable show season.
You got this!
Advanced Glass Fusing with Lisa Vogt
October 18-21, 2016
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August 30, 2016
September 1, 2016
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