On raising prices....


Well-known member
You all might know that I primarily do commissions. Every once in a while, I do non commissions and sell them on ebay. I figure since they aren't as hard, I should charge less. A lot less. They sat around but all eventually sold. Someone recently questioned me on this, said "put a high number on it, if it sells, it sells, if not, what do you lose?"

So after hundreds of views and a month on my current piece, priced at $75 and make an offer, framed, but unsold I priced it at $200. Two days later, it sold!

There might be something to this.....
Always make it worth your time. I was told years ago that if you price your work cheaply, you are just another cheap artist. I've had people tell me my prices were too cheap but I've also been told I was way too high. Price according to what YOU think it is worth to you.
I'd love to get $2,000!

Yes I'm lucky my buyer found it at $200!

snowball, I get the same thing. I am always being told to raise my prices for my commissions, but I'm terrified!

I think since non-commissions are just fun and not as difficult for me, I undervalued. OR, this is a fluke. But I thought I'd share my experience in case it's helpful for anyone else.
John, thanks for that, I can always use a reminder. But it's a leap I've been afraid to make because I KNOW I can sell at my current pricing, I make a good rate, and pay my bills.

And just raising prices doesn't mean you'll get it. But this is encouraging me to explore that.
People dont respect your work if it is too low. It is hard to get the right number though and a lot depends on how quickly and easily you can produce some paintings in my view.
I'm not the greatest person to ask because I'll just tell you that you should raise your prices as high as humanly possible because I think artists should be paid top dollar and stop asking such pithily amounts in the low hundreds for their work. That hurts my heart. You're worth more than that.
How much are you selling your paintings for, Katie and Arty? And how many a year? Maybe I am underpricing....
I don't sell all that frequently, But I sell enough to get by.

I sell both through a gallery and on my own. Because I also sell through a gallery (they take 50% remember), I can't underprice my work on my website less than retail unless I am having a sale or something like that, or it's a private negotiation. Still, I haven't really even taken half price from my private sales. I'll get close to it at times, but I usually get closer to retail when I sell on my own. The gallery gets retail every time, so sometimes I'll get less through them since I get half of their retail price. I hope all that made sense.

As far as my prices, I feel a bit odd saying it here. My prices are on my site.

Sales..let's see, I just sold three pieces in the last couple weeks. Before that I sold two in the month and a half before that. I didn't sell for about three months before that, but the gallery sold a big one four months ago, so I've been living on that for a bit.
What is your site, Artyczar?

Yes, it makes sense. I did the gallery thing for awhile and just didn't like getting half price!

I think it depends on what they do for you to earn the 50% mark-up. Some galleries just take it automatically and only provide a space and that's not really fair. If they are really selling for you and promoting your work without cost to you, giving you exhibitions, and getting you into important collections, that's a whole other thing.
How much are you selling your paintings for, Katie and Arty? And how many a year? Maybe I am underpricing....
The big blues painting that I posted on here I charged $2300 for it and I was happy with that. I charge what I feel I am happy with. I dont have any set parameters.
First I admit: I, myself, am not selling.
(If I'd prize-in the real cost of my pictures - even the most mediocre ones - it would be un-affordable for nearly everybody.)

But what I've heared from friends who sell - a few of them even making a living from their art: it's important to keep up your prize. Never ever go down. That's what the successful ones told me.
Last edited:
Yes, it is very hard to lower them once you've raised them. It's a very tricky thing.
Are they getting people who aren't already famous into important collections these days? It's shocking how few galleries there are nowadays.
I'm not convinced that's not an antiquated model, Roni. It is if you sell to investors, for sure.

For most of us who make our livings in art, not sure.