I was at a meeting of artists last weekend and the subject of pricing came up, as it does often among artists. When I got home that evening I had an email from another artist asking me about my thoughts on pricing artwork.
My friend Sharon Kyle-Kuhn just sent me a link to this Art-Tistics post about pricing artwork. I've written about the subject before, too. And Alyson Stanfield has written about it on her Art Biz Blog several times...
The Art-Tistics author discusses the need to have consistent pricing everywhere - every gallery that sells your work, regardless of region, and even your own studio.
"But artists must be consistent in their pricing and accept the fact that if they are going to work with an art gallery or art dealer or both, then they can’t have them competing with each other and also with the artist, because a good art dealer’s job is to protect both the artist and the collector."
I know for some artists, a 50% commission (which is standard) seems really steep. But the gallery (if it's a good gallery, doing its job) will earn that amount. They will learn all they can about your work and your process and share that information with their customers. They will promote your work in the press. They will contact collectors who have purchased your work in the past. They are salespeople. They want to sell your work as much as you do, and they'll work hard to make sure that happens.
And if you don't believe in galleries and you have the energy and enthusiasm and skills to market and sell your own work, then that's great. If that's the case, the author states, "... you control prices and can do whatever you want, and hopefully won’t be having art 'sales' where you’ll be 'discounting' the work that you sold to collectors a week earlier for a specific price, to a much lower price."
So if your work is in several galleries and you sell work from your studio, please be consistent with your pricing!