Selling Art Online

I know, this article is NOT about photography.  But I found the information about selling on Etsy very helpful. Especially Joelle Latreille’s (an awesome jeweler) pricing formula.

Simply put: (Production Cost + Profit) x 2 = Retail Price

Read the whole article for an idea about how Joelle Quit her Day Job and concentrated on her business “June Designs”.

And here’s the long hand pricing formula from the highly successful Etsy Shop, the difference with this wholesale and retail formula is Materials + Labor + Expenses is equivalent to PRODUCTION COST (above).

Materials + Labor + Expenses + Profit = Wholesale x 2 = Retail

Etsy’s Seller’s Handbook featuring great information on Getting Found on Online Searches, Branding, Pricing, and Promotion.  Lots of great information for selling art, whether photography, crafts, paintings, your creativity.

I’ve always had a beef with folks who sell their photographs/art at wholesale prices to the public.  They will set their prices to sell, but not to VALUE the work and what it takes to make really good art.  I too think it undervalues the work of the entire artistic community, drives down the prices of all the rest of us out there selling, and doesn’t take into account the overhead, and realistic cost of doing business. Travel expenses, cost of equipment, gasoline, inkjet cartridges, overhead such as electricity and phone, should be considered the “expenses” in the formula above.   SELL TRUE RETAIL. Stop considering your work, and pricing, like an amateur. There, I said it with my outside voice.

Directly from the Etsy site:

Bringing It All Together

All right, this gets us to our wholesale price. Some of you might wonder if you can use the wholesale price in your Etsy shop. Wouldn’t this be a a great way to offer your work at an affordable price? No, no, no. Here’s why I’m going to beg you to double your wholesale price and sell your work at a true retail price:

  1. Selling your work at a wholesale rate undervalues those who price their work at the proper retail price. When the majority of sellers in a category price their work thoughtfully, the entire category benefits.
  2. Customers will wonder, “Why?” Why is your work so much lower than everyone else? Is it because it’s not handmade? Is it because you’re using cheaper materials? Your price tells a story: make that story a good one!
  3. You’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. Let’s say a big catalog reaches out to you and says, “We’d like to buy 100 of these items! Please let us know what your wholesale prices are.” This is a big opportunity; an opportunity you can’t afford to take.

Did you just come up with a price that you are sure the market won’t respond to? Here’s the trick: if the item is priced too high for the market, it’s not the price you need to alter, it’s the design or the way you produce your work. Get creative and see how you can adjust the item to reduce your costs. Can you buy your materials discounted in bulk? Can you produce the work in multiples, reducing the labor? Don’t take the easy way out by slashing your prices.

Remember, the right prices will allow you to reach your small business goals.

© 2013 Etsy, Inc.

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