Another question that sometimes people ask in my Facebook group is “how much is my art worth”, more specifically on their miniature pieces.
Today we are going to figure out for you how to determine the price of your art, because this goes as well for miniatures as any kind of other art, like painting or sculpting, etc.
How Do I Determine Prices?
If you’re not sure how to price your work, you are not alone. Most artists and potential buyers have no idea how to value a work of art.
Also, you need to keep in mind that you need to re-evaluate your prices regularly, because the more experienced you are, the more you get an overview on how to price things.
The amount of money to ask for a piece of art is quite hard to determine because it depends on a number of factors.
Let’s look at them, one by one.
The price per hour.
Think about the fact on how you want to earn with your art. Do you want to count per hour, per piece, per custom order, etc? (try to do it your way).
If you decide to work per hour, give yourself a reasonable price, do not undersell yourself! Let’s say: $15,00 per hour, which is reasonable, in my opinion. Then multiply that number by the number of hours that you actually worked on your art.
The personal interest of the buyer and the seller.
A piece of art is worth as much as the trends on the market and/or personal interest.
The condition of the piece of art.
You need to make a distinction between handmade or vintage.
If it is handmade, then, of course, the condition of the piece of art is in your own hands and you should set the price according to it to sell.
If it is a vintage piece, people will want to make a distinction between sealed packages, broken packages, no packages, and in which condition the art is.
When the item has been stored in a damp cellar, it will be worth less than when it’s been stored on a dry attic . So that will define the price more, like for example the dollhouse kits from Greenleaf.
Mentioning the perfect condition of a piece of art will help your customers decide to buy at a higher price.
Don’t forget to mention the shipping costs!
You could consider adding shipping prices to the selling price and thus offer free shipping. Buyers will love that!
Test your price.
Do you have a price in mind? Then you can test it out on your (future) target audience. Customers are happy to give you feedback about this.
Some possible questions:
- Is the item so expensive that you wouldn’t even consider buying it? Is it too expensive?
- Do you think it is expensive, but you would still consider buying it?
- Does it look like a good bargain? So really affordable to you?
- Is it that cheap that you doubt the quality of the item? (does it look to cheap?)
==> the ideal price would lie in between question 2 and question 3.
Don’t forget to calculate your fixed costs.
Of course, it is also important to have a good overview of your everyday costs so that they certainly cover the expenses!
Do not give discounts just like that!
Because if you do, potential customers can have the impression that you wanted to cheat them in the first place by pricing your art too high.
What you could do is offer extra options, give a discount when people buy several items at once or you could offer free shipping.
Optional: a making-off-percentage.
You could include a making-off percentage, which is just one way to deal with unexpected costs.
For example when you need to buy or replace equipment, like a 3D printer, for example.
Would you like to know more about this, then please check out the fantastic video below on this topic:
What if you own a vintage collection or others and you didn’t create it yourself?
This can be the most tricky part. If you own for example a huge collection of vintage dollhouse kits, like the ones from the House of Miniatures, or any other art, you could consult some online consulting agencies, like artprice.com or askart.com.
If you have really high-end and pricey art for sale, it could be worth consulting an appraiser to determine the value of your artwork (they work for a fee). One example could be:
American Society of Appraisers
11107 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 310
Reston, VA 20190
(703) 478-2228 or 1-800-ASA-VALU
But back to our question: how to define the price of a piece of art yourself?
For that, I would advise you to go to a website like eBay or Etsy.
- go to the search bar and type in the item that you want the price for
- look for the results in the ‘sold items’ section.
- If you are on a mobile app, tap on ‘filters’, select “sold items”, and then tap “Done”.
- Find the three most recent sales, those will give you a price range.
I have written before on how to make money on Etsy, but Etsy is also a great way to define the prices of your art/miniatures.
- use the search button on Etsy to look for the category of your art
- Tap the filter icon and select the price range that you would expect to see for your piece of art, and also if it is vintage or a handmade item that you are selling.
- check out the competition, you should now be able to define a target price of your art
- If you are selling in the US, it would be less useful to go look at the competition from let’s say Russia.
This “checking out of the competition” is also called “benchmarking”.
I quote: “In business, benchmarking is a process in which a company compares its products and methods with those of the most successful companies in its field, in order to try to improve its own performance”.
Other factors that determine the price can be the reputation/status of the artist, the popularity of the image or object, and even previous sales records.
In addition, the lineage or provenance of the work is important and if it has been exhibited, reproduced in books/catalogs, etc. Sometimes it can just be a trend, as the book nooks.
My Final Conclusion.
Setting the price of your art is an important part of your business plan and your marketing plan. It has a major impact on the feasibility of selling your art, and if you want your art to be a business at the same time.
I hope that I helped you out with this blog post on the question “how much is my art worth” and if you have any more questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section below.
If you would like to chat some more, you can now join me on all my social media and/or my Facebook group.