How to Price Your Artwork, Jewelry or Handmade Goods

Pricing your artwork can often be a difficult task, you don’t want to over charge or under charge. So how do you go about it? There are many different ways of pricing art, an no one way is correct. So it’s up to you to price things as you feel comfortable. Here are a few of the popular suggestions.

Charge Per Hour

This is one of the most popular and in my opinion the most fair. It allows you to take a lot of things into consideration. So what is a fair price?

You need to be realistic about this, take a look at your living expenses and your situation in life. What do you feel you are worth? What is your level of talent? Don’t be shy about this, your hard work, talent and time go into your art, so don’t short change yourself.

Take a look at what some of the other “professionals” are making. It’s good to compare prices with other artists. This is especially beneficial for prints. But for original art, look at other artists skill levels, the size of the original, how much time you think you went into it. And then look at your work, how does it compare? Is your initial price unacceptable?

An easy question is what is minimum wage at? Obviously you better not go below that. Your time and talent is worth something. And if people don’t want to pay it then don’t worry about them, you still have to put food on the table. I had created some hand made jewelry and my friend was admiring it, she asked how much, I said $40.00, her reaction was “oh I’d never pay that”. That’s fine she can keep her cheap mass marketed jewelry, there are people willing to pay for something one of a kind. And I turned around sold those pieces that week.

If it helps at all there was a story I heard that I have always remembered and has helped me to be realistic about what artists do. An artist in his 40’s had been creating art his whole life. He did a drawing for a customer that took 10 minutes, because his skills were so honed. The customer didn’t think the price was fair, “it only took you 10 min.” complained the customer. “No it took me 42 years and 10 min.” Replied the artist. Don’t let people forget that you didn’t start your talent yesterday, you’ve been working at it. In any profession the more education/knowledge/experience you have, you are compensated for it. This is no different.

Remember to take the cost of materials into account when you are pricing. You also need to make profit. This will usually go back into the company at some point. But unless you are going to spend your own money or money earned then the business will never grow.

Variable for a formula you can use is:

  1. What did your materials cost?
  2. How many hours did it take?
  3. What is your skill level?
  4. How many years of experience do you have?
  5. What do you want to make in profit? (usually to put back into the business)

So it would look something like this:

Cost of Materials + (hours x hourly wage) + (profit $ or %) + Shipping (if applicable) + taxes (if applicable) = Total


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