How to Price Your Art Prints – this was a tricky subject for me to approach at first as I completely didn’t have a clue about what the correct method was but I can talk you through my thought process.
I first started with a blank spreadsheet and I wrote down what the rough cost would be per 1 physical print. You need to take the following into account when working out How to Price Your Art Prints :
- Cost of Paper for 1 sheet
- Cost of Ink/Toner per size print you are pricing for (this was a rough guess on how long ink cartridges last but obviously different prints would use different amounts of ink). I always overestimate slightly so I settled on a figure of 36p for an 8×10″ print.
- Cost of Electricity for your computer/printer to produce 1 physical print.
- Cost of Heat/Electricity for your office/studio space – I’m referring to such things as lighting/heating etc which should still be taken account as they are still costs to your business but don’t necessarily vary with each print you produce.
- Cost of Materials to produce the original image – canvas, pencils, brushes, paint, clipart, fonts.
- Cost of your Hardware – laptop, printer, mouse,
- scanner, digital pen etc. Though you must make sure you divide these fixed costs by the number of different prints you decide to sell and the number of each of those prints you want to sell. You must also account for the lifespan of your hardware as they will only last a finite number of years. This is obviously a really tricky figure to calculate and I just went with a rough ‘guesstimate’ but it’s good to have these figures accounted for in some way.
- Cost of any Software you use to create and market your prints – this could be adobe photoshop, canva, marmalead etc
- Cost of your Fees – these include listing fees (e.g. on etsy), your payment processing fees, your selling fee and any other fees you get charged to sell on your selling platform of choice, website fees (hosting, domain renewal). Some of these fees may be charged per item, per calendar time period and some may be a percentage figure based on the price you charge. Include any fixed fees here too e.g. if your selling platform charges you a fixed amount per year to sell on there.
- Cost of your Time. Some of these figures are per print (such as wrapping) and others are based on how much you want to earn per hour and should be roughly divided by the number of prints you are expecting to sell over a lifetime (but obviously this is impossible to calculate!!!). I guesstimated this figure on roughly 100 sales. These amounts should include :
- Produce the original image be it a painting, digital print, drawing etc.
- Create a print from it
- Personalise it in any way required by the customer e.g. change the colour, add names or a date etc. if you are planning to do this.
- Physically print the print and check it
- Cut and wrap the print ready for shipping
- Ship your print – time it takes you to go to the post office and any associated parking fees etc.
- Cost of your Packaging – add up the cost of your cello sleeves, any greyboard, stickers, wrapping paper, envelopes, tubes etc
- Cost of Actual Postage for a print – domestically and internationally
- Cost of Shipping fee – this is relevant to etsy as they now charge a fee based on your shipping amount so you must take this into account
Obviously if you are using a printer to drop ship your prints the above costs would have to reflect how much they charge you to do that and any time/resources (e.g. electricity) you would spend placing the order;
Once you have added up and roughly calculated all the costs above for 1 print you have a rough estimate of your base price and your base shipping price. You now have to add in your profit . Some things to consider here when working out How to Price Your Art Prints :
- Work out how you want to be perceived in the marketplace and your target market – do you want to appear as a high end artist (in which case you have to produce a top-notch product) or prefer to price your prints at the lower end of the market.
- What prices are other artists with similar styles charging in the market place and where does your work fit in the selection available – at the higher end or the lower end?
Once you’ve added your profit you will have to do the above exercise for each print size you offer and you will end up with a price range for your product. If you are interested in finding out What size art prints sell best then read my article : What Size Art Print Sell Best.
This process does get easier as you progress because you will find that in all likelihood your prints will take roughly the same time to produce and you will be charging the same amount for similar prints.
The last step in finding out how to price your art prints is to test your price for a time period (30 days is a good amount generally) and see what happens – do you have orders coming out of your ears? If so you may have underestimated you prices and may want to increase your prices slightly. No orders at all? You may want to drop your prices or if you think they are fair then look at other reasons why your prints are not selling (seasonality, subject matter, consumer tastes etc).
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