Setting Prices on Photos

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 11,816
Re: Setting Prices on Photos

Let's assume your photo has zero value, and you are selling a framed decoration.  You should aim for getting at least twice your cost of materials.

If it costs you $40, you should be getting at least $80.   However, there is frequently someone else in the chain (perhaps a store, perhaps an art gallery), and they will also want to make their markup.  Therefore a frame that costs you $40, should probably sell to the consumer for about $160.  That lets you make your profit on the frame, and the art gallery also makes their markup.

Now if the art had value, you would want to to charge additional for the value of the photo.

If you don't think your art will sell at $160, you can try eliminating the middleman, and selling directly to the consumer.  But that means you not only need to make your profit on the frame, but also make additional profit to pay for the time you spend selling at craft fairs.

Suppose you sell it to the gallery for $60.  They sell it for $120.   You've cleared $20 on that piece.  In the real world, you will have some pieces that don't sell, some pieces that get damaged, and you will spend some time dealing with these issue.   It would be tough to make a profit there.

In general, the lower your prices, the higher the volume you need to sell.   If you were selling thousands of prints, then you can make a good living getting $60 each from the galleries.   At that volume, your costs of framing will likely be less than $30 each.  The trick will be finding time to take additional photos.

How much per month would you need to make in order for this to be worth it?   Perhaps your goal is to clear an extra $500 per month.  If you are getting $80 each from the gallery, you need to sell 12 or 13 of them per month.    If you are getting $250 each, you only need to sell 2 or 3.

Let's assume your images are very good.   Without an artist's story, they are simply decorative.   With a good story about the artist and the meaning if the images, they become art, and should sell for more.  The trick is to work with the gallery to find the best way to promote you as an artist.

You should also talk to the gallery to find out what sort of images sell, and what framing styles are popular.   You are more likely to get sales if you are producing what people already want, rather than trying to talk people into wanting what you produce.

High end sales are frequently more about marketing than the art itself.  With proper marketing you can sell white paint on a white canvas for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

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