3 Ways to Increase Every Sale

by Carolyn Edlund

Do you want to increase your income on every sale of your art or handmade items?


Shopping for handmade goods


Here are three simple and accepted methods of marketing and selling to add value to your customer’s purchases and increase your own profits. Using these with a mindset of creating a win/win situation is your best way to gain repeat clientele and get business referrals.


If your customer has a purchase in mind, offer them additional items as well. Here’s a classic example. You go to a bank to open a checking account. The banker offers you a savings account too, and asks if you are interested in opening a line of credit.  This is cross-selling. You don’t have to be pushy, but offering more items that go together can make a lot of sense.

How can you cross-sell?  If you work in leather, offering leather conditioner or cleaner is a nice touch for your customers who will appreciate your having such items available.  Are you a painter? How about offering packs of notecards or postcards showing your art or even a book you have been featured in as an additional purchase to a collector. Make a list of ways that you can cross-sell in your particular business. Brainstorm until you have at least ten possibilities.


Your customer has a purchase in mind, and you increase the ticket on that item by either offering it with extras or you upgrade them to a more expensive purchase. Upselling exposes the customer to other options he or she may not have considered previously.

This technique is not a “bait and switch” tactic, which is illegal in the U.S. and is defined by Wikipedia as:

a form of fraud in which the party putting forth the fraud lures in customers by advertising a product or service at a low price or with many features, then reveals to potential customers that the advertised good is not available at the original price or the list of assumed features is different.

Here’s an example of upselling that makes a lot sense for artists: Rather than just selling a print, offer to mat and frame the print and ship it to the customer. Or, have pre-framed prints available for purchase then and there. Make sure you are paying yourself well for providing this kind of service. Customers love it. Pre-framed art is the fastest growing product type out there in the mass art market, and retailers know this. It also avoids having your customer get cold feet when they start wondering how expensive it will be to frame your work.


Think of merchandising you have seen in stores. Winter hats are often bundled with gloves and scarves as a set rather than sold separately, increasing the ticket. It just makes sense. Do you make handmade items that could be sold in multiples or joined with other items in a gift basket for the holidays? Earring and necklace sets are a natural bundle.  So are pillows, clothing sets and metal or wood utensils.

If you have art, why not sell pairs or threes, or even fours? If you have a set of 4 designs that would look good in a kitchen for instance, frame them all to match and sell the set to be hung together. A pair of prints with a wine theme would look great paired above a bar or in a restaurant.

You can break up sets if you like, but if you make the offer as a “bundle” and not separately, you may well find that the customer goes for the higher priced item, and actually is glad to do it.



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  1. Wow, that’s super helpful advice. Thanks, from someone who’s on the newer end of this whole process!

    • Adriana,

      Thanks for your comment, and I’m glad you are getting helpful info from this site. Check out my blogroll for other blogs which will help you launch your business.

  2. Thanks Carolyn, the bundle idea gives me inspiration for creating a grouping of fire canvas prints – 3 or 4 together would look great on the wall at home OR in the station – so many firehouses as long empty white hallways! Thanks!
    Malinda Hartong
    Photojournalist & official fire photog
    Hartong Digital Media

    • Malinda, A grouping with your fire theme would look great – how about different sized but matching frames shown together – with one price for all? Customers love having things ready to hang – it helps them avoid having to make choices for decor they are uncomfortable with. You might also consider marketing your sets to interior designers who could use this in their projects.

  3. This article is very informative. I will now try to apply this to my holiday artwork as well as my fine art paintings. Thank you!

  4. I sell similar sized subway art in my Etsy shop and grouping 3 as a bundle would be a great venture for me. Thanks!


  5. thank you, thank you, thank you.

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