Should You Discount Your Art?

By  Carolyn Edlund

Rather than react to slow sales by discounting, think about adding extra value instead.


sale sign


Have you lowered prices on your artwork or handmade craft because you lost confidence in your ability to sell? Before you start marking your work down, carefully review your pricing strategy. You may also want to compare your prices to peers who are selling similar work, looking closely at the prices of their work that has sold to get an idea of what the market will bear.

Then, make sure you are going after the right market. Bargain shoppers are not your customers. They are not loyal, and usually move on to find the next fantastic deal. Make sure you are not assigning prices for your art that end in .95 or .99. This gives the impression that your art is a commodity, which is something to be avoided.

Art has intrinsic value because it is not mass-produced and generic, and building on the perception of value can help you turn around those sagging sales without resorting to discounting your prices.

Here are some ways to add value to your work:

  • Sign your work
  • Sharing information about yourself as an artist and your story, in order to make a connection with your customer. Your story will become part of the art itself, and is often retold by your collectors.
  • Selling in limited editions
  • Beautiful packaging and presentation

You can also justify your current prices by using add-ons that increase the perception of value:

  • Offer to install your art for the buyer, at no extra charge.
  • Consider including shipping in your price. These charges can be a concern to many customers. Removing this issue can sometimes seal the deal.
  • Include a thank you gift. This could be notecards printed with the artwork they purchased, or other appropriate item. One artist regularly sends a small matted abstract collage with a larger purchase of her original work.
  • Offer to clean the art for your customer in the future at no cost, if that applies to your situation.
  • Include free repair services to collectors of your work, to increase their comfort with making the purchase.
  • Add other extras, such as a bottle of leather cleaner with that expensive handmade bag you are shipping.
Take a look at your own work, and what you are offering now. Brainstorm to think of ways that you can add value, rather than resorting to reducing your prices.


Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Click below to sign up for our twice-monthly email. You’ll get all this plus opportunities and special offers that you can’t get anywhere else!

Sign Up For Updates!

Speak Your Mind