Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Etsy Journey Part 6: Pricing on Etsy.

I met Anne Marike Pit on one of the Etsy group threads. Anne is an artist based in the UK, and her work is absolutely stunning. The detailing on her pen and ink artworks are beautiful. Check out her work here. 

I had put up a new Pink Floyd inspired print, and was hoping to get some feedback from the community. She loved the print, but she reamed me about my pricing.

How can you sell this for £15? I would love to buy this but I'm not going to pay £15 for it!
I was like...whaaaa??

She then explained how my pricing was completely bonkers. 'I would be willing to pay around £50- £70 for this...' You are just undervaluing your art by under pricing it. Price it right, and the sales will come.

Of course this makes total logical sense. But for me, it wasn't the world I came from. I come from India, and worked with Indians all my life, and even here in London.

I have to admit it, but Indians are by nature are looking to bargain. Heck, they even nag a poor street vendor to throw in a few extra vegetables for free- this is a common practice back in India. They carry the same outlook to professional work.... 'oh we just need this quick thing to be done... can you do it for free? I want to make a million changes on an artwork and I need it right now, but of course we are a multinational corporation with no money to pay the designer.' 

I know people who pay their child minders and cleaning ladies per hour more than they pay a designer. For some reason they think logos or websites are just things that can be whipped up in a second. The client. Probably one of the biggest reasons, that pushed me to start my Etsy shop was to break free of the frustrations of working like that. But what did I do? I was offering my original work up for the same peanut price I had been crying about all these years.

And on this forum I was pulled up for it in an instant. Because it's just not me, I'm doing a disservice to all the artists around me. I'm setting a standard and telling everyone 'Hey we are ok getting less than a minimum wage for this piece of artwork'

It got me thinking about pricing. I looked around shops on Etsy. There were people selling their digital artworks for £5, and there were those selling prints for £80+.
So it came down to 'Who am I'  'Where do I want to be?' 'How accessible do I want to be?'

How much time did I spend creating this piece of work? Research to the actual crafting. My printing costs. Packaging costs. Post office runs. Time and more time. 

The nature of what I sell is slightly different, as I sell prints. Once I complete an artwork, what is the minimum number I need to sell to recover base costs. After selling how many prints should I start counting it as a profit? If I price it too low, I will probably need to sell about a dozen to even recover time costs, doesn't make sense. I had to hit a sweet spot somewhere in between.

Eventually I did price my prints a bit higher. To make it accessible to all, I offered a range of sizes and quality, so it would appeal to an art lover who would pay £50 for a high quality signed Giclee Print, to a Bowie crazy college kid, who just wants a pin up on the wall.

I think this is a good place to start. To be honest, increasing my prices haven't really affected my orders. I am getting close to the same before and after raising them. 

I have to thank Anne for making me rethink my general outlook towards my art. She even tutored me on how to sign an art print :-) Here are some of her brilliant pieces. More on her website.