View Full Version : selling your prints

05-08-2003, 05:09 PM
Hi Everyone,
I can't wait to show off my new work, tomorrow is my printing day.

Well being the genius that I am, I made a print with an educational theme and gave a proof as a gift to my daughters teacher. Now quite a few teachers have asked to buy one. Good news, but how do you price a print, are there guidelines? or suggestions? What would be a nice respectable low end price for a simple black & white block print?

Thanks for any thoughts on the subject.


05-09-2003, 12:46 AM
How large a print? Just the print or matted? I'm probably not the best at giving advice on this subject, because I just made a deal that I now realize I charged too little for. The upside is I'm suppose to get publicity from it. Back to your question. If the print is small, under 5 X 7, $3 to $5 is not bad. Some people will pay $10 or more for an unframed small print.

05-12-2003, 11:47 PM
Really, you would only charge 3-5 dollars? I would charge twice that! I was a little shocked. I don't like giving my artwork away.
I'll share my pricing formula that I came up with. I just used the same formula I've used from pricing my jewelry that I learned in an art business class.
This is based on an edition of 25 lino block prints, the image is 5x7 print on speedball printmaster paper 9x12.

sketch, carve and printing time:
4hours x $10 (my modest hourly fee)=$40
lino, paper & ink=$5

I take my $45 dollars and multiply by 3*=$136

25(my edition) divided by $136=$5.44

$5.44 is the wholesale price multiply by 2= @11.50

Time + materials x your hourly wage x 3* = wholesale price now double it, that is what your work is worth. (from one view point)

why times 3?
1/3 is your labor and materials
1/3 is what it costs to run your business, promotional, studio fees, postage, insurance, etc.
1/3 is your profit

Now a piece of hand-crafted artwork for under $12 dollars, that's a bargain. I like this formula because I feel like I'm being fair, not just arbitrarily pricing my work. As I start to get into galleries and become published and grow as an artist my hourly wage will increase, along with the price and value of my work.

Silly how I ask a question and then answer it myself. I'm such a nut.

Hope this helps.

05-12-2003, 11:54 PM
Thanks for posting your formula. I know my prices are low, but I was speaking from the point of view of under paid teachers. Some cannot or would not pay anything more.

05-13-2003, 12:12 AM
"Some cannot or would not pay anything more"

Thankfully the teachers in this area are pretty well off. I think most of them are 2 income families. That helps.
After 6 years of selling handmade jewelry, I've learned the hard way, that I'd rather sell to people who have money for the price I need to survive, than to try to sell to people who don't really want to buy the work or just don't have the means. And it just means working harder to find a market that appreciates your work. And that's not always easy since art is not a mass marketed product with mass appeal.

I'm sympathetic to teachers and their low-wages, but this is my full-time job and I need to make a living-wage too. As an artist it can be hard to stand up for yourself and let people know your time and talents are worth money. They don't work for free, so why should we?

Thanks for stepping up to answer my question though, I appreciate all your posts!!!!


05-14-2003, 06:44 AM
I agree completely with Heather's formula! (and in fact it reflects the same information as my own usual formula but is much easier! :D) My way usually involves the time, wage, materials, proportions of overheads and business costs. Times 2, divide by number of prints in the edition (remember to decide this at the start, as each print should be numbered 2/25 or 2/50 for example). Works out the same as Heather's way basically.


05-22-2003, 08:59 PM
humblebee, I use the same formula for my linos. For my intaglio I get much more though because of the many steps I have to go through and the time it takes to wipe the plate each time I ink. A 6x6" intaglio I usually get between $85 and $200 depending on how intricate the work is. I've never had anyone gripe about the price, so I feel I am being fair too.

Dave's in Florida
06-08-2003, 03:55 PM

You asked a question about pricing your art, and you ended with a lesson for us in art economics -- I had no idea how to even begin to determine a fair value price for art.

I love you guys!

Thanks for sharing that valuable information -- it'll come in handy for us who have dreams finding someone interested enough in our art to actually give us money for it. :)

Thanks again,