PDA

View Full Version : eBay pricing


jolie
12-28-2003, 07:36 PM
Hi everyone,

I know this has been discussed plenty of times, but I haven't found any threads that specifically discuss the plan I came up with today. I decided that I need a system that decides my prices automatically, as I am struggling and wasting time each time I list a piece. I also had no clue what to charge for my store prices. In a different thread, Rita mentioned that she charges her retail gallery price, less framing and taxes. That sounded reasonable to me, so I set about determining some prices. These are in GBP for the most common sizes that I paint and the sizes are all listed in inches.

Auction Start Prices:
12x12 19.99
16x16 29.99
20x20 39.99
24x24 49.99
30x30 79.99
40x40 99.99

Store Prices:
12x12 119.99
16x16 179.99
20x20 239.99
24x24 299.99
30x30 479.99
40x40 599.99

OK, so here's my method and thinking...the start prices are the minimum I'll feel happy with. So far I have only listed 12x12 and 30x30 pieces, plus a few others that would be similar in total square inches. (rectangle, rather than square pieces). I raised my prices from 14.99 to 19.99 on the 12x12 and from 49.99 to 79.99 on the 30x 30 because I wasn't that happy with the prices and I don't seem to be having too much trouble selling.

As far as the store prices, I multiplied each starting price by 6. That is just slightly below my gallery prices, so once I put my work back into a gallery I won't be directly competing with them out of my store.

I vaguely remember from my previous career in sales that 9.99 at the end of whatever price you choose is good because buyers usually round down in their mind. When I multiplied by 6 for my store prices, I rounded up or down to fit within that format.

I considered setting the prices for my nudes slightly higher than my abstracts because they generally take longer. I canned that idea though, because I don't think potential buyers will realize that, therefore will not see the difference in value between a nude or any other piece. That's part of the reason I raised prices slightly...to meet the prices I need to make selling the nudes worthwhile. I figure I may get more than I would have been happy with on the abstracts and less than I would like on the nudes, so they will average out in the end.

I'd like to know if you think the prices seem reasonable (both for store and auction style), if you think raising them was a good idea, if you agree that all sizes should be the same price regardless of time to paint and subject matter, and if you have any other suggestions. I'd like to know how each of you determine prices and how your systems are working for you.

Jolie

CarlyHardy
12-28-2003, 09:01 PM
Jolie,
one of the things I've learned is to be consistent with my starting bids. I list at the lowest price I'm willing to sell at and let the bidders decide the final price. Some paintings bid higher...some don't, but either way, I stay consistent.

If you're selling well with your pricing structure set up this way, then stick with it! It always takes some time for bidders to realize that you won't lower your prices even if a painting doesn't sell. In fact, I've often raised the starting bid on a painting that I had to relist! I know that viewers keep an eye on things because of the feedback thru my email. And because I have repeat buyers, they always want to get the best price possible.

My advice...stay consistent.
carly

jolie
12-28-2003, 09:14 PM
hiya carly,

consistency is exactly what i'm thinking. i was selling at these prices and higher, but haven't actually used them as start prices yet (my previous starting bids are listed in my first post). I don't think the 5 raise on the 12x12's will hurt, but am slightly concerned with the 30 raise on the 30x30's. I just know I will be happier with that price and see other ebayers selling successfully at that starting price, regardless of how long they have been selling. i think it will work for me too. i am still a little worried, and wondering if jumping from $49.99 to 69.99 would have been smarter. the system isn't set in stone, but it will be soon.

jolie

arteitaliana
12-28-2003, 10:17 PM
hmmmm I am not really sold on your pricing format. Why would somebody buy a 40x40 painting from your store at $600 when they see it the same size up for auction starting at $99?
(By the way I think you prices should be in US dollars, not pound sterlings, as this confuses american buyers).
I put up for auction only smaller sizes and list in the store larger paintings so there is no conflict in pricing.

jolie
12-28-2003, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by Rita Monaco
hmmmm I am not really sold on your pricing format. Why would somebody buy a 40x40 painting from your store at $600 when they see it the same size up for auction starting at $99?
(By the way I think you prices should be in US dollars, not pound sterlings, as this confuses american buyers).
I put up for auction only smaller sizes and list in the store larger paintings so there is no conflict in pricing.

um...good question, rita. stores are new here in the uk so we don't have the same history to examine that you guys do in the usa. if i recall correctly, you list smaller pieces on auction and put the big ones in your store. i am concerned that won't work here because most of the art that sells in the uk is larger, more contemporary stuff. if i don't list those pieces they might not sell at all...the store is more an experiment at this point. my plan is to continue to list large abstract pieces, but only list the smaller nudes and put the large ones in my store so that they don't directly compete with my own auctions. i'm not really sure what to do, which is why i posed the questions. i just know that i need a system and i need to stick with it.

by the way, my prices are in pound sterling because i live in the uk and generally list on the uk site. most of my buyers are within the uk, although i did have one from canada. i have 2 auctions up right now in on the usa site because of the free listing day, so they are in us$. if i list on the uk site my prices automatically show up in sterling. i don't want to list on the usa site, because prices listing fees are higher and i want to be sure to show up in uk buyer's searches if they are just browsing, as i do. i had assumed it was a direct conversion until i actually did some research.

thanks for your comments, rita. i'll take them into account, as you certainly have enough experience to give good advice.

jolie

TeAnne
12-29-2003, 02:45 AM
What I don't sell @ auction, I put into the shop @ a higher price. That's one stratergy I'm playing with @ the moment, cos it's all new in Oz too. Our Free month runs out on the 11th Jan, so might as well take advantage of it.

arteitaliana
12-29-2003, 03:29 AM
I think that store items should be different from auction items either in size, medium subject...etc.
It does not make sense to have the same pieces in the store at higher prices, and up for auction at lower prices.
Some people just sell prints in their store and auction paintings.
Some other people list larger pieces in the store and auction off smaller paintings. In any case stores should be separate from auctions and there should be a reason why store items are priced differently. That's my opinion...I could be wrong.
Since store listings cost so little maybe is better to list in there larger more expensive pieces which will not do well in the auction format. Also the store could serve for showing your better work, your "body of work" so to speak. This should benefit your auction listings as people who could not afford one of you more expensive pieces will possibly bid on a smaller one. If everyone used the store this way there would not be large paintings sold for very little. People would realize that a large painting costs a larger amount of money ( as in galleries, price should increase according to size) and we would all be better off.

R ;)

impressionist2
12-29-2003, 07:47 AM
Jolie, Another thing that would matter here in the states, is your use, exclusively, of square supports. That would automatically require custom framing, which is why I rarely ( although I love painting them) do squares. In my description, I state that my paintings fit into standard size frames, which the average buyer can pick up at Michaels' Arts and crafts. Otherwise, they could be looking at a frame that costs more than the painting. Sometimes a lot more.

If yours are canvas wrapped, consider this. Some people still want frames. I gave all my kids paintings of their families ( informal, not portrait. But, everyone made it into the painting, including pets)for Christmas. When my son saw his sisters frame ( his was gallery wrapped, painted edges) he said, "where's my nice frame?" ( Florida Frames) :D So, I will be placing another order of frames this week!

I don't know if square frames are readily available where you live, but it might be something to think about.

Renee

jolie
12-29-2003, 10:02 AM
Rita...That makes a lot of sense. If I keep my large scale nudes in the shop and auction everything else, then they'll have to come to my shop to buy them...in fact, I'd be tempted to keep all of my nudes, but I'd like to have a few smaller ones on auction so that potential buyers will find them in searches. I feel the nudes are my better body of work and the pieces that will define me as an artist.

I do see what you are saying about how it would benefit us all to use the stores to sell our larger work and auction the smaller work, but I can't imagine it going that way in the UK. There is too long of a history of large pieces selling on auction. Many people are making their living that way and changing it would be a huge risk for them. It will be interesting to see if people make full use of the stores and how they benefit us in the long run. How long have stores been available in the US and did it take a long time for people to transition?


Renee...I see your point about square supports, but I think I'll stick with them for a few reasons. The first, and most important is that they are what I feel best about working on. I think they make my work different than most of what's out there and I like the challenge of coming up with an interesting composition.

The other reason is that I use gallery wrapped chunky canvas. I have a few standard sized stretcher frames left, but after than I plan to stick exclusively to gallery a deeper profile. Gallery wrapped canvas is very popular on eBay UK because it is ready to go up with no frame. Most sellers list it as a selling point, especially in the contemporary area (where my work fits). I can see how difficulty to frame could be a deterrent for some buyers, but for my type of work I don't think it will be an issue. I haven't had a long selling history on eBay, but I've had pretty good success so far with my square pieces. I will keep your comment in mind though, should I find that changes.

Overall then, do you all think the prices are OK, as long as I somehow make sure that auction and shop pieces are different enough? I am mostly concerned about the auction start prices, as I feel I followed Rita's example of making the shop prices just below gallery retail (by taking money off for framing and taxes). I'm wondering if I should start with 5 times the start bid, rather than 6 and raising it to what they should be once I experience some success with the lower amount...and here I thought I was so sure about my system! LOL

Thanks,
Jolie

impressionist2
12-29-2003, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by jolie
.

Overall then, do you all think the prices are OK, as long as I somehow make sure that auction and shop pieces are different enough? I am mostly concerned about the auction start prices, as I feel I followed Rita's example of making the shop prices just below gallery retail (by taking money off for framing and taxes). I'm wondering if I should start with 5 times the start bid, rather than 6 and raising it to what they should be once I experience some success with the lower amount...and here I thought I was so sure about my system! LOL

Thanks,
Jolie

Jolie, It's hard to say. The first set of prices seems fine, but take for instance my last nights auction. I put up an 11 x 14 at $20. with a $50. reserve, made it FP.

Within 24 hours it had exceeded the reserve price.

I'd say it depends on the work, your rep, and what the public wants. As Rita has said, create something they love, and they duel over it and drive the price up, no matter what you start it at.

Good luck.

Renee