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**PLEASE NOTE: ONLY MEMBERS can participate in our Art in the Park event! Also, you are only permitted to sell fine art for which you juried in for. For example, you may not sell photography if you juried in under watercolor. Crafts are NOT permitted. If you wish to sell items featuring your artwork you may, including jewelry, bags, notecards, etc.

From the Desk of J.Bird Cremeans, TSAA President 2010-2013

How do I price my artwork??

Pricing is so hard to do. My photo students ask me this all the time. But here are some questions you need to answer first:

"How much would I pay for this?"
"How much did it cost me to produce it, package it, and ship it?"
"What are other artists I feel I'm on the same level/experience as me charging for their work?"

The way I do it is this: I think of the lowest price I'd be willing to sell a print for and make that my wholesale price. To figure out the retail I usually just multiply that by 2.

Like this picture above... the price listed is retail. If someone placed a big order from my store for their own store or gallery I could still give them a wholesale discount which is 50% by most standards and still make a nice profit from it.

My biggest piece of advice is if you're pricing your work and then someone asks for a wholesale order and you can't do it because you can't lower your prices anymore then you need to raise them!!!! Same thing if you ever do consignment. Most consigners want about 30% from your sale. If you have to raise your prices to make up for this difference then you need to raise all prices no matter where you're selling them. You should never be caught "underselling" yourself. I have lots of artwork around town that I sell under consignment. Can you imagine if that person or one of their customers saw me selling at a show or online for a cheaper price?? They wouldn't be happy about that. Keep that in mind.

More tips:

Be prepared for frequently asked questions.

The ones I hear repeatedly are, “How long does it take you to make a painting?” “What techniques have you employed for this particular work?” “Who are your favorite artists?” “Why do you use the colors you do?” “What is your main source of inspiration?” and “How many hours a week do you work?”

I also like to have a couple of interesting stories for each painting that can make it more engaging for the viewer.

I always think about selling originals like winning the lottery, it is great when it happens, but don't rely on it. If you need to sell stuff to cover your costs of attending the convention, prints are a consistent seller. Sales of bigger, more expensive originals happen, but not all the time.

Make sure ALL of your items have a price tag or a sticker. Always. People would rather walk away from your booth than ask you how much something costs. Being able to see the price of an item right away would make them feel comfortable browsing and avoid this awkward situation.

Bring lots of change for people who like to pay in cash. If possible, accept credit cards. Nowadays it’s easy to make that possible. I know some people have credit card readers or other such devices. I personally use Apple’s Square. You can hook it up to your iPhone, iPad, or Android and process a payment right away. The customer uses their finger to electronically sign and approve the charges, and then the confirmation can be sent to their email. Also, the processing fee is just 2.75%, which is a great deal!


Show Checklist part 1

Change Bag/Box

• Full of change for the show.

• Sheet of paper tracking exactly how much change I leave with. I double check this number when I get home and work through my sales numbers. This is a great way to catch any missing sales or miscalculations

• Huntington Business License. You should have this with you at every show you attend. 

• Credit card processor. In one word: Square. If you don’t have one of these, I can’t endorse it enough. Square is an incredibly affordable and easy way to accept credit cards on the go. If you have a smart phone, then you can have a square. The reader is free and so easy to use. 

• Emergency pen, just in case I need to scribble something on a check etc.

Record Book

• I like to track my sales as I receive them by quickly jotting them down in my notebook. Again, this is a great way to not only track sales but to avoid any accounting errors.

Business Cards

• Even if it is your very first show, it is imperative to have some kind of branding and contact information. What is the point of networking and making contacts if, after the event, no one has a way of remembering what you did and how to get in touch with you to order it? I keep a constant supply of (more than I need) business cards in this bag at all times. I refill it after each show and check my master supply to know when it’s time

to re-order.

Contact Book

• Art shows are a great place to network, advertise, and gain exposure. Even if someone cannot support your business at the show, that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t like to in the future. Having a newsletter, if only to announce sales and upcoming shows, is an important tool to build repeat as well as future business. At all my shows, I encourage just that. I set out a notebook for shoppers jot down their information if they are interested in receiving updates, and at the end of the show I input these entries into my newsletter list.

Show Checklist part 2

                                                                       Scissors                                             wire

                                                                   Double Stick Tape                                   Blank Price Tags

                                                                     (temporary)                                           Multi-Tool

                                                                   Double Stick Tape                                   Glue Dots

                                                                     (permanent)                                          Gum

                                                                   Regular Tape                                          Claritin D

                                                                       3 pens                                               Chapstick

                                                                  Tacky Mount                                           Hand Sanitizer

                                                                Blank Price Tags                                       Lotion

                                                                  Clothes Pins                                           Hair Tie

                                                                  Safety Pins                                             Emergency Sun Block

                                                                   Calculator                                              Band-aids

                                                                     String                                                  Neosporin

                                                                Tape Measure

                                                                    T Pins

Make sure you also bring a plastic tarp of some type in case of rain. Sometimes the wind blows very strongly so I would suggest clamping any sheets you may be using to the legs of your tables to prevent a mess!

Make sure to bring “s” hooks or curtain hooks so you have a way to hang artwork and banners to the wire mesh on the easels. 

I used strong packaging tape to secure the legs of these tables to the sheets to prevent them from being knocked over.