When you are selling something, how do you determine how much to charge?

@kgwat70 (13396)
United States
April 9, 2007 6:48am CST
How do you come up with the dollar amount of the item that you want to sell, whether it is on Ebay or in person? What factors do you put into it? When I start selling my artwork, I am considering the cost of the materials that I needed to make it and the time it took me to make it plus the fact that all my artwork are originals. Is there anything else that I should consider when selling my artwork or anything else?
10 people like this
20 responses
• United States
9 Apr 07
You pretty much covered all the bases with regard to how much to charge for an item: time and supplies..Shipping will have to be factored in as well.. Your first piece you auction will be the test..it will show you how big is the market for your artwork which is beautiful.. If you start off low..you may get more responses...I would say start with what your supplies cost and the shipping first (that is for the starting bid) .. For the starting cost.. You can put a reserve price..a price you want to get before you allow it to go out of auction.. I would also look up artwork that may be similar to yours and what it goes for..if there is anything close to what you do;) Ken you work is absolutely marvellous;)+
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
10 Apr 07
Hi Joy. Thank you for your always wonderful opinions and advice about my artwork. I am glad that you love my artwork. Time and supplies are definitely important factors as well as shipping, since shipping framed artwork can be expensive. I do not think there is anything close to what I do so I am hoping I may make more. Everybody gave great advice on here. :-)
2 people like this
• United States
11 Apr 07
Hi Ken, do you sell you artwork on Ebay? I must go see:) I would love to bid on a piece..that way when I type here at mylot I can have you artwork behind me saying ..one of the nice fellows from mylot made this..isn't it wonderful:)+
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
9 Apr 07
I agree with what you mention....cost of materials and time spent on the piece. But I guess I would also take into account my idea of quality. If it is something that I think is really good as opposed to some things that I do that I don't like as much, then I would say that I would probably charge just a bit more for the piece that I am very satisfied with. Then you also have to take into consideration that going rate of other like items. Take my Ukrainian Eggs as my example. I spend hours to the point of a week on one egg. But then I have seen many eggs been sold for only $12. Well, that is the average going rate. So because of that, I have not sold my eggs. I don't think people realize how much time is spent on one egg! To sell that egg for $12! I would rather keep my egg and hard work.
3 people like this
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
11 Apr 07
You are right about the cost of other items similar to what I would be selling as well as the material costs, time spent doing the work, shipping and handling costs and other fees included with selling an item. I would hope that if you were to sell your eggs that you would sell it for more than what other eggs have been sold at.
@4cuteboys (4102)
• United States
9 Apr 07
When I go to sell something on ebay, I usually look for the same or similar items under completed items and see what they sell for and if it's even worth it for me to sell, as the listing fee's tend to add up. You have a different situation though since you can't really compare your artwork to someone else's! I would do exacctly what you said, and then maybe add a certain percentage to each one, like if you figure out its x amount of dollars for the materials and time, then add 5% or something to it, because you did work hard in creating it, and like you said it's an original. That can also help defray the paypal and listing fee's.
3 people like this
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
9 Apr 07
I will definitely look around on Ebay and other sites to see what people are selling their abstract art for, though mine is different. I certainly can not compare mine to theirs but at least it will give me an idea where to start at. Since all my artwork are originals I should charge more than copies.
2 people like this
@LCecelia (1124)
• United States
10 Apr 07
Well, when I have something to sell that I don't know what cost the market will bear I do a lot of research. If I'm going to sell it on eBay I do a search on eBay to see if there are any completed sales for my item or one similar to it. If I don't find anything on eBay I may search other places and if all else fails I ask some of my eBay pals. If that still doesn't get me anywhere I double or triple what I paid for it and use that as my selling price. Your original paintings is a bit more tricky though. You could get your price by figuring your materials costs and add an amount that you would like to get as a profit. The market is very tricky. You never really know what things will sell for.
3 people like this
@missybal (4492)
• United States
9 Apr 07
Well you should be also including your experience and how well known you are getting. Once you start to sell more and get you name out there you can raise the cost a little. Right now you want to keep your price low enough so that people buy it and tell others. You may wish to look into other local artist in your area that have gotten themselves established and get an idea by what they charge. It all depends also on how badly you need the money. It you think your work is worth a lot you may be waiting a while before someone else feels the same way.
3 people like this
• Philippines
9 Apr 07
Well i do consider the latest price of the item that i am selling, then ill compare it to the price of my item before when i brought them, then i'll also consider the commision that im going to give for those people who'll help me to sell the item or if i am selling it myself then i dont have to add a commision on the price. Cheers and have a nice day ahead from Francis.
3 people like this
• Philippines
9 Apr 07
When I sell something, I first consider the marketability of the product I'm selling. If I think the product is not attractive enough, then I won't sell it. Second, is the cost of the product, like materials, labor, etc.. I think you're on the right track. Sell your art based on your materials, labor, and of course, your creativity. Good Luck.
3 people like this
@skydancer (1982)
• United States
9 Apr 07
I consider how vaulable the product is and how much the average consumer might be willing to pay. If it's on EBay, I always do a search for the same product to see how much they typically sell for. If it's something I made myself like artwork, I would definitely consider how much work was put into it - how much the materials cost and how long it took to complete, and also make sure I could identify an audience of people who are interested in that type of thing so that I could get the word out that I was selling my work.
2 people like this
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
11 Apr 07
Choosing the right audience is definitely a big factor as some artwork is for a particular type of audience and some may be for all people. A lot of my friends have said to me that my artwork may draw more interest from children more than anyone and have sold some to friends with children.
@RebeccaLynn (2256)
• United States
10 Apr 07
When I sell my art I look at several factors. First take the cost of materials (whether you used all that you bought for the project or not) and double it. Put a dollar amount on your' time. What is your time worth per hour and how many hours did you put into the piece? How great is the demand for art such as yours? Signed, dated, originals are worth more. Ask people who are familiar with art what they would honestly expect to pay for the piece. Ask yourself the same question...but remember that artists tend to undervalue their work. Take what you would pay and then add 20 percent. Then add the doubled cost of materials, your' hourly wage, and the estimate plus 20 percent and that is the price of your' work. Don't undervalue what you have created. If it's a great piece then price it as such. I hope you thrive as an artist!
@venshida (4837)
• United States
9 Apr 07
Research similar items first. I sold some craft stuff awhile back and I charge 3 times the cost of supplies plus 5%.
• New Zealand
9 Apr 07
Ooh, I'm not sure if you've never sold anything before. I'd recommend putting something on auction, and seeing what people WANT to pay for it. Then you can go from there :)
2 people like this
• United States
9 Apr 07
Research is so important to coming up with a price for selling on eBay. To research I look at completed items and use this site, PowerSellersUnite.com which gives me all of the fees involved including PayPal fees: http://www.powersellersunite.com/ebayfeechart.php I also include my time to pack, ship and purchase the item as well as my cost for the item. Then I consider how much of a profit I want to make. For artwork this is different. You have to be the one to decide how much your pieces are worth. I would suggest joining an eBay group of self-representing artists to get some input on how to get started. On eBay Community you can do a search for artists groups. Selling in person is not one of my things! I'm not a good salesperson. The only in person sales I've done are yard sales where I usually end up giving things away for a lot less than they're worth. Sorry that I can't help you in that area.
• China
9 Apr 07
I also want to sell sth on ebay very much.I need to consider the cost of materials,postage,and some other expenses.Postage is really important.
• United States
15 Jun 07
You definitely need to factor in the supplies. The tricky thing is figuring out how long it took to make the item and what your time is worth. I have a tendency to undercut myself because I am cheap so I look at everything through the eyes of a cheap person.
1 person likes this
@RobinJ (2501)
• Canada
14 Apr 07
I think you have to get some one to actually evaluate it. I make one of chess boards and pieces, it takes me approximately 120 hours to make each one, the materials are about $25 I would have thought it was at least worth $150. the very most I was ever offered was $40. Needless to say i do not make them for sale any more. the last one I gave away because the guy offered me $20, and his friend said it was worth a lot more and he would have paid it if he had it, so I gave it to him.
1 person likes this
@BRIJENDRA (926)
• India
14 Apr 07
Hallo dear friend, I determine the price by the following governing factors; How old is the thing? What is its model?What is its utility? What is the market demand? What is the availability of this model in the market?Who is the buyer? How much i am in need of money? What is the utility of the thing which i am going to sell? etc Thank you and have a good day.
@friendship (2085)
• Canada
14 Apr 07
I think there are number of factors in order to determine a price for artworks. You are right because the first thing to be considered is the cost of the materials. Second, you should take a look other similar artworks in order to make comparison with yours. Third, it is better to gather from various sources (i.e., friends, other artists) so that they can give their opinions about the value of your artwork. Because the price of artwork also depends on how much value people are going to consider. If your artwork is spectacular, original, and classy, it may have more value than you think. So, finding people's opinions is necessary.
@mdarma (868)
• Singapore
11 Apr 07
I do some oil painting. Many of my friends encouraged me to sell these drawings, I started to make enquires from those who were interested in my painting. You will be surprised to know that, what they were willing to pay is much lesser than the materials that I used forgetting about my time and effort. I totally gave up the idea of wanting to sell my drawings. To your question, there is one factor that you may wish to consider, the popularity and demand of your products.
1 person likes this
@igloo85 (150)
• China
10 Apr 07
You can have a consider the price of similar products in the market. If it is only one, and it is beautiful, it will be more expensive.
1 person likes this
• India
10 Apr 07
When I want to sell my artwork to anybody, first i will think whether the person to whom i am selling will make use of it and if the person really uses it in good way, definately i will not expect to sell at more price. For the cost of the item alone i will put the price and also for the materials.
1 person likes this