If your artwork has an established sales market already, you should price your artwork in line with that market. Whether selling at a benefit auction, through your gallery, or your studio, your work should maintain consistency in pricing.
If you do not have an established market, consider these tips, below.
If you want your work to sell in a benefit auction, we suggest a modest price. Consider the scale of the work, the materials, the cost involved in making the object, framing cost obligations, along with time commitment in creating the object. These factors help you decide your price.
Often, large works fail to sell at fundraiser benefit auctions because patrons will need to determine where to place the work before deciding to bid, without foreplanning. This is not a measure of “like” or “dislike” but simply a measure of logistics. For this reason, smaller works (under 40 inches) tend to meet with greater success.
When pricing artwork, consider that a portion of the sale will go to a second party. This party may be a gallery, or it may be an organization, or a beneficiary. For example, if you want to receive a minimum of $100 for your donated artwork, you should place the minimum bid at $200 (assuming the split is 50%, which is typical).
Minimum Bid is the price at which you agree your item can be sold under the agreed upon terms. If the bid does not reach the minimum bid, the item remains unsold. In most cases, artists typically chose a value that equals half of the ‘retail’ price as the minimum bid”
It might happen that when bids close, only one person will have bid on your work at the minimum bid level you selected. In that case, you will still only receive 50% of the revenue from the sale.
Please keep in mind that this is a fundraising auction, and sales of work benefit you as well as support the beneficiaries selected by Artists for Truth. In other words, we all want your work to sell!
Patrons will have the option to lock in their purchase by committing to the “buy it now” price. This price is typically set at, or just above, retail.
Artists may participate in the “Buy It Now” option by setting a price HIGHER than the minimum bid to encourage an early sale at the event. For guests that want to secure their purchase before the auction closes, the ‘Buy It Now’ option guarantees they have ‘won’ the bid, and therefore, the art. ‘Buy It Now’ allows a patron to commit to purchasing your work before the auction bidding period is over.
Often, the “sweet spot” at local benefit auctions is the $100-$600 range. Works exceeding $800 have less success achieving results (aka, sales). Though works under $600 tend to meet with more success, we do not discourage higher priced artwork donations and always request you stay within your established price market.
We hope these tips help guide your pricing.