The whole concept of a 'high price' or 'low price' is so subjective. Some people consider $50 or $100 to be a low price for a painting. For me, I'm a student and my art sales are the only income I have right now- so that's a lot of money to me! And I feel a bit cheeky asking $20 for one of my paintings, part of me is screaming 'drop it to $10!' Especially when I regularly see paintings selling at that price in the 'Active Bidding' screen.
The self doubt kicks in- can I really ask more than these talented painters are doing? I don't have my degree yet, or gallery representation, and if I can produce a 5x7" canvas board every day, do I really NEED to ask $20? I have so many of them stacked up in my storage space by now!
But then, I have had a few people buy my work at $15 - $20, both in my local area and online, and I feel it might be unfair to them to drop my prices now...? And after all, I have to be able to pay the membership fee, paint and canvas, and other misc expenses like business cards, advertising on Facebook to get more exposure, etc... And my wonderful parents have loaned me some money to help cover start up costs. I want to be able to pay them back ASAP. So if I drop prices I NEED to sell more.
Will I actually make more sales if I lower my prices? I'm not sure. I'm no expert, but I don't think people buy art the way they buy groceries or housewares, trying to find the lowest price and buying when they see a bargain, regardless of whether they need the thing or not. They buy art because they like it. I've seen my mum spend £60 on a painting in a gallery where prices started at £15- that was the one she wanted, it didn't matter others cost less, because she didn't like them. So lowering prices to 'compete' with other artists is pretty pointless. If the audience don't like your work, they won't buy it, no matter what price you list it at, right?
Maybe it's just that my work doesn't appeal to people...? Maybe it's just a matter of patience, posting every day- here, and on my blog, my Facebook, and my Deviantart page, keeping my website up to date- telling everyone I meet that I sell little paintings, here's where to find me... And eventually the right person will come along and and I'll make another sale.
I keep repeating to myself that I've not been doing this very long, that it will take time before I make sales with any kind of regularity. I am doing pretty good for a beginner, for my age, I know that. But knowing that doesn't stop me from agonizing over it! I've started keeping canvases and paint out on my desk 24/7. Every time I catch myself sulking, I start a new painting. Then at least I'm being productive.
Sorry for the long post everyone! Feels good to finally vent the frustration. I'm sure lots of you understand...