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Pricing Strategies on DPW

(Peter Lentini) #42

Hi Bob,

Attempting to sell your work may become a thing of the past and perhaps you will stop painting for a while as well, nonetheless you will remain an artist because you continue to see the world like an artist and you always will. One can alter the superfluous, but not the intrinsic.

(Peter Lentini) #43

Hi Joe,
In general that is quite accurate, however there is one artist on the site, who for some sort of sport perhaps begins the bidding at one dollar and finishes with far more, but as with all selling, this is an anomaly and the artist could just as well begin with a higher price, the one dollar has nothing to do with the final selling price.

take care,


(Sunny Avocado) #44

I don’t understand @pjskeena. Yes, I meant for him to make appointments and speak to galleries. Not big galleries, small ones, art leagues, community art centers, etc. Art show in the community where someone can see the work up close. That’s kinds of where I was going with that.

(Sharon Leah) #45

I’ve been attending openings in small galleries in the Minneapolis/St Paul area the past couple of months. All of these galleries are an extension of a framing business. All of them work with local artists. The prices on paintings varied, from a low of $350 to a high of around $1,000. I put the average price at $450.

Yesterday, I attended an “art sale” at a painter’s studio. He is asking $750 for small paintings.

I have no idea how many paintings any of these artists sell in a year, but I do know that to break even on supplies, artists need to sell small paintings for at least $10. Selling 50 paintings at $200 each = $10,000. That’s a nice supplemental income, but it only goes about 1/3 of the way toward supporting oneself.

I imagine that every artist on DPW has his or her own reason from paying to be on the site. I also imagine that most of us would like to do more than break even. So while we need to price works to sell, we also need to be paid for our efforts. Dollar store pricing for original works of art is not a good business practice.

I agree with Sunny and others who have suggested that getting work in front of people will improve the artist’s business.

(David Kuhn) #46

@sharonleah, have you read this article from the Daily Paintworks help guide? How the Internet is Changing Art Pricing

It’s a good explanation of the logic behind the auctions that start at $1.00.

(Bob Kimball) #47

Hi Sunny,
Thank you for the compliment and the advise. The only thing is, I can’t afford to wait for months or longer for paintings to sell in a gallery. One of these days if things get better, I might do that.

(Bob Kimball) #48


I appreciate the advise. I know you told me about the links on my blog, but I think it’s one of those things I read and thought I’ll fix it when I get to my computer and then forgot. Anyway, it’s fixed now, thanks for telling me.

Also, I know I sold a lot of paintings here but the prices averaged about $35 and were spread out over time. I just wish I know the secret to selling for more. I see paintings all the time get prices of $100 and up and to tell you the truth, I think some of them are just average. So what do these artists do to get sales like that? I don’t know.

I remember attempting to join Saatchi art, but I think I remember something about them wanting too much information such as detailed tax information or something like that.
Vangoart i haven’t tried yet but I’ll look into it. But like you mentioned, Almost all of my paintings are small so i’m not sure if I would have enough to show in those. I did have 3 larger paintings but I just sold 2 of them to a gallery owner in Delaware.
If I can find local galleries that would be willng to do business like that, then i would certainly consider it.

I recently joined FASO and have a website there, but I have to start reading articles there on how to market the site.

I also, just yesterday finished the looooooooong process of opening a store in “Handmade at Amazon” because I was invited by them to open a store there.
There seems to be a little tug of war going on between Handmade at Amazon and Etsy, because some of the news like in USAtoday and other well known media, were calling Handmade at Amazon the Etsy killer. Especially since they both offer handmade things of all kinds, not just art.

Anyway, i’m in the process of opening these accounts and uploading my artwork and makeing my profiles in them before (of course) I start marketing them.

Anyway, I’m creating accounts in different venues to see if that draws more attention. i know that I found out that counting on one venue is never a good thing.

It’s funny, I’ve been told so many times and just yesterday actually, that I should be selling my small painting for much higher prices. Someone yesterday from one of the many facebook art groups that i should be selling them for between $125 and $175. The only thing is, when I raise my prices even a little my sales tank. But come to think of it, they tank anyway so maybe that’s not the whole reason.

Ok, well thanks again for the advise.


(Bob Kimball) #49


Thank yo for that insight. I totally agree.

(Dave Casey) #50

First off, trying to find a gallery here in Vegas may not be very productive. I don’t know if your experience is different from mine, but the gallery scene in Vegas leaves a lot to be desired. There are galleries down in the arts district that hang stuff that looks like a kindergartner painter. Most of the galleries here are into modern art and self expression and your art (and mine) would not fit in them.

I know it’s tough to see other artists selling small works for multiple hundreds of dollars each when you can’t even get to $100 for a 6x6. Sometimes I feel the same way. For example, you see an artist like Abbey Ryan, who sold a 4x6" painting a few months ago for almost $2000, and it can drive you up the wall. I’m sure you (and I) would be happy with 10% of a price like that for small paintings. And there are a lot of other artists that can do the same thing, like Carol Marine, Julian Merrow-Smith, Karin Jurick, Duane Kaiser and more.

But, these artists have something that you and I haven’t achieved yet and that’s notoriety. Abbey’s been on Oprah a few times and has a huge following because of that. The other four have been in the daily painting movement since the beginning and have built up their followings. If Duane could be called the Father of the Daily Painting Movement, Karin would be the Mother. What I’m saying here is that they’ve been doing for so long and from the beginning that they have become the elite of the daily painting scene. Can we get there? Maybe. I don’t know. I’m not smart enough to have all those answers.

I do know that I am changing the way I do things. My daily painting practice is sliding a little because I am devoting more time to larger paintings, trying to get them ready for Vangoart and Saatchiart. I am finding that they take a lot longer, not because they are larger, but because I’ve changed my style of painting on them. Where a 6x6" painting might take me a couple of hours to finish, an 18x24", like the one on my easel right now is going to take me a couple of weeks at a couple of hours a day. No longer do I try to lay the paint on in one go. I just took a continuing education class at UNLV from Kelly Knox and he taught me the way of the old masters, of layering transparent paints on a canvas and building the painting in stages. These will NOT be sold on DPW in a $50 auction.

Maybe you just need to have a job that pays your bills and do your painting around that job. I know that sucks, but that’s when you find out what is important to you. Are you the kind of person that would come home after a long day on the job and park in front of the television for four hours before slogging off to bed, or are you the kind of person that would be running red lights to get home because you can’t wait to get a brush in your hands and do one small daily painting? If you did that five days a week that would be 260 paintings a year. Of course, if you were that kind of artist, you would be jonesing for the weekend so you could knock out 6-10 paintings on your days off.

Get yourself some 18x24" canvases and get some larger paintings done. If you can’t afford the canvases, I have a few stored in my studio that are just gathering dust, because of the time I’ve spent doing 6x6" paintings. I’d be willing to donate them to the cause just to get you to try those other websites. As for tax info to Saatchiart, all they ask for is a W-9, which any gallery is going to do. And don’t get caught up in timeframes at those two websites. I had my art up at Vangoart for over three months before I had my first sale.

I just hate to think that you’re going to give it all up. I look at some of your paintings and I am just mesmerized. I saw some of your small paintings with the colorful trees and wondered what those would look like at 18x24" or 36x48". Maybe it’s just time to aim at a different market.

And I’m sorry if this is a rambling piece. It’s six in the morning and I am not a morning person. Of course, I’m not a night person either.

(Peter Lentini) #51

Hi Bob,

The ability to observe is the greatest asset of any artist. Not much art sells, period… anywhere. There are no secrets. Walk into any gallery, and yes many are actually frame shops because if you speak with the owner they will tell you they could not survive selling art, or visit them online and observe how many works of art have sold. Even on the DPW site paintings you mentioned which sell for 100 with any regularity are produced by just a handful of artists. You view your situation as singular, but it is not, it is the norm. There are many, many, many people who make art and a limited number of buyers. For the time expended most of us could have part time jobs at Wallmart and earn more regularly than we do producing art, nonetheless we enjoy the endeavor of creativity so we do it even though it defies logic. Just find yourself again and good luck.

(Bob Kimball) #52

Hello Dave,

Thank you for the advise and suggestions. I have been frustrated by the lack of sales before at different times that sales were slow but this fall, sales have been almost non-existent. I never anticipated it would ever be this slow.
I know what your saying about the people you mention that have been in the small paintings movement for a long time. I thought I was in it long enough to someday get some of that attention just like I can see where a lot of other artist should have too. It seems that buyers stay glued to a certain artist they like and they don’t look at anyone new. There are many other deserving artists out there that deserve to get more sales. But I guess that’s not the nature of it.
One reason I haven’t taken the gallery scene very seriously is because of so many horror stories about how long they take to pay you if you do actually sell a painting. Also, I have been to the arts district and I agree about the quality of most of the work there. Some I liked but most I didn’t.
As far as a job goes, I have no problem with that at all. The only thing is, i have applied for jobs and it’s not that easy. I have filled out applications and got no calls back. I think it’s because I’ve been out of the traditional job force for so long that I have no recent work history.
What I’m working on right now is making Fiverr gigs, if you ever heard of them. I have had an account with them for almost three years but I didn’t work with it because it’s a site where you can make a gig and offer services for $5.00. Which is why I didn’t take it seriously. But not too long ago, they changed it so you can charge a lot more. I have a lot of Photoshop and Illustrator graphic art experience and photo retouching. So that’s what I’m going after now, as either another source of income or most of my income. I really don’t like the idea of quitting painting, but I can’t afford the time to do anything as a hobby.
I really appreciate your offer to give me your extra canvases but I have some about 4 or 5 of them myself that I’m actually starting to use.
I recently had a few larger paintings for sale and a gallery owner in Delaware bought them. He has purchased 23 of my paintings since about the beginning of Sept. If it wasn’t for his purchases, I don’t know what I would have done. He just bought 3 more that are on their way to him now. They are 18 x 24, 16 x 20 and 8 x 6. That was a $400 sale, so that will help. Also, I just uploaded another 16 x 20 on DPW yesterday.
I also joined Handmade at Amazon. They sent me an invitation to join so I did. The $39/mo. fee is waived until Aug. 2016. The only thing is, the learning curve difficult. There is nothing there that is intuitive. Anyway, I got it figured out after about a week of daily work.
So now I’m working on Saachi art again and Vango like you mentioned.

Well again, thank you for the offer and suggestions. I really appreciate it!


(Bob Kimball) #53

Hi Peter,

I think you put it very plainly and correctly that selling artwork is not the norm. I did the math once on DPW, which I think would apply to other sites as well, and found that only about 1 or 2 percent of the art actually sells. One day I counted 3 paintings bid on out of 2 pages (200 pieces). I think that’s 1.5 percent.
I’m starting to work on selling what people need more than want, working on Fiverr, like I mentioned in my post above.
I can still use my creativity, just in a different way. I will still continue to paint a draw and list my paintings for sale but I will just do it because I love to paint and draw, but not for a primary income. I don’t think that will ever happen.
Anyway, thank you for your comments. I think this thread will help others to understand art sales more too.

Thanks again,


(Sunny Avocado) #54

How has FASO been working out for you? I heard some other artists say that they promote the site, are well known and the artists sell there. What has your experience been?

(Bob Kimball) #55

That’s funny. I went to the forums there and people are always asking why they can’t sell there. Actually It’s only a site where you can make your own website anyway. When you make your site, you have to promote it just like you would anywhere else. Also, the cost of having a website there is the typical 28/mo. and other prices, just like all the other site builder sites.
The main thing I don’t like about it though is the very confusing way they have it set up. It’s like everything to do is scattered all over the place. I had to email them so many times to ask how to do something because it’s almost impossible to figure it out for yourself…unless your a computer genious. I’m sure all the other sellers there had their fair share of troubles setting up their sites too. I’m not really active on it.
Mainly because I’m not a talented enough marketer anyway. The only way to get sales anywhere is to be good at marketing.

(Sunny Avocado) #56

I thought it has been around a while, and I didn’t like the look of the site but recently to a facebook query-hands down the answer was FASO as the site of choice. I was looking for a new server, not a site but that’s what people said.