Suggest Sold prices should be shown

Art Talk is fascinating and an excellent addition to DPW. Forgive me if this topic has been fully discussed before.
I strongly suggest that the Sold price should be given for artwork. Having been a DPW artist for quite a while now, I do notice that the prices on quite a number of works are suprisingly low with little visible change over the years. Times move on and so should prices, especially for the artists who sell. The public should not expect that good art should be bought very cheaply indeed and at unchanging prices. Our art and our customers work in a kind of tendem and we need to try to get the relationship right - for both.
Giving the Sold price will help other artists to get their prices pitched right, help them see what they should be aiming for in the standard of their work at a particular price level, tell artists what subjects are currently popular with buyers, and it will produce information for the individual artists to analyse in so many ways.
I too have noticed that buyers have fallen away and yet I have had better sales at exhibitions. I do think having the Sold information would be something that might be most helpful to artists who might otherwise think of leaving DPW. Worth a try, David?

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Hmmmmm … I don’t think I would like my sold prices visible to buyers. I understand what you are saying as help to artists however I’d rather not have potential buyers judge the price to pay for my current art based on sold pieces in the past, both my pieces & the other artists as well. Also some of my previous buyers may not like others knowing what they paid for a piece either.


I agree with not posting sold prices. I have been trying to raise my prices a little more this year and notice my sales are down. I am starting to wonder if an election year affects sales. I have been only selling paintings for a few years, is there anyone who has sold for many years willing to comment on this?

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It could be left to the individual artist by just editing the comment section of the sold painting. Add the date and the price sold.

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That’s a good idea, Linda.

Nan, I understand what you are saying and thank you. However, if past prices are lower than present ones buyers of the past should be glad that their investment was a wise one! Current buyers would see that the higher prices for them is a sign that you are an artist moving upwards. It would be the same in a gallery when a good year of sales indicates that an artist would in future be priced a bit higher.
Why I suggested Sold prices might be shown is that there seems to be a tendency, unchanged over recent years, for prices to be dumbed down in quite a few cases where the art clearly is of a good/high quality. The low prices on DPW seem not to move with the times and, surely, they would/should have moved up.
What is out of our control is that some of the buyers are after a bargain and that is the area they are looking at.
To some degree the price should reflect the quality.
I am a judge and selector team leader at exhibitions and we do have a battle the whole time with artists pitching too low and the gallery venue really concerned that our exhibitions don’t sit well with their other ones: standard the same but prices far lower. Artists in an economically bad period will want to sell but the perceived wisdom is that during such periods prices should not go down. After all, the overheads for artists don’t go down or even stay still - they continue to rise!
I’ve opened the Pandora Box and it’s good to talk, as they say, and all views are most interesting.


Donna, I see from research around the world that art is not selling whether amateur or those who sell for millions. We cannot turn off the creative tap so must keep going in the hope that things might change. Economic woes being the cause? Possibly/probably but also there is the fact that the standard of art has gone up hugely everywhere if we look back 10 years, for example, and there is so much of it about.

Re prices being too low in some cases, only in the last few days artists have mentioned that their higher priced works sell better than the lower ones, even if the difference in the work is more noticeable to the creator than the buyer. That has been the case so often over very many years.

I remember one late artist who would distort the sales of the artists hanging along side him at exhibition as he insisted on prices that were a fraction of what they should have been. He said he didn’t need the money and would not listen to evidence that it meant those artists next to him couldn’t sell as they were made to look far to expensive. Also, some buyers bought his work every year and laughed over the prices saying things along the lines of “Oh well, when he dies we’ll stick them on eBay and make a big profit”!

A huge subject with no clearly definable answer, I’m afraid. So I apologise for opening the can!

I would be fine if it were an option, either through an artists setting to turn on/off, or on each piece - as Linda said, added to the comments field if an artists wants it to show it on a piece. For myself, I really do not want my DPW sold prices to show, so if they were to show & not optional I would reduce my gallery of “sold” items to only a few that I was fine with showing. Any sales I did outside of DPW I would remove.

I see a distinction between an auction house & an online gallery. An auction house, such as eBay, does auctions & sales. I know of many buyers who check the sold items to determine what price is a good or average one to pay. I also know many sellers who check the sold items to determine what the going rate is. Art is a bit different in that you can’t compare a Nan Johnson to a Claude Monet (LOL) - but people are also judging the website or gallery they are checking. If there is too many cheap ones, it will lower the average price. And that is a concern - with so many people selling their art for very low prices on DPW, it lowers the average for all. Show those sold prices & it lowers the expectation on what the price should be.

A gallery is a display of work, available and sold. Similar to an artists website, it shows a body of work of an artist. What they currently have available & what has sold. I honestly can not recall an artist website that lists the sold prices on their paintings.

DPW is a bit of both - auction & gallery. And with Art Tracking, it’s a bit of a personal database of work, sales, prices. That makes it a bit more complex for adding a substantial change to it’s presentation.

As you said Alix, it is a huge subject with no solid answer. I just don’t see where a buyer seeing other artists works that sold for $1 is going to help me get a better price on my work. And if I were to do an average price those $1 will lower that average price. Perhaps making it optional for an artist would be the only alternative.


If you need your sold prices to be shown then figure out a way such as a comment on your own painting, " This painting sold for such and such." Other artists on the site who shared such a need could do the same.

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IInteresting discussion. I prefer the way it is, that "sold"prices not be shown. That being said, I sometimes get nosy and wonder what other artists sold something for, still, I’d rather the “sold” price not shown. :slight_smile:

I want to see everybody else’s sold prices… but I don’t want anybody to see mine. So… I’m glad that is all settled now and we can put this behind us.


You can follow any auction and get email notices on each bid as well as the final sold price.

I am also curious as to what other work has sold for. However, there is a bit of an issue for artists outside the USA, since we have to contend with exchange rates when pricing our work. Sterling versus dollar right now is considerably different than it was at the start of 2016, so $50 was once £34 or so, while today it is …what…£37 or £38? I think it’s probably up to the individual artist to decide whether or not they want to display sold prices

What might be good information for members to have is at the end of every month to have a breakdown of the number of paintings sold and how many sold in different categories. For example, $0-40, $41-80, etc. with totals of the number of paintings sold. That would give the idea of activity without revealing what individual artists sell. A graph with this information would work.