There is thought to be a stigma around including prices on an artist’s website. But whether or not you should include prices on your website depends on what exactly you use your website for. There are of course no clear-cut rules; below are my suggestions for deciding what works best for your artistic career goals.
If you are a self-marketing artist, there are advantages to including prices on your website. If you are interested in selling your work directly to clients, art consultants, designers, etc, then clearly listing the availability and prices of your work makes it easier for potential buyers to decide whether they would be interested in investing in your work. This simply saves them emailing you to ask. I have heard of many self-marketing artists hesitating to list their prices, but if you are truly interested in selling your own work through your website, consider that many high-end commercial galleries clearly list prices on their labels. It does not diminish the artistic value of your work.
If you are setting up your website as an online portfolio with the intention of acquiring gallery representation, I would suggest that you not include prices on your website. A professional gallery will not necessarily care what you charge for your artwork, because if they were to add you to their roster, they would almost definitely work with you in determining appropriate pricing of your work depending on where they see you fitting into the market. Also, for a lack of better words, galleries can be weird. Many will want to be the exclusive seller of your work in a specific region, and would not want your prices listed on your website (ever).
There are of course artists who are active in both of these areas: self-marketing while at the same time seeking exhibitions and / or gallery representation. What should you do? I always think the best way to learn is from example. If there is a gallery you would like to show at, check out the websites of their artists. Do any of them list prices? If there is an artist whose career you admire, look at their website and see whether or not they list their prices. While you’re there, why not email them and ask about their choices and experiences with posting prices?
Are you an artist with a website, and do you list your prices? Why or why not? I would love you hear your thoughts on this topic!