Should you Include Prices on your Art Website?

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!


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12 comments

  1. I have an art website which, while set up for marketing my work, also welcomes ones who simply wish to browse. My prices are listed, along with a story of how each piece of art came about. I like for visitors to come away with all possible information about the work.

    I really enjoyed this article. It covers everything.

  2. Thank you for this post!

    I’ve implemented a price list on my website that is accessible, without being too “in your face.”

    On the gallery page the prices are hidden by default. Click on Show Prices at the bottom of the page to see info (including price list.)

    http://brennenmcelhaney.com/artwork/paintings.html

    What do you think? Classy, or too obscure?

  3. This is one I struggle back and forth with, and have put prices up on my website but then taken them down. I know i need to be more consistent. I like Brennen’s solution that might be the best way to approach it. I recently took part in a art show in Vancouver, where some of the artists had prices on their paintings and others didn’t, speaking to the artists about that their thought was that if people are interested they will ask for the price and thats when you can convince them to buy or go in for the kill so to speak lol.

    Melodie

    • Whoops, sorry I didn’t reply to this earlier Melodie! Almost a month late… my bad :(! I agree… if people like your work and are interested it is a great excuse to chat with them, not even just about price but about the work in general! They may learn more about what you do, and plus it’s a great opportunity to give them your business card.

  4. I am an Illustrator/Caricaturist/Fine artist and I am making a new website on word press. My wife thinks I should not list prices. Maybe just that Art has alot of variable factors involved and that you can e-mail or call for a free quote and estimate. I would like to have another site or the hidden same site with the prices attached.? I am not sure about this, because I wanted to make a site that will promote sales, but at the same time I don’t want other competitor to under bid me?

    • Hi Lars,

      I understand your predicament. Although I can’t say for sure whether you should list prices or not, if you decide to, I would say this: it is important to keep your prices consistent and believe in them. If you post your prices, don’t offer deep discounts or try to woo buyers with low prices. By beginning with a reasonable, healthy price and sticking with it, people will realize that your art is valuable (because, among other reasons, you are treating it like it is valuable).

      I understand that you don’t want other competitors under-bidding you, but again you should value the work that YOU do and other people will too. Sure, there will be people who go for the lowest price, but there will also be people willing to pay for the work that they love.

      Whatever you decide, best of luck!

      • Thank You for the feed back and I have decided to have the prices hidden by default and Maybe make up a e-mail page with samples on it listing the break down of the prices.

  5. I am a Toronto based artist leaning toward the gallery representation side of the art world. Funny enough I just had this conversation with another artist recently and we decided to not put prices on our websites, but that Facebook is rather a grey area, so you could get away with putting prices on your artist Facebook page. I don’t know if that’s wrong, but it’s such a new media I don’t even know if people have opinions about that yet or not. Also I think Etsy is such a great venue for people interested in selling their merchandise online. It’s already an established online general store where people expect to see prices. Basically I’ve determined that I’m using my artist website as a portfolio, and then any smaller drawings or prints I make, I’ll sell them on Etsy.

    • Hi Laura, I think since you’re leaning towards gallery representation, your plan sounds very solid. It could be that when you land a gallery, they will want you be the exclusive dealer of your work, but until that time, I think Etsy is a much better place for prices than Facebook.

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