JP Denyer Designs

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Value of your Work in Today's Marketplace

To answer the question when asked in a professional way, "What are your salary expectations?” I find it is best to dodge this question because to you price your "value" too high they will not consider you and to price your value about yourself too low, well, their impression is you don't think much of your work. Kind of like the metaphor of hitting it out of the ball park or never getting out of the car in the parking lot to see the game. Most people under value their worth. Read the book "The Instant Millionaire", it addresses this right off the top at the beginning of the book. It is a short read, written as a parable and well worth the time to understand how to see your own value as you present it to the world.

To answer the question, “How do I price my personal products I create for sale?” do research and use this as your guide, include Ebay, Amazon and personal websites in your research. Look at what others are using as a pricing tool on their web sites. I recently found myself out of work in April of this year. This is my biggest fear however because I am not daunted by my fears, I looked at this as an opportunity to re-invent myself yet once again. I began to use part of my time to build my Etsy on line store ( to bolster my lack of finances. I started selling some vintage costume jewelry and needed to gain insight on the value of these pieces. I went to stores and asked the owners of these shops to help me give a value when they did not express interest in purchasing them themselves. Then I needed to understand how billing and shipping costs impact my profits. It helps to do an Excel sheet with calculations built into the sheet so when you reach the last column you see what your profit really is. It is also important when selling your own stuff to make sure you add state sales tax because the states are cracking down on sellers who do not pay sales tax on private sales and there are penalties when caught. Lack of knowledge is not an excuse when States come to collect what they feel is their due.

I price my work on two issues and while the first is an intuitive feeling the other is how well known am I. Being better known in the art community allows you to ask for a higher price. Lesser known means charging a lesser price. Also keep in mind people today want to find bargains. Don’t lower your prices just to satisfy the need of knowing someone purchased your fine art. The artist has an artistic soul, which is generally the most vulnerable part of the human condition and the desire to feel validated by your art hits home on this feeling every time we sell or don’t sell something, at least it is for me. It can crush lesser artists and cause them to never reach their potential.

Research is every thing. Knowing what the market can bear is also important. When it comes to selling an artistic creation, you are no longer an artist you are a businessperson and art never enters the conversation. That’s why there are agents, galleries and representatives for artists, because honestly, it is easier to haggle with a business person than an emotional artist who feels one set of values and gets another in return for their efforts!

"How do you price your work?" Good question.

Being someone who is currently looking for work and re-inventing my life while job hunting, I am faced with this from two sides of the coin, what is my worth in the open job market and what are the pieces I am selling on my on-line store worth to others?

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