A few months ago, I registered with the Saatchiart online gallery and started uploading my paintings there. It turned out that many are interested. I got a big feedback, many wrote comments, asked about the gallery – how can I sell my paintings and other creative works around the world, were interested in the technical aspects of the Saatchiart website, where it is quite difficult to understand without knowledge of English.
The main issue that until now has remained without my detailed explanation is my approach to pricing. Many wrote to me that the prices for my paintings are very high, someone was even angry and scolded my prices, calling me “abnormal” and “starry.” Someone writes more positively, but remains at a loss:
Dina R: So expensive
Tatyana Zharyokhina: Yokarny babaaaai this is the price huge
Elenka: Faith, to be honest, I’m very surprised if you really sell your work at Saatchi for such money, the prices are very high
For a long time I did not respond to such attacks and opinions. But then I thought that my experience in pricing paintings could be interesting and still decided to write a detailed post about prices, especially since now I have already gained knowledge in this matter.
General principles for choosing the price to sell paintings on Saatchi:
- Explore the market for paintings in your category (by size, theme, style, technique, materials). See what prices are being set by other authors who already have sales. You can find out about sales on saatchiart on the main page of the gallery’s website, if you scroll down a bit, it displays real-time works that have been sold.
- The commission of the Saatchi gallery is 35%, which means that the price for which you want to sell the picture is divided into parts, and not all 100% will be credited to your account. This must be taken into account when setting the price.
- Without your knowledge, permission or consent on your part, the online gallery sells on paintings of different base values (the discount may be about 10-20%). So if you put up for sale a painting for $ 100, then saatchi can sell it on sale for $ 80. These sales are independent of the authors and the discount amount is also determined by the gallery itself.
- The cost of packing your picture and the cost of receiving a document at the Ministry of Culture for permission to export the picture abroad – you pay yourself. When selling a painting through saatchiart, lay down the cost of packaging materials, the time to receive and fill out documents for transferring the painting to the courier. If you have a large picture on a stretcher, then such expenses can be up to $ 250 and even more. In each case, calculate in advance how much money you need to invest in the price so that after the sale you do not go into a minus and do not remain at a loss.
After you take into account all the nuances, you already have some kind of price. Let’s say that you are selling a small picture, you have added up all the expenses described above and you have $ 50. At this price there is not yet the price of the painting itself, your work to create this painting. This is only the cost of packaging and preparing the picture for shipment. Now you need to evaluate the picture. How to do it? How much can a picture cost? Selling a painting for cheap or expensive? All these nonsense arise from every beginner (and not only) the artist, who for the first time decides to sell his work. There is no universal answer. The price of a painting is, on the one hand, purely your personal sense of its value, and on the other, getting into a particular segment where you have more or less chances to make a sale.
At what price and which paintings are best sold on Saatchiart?
After analyzing the purchases on Saatchi, I came to the conclusion that large interior works that people buy for houses or offices sell very well. Mostly it’s light, bright, but not too intense work. It is important that the picture was a “light pleasant background” to everyday life, and not attract all eyes to yourself. Paintings from 70 cm and more are well sold, but not too huge (more than 150-200 cm I have rarely seen sales). So I would say the optimal sizes are from 70 to 180 cm on either side.
Medium format paintings in a “cozy” style or the same abstractionism are selling well. If you take the “cozy style”, then I think that I buy them for living quarters or in personal collections. Realism or hyperrealism with the sediment of something modern is appreciated here (blurry parts, mixing styles, experiments). If we take abstractions, then the paintings with the idea, some unusual experimental works, voluminous brush strokes and a rich palette sell well. In the same category I will assign drawings, as it is not strange, they also sell well and fall into this price group. Sizes here are from 30 to 70 cm on either side. And the optimal price in my opinion for a successful sale: $ 150-300.
On saatchi, you can find works of a completely different price segment, but it seemed to me that not too expensive works are sold faster and best (here’s the news, right?). But not too cheap. For such a large work in oil or acrylic on canvas, the normal sale price is from $ 800 to $ 1,500. It is important to remember that the author gets only a fraction of this amount, since the gallery takes its commission on a successful transaction. Thus, the author greatly increases the chances of a sale, if his work is …
Abstract oil paintings (size about 100×100 cm) at a price of ~ 1000 $
How do I bid for my paintings in the Saatchiart Gallery
My action algorithm is pretty simple. When evaluating everything in my life, I start with a simple idea: an hour of my time costs X $ and the materials that I spend cost Y $. My price = X $ + Y $.
- First, I estimate how much time I spent creating a picture. I almost never include the cost of art materials in the price of a painting, if it’s not some super expensive or rare things.
Next, I estimate how much time I will spend on packaging or preparing the picture for shipment in case of sale.
- I estimate the cost of materials for packing the painting and the price of obtaining a permit document.
- I take into account the commission of the gallery and make a small lag for a possible average discount on the sale.
- I round the resulting price to the nearest “pretty” value so that there aren’t any 596, since I like simple and understandable prices.
- If I sell a painting that I’m very sorry to sell, then I throw “for my tea” for the price, so that if I sell the painting I could please myself with something (usually by buying new art materials) and not be sad.
So why do my prices seem horse-drawn to some people? I think that several points work here at once: firstly, I am not shy about including in my price everything that should be included there; secondly, the sale of paintings is not my source of means of survival, so I do not seek to lower the price to sell paintings faster and more; thirdly, I sell paintings not for earnings, but for my satisfaction – I really will be pleased if my painting is with some good cherished person who appreciates not only art, but also the time of other people. In this case, I have at least some hope that my paintings “will not disappear”, they will be well treated and cherished.
My profile on Saatchi art and the same prices for my paintings:
If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them.