Discounting Artwork

Many years ago, I use work part-time at a boutique art gallery/gift store. When I started working there I asked the owner what to do if any of her friends came in and wanted a discount (because someone did) And her response is something that has remained with me to this day, and some of the best business advice I ever received:  “I do not give discounts, it devalues my time and work, and MY TRUE FRIENDS will not ask for a discount.”

I know people ask for discounts.  It is not uncommon and happens.  Somehow artists get grouped in the same bargain arena of a third world street vendor, hustling garage sale merchandise, in a mold infested antique mall. “It never hurts to ask” is what some people think.  And depending on if the artist is really struggling to pay the bills, they may take you up on the offer.  But shame on you for taking advantage of the vulnerability of a poor artist – it’s just rude!  Don’t be a douche.  I mean, would you ask your dentist for a discount?


Filed under Artist Ramblings

4 responses to “Discounting Artwork

  1. This resonates with me. As s photographer, I am frequently told my prices are too high or am asked for a discount. However, my friends never do this because they value my work and the heirloom quality prints I offer. At first, I wondered if I was losing business by sticking to my prices. However, I have since learned that anyone devaluing my work is not my ideal client.

    • Great clarity! Sometimes it takes awhile (and hard work) to find your ideal client/target market. I live in a tiny town and I have to ship out my work all over the US (and world) in order to make a living because nobody in my area is interested in my work (or prices.) Good luck with your photography!

  2. Very true! Love and appreciate you sharing! 🙂

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