I know this is a general question, but I still need help. I've received some requests for price information for a few of my paintings. They're small (9x12) watercolor, acrylic and oil works. None of them have frames or mats yet. Should the framing/matting be included in the final price?
On the one hand, I don't want to get ahead of myself and price too high, but I don't want to undervalue the work, either. I honestly have no idea of even the ballpark range to start with. $75? $150? $300?
When you are starting out price them by the time it takes you and materials. Give yourself more than minimum wage for your efforts 15-25 an hour. The rule of thumb for framing is 5 to 10 percent of the cost of the painting and its included in the price so a 500 dollar painting you should put a 25 to 50 dollar frame on it.
When you get more established or more in demand you can raise your prices
ten percent a year to keep up with cost of goods and expenses. Treat it like a business and be professional and people will deal with you as such.
In addition to dpaint's advice you should keep prices consistent across sizes, so even though one painting may take x hours and another longer, keep the price the same if they're the same size. A typical formula for figuring that out is to figure your prices by the square inch. So if you're at say $5/sq. inch a 9x12 @$5/sq. inch = $540 + $50/frame = $600. The "square inch" formula also keeps your work on track as it gets larger or smaller.
Basically you want to shoot for consistent pricing across your work no matter the size or complexity of the individual piece. However you come to that is up to you.
Thanks for this advice. Need I mat/frame the pieces? Or may I leave that to the purchaser? Is it a breach of etiquette to sell raw panels?
I recommend matting at the bare minimum. However, I work in a gallery as an assistant, and we found that plenty of people want to change out the frames we use for works on paper, so we started to sell some matted and in a plastic sleeve for less. It saves us money because we don't have to buy frames that the customer doesn't want, and the customer can go and pick out a frame they like at Michaels and get a discount. If you're shipping, then you save on shipping costs. Maybe you can ask your customer what he prefers - keep a spare frame to go with a piece if they want it. Just my two cents.