Fine Art America back in the running

Late last year I did a lot of research into the pricing that some of the competition used on Fine Art America. That research seemed to suggest that I had been underpricing my work and so I changed all the prices and marked them up, especially for the larger print sizes. The theory was that those large prints were already expensive and so a few more dollars wouldn’t impact the buying decision.

Well, that move was followed by what seemed to be a long period with zero sales! So I changed my approach last weekend and moved back to my original pricing structure:

Fine Art America New Pricing

And lo and behold, I got a sale this week! And a large 40 inch canvas print at that. Under the “expensive” pricing scheme that I had for the first quarter of the year, my margin would have been $186. Under my new “cheap” pricing scheme, the markup was actually $100. When I think about it, I would be more than happy to get a $100 single sale on Shutterstock, so why try to take much more than that from a print buyer? The image in question was a very wide panorama of Hanalei Bay in Kauai – it turned out to be 40 inches by 6.8 inches, which I must admit is rather narrow. I hope it looks good with those dimensions!

Wide panorama of Hanalei Bay sold as a canvas print on Fine Art America
Wide panorama of Hanalei Bay sold as a canvas print on Fine Art America

So, one sale does not a summer make (yes there is some sort of phrase like that…), but it is a very nice sign. I hope my new relaxed pricing will generate some more sales in the coming months!

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7 Responses

  1. Vicky says:

    Congratulations!! Well done!

  2. Alessandrarc says:

    I find it interesting how you keep track of data. The mind of a scientist.

  3. Great advice. I reduced my pricing a bit this week as well and I’ve made two sales in the past 4 days. Very exciting.

  4. Nando Lardi says:

    Hi Steven

    I’ve followed some of your very insightful advice regarding my own Fine Art America pricing strategies. Time will tell if it affects sales. However I am curious to pick your brain about another issue at this particular print-on-demand site. A customer recently bought a greeting card from me (price $5 including my margin of $1.05) Shipping costs (from England to Switzerland) amounted to a whopping additional $24.95. Absurd, I think, no matter how I try to reason.

    After picking my jaw up off of the floor I then did some checking on other prices and realized that, for example, shipping for mid-sized art prints often exceed the price of the work itself – e.g. a mid-sized metal print selling for $220 with shipping costs of $260. My efforts to find useful and informative input on the FAA website and forums itself bore no fruit. I only found insightful comments like “We’re not scalping” / “It’s not OUR fault” / “We don’t control shipping” etc.

    Comparing FAA shipping prices with other POD agencies I found that other approaches are apparently possible. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on this or hear about your experience. My “gut” tells me when paying $30 for a single greeting card, adjusting my pricing strategy and margin mark-up is probably the least of potential sales killers here (considering the English Royal Mail would charge me £1.20 to send a C5 envelope from England to Switzerland at the private non-bulk economy shipping rate).

    • Steven Heap says:

      Interesting. I had never really looked at the shipping costs and I don’t really know if they are using those to boost their margins. I guess there is a bit of psychology involved in that people have already invested their time and effort to choose an image for a print and sized it etc. and have got used to the price of it. Then they come to ship it and they think that the shipping will be the same for all the images they choose and so there is no reason to go back and choose a cheaper image. If they had been happy with the cheaper one, they would have chosen it in the first place. That price for shipping the metal print seems exorbitant though! Is that international shipping – most of my sales are to people in the USA, although I’ve had another quiet period with no sales recently.

I'm always interested in what you think - please let me know!