Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What is it really worth?

Should you charge $27 or $39?

Hard to say. Well, unless you’re Ryan McGinness. Then it doesn't matter. You can eschew all formulas and charge whatever you like.

For the rest of us, here's my monthly attempt at making sense of pricing handmade.

Once a month, I will be covering pricing tips and strategies, unusual pricing tactics, interviews with artists (with a focus on pricing), social pricing experiments and pricing advice from around the web. Let me caveat this by saying I'm no economist (lucky me) or expert on pricing (seriously, who is?) but I am obsessed with the psychology of valuation, especially for something that’s hard to quantify, like creativity.

Thought I’d kick off this first post with a unique pricing strategy employed by New York artist Justin Gignac of wantsforsale.

Justin and his wife Christine think about what they want, paint it and charge the exact amount the item is worth.

A painting of a pizza slice $3, Nintendo Wii $239

'Buffalo wings' costs $12.99

'To see showgirls in Vegas' costs $250

Same canvas. Same whimsy illustration style. Wildly different prices. Blows my mind.

While Justin doesn't think he can use this strategy to make a living in New York City, his intent is to kick off conversations. Pricing for story telling. He has painted a check for a million dollars which he hopes to sell some day. Now that would make a great story.

Next month I'll share more thoughts on pricing and we can deconstruct, discuss, and debate. Fun times!


The Whiteout (Junk Rescue)

Kaamchor (Art from stolen office supplies)

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