Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pricing your work 1 of several

Many freelancers find it hard to know how much to charge.  While each job is different, you can categorize your work and then evaluate it on that basis.  I use four categories to distinguish what you sell: items, hours, expertise, and rights. 

 This week I'll talk about pricing your work per item.  
1. You may be selling things that do not take much work, such as reproductions of your design or quickly written name cards, made to be sold in quantity.  Often the cost of the materials means more than the amount of labor.  You should price these by the ITEM--a certain price for each one, with maybe a discount for the purchase of a number of them.
Freelancers sometimes sell through a middleman, such as a store or a specialized website.  They charge a markup; to sell a poster at $10, for example, an art or stationery store will pay you $5, a bookstore $6, a consignment crafts store around $7.  Remember, though, that the higher the markup, the more incentive they have to sell your items.  Lower markup usually means that the retailer will return your items to you if they don't sell.  


  1. The highest price I sell is $75. It was incredible. Of course, I barely get order like that, usually $5 to $15. Do you sell your art work in any store, or people place custom order from you?

  2. All of these. Custom work is tricky--you must be sure you are both "speaking the same language." More fun to sell finished work, but then you must be very visible, to find the person who wants it. A store will usually take a percentage as a commission; bookstores generally take 50%. Some artists open co-op galleries where they share the work. Other readers may be able to help you.