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Archive 2012 · Portrait pricing question

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Portrait pricing question

I have an art exhibit of 100+ street portraits printed at 20x30 that is attracting a lot of attention.

One of my subjects is the Comptroller for our state. He wants to buy an art print at that size, and he is bound by rigid ethical requirements to pay a fair market price.

What would be a reasonable range to charge?

Apr 16, 2012 at 02:22 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Portrait pricing question

By definition ... "fair market" is whatever the seller & buyer agree to.

How do you have them priced for sale to the general public?
What are you willing to sell one to me for?
What price range have you previously sold others for?

I too was a State Official bound by ethics and responsible for writing, executing and monitoring contracts. That didn't mean I had to pay over-inflated prices or could require someone to sell "dirt cheap". I negotiated pricing for the State just like any business would ... and it varied with market forces and contractual agreements ... which pretty much goes back to the definition. Prevailing wage ... that was another matter which was pre-established ... most everything else, i.e. markup, etc. was negotiable.

Most of my contracts were in the realm of 12%-18% markup on costs (I tried to run a tight ship) ... but that wasn't for something as subjectively valued as "art" is. If he is ever required to justifiy the price he paid ... he will need some kind of tangible reference for his justification. Which takes me to the questions ... which could be used to substantiate the "fair market" value. There's lattitude in both directions, but selling something 200% more or 80% less than you have ever sold elsewhere just because it is to a State Official, might be stretching things a bit. Selling at your previously established full retail price should be little problem.

No previous sales ... actual cost to produce X 200%-300% is not unreasonable.

Different states ... different rules

HTH (perspective)

Apr 16, 2012 at 02:57 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Portrait pricing question

My 20x30 portraits go for $1000 to private citizens, and that's not at all over the top for quality high enough for a government office.

Apr 20, 2012 at 04:57 PM

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