Thursday, January 22, 2009

How in the world do I make $ at this? Help!!!!

Ok, so - the studio is in place - I LOVE IT. I am inspired to work longer and harder now. Funky Monkey Girls - you should so set up that second bedroom! You will love having the place to create. It gives you new energy! :-)

But here is the problem..........How in the world do you make money at this? I have several places intersted in showing my painted glass, bracelets etc.... But they said I had my prices too high. If I sell to them on consignment for the price I want out of it, they can't mark it up high enough to make money themselves. They basically said people will not buy my items unless I come down to the market price.

So after researching the going rate for items like mine, I find they are right. This is not just one person, but several people that have told me this. So, I agreed to lower my prices. I have gone back to Etsy, Artfire, and my website, and set everything lower.

My question is - HOW do I make $$$? For example. I have just painted some really cool bangle bracelets (they are not posted yet). They are going to a show with some people this weekend. They don't think I can mark them any higher than $6 a bracelet if that much..... Well, I bought them for a $1 each. I have spend all week after work painting them.......Have no idea how many hours. If they sell any - I would have only made $5 off of each bracelet, but when you let others sell your stuff, you have to give at least 40% to them. I guess this is called selling on consignment. So, I am going to make a buck or two off these bracelets..........My wine glasses have the same problem. I have them marked at $17 - $19 each. According to the market, that might be too high as well. The glass cost $2 each, and then I put hours in my painting. I have to give a percentage to the owner or whoever lets me sell in their store. Am I making any money?? One suggestion was to not make my paintings so detailed, or elaborate. Then I can lower my prices. But that is the problem! I don't want to sacrifice Art for money....! It is not my style. I feel cheap.

So, any advice? Anyone know how I can get a Tax ID so I can buy items in bulk, wholesale. Anyone know how I can make a little money? How do I get people to buy? I LOVE painting!


Thanks for helping me.

Beth - Kiwi Arts


  1. Sorry, I wish I had some advice for you but I'm trying to figure that one out myself. I wouldn't sacrifice your artwork though.

    I don't think $15-17 is too much for the wine glasses. I have no idea about the bracelets. Hopefully others will have some suggestions for you.

  2. Thank you for trying. :-) I will keep you posted.

  3. Contact the state where you are at; their revenue service, I applied for my tax ID number thru the internet in Texas. I will do the same thing in AZ. It is a very easy process. Be sure to keep all your receipts etc for your records really really well.

    The economy is bad. I know that my sales are down in the store that I would make $50-100/month at. Go to various museums in the area with a bangle on, look around the store & be sure to let the store manager know that you made the piece. That is how we got into the Museo Alamdea in San Antonio, I had a Frida Kahlo necklace on that I made. If you can, apply for art shows/craft shows etc. Go to (I believe that is the right website) to write up an application and get awesome pictures on there. Many shows go thru that to jury items to sell.

    I think you do beautiful work & no, you don't want to price yourself so low that your art isn't appreciated.

    Thanks for the advice about bedroom. That will be worked on next week while the folks are in town & I am on vacation....

    Also, buy two for $ (whatever dollar amount).

  4. Your painted stemware is AWESOME! I wouldn't lower the prices any more, you have to pay yourself for your hard work. Just be patient, my sales are finally picking up after a very slow start. If I could give any advice, I would suggest joining twitter and flickr. I have gained sales just from people seeing my work on those sites. Good luck!!

  5. I wish I had the answer. Any "craft" item competes with the cheap imports. Imagine 100 women and children in a factory overseas painting glasses! But you are creating true one-of-a-kind art and it must be priced accordingly. You may never be able to live off the income, but you'll still enjoy it and get satisfaction from knowing many people love your work.

  6. Thank you for all the support = ALL of you! I need it. Your words are true, and it confirms how I felt. I will be patient. I will continue to learn about these other sites to help promo my work, and I will have to believe the sales will happen without going any lower on my prices. You are right, I can't even imagine going lower. I will begin to LOOSE money if I did. You are right about the mass producing of imports. It kills me to see it. I hate competing with it as well. I just want to shout "Don't you know real art when you see it?" LOL! I just want people to appreciate the hard work as much as all of us do! I guess for now, we will just have to continue to buy from each other and support each other. ha ha!!!
    Hugs to all. Thank you!


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