Industry sector: Retail and wholesale

Art gallery: Pricing policy

When deciding on how to price the pieces of art that you sell, you should take into account the following:

  • the amount of commission that you charge on other artists' work must cover your overheads, including lighting and heating the gallery and your drawings. Most galleries charge a commission of at least 20% to 30% (and often more - 50% is quite common and commission may sometimes be as high as 60%). Be aware that, although some commercial artists may want input from you on the prices they should charge for their work, many will want at least a say in the selling price. Of course it's up to you whether or not you're prepared to display their work at a particular price
  • the mark-up percentage that you want to achieve on the cost of any artworks you buy outright to sell on to your customers
  • what sort of prices your prospective customers would expect to pay
  • how much input artists will have when it comes to setting prices for their work
  • if competitors sell the same or similar pieces as you, will you set your own prices broadly in line with theirs
  • any reasons that could justify you charging higher prices than your competitors. For example, you may be well known within local art circles or your gallery may be in a very prominent location
  • will your prices be fixed or will you be prepared to consider offers. If you're prepared to haggle over prices you'll need to check that this policy is acceptable to any artists whose work you sell on commission
  • will you offer discounts to any customers

You will also need to give some thought to the pricing of any other services you offer. Some points to consider are:

  • will the level of local competition influence your prices
  • is it worth setting low prices for some things (such as greetings cards, small prints and perhaps drinks in a cafe) in the hope that an increased number of customers will be attracted to your gallery


You may decide to offer discounts to certain customers. For example, if you sell art equipment you might give a small discount to art students. You may also give discounts to customers who spend a large amount or who buy from you on a regular basis.