How to Price Digital Art for Sale

I’ve been selling art online and on Etsy since 2013. I started with a few images of things I had drawn and patterns I’d made – I sold on Etsy, but I never really valued artwork, and I priced my artwork at the same price everyone else was selling. Only recently did I actually want to look into how to price digital art for sale online?

Let’s begin.

As a new Etsy shop seller, it’s easy to skip over this step and look at a few other shops selling similar items and just go with their pricing. That’s $5 usually for digital art prints on Etsy. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to notice that everyone in the online digital space sells their artwork for the same price, if not precisely.

image of watercolor house with text how to price your art

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How to Price Artwork for Beginners?

Several factors directly influence the price you should be selling your artwork at, such as the time each piece takes you to complete, the cost of your materials, whether you consider yourself a full time artist, and how sort after your skill is. Knowing where to start with these calculations will make you secure in the knowledge that you are not leaving money on the table.

Various factors can affect the selling price of your artwork, and that includes:

Hint – it’s not the same for famous artists.

image of etsy shop background with text overlay digital price pricing made easy

How the size of your artwork can affect the price?

You need to consider the size of the artwork you are about to sell — the more the size increases, the higher the price. Some sellers can use a simple formula for cost per square inch x a dollar amount.

Set a dollar amount that is justifiable and equal to the quality of the artwork on the listing.

Competitor Research

As mentioned above, competitor research is vital to pricing your digital products. You have to observe other artists’ work, specifically similar ones, to see what’s working for them — see how they sell products and decide if you would prefer to sell in bundles since this demands a higher price and can increase your conversion rate.

As a beginner, don’t compare your pricing with a professional artist to determine if your products equate to high or low prices. This will just lead to overpricing and fewer sales, and although it’s nice to feel precious about your work if you are in it to make money – get that baby out there and sell it.

With the money you earn, you can fund the next piece to learn from.

Think of it like this :

A seller sells only 1 item a year for 600, or they sell 100 items for 6 dollars each – and while 6 dollars doesn’t seem like much now, you have been able to practice 100 times more than the person who only sold 1.

Often sellers begin their journey selling digital, and once they become better known, they can start to charge high prices and swap to physical artwork instead. The opposite is true; go from physical to selling like hot cakes as a digital artist as the work is more accessible and more customers can afford it.

Therefore it is much better to come up with a fair starting price and work from there.

Art, much like athletics, is practice over perfection.

How do I determine the selling price?

Your pricing will determine if it can cover the cost of materials you spent creating digital prints. Although different from physical artworks, you can base the cost of materials on the platform or software you use to create art prints.

A quick way to think about this is to take the cost of all the materials you use and divide them by the number of sellable projects you have created.

For example, I created 19 projects, but they actually cost me this much.

20 x Cost of canvas

5 x Full tubes of paint (or 1/4 of 20 different ones)

The cost of printing, if you are planning to post your art

These are items you will spend no matter what.

Other things to consider are items you use as tools such as brushes, easels, cleaning materials, and the cost of your business expenses. Or overheads.

Examples of overheads would be :

  • electricity
  • Tools you use such as printers
  • Internet
  • Selling fees
  • Advertising fees
  • Shipping costs, if applicable.

You don’t have to make it as complicated as this, but at the very least – you should make some rough calculations.

A simple way to calculate this would be :

Your material costs x 4 plus your labor and overheads. With this method, it is vital to monitor the number of hours it takes to make each piece.

Why x 4?

Well, this is where your profit margin comes in – if you don’t do this and you only charge $10 per hour, and each one takes you 1hr, you could end up selling a high-end painting online, printed and shipped for less than $20.

This is why many of us selling digital can justify a price of $5 for each print. The overhead costs are minimal; you only have to make it once, and you can sell it repeatedly. So even if the whole thing costs you $35, it’s not going to take long to get into profit.

These figures might not seem like much, but failing to consider them means you might be selling your items far too cheap.

What’s my hourly rate when selling artwork online?

Are you a skilled graphic designer or someone who wants to make enough money to go full-time?

This formula is similar to how office employees acquire their salary — the only difference is that you can set your reasonable hourly wage like your employer.

Plan your hourly rate, then multiply it by the hours you spent creating the artwork. You can also add the cost of materials to this price formula.

In this example for physical artwork – you could say, I’m going to charge 30$ per hour for every hour spent on each product.

image with text 
get started selling digital wall art

Pricing Limited Edition Prints

Use the pricing strategy mentioned above — you also need to consider how much money and time you invested in creating a limited edition item.

Often using archival inks, since these don’t fade for many years, selling a fixed number of copies creates scarcity which directly determines the asking price.

Divide the sum you were charged by the number of editions to determine the price per unit. Then add in your overheads and extras.

image of watercolor flowers with large dollar sign and the text what do i charge for digital prints

How Do I Know If My Art is Good Enough To Sell?

The short answer is – You don’t.

But let us not get too caught up yet. 

Before opening an online store, promoting your artwork is a good idea. This will give you a good feeling of how well your work is received and if people are prepared to pay for your artwork.

I made some potato prints in the kitchen once, and although I never really expected them to sell, I did make a few sales. I enjoyed making them with my son, and the sales were just a bonus at the time.

(Don’t go looking, I’ve since removed them for sale as they didn’t fit into the overall appeal of the store)

One man’s gold is another man’s bin contents. 

Determine the quality of your artwork by gaining feedback from the following methods.

Social Media such as Instagram

Create a social media account solely for your artwork. You can sign up to one platform — Instagram and Pinterest are the most recommended social media sites to share your paintings and an excellent place to start.

Even when people don’t follow your account, they’ll be able to see your works if it adheres to the social media’s algorithm.

Direct marketing is a great way to cut out the middle man, and ultimately your profits increase. And prevent you from wasting your time and efforts.

Did you know there is a way to get all of your Etsy listings for free? – find out how I managed to gain over 60,000 free listings on Etsy.

You might receive a lot of feedback or not contact at all. You are completing your own market research before spending a lot of time and wasting money of things that just won’t sell in the long run.

(I should have done this many times before now)

Social media pages can help you gather unbiased feedback from followers and non-followers. You’ll have an overview of the plan you need to incorporate into your online business. Likes, comments, shares, and other engagement are key indicators that your artwork is good enough to make money.

Pinterest is a helpful platform for thriving artists. Read this post to understand why Pinterest is not just like any other social media platform.

Word of Mouth Referrals

Show your digital artworks to your family, friends, and colleagues first. Let them promote your artwork by sharing through word-of-mouth referrals.

In most cases, people outside your circle might ask for digital art commissions. Once commissions pile up, you can definitely tell that you are ready to open an online store — you can also add the commission price to the overall cost of your pricing strategy.

I often give my Mum my leftover artwork, she gives it away or hangs it herself, and I have received lots of valuable feedback over the years.

Gather as much opinion as you can — it’s safe to say that your artworks are marketable when there’s an enormous amount of positive feedback and demand in commissions.

Remember to make notes of any feedback, even if it doesn’t seem important at the time. 

Do I Need an Online Shop To Sell Digital Prints?

The answer to that is yes!

You can quickly manage your products with an online store, often referred to as a digital download. Although you can still sell with just social media, it’s best if you have a different platform to keep inventory.

This is much easier when it comes to taxes as well.

With an online shop, you get extra traffic to your store — having both selling methods can raise your store’s visibility rate on the internet.

Aside from that, you can reach out to buyers ordering from overseas. Since you are in the digital product niche, you don’t have to worry about shipping expenses, and it’s a quick way to spread your work internationally.

Also, with an online store, you can sell in an organized way — your sales data is cloud-based, so it’s accessible and ready for download.

How Do I Send My Digital Prints To The Buyer?

It’s easy to send digital prints to a buyer. The only difference is when you are selling under an eCommerce platform or your website.

If you would like to start an Etsy shop, digital art sellers market two types of digital products — Instant Download and Made-to-Order.

Instant download is when you create a listing; the digital file is already attached to the product, and buyers can immediately receive or download their purchase.

Made-to-order items are sent via email. 

Customers receive an order confirmation and often wait for several days before they can complete the purchase.

You can check it out here on Etsy’s digital listing guide.

Independent sellers can send it through email. A downloadable link will be sent to the customer — this link redirects the buyer to the digital file. Sellers can also attach the files to the email for a more accessible download.

Can I Get My Art Printed To Sell Online?

Sometimes, sellers offer a printed copy of the digital art on their listing. You can include an option in the listing — it’s a great way to add products and attract customers who prefer a physical printed copy.

However, you have to invest in high-quality inkjet printers if you are planning to do the printing at home.

Other than Inkjet printers, Giclee prints are also in demand. Both are high-standard printing processes but only differ in what type of ink it uses.

Inkjet printers use dye-based inks, whereas a giclee needs pigment-based inks.

Another important note, Giclee prints can last over 200 years since pigment-based inks are not prone to color fading.

Remember to factor the cost of this printer and any inks you buy into the price of your print.

I often recommend a company called Gilcee Today for anyone who wishes to print artwork to hang.

How Much Does a Digital Artist Make?

As a digital artist myself, I can tell you that I’ve made 100’s prints that I painted, scanned, cleaned up for sale, uploaded to Etsy, wrote the descriptions, and sold exactly zero copies.

Other prints I’ve painted in precisely 3 mins flat and made $600 from.

image of pen art sold on etsy many times

On average, you can make anything from $300 – $10,000, depending on how many products you have and how many visits you can convert to buyers. 

Here is a print I loved making; it was mixed media – and I was totally lost in the process while following a course, and it was perfectly me at the time. I never tire of looking at it because it had so much emotion for me then.

Guess what?

Sold Zero.

image of girl painting with no sales on etsy

This is why it’s so important to be original and test the market and be specific in filling a gap at the time.

Is Digital Art Cheaper Than The Real Thing?

Of course. Digital media, by its very nature, is mass-produced and designed to be sold over and over again. No heroics, no fancy anything. Just get it sold and sell it after.

You don’t have to spend money investing in premium ink and digital art printers to produce good products. Also, if you traditionally create the print, you have to buy art supplies to produce batches of items to sell. That’s an added cost to physical copies — making it more expensive than digital art.

Remember that one formula for determining the price of your item is (Hourly Wage x Hours Spent) + 4 x Cost of Materials.

For this reason, there is a high demand for digital art prints — due to their affordable price. Customers can also keep a copy of the digital file — allowing them to print copies whenever needed.

Aside from convenience, a digital art print can be saved in a device for a long time, and you don’t have to repurchase it to print new copies.

Digital prints are a great starting point for an online business, and it is now one of the most successful business niches — in an era where almost everything is digital. You can find digital books, digital forms, journals, and invitations.

Digital items have changed the way people organize their documents — it becomes safer and more convenient.

Find a number of ideas for selling digital on Etsy. 

If you are searching for a business to try, you can take a leap of faith with digital products. Finding the right business niche for you is essential to have hope that things will work out.

To further ensure good results, you must research the niche and how well digital prints thrive in online marketing.

Aside from niche knowledge and sales history, you need to observe other stores — how do they manage their online store?

You have a lot of research to do, and it’s a vital task for a beginner.

image of pdf get started selling digital wall art

What is a Digital Art Print?

Digital art prints are materials designed through a computer, laptop, or tablet — a scanned artwork can also become a digital file.

With the help of modern technology, anyone can create an image — as long as they have access to a device. You can keep the file on a working device or print the digital art through an inkjet printer.

You can save digital prints in various file formats — such as JPG, PNG, PDF, TIFF, SVG, and EPS. These formats require a specific application to be able to view the file.

You can also transfer digital art prints from one device to another. Good for the buyer, but maybe not so great for the seller, since their product can easily be passed onwards. 

Many Graphic designers are the producers of digital art prints. They have broad knowledge about photo manipulation, illustration, design layouts, restoration, and creating images from scratch.

Also, graphic designers use particular software to help them develop and render high-quality digital art prints.

Software and applications like those mentioned below work only on devices with the correct specifications.

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Clip Studio Paint
  3. Corel Painter
  4. Adobe Illustrator
  5. Sketchpad
  6. Rebelle
  7. Krita

All of these applications work on both Mac OS and Windows. However, the mentioned applications are not for free — you can opt to work on cloud-based design platforms to make digital art print.

Beginners with little to no knowledge about graphic design can use online design platforms such as:

  1. Canva
  2. PicMonkey
  3. VistaCreate
  4. Desygner
  5. BeFunky

Although these platforms are free, you still need to purchase a premium account — to have unlimited access to various design elements.

Refer to this blog post about making art prints if you want to create your first batch of listings.

Where Can I Sell My Digital Art Prints Online?

Nowadays, various online marketing platforms support the art community. These companies built an excellent platform for graphic designers to acquire passive income quickly. The artists’ work is published as a listing, and you can find it through an organic search.

Find the best platform to start your online store, and you can start by creating an account in one of these marketplaces.

  1. Etsy
  2. Shopify
  3. Creative Market
  4. Amazon
  5. Big Cartel
  6. Sellfy
  7. Printful

On the other hand, you can sell your digital art prints independently. Selling your products on your own is an option — especially for people who don’t want to pay additional fees.

Most artists exert effort on selling their works via:

  1. Social Media Pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest)
  2. Own Website

Both methods are tried and tested. You can choose one platform at first, then eventually create another place for your store — either a website or a social media page and you can handle them both simultaneously.

Increasing your store’s visibility on an online marketplace and social media can help reach audiences from various groups.

Etsy will be your first pick after reading this blog post containing twenty reasons you need to start on Etsy.

Final thoughts on How to Price Digital Art prints for sale. Do your research before you begin, and keep an eye on your overall costs and expenses, don’t worry, you can use this simple method if you get stuck. Obviously, the more accurate you are at recording your expenses, the more accurate your pricing will be. Above all, enjoy the process – art feeds your creative soul, and sometimes it’s not all about the money.

image of watercolor houses with text how to price your art for digital sellers

Making digital art prints is a plausible way to earn passive income — especially if you have an online store. The internet has made convenient ways to support the art community, and it is essential for artists’ to have excellent platforms to showcase their work and earn their keep.

There is money in making art. If you are thinking of creating an online business, digital art prints might be the right niche for you.

Do what you love while earning extra income — get your device and start designing now!

Bye for now

Trina

For more Etsy information, don’t miss out on these blog posts too:

More posts on how to sell digital art online

Start selling digital art prints to sell online

How to sell art online and make money too

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