An acquaintance of my father, who happens to own a nursery, had been having a particularly difficult time selling a certain tree. The tree in question was of a less than stellar quality. It was withered, sickly (nearly dying, truth be told), and downright ugly to boot. Over the course of a year he tried to sell this tree, routinely lowering the price until he, at one point, had it marked as Free. No one would take it. Finally, one day, He took the tree out to the front of his establishment and put on it a large, bright price tag which read $200.00 . Later that day it sold.
Having done artwork of various kinds for roughly 6 years now, I recently decided to make steps toward my eventual goal of actually selling a painting or two. After visiting a local arts and crafts store in the mall and securing a place to show my work, I eventually came to the point of needing to actually price my work. Of all aspects of artwork, pricing ones own pieces is certainly the most difficult (at least in my experience). The price range on art is far more extreme than almost any other purchasable commodity. One original painting may go for $25 dollars, while the other may go for $2500, with little or no apparent difference in quality.
The point I am making is this: Whether you're attempting to sell Art, or a sickly plant, there is a large community of people who, knowing no better, will spend disgusting amounts of money on something precisely because it's priced so high. So my dilemma lies in the knowing of this fact, as I don't wish to price my paintings exorbitantly high, for fear of seeming presumptuous, but also believing that it may in fact be the best way to sell it. Perhaps this is a disease that infects most artists trying to sell their work, and as such, those new to the Commercial scene tend to price their work lower, not due to lack of talent, but out of a sense of presupposed meekness which is an inherent trait of the Artist.
To find once and for all whether I am correct in my assumptions, I have resolved to price my work according to two different brackets. One being the more standard and 'reasonable' approach, while the other will be priced almost laughably high. Results of this experiment will be forthcoming.