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Art commission and pricing tool – the basics

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In my previous post I shared a spreadsheet based tool for calculating some basic arty-nomics values.  The walkthrough tutorial posted with the downloads was a step by step guide to determining whether a Small Works event was likely to make money for the artist.

If you have downloaded the spreadsheet, have a look at it now.  The downloadable spreadsheet contains more features than the widget based online tutorial, and you can also save spreadsheet files for each exhibit, etc.  Examples for specific situations are available as separate downloads. Optional profit estimation features will also be covered in a separate tutorial.

If you’re afraid of downloads, there is an online tutorial below the line that uses two widgets – just input your data and get your share or price.

Download links

If not, you can get it here  commission and retail price calculator

or as an older version excel Worksheet here exc97 commission and retail price calculator

Download the following tutorial here   Tutorial basic features commission and retail price calculator

There are online widgeted simplified versions in the tutorial below
Happy calculating!


 

Tutorial for using the commission and retail price widgets

Hi folks!   This brief tutorial will help artists use the included online widgets to

  1.  Calculate the artist’s and gallery’s share of an art sale (if the retail price has already been set)
  2.  Calculate the retail prices that account correctly for %commissions paid

 

The downloadable spreadsheet (above the line) has more features, but these online widgets will let you do some quick calculations

 

 

 I. Calculate the artist’s and gallery’s share of an art sale (if the retail price has already been set)

 

The first widget calculates the artist’s share of a sale from a retail price and gallery commission rate

In the first situation, there are set retail prices for the pieces exhibited and for sale.   These could be prices that have already been agreed upon between the artist and venue.   They might also be standard prices that an artist uses everywhere and that are the same in all online and offline venues. In this case the calculator can be used to calculate the artist’s and gallery’s shares of the established price.

 

II. CALCULATE RETAIL PRICING based on the artist’s share.

In the second situation the artist knows how much he or she wants for each piece and needs to find a retail price. In this case the calculator can be used to calculate accurate retail prices – so that the artist gets the actual amount he or she wants after the commission is subtracted.

  1.  Input the commission rate in the upper right (the box at the upper right, highlighted in yellow)
  2.  Input the amounts the artist wants (the second column, highlighted in yellow)
  3. The widget calculates retail prices.

 

In the second situation the artist knows how much he or she wants for each piece and needs to find a retail price. In this case the calculator can be used to calculate accurate retail prices – so that the artist gets the actual amount he or she wants after the commission is subtracted.

Many artists will try to arrive at a retail price by just adding the percent commission onto the value the artist wants. For example an artist seeking $ 400 for a piece in a venue that charges a 50% commission will add 50% of $400 to $400 for the retail price.

Here’s what this calculation looks like:

$ 600 +( (50/100)* $ 600) = $ 600 + (0.5* $ 600) = $ 600 + $ 300 = $900

Now what happens when the piece is sold? In this example the venue takes a 50% commission off of the $ 900 retail price set by the artist:

Commission = (50/100) * $ 900 = $ 450.

The artist’s share is also only $ 450 and not the desired $ 600. The mathematically inaccurate method of “adding the percent on” used by many artists always underestimates the retail price and always underpays the artist.

But fear not! The calculator uses the magic of Algebra to calculate retail prices that give back the correct share to the artist.