To sell or not to sell? Pricing strategies of newly-graduated artists



Lee B, Fraser I & Fillis I (2022) To sell or not to sell? Pricing strategies of newly-graduated artists. Journal of Business Research, 145, pp. 595-604.

The paper investigates the pricing strategies of newly-graduated artists and identifies innovative strategies more suited to achieving sustainable practice. Our work is novel in investigating the drivers of discrepancies between artists’ willingness-to-accept (WTA) and potential customers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP). Using mixed-methods, we explore the viewpoints of the ‘public’, by survey, and of ‘newly-graduated artists’ and ‘intermediaries’, by interviews, and interrogate price lists and sales records. Newly-graduated artists find pricing challenging, leading to ‘underpricing’ or ‘over-pricing’. Few artists make sales, reflecting discrepancies between WTA and WTP. Our work has theoretical and practical implications. Pricing reflects the ‘endowment effect’ (Thaler, 1980) and Bourdieu’s ‘avant-garde’ circuit. Our results imply a need for educational institutions and other intermediaries to offer more advice to newly-graduated artists who might benefit from adopting forms of personalized or participative pricing such as ‘Pay What You Want’ and, given the emergence of digital markets, contemporary techniques such as ‘action rules’.

Pricing; Contemporary art; Newly-graduated artists; Endowment effect

Journal of Business Research: Volume 145

Publication date30/06/2022
Publication date online19/03/2022
Date accepted by journal15/03/2022
PublisherElsevier BV

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Professor Ian Fraser

Professor Ian Fraser

Emeritus Professor, Accounting & Finance