Your cart

Your cart is empty

When To Offer Discounts As An Artist

When To Offer Discounts As An Artist

(Image credit:
Over the years I’ve offered many different types of discounts on my oil and acrylic paintings. I’ve done every type of bargain you can think of. I’ve taken percentages off the asking price on my paintings, I’ve done buy one get one frees, I’ve had studio sales and Spring-cleaning sales where I practically gave away my artwork for a song and dance, I’ve done raffles, I’ve done bulk discounts, I’ve done coupons, and I’ve thrown in freebies as a way to thank the customer.

I’ve learned a lot over the years in the way of discounts, and now that I’m a business owner of a paint party company, I’m very conscious of discounts and how that relates to the public perception of your company. I believe there’s a right time to offer a discount and a wrong time to offer a discount. Here are my beliefs on discounts and how I use them, if I use them at all.

1. When Should You Offer A Discount?
You shouldn’t be flying out of the gates offering customers discounts on your artwork or your creative services. You don’t want to reek of desperation. If a customer has never bought from you before or worked with you before, you don’t want to offer them a discount on your first encounter or else they’ll be expecting that discount every time you do business together. Not only that, but you don’t want to confuse your customers as to what the value of your artwork is in the beginning.

In essence, offering a discount is devaluing your product or service, but…sometimes it is right to offer a discount to a customer. I believe the only time you should offer discounts to customers is when a customer is super loyal or if you make a mistake somehow and you need to make it up to the customer in some way. The only other time I might offer a discount is when it’s a family member or close friend, but the discount is usually the same across 

2. Why Should I Offer A Discount?
The main reason to offer discounts is again, to reward customer loyalty or to compensate a customer in some way for a mistake you made. It also feels good to give back in some capacity and will ensure that customers come back knocking on your door for repeat business. Also, you want those customers that you made a mistake on to still sing praises about your reputation. Your reputation is everything in the art world, and if you want to increase the value of your personal brand, you need to continually be honoring your customers. Without customers you don’t have a business, so their happiness should be your top priority.

Don’t get discount happy however. You don’t want to offer discounts every day of the week or when someone just smiles at you. If you offer discounts too frequently this devalues the discount. You want your discount to mean something and you want to convey that meaning to your customer. You basically want to say to your customers, “Because you’ve done “X”, we’re giving you “Y””. You want your customers to feel special and like they’ve done something above and beyond the rest of the pack.
3. What Type Of Discount Should I Offer?
This really depends on the type of industry you’re in and how you want to make the discount sound. In my experience, I’ve found that percentage discounts for loyal customers and family and friend discounts work really well. When you get into coupons and discount codes, you sound like a run of the mill type business that offers every day discounts. I always like to sound like a company that offers premium products and services at an affordable price, although that’s just my personal inclination.

I’ve also found that throwing in a little something extra is a great way to foster customer appreciation. I know this isn’t a discount, but sometimes it can be more effective than a discount. In the painting world, if I knew a customer was torn between buying an original painting and a matted print, I would tell them, “If you buy the original painting, I’ll throw in the print for free!”. This would work more often than none, and although I would have lost money on the print, I sold a higher ticket item and gained a happy loyal customer in the process.
To Wrap Up
What are some of the ways that you offer discounts to customers? Have you had some discounts work better than others? I’d love to hear your thoughts! To leave a comment, click on the blue “comments” link underneath the Facebook and Twitter buttons where you can leave a reply.  Thanks for tuning in friends!

-JJ Long
Previous post
Next post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published