Pay What You Will Pricing: Intriguing and Controversial
I want to get you up to date on the discussion about PWYWP ("pay what you want" pricing) so you can see if it's a technique that you would like to use in your sales and marketing for your artwork. The idea is that you present a piece of your art to the public or a client and then offer them the opportunity to set the pricing based on what it's worth to them. You may need to show pricing of other work so that the client has some idea of what your normal pricing is like otherwise they may not make an offer because they are afraid to go too low or too high. You offer them the opportunity to be generous - and the good vibes are flowing because you are being generous just by offering to take payment in this way. Sounds like an amazing experience huh?
Don't let the name of this method scare you - you can always set a minimum price (especially to cover materials and shipping) but this method of selling work can be quite interesting because it breaks down barriers and promotes sharing between you and your fans/clients. I took the time to listen to a webinar on The Abundant Artist that you can also access here: http://theabundantartist.com (It's an hour and 25 minutes but totally interesting!).
The type of work that you choose to use PWYW pricing should be suitable in that you don't want to feel remorse or heart break over giving away a masterpiece, though ultimately you can do whatever you like! You can experiment with work that you are less attached to and see how it goes. Then if it goes well you can take a bigger risk : ) Play it by ear!
Here are some interesting ways that this payment style can be put into action. Via auction - to the highest bidder or by asking people to email you and tell you why they value the piece so you can decide based on who you think will love the piece the most. You can use a paypal service called Payhip.com in order to set this up or you can use GumRoad.com which allows you to take credit card ( for a fee).
One example from the webinar I mentioned is an artist called Scott Hynd who would release one piece of work every couple of weeks on Instagram that is for sale with the Pay What You Want method. He has it listed on his website as well here: http://www.scotthynd.com.