Mitchell Spain | Episode 244
Mitchell Spain received his BFA and MFA in ceramics at The University of Iowa and the University of Kansas respectively. He has exhibited nationally and internationally receiving awards for his trompe l’oeil ceramic works. He currently resides near Des Moines, Iowa working as a full-time studio artist.
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When you are pricing your work how do you determine what a customer is willing to pay for it?
Honestly, I just guess. I guess what I would pay for it and what I think it’s worth based on what the piece is. That has come from going too low and going too high at certain points and kind of meeting n the middle where it seems like I’m selling at a good rate.
What kind of customer are you targeting specifically?
I would say I am mostly targeting collectors, ceramic collectors because people who are just interested in functional pieces I don’t think would use some of my work as much as I would like them to. So I would say collectors.
How much does your competitors pricing affect the way you price your work?
I definitely look at competitor’s pricing but generally I just have my prices and kind of stick to them no matter what. I don’t really change them and I can’t because of galleries. I can’t have a certain price here and a lower price there. I have done a lot of research over the years as to prices and what I feel my stuff is worth.
Do you offer different levels of pricing for different markets?
No, not generally. It is usually all the same across the board. With the internet you almost always have to have prices the same everywhere.
So then do you ever give any kind of discount just to get a new customer?
I will have discounts on Etsy, which I announce on Instagram. I have done one this year and I will probably do another at some point because the sales jumped quite a bit. Which also gives a good indication of where my prices need to be. If I get a lot of sales at 15 percent off then I know that this is a much more reachable price for most people.
Does that affect your relationship with the galleries when they see the discount coming with the sales?
I am not sure. I haven’t heard anything negative coming at me for that. I know a lot of them offer discounts to their customer base. Usually it’s a ten percent discount but it comes out of their end.
If you could have a billboard and it could say anything you wanted it to say on it , where would you put that billboard and what would it say?
I would probably put it wherever NCECA was that year it would probably say like my website just like the good old days. Just trying to pull on those nostalgic strings.