Putting a price tag on your artwork is by no means a new conundrum, but it does gain an extra layer of complexity when you apply it to the world of NFTs; especially if you’re a bit of a novice. If you’ve ever Google searched ‘how to price NFT art’, chances are you’ve found yourself even more confused than when you started out—the rabbit hole’s confusing, at times contradictory, and most often it lacks any set ‘formula’ that you’ve come to expect from the traditional art world.
Here’s the thing; the game’s still early, NFTs are still tiptoeing the steps of mainstream notoriety, with no official ‘blueprint’ to turn to. And sure, there are successful peers in the space, but the confusing thing is none of them are like the other, making your first attempts at NFT pricing strategies extremely intimidating. Just look at NFT photography guides or similar instructional content, and you’ll see how incredibly diverse the industry is.
On one hand, pricing yourself a tad too high is risking some side-eyes. On the other, selecting too low of a price means it’ll be more difficult to raise your floor over time. If you’ve tried your hand in the traditional art world—selling photography prints, originals, negotiating brand collaborations and so on—then you definitely know the frustration. Not to mention, the price of Ethereum fluctuates basically every day. So what’s an artist got to do in this wildly uncharted territory?
Before we attempt to answer that question, we’d like to give a quick disclaimer; there is no one way to go about selling your art. You’re the artist, the creator, and you should do whatever feels right—totally your prerogative. However, based on what we’ve witnessed to be true by auditing the space, the transparency of sales, and a blockchain that proves the latter, here’s what we suggest.
Photo by Jackson So
Briefly about NFTs
NFTs and related concepts are thrown around so often and in such unique environments that it’s usually hard to wrap your head around the language. You’re likely to have engaged in a conversation with someone who has skin in the game too, resulting in you leaving the said exchange with a bunch of crypto-related concepts you’d need clearing up. Well, we’re here to clear them up.
NFTs stand for non-fungible tokens, which are designed to certify that a digital object is unique, and cannot be replaced by an identical item. Think of it like a notarized certificate stating that “this thing you bought is one of a kind and now you’re the only one who owns it”. However, instead of an actual person notarizing the sale as they would at an art show, for instance, your NFT certificate is verified through the blockchain that certifies that each token is legit.
So how to sell art as an NFT? Before the existence of these tokens, digital files were designed to be copied, shared, and mass-distributed, making it difficult to find a way to buy and sell digital art because there wasn’t really a way to own an exclusive piece. But with NFTs now you can own limited editions, and start buying and selling these pieces via these tokens. Digital artists now have the ability to sell their art, earning a privilege that artists working with physical mediums have enjoyed for centuries. Part of the promise of this new tech is that it connects artists directly with potential buyers on each platform, liberating creatives from dealing with galleries and auction houses. Essentially, there is something really delightful and exciting in an artist saying that they do not need the entire modern art world—one that’s filled with dealers, magazines, and art theory to be memorized—to put a stamp of value and goodness on their work.
And what’s with all the hype? Since NFTs make digital assets ownable, a whole new world of possibility has opened up for the market. Since the buyers can own the original item, ‘digital bragging rights’ are valued almost more than the item itself. And because art industries are so significantly influenced by what is happening in these markets, the fact that NFTs can potentially open up a whole new market of their own is exciting for industry people.
Photo by Quino AI
How to Price Your NFTs for Success
Enter small, but raise your floor steadily and regularly. Newly entering a space where large sums of money are exchanged every day—where artists like you are selling their work for tens of thousands of dollars and up—can be incredibly misleading. Too many artists enter the space under the impression that, just because others’ work is being purchased for large amounts of money, their work will automatically follow suit, garnering the same kind of attention and similar sales right off the bat. You should be able to see through that. What you have to do is set smaller NFT prices, make some sales, and only then take your pricing up over time. As you see yourself selling more frequently and consistently; this is when you should raise your floor.
Be patient. A lot of us are impatient to a fault. We tend to forget that the value of our artwork, especially if we’re talking long term, is not about a sale in the immediate. It might not happen for you in the first week, or even a month. Pieces can sit untouched for months before a collector finds them and sees them for their value, but patience is key at this stage. Your NFT sales will likely take time, but that is not something to be discouraged by. Unless you are already working full-time as an artist and selling out every drop in the physical space due to your strong clientele, you probably won’t sell everything within the first five minutes. Again, this does not mean that you need to rush and burn your tokens if they end up not selling quickly, nor does this mean that you need to listen to your discouragement. Try and hold on, be patient, and trust your vision; keep working while you’re at it too.
Leverage multiple marketplaces, and try to keep your NFT pricing somewhat consistent. Let’s get something clear; obviously, an edition of 10 or a collectible should not be priced the same as a 1:1, but that does not mean that a 1:1 should be listed for 0.1 ETH on one platform and 10 ETH on another. Keep in mind that your work is valuable across the board, regardless of where it is minted. Additionally, it might seem like going all-in on one platform is the best way to gain some sort of traction, but as time goes on it is becoming more difficult as some platforms take upwards of 6 months (even more sometimes) to accept the artwork. So don’t knock an open marketplace like Rarible or Opensea; do not disregard them just because they’re open. There are plenty of artists gaining outrageous success on these platforms—check the leaderboards if you don’t believe us. In the uncharted grounds that are NFTs, it is important to use all the available marketplaces to your advantage, especially as collectors are diversified across each of them.
Photo by Oleg Onchky
Do Market Research
One of the biggest mistakes a creator can make is price based on intuition; this is slightly different than what we’ve mentioned above. As a creator, it’s easy to make decisions based on what you think the value of your work is, but everything is pretty much speculation until you look closer at other NFTs and how the market is operating in general.
Market data is key. It is always a good idea to dive into different marketplaces and look at the floor prices of NFTs that are not only in the same realm as yours, but those that contrast yours as well. This should give you a good enough idea of what the average price of a particular type of NFT is; tailor your pricing to that and you got yourself a good start.
Check out the competition. Just looking at the prices of other NFTs out there on the market is not enough to price yours right. A good habit to keep in mind is also to look at different creators, how big their following is, and the frequency at which their work is being sold; that determines how popular they are in the market, which should give you a good idea of your own standing in comparison. You can also take a look at who their buyers are, especially if they are creating NFTs similar to your own. This will help you better frame who your target audience is, and allow you to get in-depth info about their spending habits as well as buying history.
Let your buyers decide. An alternative to going in with a set NFT pricing strategy is letting your buyers themselves. There have been a lot of creators who choose not to set a price on their NFTs and instead wait for potential buyers to make some offers. This is a good way to gauge what collectors are willing to pay, and can indicate a range to later turn to. Obviously, you don’t have to accept the offers if you don’t want to (especially if you feel that they are too low), but this can be a very useful means of collecting information from potential buyers. If you receive an offer that’s higher than what you’d expected, then go ahead and accept it; do not forget to share on your socials that someone purchased your work for said amount either, as this can solidify the perceived value of your NFT.
Create Product Value
Let’s forget about price and market fluctuations for a second. Is your product valuable? Or is it as valuable as it possibly can be? Remember that the NFT marketplace is filled with talented artists; there are more NFT items and fewer buyers for them which already devalues art somewhat. So how can you create and maintain the value?
Well, the answer here is to explore the NFT market and see what’s trending inside. Since the industry is largely dependent on hype and trends, keeping an eye on them and creating a trendy NFT collectible will be easier to sell at a higher price. This is not to say that your work should be all hype though. Staying true to yourself and bringing something original to the table is something that the NFT world values as well.
Check How Rare Your NFT Is
NFT marketplaces have every type of artwork, but as research has probably told you; there is something about rare artwork that sells like no other. Rare items usually garner massive sales, making the artists behind the work garner notoriety as a result. So at one point or another, you have to ask yourself ‘is my NFT rare enough’. By no means should this thought be discouraging; the NFT world is incredibly tricky to navigate, and there are works that sell better than others. It is just a matter of assessment.
Besides, NFTs are not the only route to selling your work online. Stock marketplaces are constantly in need of diverse and authentic content, be it imagery, videography, or vector art. You can submit your work to these marketplaces separately or start selling your photos online with Wirestock; a platform that gives you one-door access to said marketplaces.