Should I display prices on website?

I have been having a really difficult time trying to decide if it is
better to put prices on my web site, or to ask to be e-mailed for
price and availability. Has anyone tried both, and did one or the
other? lead to more sales?? (I have no other sales venue).

On the one hand, I think that people like to see prices and
eliminate the extra ‘work’ required to write? an email, wait for an
answer and simply move on if they don’t see a price. On the other, I
feel that I have more control over the situation (especially if
prices change) and also more flexibility, and I get a opportunity to
communicate with someone who is interested --it gives me a chance to
suggest something else if the original item isn’t available–sort of?
like talking to a person at a show or in a shop. It also clues me in
to what kind of items people are? interested in.

Am I missing something? Would really like to hear your experiences
and ideas.

Elegant Insects Jewelry


I’m a buyer not a seller and unless it’s a piece that I’ve been
looking for all of my life I will not pause at a site without prices
listed. There’s so much wonderful jewelry available, I don’t have to
jump through hoops to have immediate My comment from
the peanut gallery.

I’ve gone to many Orchid members’ sites and they are elegant and very
upscale with the unlisted prices and a comment, price upon request.
Save that for the Rockefellers.


If you put obstacles in the way of the prospective customer’s making
a purchase (making them email you to get prices), there are dozens
(hundreds) of other jewelry sites that are ready and waiting to take
money from that customer you just lost.


I have to chime in personally, I hate having to ask the artist what
the prices are, because if it’s out of my range for now, then I then
have to either admit I can’t afford it, risk insinuating that the
price is too high or the piece not worth it by just saying “ok thank
you”, or not respond at all. Awkward. Thus, unless a piece is
something I just MUST possess, I will pass by unless I can see the
cost myself.


My preference is to show prices. Two reasons; number one, the buyer
can see right away if the price suits them, and also, doesn’t have to
pester you (or be pestered) for pricing. I’ve taken it one step
further, to placing PayPal Buy It Now buttons on my knife site.
Nothing like waking up in the morning and getting online to see
‘Boom, you just sold a $500 knife while you were asleep!’.



Every obstacle you can remove to make it easier for a client to buy
from you helps.

Unlike in a store environment where you can open a line of
communication with someone to discover things they like and a price
range they are comfortable in, you do not have that advantage in most
cases with a website.

Many people will not ask for a price on something for fear of being
pressured into a sale.

When you list prices and an easy checkout system it takes the
pressure of the buying decision.

If you have doubts, why don’t you try both methods on your website.
Offer some of your items with a price and checkout button and some
with an email link that prompts the custom to email for more
Then you can see which one works best for your

Good Luck
Greg DeMark

Hello Sandra,

In the past, this question has been discussed to death regarding
displays at shows. I don’t think there is any absolute answer, so
you’ll take the input and decide what makes sense to you.

Personally, I like prices to be visible. Unless something is just
incredible, my tendency is to pass on by without asking for the
price. And on a website, the same holds true. If you’re concerned
about volatile metal prices having an effect on pricing your work, I
see a couple options. You could do some extra “tech” stuff that ties
your price to current metal prices. Or, follow the lead of catalogues
(Rio, Stuller, IJS) that note the price is based on $X.00 silver or
gold - and is subject to change.

Now, what if metal prices took a sudden drop, would you adjust your
prices downward?? Probably not, so I think the answer is to build in
enough margin so that a few dollars difference in the market will
not have much effect on your price. You are selling your design and
skill, not just the metal.

Well, there it is - just MHO,

Judy in Kansas, where it’s been three days of dreary weather. Got
out the woolen sox to wear.

Personally, if there is no pricing, I move on, and probably never
visit again. If the potential customer is interested after seeing the
price, they’ll communicate. BTW, if the original item isn’t
available, why is it still on the web site?

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ

From a customer’s perspective, if the intent of your website is to
sell pieces (as opposed to serving simply as a portfolio or
gallery), I think you need to have the prices listed, even if it’s
simply a matter of breaking down the categories of items and saying
something like “earrings starting at $75” or whatever.

Stores/websites that don’t show prices send the “if you have to ask,
you can’t afford it” signal to me. I’m not going to bother starting
up a correspondence about a product if I’m not 95% sure that I’m
going to buy it – otherwise I feel like I’m wasting my time and the
artist’s time – and I can’t make that decision without knowing the
price, or at least a general range. I’d have to be totally,
irretrievably in love with something to get past that barrier. And
it’s not that I can’t afford it, because I probably can figure out a
way to make it work if I really, really want it. (Assuming we’re not
talking $100K diamond bracelets here.) But having to ask for a price
makes me feel like I’m at a disadvantage, some kind of supplicant
(as per your “control” comment). And I don’t like being in that
position as a customer. Chances are there are other things out there
that I would be equally happy spending my splurge money on, sold by
people who make it easy to buy from them.

As an artist, I wouldn’t want to spend a chunk of my time answering
queries about prices, either. I’d rather be in the studio creating.

I don’t understand the comment about “flexibility.” If a price
changes, it’s a simple matter to update the price on your website.



I too have faced the same question. Most of what I do is custom so
posted prices are not an option, besides I need some feedback as to
what they really want. It is amazing what you can learn even from

A stock piece sitting on a shelf and I would post the price. I do
mention the starting range $ for custom work, it does tend to reduce
the inquiries for a 20$ piece.

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

Display prices, absolutely. If you are working with a decent web
program, changing them as necessary is no problem. Just as you would
remove an item that has sold, you change the price if you need to.

The next step is to be sure and include a way for them to buy
directly from the web site. This is a step I have not been able to
make work with my current web design program, and it is definitely a
problem! I’m working on learning Dreamweaver, so I can add buy it
now buttons, etc.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio

Sandra, one of the first rules of sales is to make it as easy as
possible for someone to purchase your goods. You have a very short
time window once you have a potential customer’s attention… all of
this is to say I’d go with putting prices up.

Lisa Van Herik

as far as price fluctuation, I see that on all precious matels some
dealers have that current pricing depends on the precious metal
standars, However NOT being in any of ya’ll’s calliber yet, I will
tell you from a consumer stand point (the movie, confessions of a
shopoholic, was about me, lol) I like a price because if I go online
I usually am looking at a buy right then, and also from a major
background in sales and marketing in all avenues you can imagine, the
majority of purchases are impulse, this is a fact based statistic
driven in my head, by my media mentors. IMHO, I have approached
sales for what I make, the same as clothing (my adopted family are a
line of ranchers and farmers) all markets whether it be cooton, corn,
metal or precious or otherwise I have a set price that hopefully
copes with a foreseeable rise in materials, but not one that chokes
the client. This just how I approach it.

I got burned badly in one view of a charitable event that I had
donated to last year. I also got feelings hurt and very scottishly
mad. I made (now remember I am rehabilitating a hand during all this
too after 2 hours long surgeries, and this was known and used by the
organization) I know there are people from my area on here, but they
surely will appreciate what happened. This is an organization that
benifits children.

Ok, I made a pair of drop Byzantine earrings with garnet at the
bottom and a matching 7 1/2 in bracelet all metal in everything was
either 18 kt plated or rhodium plated sterling. I pair of simple
maille drop gold earring, both sets of earrings were almost shoulder
level( they were formal) I had some raw smoothed, for lack of a
better description, turquoise laying around and made a necklace
earring set out of this that had one person ask " you’re just gonna
give this to us?"

It was elegant, triple stranded to the pendent of blue and green
major matrixed turquoise, I didn’t skimp but went all out, cause I
will do anything for kids. they had collectable art being raffled
and silent auctioned as well as a regular auction and I was told,
they werent gona silent auction OR raffle my stuff it was way too
good for that (well yeah) NOW the whole idea was I wanted to help
them bring some money for these kids, I would have sold this set
alone for at least $1500 at least. To make a long story short, we
went as benefactors, and watched all this we got there my jewelry was
in the silent part with bird houses and clocks and irons (first slap)
starting bid $5. 00 (2nd slap) ALL pieces lumped together (hair now
on fire) we drove it up as best we could, but David said “honey this
is a lesson, you have to let it go we aren’t buying back your
stuff”. We had bought a bunch of art to begin with in the live
auction where they drove prices well over several hundred dollars for
each piece (that too was well…)

I will say this I got some wall art I really am happy with, but was
so sorely disappointed in the way they lost money on what I had
donated and a woman walked away with it all for $75. she was the
presidents girlfriend. I am NOT saying anything, just something I
noticed…am I being catty? no, mad and scottish. will never
forget. will never donate to them again. BUT I learned a really good
lesson theres nothing wrong with being a control freak as an artist,
its your baby. just remember alot of the great painters starved to
death from lack of sales, the greatest one of all Modigliani, was
killed for debts. I won’t allow prices to stress me anymore because
it takes the fun from all of this. I start out on a piece and let my
mind just go, when I finish and price it, I have to kill my maternal
instincts over it and approach it as a business person, Fine art
prices fluctuate worse than our economy, are you in it for the art?
OR to make a living? thats my final question.

I dont have my website up yet because of all the physical stuff AND
it looks like I may have to fight for my name back. What we do is
art, I myself need an income when my husband retires, CYA is the
standard all business sales mentors I have had have drilled into my
head, never paint yourself into a corner, in todays times it isn’t
easy to guess what to price, but I myself always CMA and leave a
small opening to reinvest to make more pieces. I guess this long long
winded email is asking you to ask yourself, can you afford the sales
delay? If your site is marketed properly as far as exposure then
maybe, I don’t know your finances. I am always going to go for the
sale the close (that’s me) a hesitant salesman is a broke salesman.
That’s just IMHO… hope nobody is mad at me.

Here’s one opinion: When prices are not posted, I assume they must
be exorbitant and shop elsewhere. I have never emailed to inquire.



I am sure I can not be the only person, but nothing irritates me
more to adore a piece I want to buy and then go looking for a price
to see if it is within my desired budget to spend than to not be able
to find a price for it. For this reason I will not purchase it no
matter how much I love it because I have no clue what the price is
and I dont want any surprises at the time of trying to purchase just
to find out a price. just my 2 cents,


I see too many times where people put discounted prices and they are
not “retail like”.

Example, don’t have $605.00 for ANYTHING. $599. Price under major

David S. Geller

You betcha, if I have to email for a price I’m outta there.

I'm a buyer not a seller and unless it's a piece that I've been
looking for all of my life I will not pause at a site without
prices listed. Save that for the Rockefellers. 

I Totally disagree, if a person does not have time to email an artist
for a price they do not want the piece. Prices change daily and it is
hard to update prices all the time. I do not have time for that. Even
the Rockefellers understand the price changes of gold and silver. The
people that want to see a price are the same ones that will get mad
when you say the price is more because gold is higher. Of course if
you sell through your site with a shopping cart then you have to show
prices. It’s the same conversation we had awhile back about showing
prices, some would go to a store that show prices and pay more than
go into a store that does not and ask a price.

Bill Wismar

I display prices on my website because as a consumer I want and need
to know how much things cost. I have been in the situation as a
consumer where I see something in a window and think, " I want that,
but I know I can’t afford it." I’m prodded by a friend to try it on
or ask the price just for fun and sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised
that I can afford it OR if I can’t, I know how much money I need to
save up to get it.


I agree…when the seller does not list the price,I will just pass
it up, There are to many items in life to buy with the cash in my
purse (and this goes for anything,not just jewelry) unless its mind
boggling…i will ask but only for info purpose only as ill most
likely not buy it. which means the seller looses…