Other artist pricing me out of the market

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Posted by Miss Monica on July 10, 2001 at 00:27:20:

What do I do about another local artist who is practicaly giving her
work away when we are at the same events? She is a young Indian (I
think) gal and her work is really gorgeous, but she is charging $3 for
big, elaborate designs that I would charge $20-$25 for! Seriously, $3!
I know another artist who works with her sometimes and she said she has
encouraged this girl to raise her prices, but to no avail. She seems
like a nice young lady, but it is so frustrating to have customers tell
me I am charging too much (when I know my prices are fair for Southern
CA) because she is undercharging. She is screwing herself (she is good
enough to be making the big bucks), screwing me, and screwing any other
artist who later loses someone's patronage because a customer expects
to get great henna dirt cheap.

I don't know why she is charging so little. Maybe she doesn't value her
excellent work, but if she doesn't nobody else will either. Maybe she
doesn't believe people will pay more. I just don't know. Maybe it comes
so easy to her and she is so fast that she can do a $20 design and make
a great profit at $3. Seems unlikely to me, but even if that is true
she is still lowering the profit bar for herself and others.

My partner and I have talked about maybe trying to make friends with
her and then asking her to join us at an event (and charge our prices
of course), so she can see that she can make so much more money than
she has been. She always seems to be working alone, and we wonder if
maybe she isn't a little lonely anyway. Is this a bad idea? She
doesn't seem inexperienced, and she is certainly not ignorant of other
artist's prices, so I'm not sure that befriending her would solve my
problem.(In any case, I always like to be friends with the other henna
artists in and around LA. We're a nice bunch 'O people!)

So, what the heck do I say to her? I don't want her to think I am being
mean to her or I'm just a money-grubber, but she is bringing the local
market down! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


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