Art Sales Strategy: Create Urgency

Shoppers will be more motivated if they feel there is a strong reason to buy your art or handmade work now.


Outdoor Art Festival. Shows offer a good opportunity to incentivize shoppers to buy.


These selling strategies help to create a sense of urgency, encouraging buyers to pull out their wallets and make the commitment to buy now.

Art, by it’s very nature, is not available in unlimited quantities. Thus, you can use scarcity to make the sale more urgent.

One-of-a-kind. If your work of art is unique, and there is nothing else like it, then clearly there is a single opportunity to make the purchase. After that, it’s gone. Make sure to let shoppers know if you make one-of-a-kind work; this can also add value to the piece you are selling.

Limited edition. You make your creative work in production, or have reproductions made, but have chosen to limit the edition to a fairly small number. Collectors will have to make the commitment now to avoid missing out – this is especially effective if your art is collectible.

Time sensitivity. With the clock running, customers must make up their mind before one of these benefits expires:

Special pricing. Are you offering a discount, or a special sale? Set a specific end date, and stick to it. Let your customers know that the sale is over this Friday, and remind them shortly before the cutoff. Everyone likes a sale; but make sure to use this strategy sparingly, to avoid the problem of regular customers always waiting for the next discount.

Free shipping. Shipping costs annoy just about everyone, and this bonus can really motivate your customers. If your work is fairly heavy, you might want to build at least part of the shipping cost into the price. Free shipping overcomes an objection and helps smooth the way for the purchase to be made. And when your free shipping offer expires, they will have to pay the freight.

Free bonus with purchase. Do you offer a bonus or special gift with a purchase of a particular size? Make it time-sensitive as well and entice shoppers to buy it now.

Sometimes deadlines already exist. Use them to help you sell.

Upcoming holiday. Christmas is coming. Perhaps your last day to purchase, have the work gift-wrapped and drop-shipped to a third party is today. This can apply to Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or other holiday as well. If you work is a great fit as a gift, advertise this offer or use signage in your retail show booth. Make sure to have deadlines figured out ahead of time before you attend selling events, and close more sales.

Other deadline. Your conversations with shoppers may lead to information that allows you to set a deadline. Are they moving into a new home, and need art installed? Are they hosting a party and doing some redecorating? Are they attending an important event and need a spectacular piece of jewelry? Use this information to set deadlines for purchase in order to deliver, make commissioned work, arrange for installation, etc. Each time you are ready to speak about the urgency to make the purchase now, you have increased your opportunity for a sale.


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