Hey Kit Lens, start by telling us where you're at physically, so we can at least get the currency right. There is a lot that goes into pricing a print, and depending on what your end goal is. Things like taxes and such also have to come into play, so keep that in mind. Here's the pieces that you should add up to figure out a price:
- Start with the frame, generally speaking you paid retail for it, so since you out out money in advance, plus have to keep it in pristine shape. Charge 2-2.5x the retail price for the frame. Don't factor in discounts or such, as you need to keep your pricing steady, and that frame special won't be there when you have 10 prints on order at an already agreed to price.
- Next, decide on matting, as it does speak to how you value the work. It also costs more, so it may be worth learning how to cut your own mats. Roll it into the frame price, but if you're cutting your own mats, budget for a mis-cut every 2-3 sheets.
- Are you printing in house or having them printed elsewhere? This matters a lot, as a lab can get you consistent prints at a price, but you aren't on the hook for the printer, ink and hopefully not that many test or problem prints. In house gives you a lot of control, but does your target customer care? Ink is liquid gold, and maintaining a printer can get expensive if you come across print head issues or such. If you have a lab print, charge 2-3x your cost, if you're printing in house, figure out your cost per page (including the printer) & multiply by 3 or 4.
- What are you doing to thank the local businesses that let you use their walls? Budget for a print or two for them to keep for their home, or offer up coffee for the office or a lunch delivery. If they love you, that love shows to a customer who may be looking at the print. You haven't said how you collect money from the sale, are you relying on the business to take that and pass it along to you?
- What marketing collateral do you have on hand for someone to walk away with? Business cards, flyers, QR code to scan? If someone wants a different colored frame, how do they get in contact with you to make it personal?
- What are you doing to make this whole thing worth your time, effort and fronting the money? Even if it's just $5, build it in to every piece. You're not going to get rich, but you need to define that value.
So, that gives you:
Frame retail cost ( X 2 to 2.5)
+ Print cost ( X 2 to 4)
+ % for thanking host business
+ $ for you
General idea of where to start (before taxes & fees)
Expect that you'll have to eat a few frames and prints now and then, based on any number of different issues. Broken frames happen, prints get marked, imperfections you didn't see before purchasing will turn up and you have to deal with it.
Remember, you can always discount, but you'll have a hard time raising prices. Also, make sure you have a stated return policy, as in you'll work to make them happy, but sales are final. If you need to swap a print or frame, it's not a total loss where as a cash refund ends up costing you.