In the comments on a recent post about giving buyers too many choices, artist Eric Saint Georges asked
In a show: What about the bins? Would you also limit the number of pieces in the bins? On one hand too many pieces can be overwhelming, one the other hand people looking in the bins are likely more interested…
I have mixed feelings about bins. I know that for a lot of artists, the bins become the bread and butter at many shows. My concern is that adding a bunch of art into the mix at a show with a bin, can interfere with sales of other work on two levels. First, the work in the bins is likely to be at a much lower price point, and second, you are making it harder for clients to make a purchasing decision for the reasons mentioned in this post.
For artists doing a lot of shows, I would highly recommend experimenting with the bin. Put the bin out at half of your next 10 shows, and leave it in the studio for the other half. See how the presence or lack of the bin affects your profitability for the shows. There can be some variation just by the nature of the different shows, but you should have some pretty good data at the end of 10 shows.
I predict that most artists will see an increase in the sales of major works if the bin isn’t in the booth as a distraction.
Do you Sell Art Out of Bins at Shows?
If not, why not? If so, what have you found to be the effect of having a bin? Are bin sales an important part of your typical show revenue? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.