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Pain Based Pricing

What’s the most important thing about a completely unimportant subject you know? People like Arrigo Sacchi would have you think it has something to do with football. For me, it’s my own comment on a random person’s TikTok account going viral. Please take a moment to collect your thoughts after such “shocking” news.

The creator’s name is Abraham Piper, and he talked about how he prices his paintings since his income comes from elsewhere and he doesn’t need the money, but regularly sells his paintings anyway.

In a nutshell, he doesn’t consider either his time or materials as relevant for pricing his art. Instead, he checks his internal, subjective pain of letting go of a particular piece, and adds numbers in his head until he feels like he would be less sad to lose it if he got that amount for it.

And people

It was 1 AM when I heard it and I was genuinely impressed, so all I commented was “Pain-based pricing. Inspired😁” and that comment got more attention and engagement than anything else I have ever published, combined. Such is life😁.

Sure, the price should cover the costs, but beyond that? In my view, Abraham’s way of pain-based pricing is not at all limited to selling art. 

When devising a price for a service that would take away one weekend a month, isn’t it relevant just how sad you would be to lose that weekend? I feel there should be room in our pricing to reflect our humanity.

Want a real-world example that his works?

Check out Abraham’s original TikTok post here. If you are also interested in how come this kind of simple idea, “your pricing should reflect how you feel about selling this” can manage to sound avant-garde, check out the last part of my podcast discussion with Kelsey Frick, where we talk about why all education gets us to undervalue our own work, and what to do about it.

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