Offer An Upgrade to Boost Art Sales

Businesses everywhere are offering upgrades and there’s a reason. Customers like upgrades! They like knowing that there are better (or at least more) options available to them. Most artists aren’t offering upgrades, but you can be among the first.

Upgrades not only bring you more money, they also provide your fans with another level of service. YOU know what you have available, but additional options aren’t always made clear to those who are buying from you.

Let me give you an idea of what upgrades might look like for an artist.

Julie Miller | Fresh Air Lobby. Painting. ©The Artist.
Julie Miller, Fresh Air Lobby.
Oil on canvas. ©The Artist


  • Class only
  • Class + one-hour private consultation or critique
  • Class + a copy of your book or extensive, bound notes
  • Class + DVD tutorial


  • Pair of earrings
  • Pair of earrings + matching necklace
  • Earrings in precious instead of semi-precious stones


  • Artwork
  • Artwork + fine reproduction of work
  • Artwork + set of custom holiday cards with new owners’ names printed on them

This last example came from my INSIGHTS teleseminar guest and portrait artist Michael Shane Neal. Shane often donates a “head and shoulders” portrait to charity auctions. But he doesn’t leave it at that. The winner gets the option of upgrading to, say, a larger or 3/4-length portrait, and Shane reaps the financial benefit of that upgrade. You can get that entire interview with Shane here.

I imagine that upgrades work best in an online shopping cart because it’s so easy to click on impulse. However, you can add upgrades to any printed order form. You can also mention them in person. In your sales booth or studio, post a large sign or place flyers on a table mentioning the options.

Two last things about upgrades:

1. Don’t offer too many options and make sure the options are quite different and easy to distinguish among. Anything you do to confuse the buyer might lead to a lost sale.

2. You can give a small price break for the upgrade, but an upgrade is NOT a sale or a bonus. Don’t give things away! Gifts are different than upgrades. Upgrades exist to help you make more money.

KNOW THIS———-~> Offering upgrades can help you make more money. And this is my mission this year: to help you make more money.

THINK ABOUT THIS—~> Upgrades are probably something your buyers hadn’t considered or even known about. You have to tell them.

DO THIS————~> Offer upgrades to increase your bottom line.

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