Selling Art to Affluent Buyers

Selling art to rich buyers

Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was right.

For one thing, the rich have money. Enough money to buy original art from you without putting it on a revolving credit card. Here are some demographics worth knowing. 

Don't leave before you check out the cool, useful infographics at the bottom of the page. 

There are approximately 123 million households in the U.S. If you break them up into five segments, you find there are about 28 million households in the top 20 percent. You want to target this top segment simply because that is where the money is. These folks have the discretionary income to buy your art.

This top 20% of households can be further broken down into a couple of important segments based on their income.

Meet the HENRYs and the Ultra-wealthy. HENRY is an acronym for high-earners-not-rich-yet. They earn about $100,000 to $249,999 annually. Some call them the mass-affluent class. 

You have heard of the 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle. It applies remarkably across nearly anything you can count. Did you know 80% of traffic in Chicago travels on 20% of the roads, and on and on? It's not a hard fast rule, we can see that we within this top 20% of incomes in the U.S.

Breaking Down the Top 20% Households in Annual Earnings 

  • Just slightly less than 90% or about 25 million households are defined as HENRYs. 
  • The top 3 million ultra-affluent earners have incomes of  $250,000 and higher. These folks are targeted by high-end luxury brands, and auction houses such as Christies and Sothebys.

Pam Danziger is a researcher and president of marketing consulting firm Unity Marketing, Stevens, Pa. She is internationally recognized for her expertise on the world's most influential consumers: the American Affluent. Some of the above statistics are courtesy of her work. 

You can learn more by reading Quirk's Marketing Research report which provides an outline of her in-depth reporting. Go here for an interesting read to learn about:

  • ​X-Fluents
  • Aspirers
  • Cocooners
  • Butterflies
  • Temperate Pragmatics

Some of these segments are likely to represent better prospects for your art. But, it really depends on how your art appeals to a segment. For instance, X-fluents want to live life large and express themselves through what they own. Butterflies are into experiential lifestyles valuing experiences over material things.  However, if you art reminds them of a zip line tour of Costa Rica, you may have a solid in with this group. Study the report for more details on how these segments match up to your art.

You can get Danziger’s full report What Do HENRYs Want?: Reaching the Most Important Affluent Demographic: High-Earners-Not-Rich-Yet on Amazon Kindle for only $7.99. While you are there, check out her author page. She has some books with slightly dated research on sale for as little as $.01. 

Studying these demographics will help, no doubt. However, I think what it takes to sell art to the affluent are these two things:

  • ​Attitude
  • Access

Please Download and Share These Free Infographics

You are welcome to download and use both infographics.  Tips for Selling Art to the Affluent provides timely pointers for when you are selling and marketing. The Selling Art to Affluent Buyers infographic offers useful insights into the income and different lifestyle personalities of the affluent market. 

People buy from those they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST. They buy on emotion. Buying art is not a logic-based decision. There may be logic in deciding if there is a budget and where will it hang or sit, but make no mistake the driving force is emotion. When you put it together that they like your artwork, and they like you, and they are a HENRY or above, you probably have a sale or, at least, a darn good prospect.

Understanding the nature and inclinations of your target audience gives you an edge over your competitors who lack insights into the buying motivations of their top prospects. 

Grab these infographics with my compliments!

CLICK HERE to get your free download.

Infographic Sell to Affluent Market