Sliding scale is a fee structure that gives some flexibility in the price of goods or services. I have incorporated this structure into the pricing of all of my goods to make them more accessible to collectors like you. I have been the collector that is barely scraping by but really connected with a piece &/or want to support the artist and I have also been in periods of steady income where I can pay on the higher end of a fee structure to better support their craft and passion. Because these dualities exist far and wide within our communities, having a fixed price on an item became something I was no longer connected to, so incorporating sliding scale prices became the standard for me.
Here is more information from http://www.wortsandcunning.com/blog/sliding-scale who has made the green bottle imagery as well! Such a fantastic resource
General guidelines about how I currently price my sliding scale and to help you determine where you fall on it.
The highest dollar cost reflects the true cost of the artwork. It is the cost that I would charge in the absence of a sliding scale. If you have access to financial security, own property or have personal savings, you would not traditionally qualify for sliding scale services. If you are able to pay for "wants" and spend little time worried about securing necessities in your life, you have economic privilege and power in our community. This price is for you.
The middle cost (when there is one) reflects the my acknowledgement that paying the full cost would prevent some folks from being able to aquire these works, but who do not honestly find themselves reflected in either descriptions for the highest cost or the lowest. If you are struggling to conquer debt or build savings or move away from paycheck to paycheck living but have access to steady income and are not spending most of your time thinking about meeting basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, child care, etc., you belong here. If you, however, can ask others for financial support, such as family members, partners, or friends, please consider using those personal resources before you use the resources of the sliding scale and limit opportunities for others.
The bottom cost represents an honest acknowledgment that there are folks whose economic circumstances would prevent them from being able to acquire this artwork if there was not a deliberate opportunity made for them to access these that is reflective of their economic realities. If you struggle to maintain access to needs such as health care, housing, food, child care, and are living paycheck to paycheck or are in significant debt, you belong probably belong here and you deserve a community that honors your price as equal an economic offering as the person who can pay the highest tier. Even when the lower tier is still prohibitive, I will work with folks to offer extended payment plans and other solutions.
Typically, there is a limited amount slots for products, services, and classes offered at the middle and lower end of the scale. Please be mindful that if you purchase a price at the lowest end of the scale when you can truthfully afford the higher ticket prices, you are limiting access to those who truly need the gift of financial flexibility. Being honest with yourself and your financial situation when engaging with sliding scale practices grows strong and sustainable communities. It also respects the work of teachers and creators, like myself, you have families to support and rent to pay. Additionally, when I am paid fairly, I am able to invest more time and resources to free and lower cost offerings.