In Part 1, I mentioned changing my car battery and I hope I didn’t give the wrong impression. I did some research after that post to compare prices on the battery and yes, my estimate of what it would’ve cost to do it myself was extremely low. I didn’t want anyone thinking that I’d allowed myself to be gouged.
That said, let’s continue.
Aside from the cost of the battery, I paid for a service. The cost of this service was the investment back into my own time. Realize this: any time you pay for a service, you are getting back your own time because yes, given enough time, you can figure out how to do nearly anything yourself whether it be changing a car battery or getting a picture framed.
When you do what you love, you start to see services that other people provide as a valuable commodity. To further this, here’s an article that says service-based businesses have faired better than product-based businesses during the recession. Part 3 will take a deeper look into this, but I wanted to give you some time to think about the article.
Clos, a local, family owned office supply store in town, is a wonderful shop to do business with. We have larger chain stores in the area whose prices are lower, but do you know why I prefer Clos over the rest? Because I get great service from them. They deliver to us and if we have a bizarre request, they bend over backwards to help us out. They love what they do. They love their business. It shows.
Rounding this back to art, how does service play in? We discussed framers in the last post. There’s also galleries. Some people don’t enjoy selling their art. Galleries provide them a service by selling the art for them and this service is paid for through the commission.
An artist isn’t thought of as a service provider, but they are. Much like the guy who came out to replace my battery gave me a product and a service, the artist does the same thing, The finished artwork is the product, but service comes in the form of education, experience, emotion, and time. Service can also be preparing an item for shipping, cataloging a piece for future valuation, blogging and other marketing to promote work, and everything else that goes into investing in an art career that results in profitability for the collector.
Products are just products until someone invests time as service into them.