All the time I was trying to improve my work--trying new things, seeing what worked. Then I did some research and learned that pricing art low often makes it seem less purchase-worthy to buyers, even if they like the piece. So they don't buy.
A few years later, when I was working full time and could afford it, I hired an art consultant. She did a lot for my art career. What she did not do is give me good advice about pricing my work. Maybe she thought I was aiming to be represented by a gallery. Not sure, but she gave me this formula for pricing that shot the rates up to ten times what I'd been asking.
I knew that wouldn't work, so I cut it in half. This brought the largest pieces down to $750 or so (24x30). I tried those prices out for about a year and sold almost nothing! The following spring, I made some drastic changes.
Nothing in my inventory was priced any higher than $500. Since I sell all my work framed and ready to hang, this makes my profit margin kind of slim. With the smallest pieces going for less than $200, though, my sales started to grow. Finally I was back in the black once more because I was moving multiple works at most every show.
My lesson learned? If you are not in galleries, don't fool yourself into thinking you can get thousands of dollars for your work. It just doesn't happen that way in my experience. Perhaps the very best painters at shows will get over a thousand, but that is rare, and their work should be in galleries (and might be).