Are Prismacolor Colored Pencils Cheap Art Supplies?

Are Prismacolor Colored Pencils Cheap Art Supplies?

Prismacolor colored pencils are not cheap art supplies, but do cost less than most other brands. For example, compared to Derwent, a single Prismacolor colored pencil costs about $.95 – $1.43, whereas Derwent costs $1.34 on average. Stabilo colored marking pencils sell for approximately $1.40 each. Dick Blick has its own private label brand of colored pencils which range from $.67 – $.79 depending up the quantity ordered. So, Prismacolor is not the least expensive, but does costs less than the leading name brand competition. They are also made consistently from very high quality pigments, which are smooth and very rich in color saturation.

In the case of a private brand label or a generic product, quality may not always be as consistent as a specific manufacturer. The reason – name brand manufacturers are counting on customer loyalty and satisfaction. One the other hand, when Coca-Cola came out with a new Coke, the majority of consumers hated it. They soon afterwards removed it from the market. However, in the case of new Coke versus Classic Coke, the consumer knew that they were buying a different product from what they had in the past. With a generic or private label product, for example, you never know who is really manufacturing the product – it could be Coca-Cola one year and the next season it could be Pepsi! Therefore, for the most part, my suggestion is to stick with a name brand product that has proven its quality and consistency to you over time. Not all cheap art supplies are created equal!

A set of six Prismacolor colored pencils costs anywhere from $5.89 to $9.65, so depending upon where you buy them, you may or may consider them to be cheap art supplies. The higher price is the manufacturer’s list price. A tin box set of 132 pencils sells for about $102.99 online, compared to the manufacturer’s list price of $212.40. That certainly is a big difference! When bought individually, these pencils can cost anywhere from $.89 – $1.60 which is the manufacturer’s list price. My advice, especially if you are investing in a large set, is to shop around in order to get a general sense of what the market and individual online and local stores are offering.

However, when you buy Prismacolor Colored Pencils online, you also have to consider shipping and handling costs. Some online art supply stores will give you a rebate if you buy a certain minimum amount of art supplies from them. Others will offer free shipping if you meet their minimum purchase threshold. However, then you have to compare the cost of free shipping to the actual cost of the goods. Additionally, some online stores will also charge you sales tax, while others won’t. Therefore, you will have a lot of homework to do if price is important to you. One more key point to keep in mind is the time of the year that you are making your purchase. Right before the school semester begins, prices usually are lower. End of season close-out sales are another good opportunity to find cheap art supplies. Happy shopping!

“Are Prismacolor Colored Pencils Cheap Art Supplies?” was written by Brenne Meirowitz, BA, MA, MS.
©2010 Brenne Meirowitz.  All Rights Reserved.

About Brenne Meirowitz

Brenne Meirowitz, BA, MS, MA Brenne graduated from Tyler School of Art, Temple University with a Bachelors of Art in Fine Art. Her emphasis was on the figure and print making. She went on to earn her MS from Pratt Institute in Art & Design Education and a New York State Art Teacher license. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2002, Brenne worked as an art teacher at Westhampton Elementary School in New York. While working on her MA (2004-2007), she taught undergraduate classes in Art History, Studio Art, Music, and History at the University of Texas at Dallas. She has since taken classes at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, concentrating on drawing. Brenne currently works as a freelance writer and editor, Social Media Manager, Website Designer, and graphic artist - all in conjunction with writing a number of blogs and Facebook pages. Her services are listed on her main company site, Best Responsive Sites.
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