I am looking at approaching stores soon to see if they will take any
of my work and I would assume that probably it will only be taken on
consignment if it is taken by any stores.
I have a lot of questions swimming through my mind about how best to
go about this task so I thought perhaps I could get some answers to
some of the questions here. I hope these questions don’t sound
silly… the whole process is foreign to me and I will admit I’m
feeling a little anxious just thinking about it all.
First of all - what is the standard consignment arrangement? - I am
interested in hearing from everyone on this topic and am
particularly interested in hearing the specifics from others in
Australia. I assume that law somehow covers us to say that if we
give someone stock on consignment they must pay for lost and damaged
stock… however I am concerned that it is probably very difficult
to make the law work for us in a practical way. I thought perhaps
some of you may get stores to sign contracts that say that they
agree to pay for lost or damaged stock and/or get them to sign off
on lists of stock that you give to them at any point in time
(keeping a copy for yourself of all such things). That sounds like
the most logical process to me … but then, also, I am worried that
some store owners may take offense at you being so official when
they perceive that they are taking on more work with trying to sell
your stock. It also occurs to me that having to spend time reading
a contract before taking on work that they may only ever have been
luke warm about anyway could damage your chances of getting anything
Also, the other area that I am unsure about is approaching the
stores in the first place. I can see that there might be a few
alternatives. You could phone a store and ask to make an
appointment with the owner, manager or other appropriate person, you
could email a request for an appointment (giving the store the easy
option of not replying to your email if they don’t feel like it) or
you could go in in person and ask for an appointment face to face.
I have been thinking that perhaps the best approach would be to go
in and ask for an appointment face to face taking with you a small
photo folio of your work to either get their attention and make them
feel enthusiastic about meeting with you or, to give them the
opportunity to let you know (before anyone’s time is wasted) that
your work is not in a style that they would wish to sell. I could
also see a problem with this in that some store owners/managers
might make hastey decisions about not wanting to meet with you
because they misjudge the pieces seeing them only in 2D form.
One more thing - I am wondering if jewellers on this forum find that
stores that hold their work on consignment are willing and
successful at referring customers to you, or making a request on a
customers behalf, to have a piece made up in the customer’s size?
Oh, and another thing - what is a good amount of stock to offer a
store? Would something like 3 or 5 designs be considered a strong
enough start? And, how many of each design might a store expect to
be given to start off?