Consignment to Canada from USA

Hi All -

I got a phone call today from a woman in Ontario, Canada who has a
gallery with a grand opening this weekend and she wants me to send
her 6 of my etched sterling cuffs on consignment, 60/40.

I was happy because she was looking at my ad in Designer Jewelry
Showcase showing my etched silver cuffs and silver cuffs were
specifically what she was looking for. It’s the first nibble from
that book.

I asked her if she had an agreement that I could review, and she
says she doesn’t, but that I am welcome to draw one up, but keep in
mind that shipping will take two full days.

I am very hesitant to do this because I can’t see how would I
recover my goods or my money if she didn’t pay me, since she is in
Canada, and I am in California, USA.

Besides which, I don’t like doing consignment, even locally. I don’t
have the items in my possession to sell to anyone else, but they
aren’t sold so they aren’t making any money. And then there’s the
issue of the currency conversion rate. How do I calculate for that?

Do you have any thoughts? I’m strongly considering against it unless
you all have some words of wisdom to the contrary.

Since time is so short, please also copy me on your reply to Orchid
so I can receive it right away.

Thanks in advance.

Since you have no past with this person get the total amount up
front including shipping and insurance. It’s the businesslike way.

K Kelly

I live in Ontario Canada and am compelled to reply. I would like to
think that any fellow resident of Ontario is fully trust worthy, but
am not naive. ( you do not even know if this is an Ontario resident)
In your post your worry about exchange, that part is easy. Worry
more about customs as your goods cross into Canada and perhaps if
they are returned as they move through US customs on their way back
to you. Customs issues can be dealt with, but this situation means
that you are rushing and will not have the time to know all about
customs. The woman says that she does not have an agreement for you
to see. That is an indication that she is not professional. You
appear to know nothing about her gallery, and do not have time to
find out. She is having a grand opening this weekend and is looking
for goods from a supplier very far away. She is having a grand
opening and does not have an agreement that she has used for any one
else who’s goods will be there. There are way to many things that
should cause you to consider not doing this. The best one is “Besides
which, I don’t like doing consignment, even locally.” Then why do it
when there is so much risk?


I might get my hands slapped with this posting. In my very humbled
opinion the exchange rate conversion is a Canadian dollar is worth
only $88.88 USF for a Canadian $100.00.Try using or dividing by
1.125%. This is safe number to figure. As for your Canadian client.
Let her pay for all “up-front” and if she can’t sell anything, you
can then return the funds less what she sold. “Memo sheets” are still
not 100% perfect in reclaiming funds or merchandise ! BTW, all
American checks from south of the border must wait 21-30 “business
days” before clearing the Canadian Banks. For this alone, I have
opened up an American bank account across the NY border, then I only
wait 3 days in total.


I got a phone call today from a woman in Ontario, Canada who has a
gallery with a grand opening this weekend and she wants me to send
her 6 of my etched sterling cuffs on consignment, 60/40. 

Hmmm, a last-minute call from someone you never heard of, in another
country, with no paperwork, but wants you to hurry up and send your
work… Gee, why worry? ;>)

But seriously-- if she is on the level, she will see the problem. I
suggest you ask her for a credit card number as surety until you can
check on her and get paperwork. Check out the cc number before you
send anything. If she won’t, then tell her you cannot send work in
time for her opening, then get references and check them, etc. as
you would for any new place.


I have had consignments with Canadians without trouble. As far as
the money goes, you give them your U.S. price and when they get a
cashiers check it will be for U.S. dollars.


Do not do it. You are completely at the mercy of an on unknown
entity. Way better safe then sorry. If not. I would trade 5 of your
cuffs today for a very nice bridge in Brooklyn tomorrow.


Bill, Deborah, Michele & Sarah
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc
928-634-3434, 800-876-3434, 928-634-6734fx

I tried and failed to find your addy, sorry.

Let’s see…you get a cold call from someone you don’t know, in
another country, asking for free merchandise for a company with no
track record and they press you for an immediate response and they
don’t have the foresight to have a contract drawn up already,
offering absolutely no security for you. And they perhaps don’t have
a network of suppliers lined up before they have a grand opening.
Well thought out gallery?

Are they short of merchandise and looking to see who is desperate
enough to fill an order? New businesses have a general trend of
closing quickly.

I’d decline this time. Ask them for references for next time, see
what happens. But at least the call wasn’t from Nigeria. (no offense
intended to any orchidians from Nigeria)

Hi Linda,

Great to hear someone is looking at Jewelry Designer Showcase - I am
advertising with them for the first time this year.

I live in Canada and am developing a business in the US. There are a
number of issues related to sending commercial goods from one country
to another. Unless your work has a high price point I would consider
whether it is worth your while consigning work to any gallery not to
mention a gallery in another country. Why not propose that the
proprietor purchase the work outright - then you can begin
investigating export with the knowledge that you will actually be
making some money.

My two cents worth.

Donna Hiebert Design

Hi All -

Thank you so much for all the very helpful responses. As a result, I
decided that I couldn’t afford the risk of consigning these pieces,
especially with such a small window of opportunity to research how
to protect myself.

Consequently, she decided to buy the pieces outright, which relieved
me enormously.

I spent some time speaking to her in the course of this, and liked
her a lot. It turns out that she is also an Orchidian.


Don’t do it! Don’t do it! Don’t do it!

Now repeat this 500 times.

Ordinary consignment just around the corner is no good. Never mind
across national boundaries.

If the retailer wants a loan, that’s what banks are for.

Marty in Victoria (That’s in Canada)