Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Consignment vs wholesale price


#1

Should there be a price differential between the wholesale price and
the price of items placed on consignment?


#2

I think that should be up to you as the consignee. Locally, central
New York State, most of the shops I have been in who want to consign
my stuff want to double the price. I don’t consign any where.

Don Meixner


#3

Just a personal opinion as a former gallery owner: If I bought
wholesale, thus putting my money up front, I felt I needed a bigger
markup than when I accepted consignment from another artist. I’m a
believer in the price being the same to the customer, no matter
where they would make their purchase. So I would expect your
wholesale price to be lower than your consignment price.


#4
Just a personal opinion as a former gallery owner: If I bought
wholesale, thus putting my money up front, I felt I needed a
bigger markup than when I accepted consignment from another artist.
I'm a believer in the price being the same to the customer, no
matter where they would make their purchase. So I would expect your
wholesale price to be lower than your consignment price. 

I can understand your dilemma and I know it must be hard to keep
things going in this business. Nobody really needs our product but I
am so glad that they want it enough to buy it. I do consign to
several galleries and would like to say that one of the things that
can make it an unpleasant experience is when the artist needs to
pick up the pieces that haven’t sold. I work mostly in silver and
90% of the time when I get the jewelry back, there is no way that a
customer would purchase something that looks the way it does when I
pick it up. It is usually brown or grey from not being cleaned and
taken care of while it is in the hands of the gallery owner. Then I
have to go to the trouble of cleaning everything and making it
presentable again. I have spoken to some of the people who are
responsible for the work and they have agreed to do better but
usually it doesn’t happen. I am thinking of not doing any more
consignment due to this fact.

I don’t mean to be negative but this is a real problem for most
jewelry artists who work in silver, I believe.

Best to everyone,
Lona


#5

Regarding jewellery that has tarnished badly while at a gallery on
consignment - I know at least one jeweller who visits her galleries
regularly to both replenish her displays and to polish the pieces
already there unsold. This, of course, only works if you will be near
enough to your galleries to do this, but I would say that perhaps it
might be the jeweller’s responsibility to care for his pieces and not
the gallery’s? I don’t consign my work any more - it simply doesn’t
suit the way I go about things! - so have no axe to grind here: it’s
just a thought…

Janet


#6
Regarding jewellery that has tarnished badly while at a gallery on
consignment - I know at least one jeweller who visits her
galleries regularly to both replenish her displays and to polish
the pieces already there unsold. This, of course, only works if you
will be near enough to your galleries to do this, but I would say
that perhaps it might be the jeweller's responsibility to care for
his pieces and not the gallery's? I don't consign my work any more
- it simply doesn't suit the way I go about things! - so have no
axe to grind here: it's just a thought... 

Sorry this answer is late but I just now saw your reply. Thanks
Janet for your opinion on this but I do disagree. I feel that when a
gallery takes your work in on consignment and as long as it is in
their possession, they are responsible for taking care of it. They
are not presenting the artists work as it should be presented. I
always use the best materials and put a lot of time and labor into
each piece that I make and I would imagine that if a customer wants
to see a piece and it is all tarnished, they will not want to
purchase it. The gallery is also losing out as they are unable to
sell that piece. I know that they have a lot of down time because
they tell me that so why not use that time to polish the jewelry to
keep it looking like it looked when it was brought in.

It is just very frustrating for me when this keeps happening.

Thanks anyway for your reply.
Lona


#7

Lona-

I feel that when a gallery takes your work in on consignment and
as long as it is in their possession, they are responsible for
taking care of it.

It should be that way. However…

That presumes that most galleries have a properly trained sales
staff that knows how to handle, show and sell fine jewelry.

When I broke into the trade back in 1969 my first job was to dust
all of the shelves every day, keep the glass on the showcases
sparkling clean, and polish all of the silver by hand.

If we showed a piece we always put down a velvet counter pad before
taking anything out of the case. We were expected to wipe off any
piece we showed with a selvyt cloth after handling. If it was an
expensive piece I’d wipe it both before and after with a selvyt. It
made the piece look more precious and important.

These days you’re lucky if a young sales person looks up from their
IPhone when you walk in, let alone greet you. I often see sales folks
handling nice pieces poorly as well as just dumping them on the
counter. I see this happen more often in Galleries than Jewelry
stores, but have also seen an uptick in poorly managed and trained
jewelry store employees.

Once a year we ask for our pieces back to take inventory and to make
sure everything is clean and polished. We’re prefer to show our work
in places where the staff handles or stuff with care. Those places
tend to sell more as well.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#8

So. What happens when there are finishes other than a polish on the
work? Suppose an artist uses a matte finish that is applied with a
very specific abrasive pad in a very specific way (fine lines moving
in a specific direction)? Is the gallery responsible for restoring
that finish?

Would the artist be okay if the gallery makes the attempt but the
result is less than great in the artist’s eyes?

Not sure the galleries would welcome the risk…

Andy


#9

I am reading this with interest, let me tell you why. Once extremely
active in silversmithing, my way, traditional teachers not caring
for what I was producing and dismissing my stuff, I continued, “My
Way.” Today is the day 4 years ago I heard the "you’ve got cancer"
words, and added to a very nasty situation, I back shelved my
creative pleasure.

Financially broken I am selling off some of my acquired jewelry,
more among friends, etc than a concerted effort. I was with a friend
in a path away from home and saw a sign for a Consignment Gallery.
We wandered in and looking at the jewelry I saw many of the very
Focals I had bought to incorporate with my things. Curiously I asked
about consignment and during the explanation, I took a ring I was
wearing in hopes of someone liking it enough to buy for $75.00. She
asked a few questions about the ring and took it to the back to
discuss. She told me they would take the ring and list it at
$225.00. If it sells, I will get 40%, still more than I was asking
directly, so I left it there. I also determined that if something is
over 1K I would get 55%. That is OK and I plan to bring along a
Suite high karat gold set with cabochon corundum Blue through Reds.

Earlier today I showed some 30 plus pieces I had fabricated,
reticulated, fused, just waiting for finishing touches,
complementary necklaces combining hand made links and natural stone
beads. She has curated Gallery Shows and evaluated my works as
pieces of art. Great to hear, so now time to complete them and maybe
even offer them to the consignment gallery. I don’t have a wholesale
price, I can calculate the silver value and the stones I used, labor
who knows. For me right now, I’m happy I stumbled over that shop, it
is way out of my usual territory.

Hugs
Terrie


#10
So. What happens when there are finishes other than a polish on
the work? Suppose an artist uses a matte finish that is applied
with a very specific abrasive pad in a very specific way (fine
lines moving in a specific direction)? Is the gallery responsible
for restoring that finish? These days you're lucky if a young sales
person looks up from their IPhone when you walk in, let alone greet
you. I often see sales folks handling nice pieces poorly as well as
just dumping them on the counter. I see this happen more often in
Galleries than Jewelry stores, but have also seen an uptick in
poorly managed and trained jewelry store employees. 

Well, Andy and Jo make some very good points. I actually do a
brushed finish on my work and have taken in the abrasive sponge that
I use and shown them how I do it but I think it probably gets
misplaced so I really don’t know what the answer is for people who
work mostly in silver.

Thanks for the different points of view and this will take some more
thought as to how to handle this. I have noticed however that the
pieces that I blacken with liver of sulphur may get a little dull
but they still look alright when I get them back so maybe only those
pieces go to the galleries.

Lona


#11

I also have work in galleries and in my experience my jewelry is put
out and left alone. I create with glass. lampwork…but there is also
fine silver and sterling in these pieces. I’ve assumed that was just
the norm, and have not given it much thought. Im not able to go into
these galleries often but when I do pop in Im always happy to see
that my work is displayed nicely. mostly under glass. Also another
thing to think of. when I myself purchase jewelry from galleries the
sales person has always given it a quick polish before it’s handed
over. As a buyer I’m able to see past a bit of tarnish and see the
beauty of the piece itself.

On a side note, this is my first time on the Orchid forums and I
hope Ive entered the threads properly! :slight_smile:

Deborah


#12

I personally think that in the case put forward here about special
finishes the artist needs to know what the piece will look like down
the road and havethat in mind when they make the piece. No matter if
it is on consignment orsold to a client. If it is going to look bad a
year after you sell it to your client then it is a badly designed
piece of work! With the new technologies and alloys out now there is
no excuse for this to be a problem except the artist does not want to
spend the extra money or time= to do the job correctly. Just my
opinion. I personally nano ceramic all my silver pieces as well as
use detox silver. Overkill I know but none of my clients have ever
complained about oxidation and 2-3 years later they look great in a
gallery. I do not have to waste my valuable time re polishing
anything. Instead I can spend it making new pieces of jewelry art.

Vernon Wilson


#13

Speaking of “selling it” this is from this morning’s Juneau Empire.


#14

Forgive my ignorance, but what is nano ceramic?

Barbara


#15

IMHO, they should keep it in good selling condition. I cannot be
there dailyto assure that it looks top notch. It profits them to
attend to this. I often give them a nice polishing cloth, hint,
hint.


#16
Would the artist be okay if the gallery makes the attempt but the
result is less than great in the artist's eyes? 

No, gallergies cannot do that. That is one reason to avoid putting
work withsuch finishes on consignment. You just have to be practical
about a it.


#17

Rio has a tutorial video on nano ceramic coatings and google has
lots, too.


#18

Nano ceramic is a electroplating system where you electroplated
ceramic ontoany metal. Legor. Is the company that brought this to
the jewelry industry. Rio Grande is a place to buy the system from
on the U. S.

Vernon Wilson