My experience with putting my work on consignment is: the gallery or
store owner tends to push sales of pieces they have an investment
in. It makes sense- if they have thousands of dollars of inventory
they have purchased it is more of a priority for them to move that
I had work in a major gallery, on consignment, for the holidays. I
had a customer in town and we stopped in the gallery for the customer
to buy some of my work. The work was not on display. The gallery
manager said the work was pulled from the cases a few weeks prior as
work they had paid for came in. I was frustrated that they didn’t call
me to tell me it wasn’t being displayed. I could have pulled it and
put it somewhere else.
Here is an alternative way of doing consignment that has worked for
me. Give the store a number of pieces on consignment and have them
pay an agreed upon amount on delivery (I’ve done $500 or $1,000
depending on the size of the order). The store owner can put that
advance toward what ever sells. They deduct that original payment from
the first sales and pay me with in 30 days for anything that sells
over the advance. Now the store owner has an investment in the pieces
and is more likely to push my sales.
Also, some gallery owners are willing to take less of a markup on
consigned pieces, giving the artist 65% instead of 50% of the retail
price. It is all negotiable.