I have the same concern. I can't see making any real money on
consignment. Anyone have an idea for a good response?
If you price your jewelry (see previous threads on pricing) at
keystone (twice wholesale) � and you must do so in order to make money
� then you can earn the same with consignment as with wholesale.
In other words, set a wholesale price (which includes all expenses
plus a profit margin) � e.g., $150 � and then double it for keystone
(basic retail price) � e.g., $300. Once you’ve done this, whether you
sell the piece to a gallery at wholesale or consign it to that
gallery, you will still receive $150. But, if you also exhibit at
retail craft shows, you will sell that piece at $300. In this
situation you must mark your piece at $300 so as not to undercut your
galleries (they really hate it when you do and you could lose a good
account). However, since you have so much latitude, you can afford
to offer a discount to the customer (discreetly) if you wish.
Don’t look at it as getting only 50% when you consign. Instead,
think of it as getting 100% when you consign or sell wholesale and
200% when you sell retail. That’s the way it’s done.
I sell my work directly to some galleries at wholesale, I also
consign it at wholesale to other galleries and, in addition, I do
retail craft shows. Whether I wholesale or consign, I make the same
thing. If I sell at a craft show, I make a whole lot more. Why do it
this way? Well, since I don’t want to live on the road, I only do
about 6 retail shows a year and that’s not sufficient to make a
living. So I also wholesale/consign to galleries, mostly consignment.
One advantage to this arrangement is that, when I’m short on
inventory for a retail show, I can recall my consigned work. I do
this no more than twice a year, so as not to inconvenience my
galleries more than necessary; but, if they dislike the arrangement,
they’re certainly free to purchase my work outright!
Do I have trouble getting paid by consignment accounts? On occasion,
but probably no more than getting paid in a net/30 or net/60 wholesale
situation. You’re always, to some extent, at the mercy of your
accounts, whether wholesale or consignment. Overall, my own
experience has been very good. In ten years, I have had two
consignment accounts go bankrupt while owing me money, which can also
happen if you have a wholesale account outstanding at the time of a
bankruptcy. No difference, really. As long as you’re extending
credit to an account (and that’s, in a sense, what consignment is),
how you’re treated will depend on the honor of the people you do