These contracts are only as good as the people who sign them. When I
started out I did consignment and I had a well thought out contract
which the gallery signed. All contingencies were covered. There
was a robbery and the gallery owner wouldn’t come up with the money.
I went to small claims and got a judgement, but not the money. The
next stage is a mechanics lien on the person’s property. Still no
money. All the talk of lawyers and legal matters set me off.
Lawyers, attorneys don’t want to get involved in this stuff. There’s
no money in it. Don’t do consignment! Even with friends. When money
is involved strange things happen even with friends.
People often will do consignment because they don’t have confidence
in their work. They are happy that someone will take their work even
on consignment. And why wouldn’t they; what does it cost them? If
it’s good work and they have some enthusiasm why not buy. After all
you supplied the artistry, the materials, the labor. What do they do
for their part? Since I do sell retail I also understand that on a
purely business level the work is worth nothing until someone offers
money for it. That’s why sales people are so well compensated. And
the gallery is “the sales people”.
In my case I did consignment because I was using a stone that they
had never seen before. And the work was not traditional; they didn’t
think their customers would like it. Nothing happen for a month and
then it took off. They still would not purchase since I had
I now and have for a long time been fortunate to be able to sell all
my work at retail shows. I don’t even do wholesale. It’s so much
more interesting. I realize that this is out of the ordinary. When I
started out I did whatever paid
I do want to say that some consigment worked for a while. There are
galley owners who are wonderful, honest people. The closest analogy
I can think of is marriage; some work, some don’t.
This is only one person’s experience I’m sure yours will vary.