This brings up something that has puzzled me for years.
But first… some stuff. Memo is for the specific amount to be paid.
You get your $1242 whether the thing ultimately sells for $2484,
$1863, or $1243. Consignment as talked about here(absent language to
the contrary) allows for a floating price…whatever percentage of
the actual sale. You might want $1242 but ultimately you might get
something substantially less.
I can understand the why of a percentage consignment. What puzzles
me is how do you know what it actually sold for? And how do you know
the gallery actually had to resort to a discount in order to make the
sale? When the gallery offers a lower price, he may take in less
dollars, but his percentage doesn’t change, so he’s not really losing
money, P&L wise. Seems to me there is a built in incentive for
galleries to discount at your expense. Whereas with a fixed amount
memo, discounting is at his expense. How do you as a consignor verify
the actual price paid?
I mean he’s got the merchandise for free until it sells anyway, why
is all the risk piled up on the artist? Given some of the
anti-discount statements we hear, all the 'raise your prices’
rhetoric, why are some people so willing to grant the right to
discount to someone else? And you’re not even there to give input at
the time. I see this as fraught with danger for new artists.