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Galleries - was Hand Made


#1
A few questions to those who've sold thru Galleries: If you sold
in local galleries, did you get much/any referral bussiness thru
those who saw your work @ gallery? What was the commision, and in
which cities? Is it best to bring a few peices or several? Who
sets the final price for item? (Can the gallery owner accept an
offer for less than asking price; if they do does it decrease
what you get paid, their commission or both?) Is there a contract
which states the gallery is responsible for item while in it's
possesion? (I wonder for instance if a piece is dropped and the
stone is dameged/ruined who pays) Thanks for any info, Kat

Kat,

I have been doing business with galleries for 5 or so years now
and with the exception of one, all wanted a 50/50 split. One
gallery did offer a 60/40 split (in my favor), but I have yet to
find any that will do better than that for an artist. I would
love to find galleries that would offer me 70%, but I do
understand that they have overhead to cover. Most, if not all
galleries frown on passing off referrals to artists. They feel
they will lose business if their customers go directly to the
artist. I have not received any referrals from the galleries
that carry my work. The galleries that presently carry my work
are located in Carmel, Ca. and Sedona, Ariz. I have also had
galleries in Taos and Santa Fe and Albuquerque N.M., Del Mar,
Ca., Ventura, Ca., Cypress, Ca., and in Palo Alto, Ca. Some
dropped me because they changed their direction, some because
they switched from gold (I work in gold) to silver because of the
recession, and some because the type of work I did just wouldn’t
sell in their area. Most galleries that I have worked with want
to carry a good representation of your work, like 10 to 15
pieces. Some want more. Very few want less than 10. As to
prices, you set the price you are willing to accept for the
piece. The gallery will set the price they will sell it at,
usually a 100% markup. It will be up to you and the gallery to
decide if you will accept less of your asking price if the
gallery owner has been offered a price below their asking price
for your work. I won’t accept less than my asking price. I put
too much time and effort into my pieces and I feel they are
worth every penny I ask for them. If a customer comes in and
offers less to the owner than what the owner has it listed for,
and the owner wants to sell the item, they can discount it if
they want to, but it will come out of their end of the price, not
mine. I have never seen a written contract for responsibility,
but I do make it clear to the gallery that the safety of my
pieces is their responsibility once they sign the memo. If they
or a customer of their’s drops one of my pieces and damages it,
they are responsible for it. The gallery should expect their
customer to pay for it (the damage if the piece can be repaired,
or the whole price if it cannot) and I will expect the gallery to
pay me for that damage. I have been quite lucky over the years.
None of my pieces has ever been damaged. The galleries I have
done business with in the past, and those I do business with now
are all very reputable galleries, and I do not fear ever being
ripped off by any of them. Knock on wood that this will continue.
:slight_smile: I hope this will help you out.

Barry Hansen
Hansen Designs
http://www.hansendesigns.com


#2

Dear Kat & Ken

I have sold through several galleries in Southern California. I
suspect that except for what I saw in New York City, most gallery
sales are about the same.

There are so many fine and talented artisans out there, it is
difficult for all to make out in a big way.

In my experience the better galleries will accept
on “consignment” well made unique pieces. The
selling price is 100% mark up. Payment if your stuff sells is
once a month. The gallery pays the tax on the total amount and
you pay tax on profit as earned income (less costs). There is a
clause in some of the agreements that the gallery can accept 10%
less than the asking price if that is what closes the sale.
They don’t want to do this either as they loose money too

The gallery has the obligation to protect your pieces.

Never had any referrals from a gallery.

Gallery sales are not as much fun as fairs but at least your not
sitting in the hot sun.

Had silver stuff in a jewelry store, sold some. Currently in an
other jewelry store for eight months and have yet to see a
dollar.

I’m retired, making jewelry for pleasure so maybe my
experiences are not germane to your questions.

About the New York City comment made earlier. I’m acquainted with
a lady who taught jewelry making in a New York city college for
many years. She is a VERY talented lady now living in California.
Up until she made the local newspaper headlines here as “the
artist”, all of her work was sent to N.Y. galleries. New Yorkers
seem willing to pay for what they want. This is what I saw in a
N.Y. street fair as well in October last.

I can’ t answer all the questions as I only type with one finger
and it is getting shorter.

I wish you good luck and hope this has answered some of your
questions. You need talk to your gallery. Gallery sale can be
prestigious.

WBR

@WILLIAM_I_EISENBERG


#3
 A few questions to those who've sold thru Galleries: If you
sold in local galleries, did you get much/any referral
bussiness thru those who saw your work @ gallery?

Referral . . .only one of the galleries I deal with has a set
comission for that. It’s 20% I’ve had another of the gallery
owners call and ask for a specific item, which is then sold to
the customer at the usual comission cut (60/40)

Another of the galleries has a policy of 50/50, but it is a very
busy gallery so sales are very good.

What was the commision, and in which cities?

Most of the galleries I deal with are in the western and
southern suburbs of Cleveland, Oh.

Is it best to bring a few peices or several?

That depends . . . did you make an appointment with the gallery
owner or did you send slides in and then they called you??? I’ve
done both.

Who sets the final price for item? I’ve always set the price,
all pieces carry an inventory number (mine) and a price. (Can
the gallery owner accept an offer for less than asking price; if
they do does it decrease what you get paid, their commission or
both?)

Depends on what your deal is . . . I’ve had them call and ask if
I would agree to a cut.

Is there a contract which states the gallery is responsible for
item while in it’s possesion?

Some galleries carry insurance for theft. Some don’t. YOU have
to determine whether you trust leaving your pieces with any
gallery.

(I wonder for instance if a piece is dropped and the stone is
dameged/ruined who pays)

I haven’t encountered that problem (yet . . .) although, I am
sure it happens.

Thanks for any info, Kat
_________________________________________________________________ >>


#4

Dear Bill:

What you said about NYC galleries paying more is so true.
Unfortunately,it has been my experience what sells in NYC
galleries are the “trendy” pieces and that quality of an item is
not an issue (which makes me sooo sad) . People here will pay
$2,000 for a filmsy fresh water pearl necklace with some 18 karat
gold wire if it is considered a “trendy” item…(Like Cathy
Watermans stuff)…

DeDe


#5

Kat,

I’ve done pretty much sales through galleries. My advice on
pricing is to set a retail price which will remain constant
whether you are selling wholesale (at 50%), on consignment, or
retail at shows. Gallery owners come unglued if they see you at
a show selling an item they have in thier gallery for less then
thier retail price.

The way I usually do this is add up the cost of materials than
multiply it by 2.5. Next I figure how much time I spent on a
piece, I figure about $35 wholesale (or $70 retail). Add these
figures together and come up with a retail price. Compare it
with other pieces for sale in galleries similar to yours and see
if your price is in line with what the market will bear. If it
is way higher, you might try to figure out a faster or cheaper
way to make the item or do as I often do, never make another one
(lol).

In addition to doing a few consignment galleries (most are
60%/40% or 2/3 to 1/3 comission) I also belong to a co-op
gallery that takes 20% but you have to rent space and work one
day a month. I’ve been a member for 6 years and have gotten
alot of exposure and custom orders from it.

But, if you must know, I really prefer doing retail shows to
selling in galleries. Some gallery owners don’t take good care
of your work and are slow paying. Before you put work in a
gallery, notice other artists in the gallery and call some up
and ask about the reputation ect. Find out how long the gallery
has been in business (I’ve had 2 galleries close thier doors
while my work was still inside).

Wendy Rosen of the Rosen group puts on a great seminar in
Baltimore every year called “CBI” or crafts business institute
and also has a book out “the business of crafts” . Both are well
worth the money. I took the seminar last Sept and my fall show
sales TRIPLED from fall of 1995.

Good Luck!

Wendy Newman


#6
 I've done pretty much sales through galleries.  My  advice on
pricing is to set a retail price which will remain constant
whether you are selling wholesale (at 50%), on consignment, or
retail at shows.  Gallery owners come unglued if they see you
at a show selling an item they have in thier gallery for less
then thier retail price.

EXCELLENT advice!!! Some have had to learn the HARD WAY! Thank
goodness I was never one of those! : )