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Gallery Pricing

I would suggest that you state your prices are retail pricing for
the items. Let her make a counteroffer on what she would pay you
wholesale based on your retail price. If the price works for you, go
for it (but make sure you have everything in writing).

Sandi Graves, Beadin’ Up A Storm
Stormcloud Trading Co (Beadstorm)
Saint Paul, Minnesota USA

I have no idea how to talk about pricing though. What percentage do
typical galleries take for the display, management & sale of your
work? If I name a price for something, is it the cost I need to
recover, or is it the price I want the piece to sell for? 

Depending on what part of the country galleries can take anywhere
from 30% to 60%. It use to be they would “key-stone” or double our
price, but no more. You didn’t say if this is a consignment gallery
or if they are going to purchase outright.

What you should do is set your wholesale price, what do you need to
make, and not worry about their price. That is their job. Your job
is to be sure you get enough from your jewelry. So go into the
interview with a sheet of wholesale prices. I usually think of those
as 1/2 of my retail.

The rub and problems arise when you or another gallery or your
internet site are selling your work for key-stoned prices and you
are in conflict with a gallery that has marked your work up 75%. The
big rule is “never undercut your gallery’s prices.” But how does an
artist adhere to that rule when galleries are pricing all over the
place? I dunno. I stopped doing galleries, partially so I wouldn’t
have to figure that out.

If you are going to get in the wholesale biz a good forum to hang
out on is the American Craft Forum-artist group.

They can give you much more help then I can offer. They deal with
these issues regularly.


I learned the hard way about pricing my work. When I started doing
"shows" about 18 years ago, I priced my work at a price that I
thought was reasonable. What happened was, I encountered a gallery
owner who LOVED my work, and asked me to bring it to her gallery… I
did. My $28.00 earrings, sterling, hand fabricated with gemstones
were loved by everyone in the gallery. She gave me EXACTLY HALF of
whatever the price tag showed. I felt totally screwed. My own fault -

Now I know better… and as a gallery owner I always ask the artist
whether their prices are at wholesale (even to the public) or at a
true retail price. If it’s at (wholesale, even to the public) I
suggest that they increase their price, and show them the paragraph
in our contract for consignment that they cannot undersell at prices
less than at the gallery. I can only hope the they are getting a
living wage for the USA - and that they are not trying to compete
with wages earned in third world countries… Which, are
unreasonable for those who live in the USA…anywhere in the USA.

Hope this will help with reaching an asking price of an item. When
you set the selling price.

Shirley Carter

Make a list of cost to make the item
Such as:- cost of materials used
2" X 4" - 20g silver sheet - $ .
3" plain bezel fine - $ .
20mm round Lapis cab- $ .
Cost of your labor- $ .
Miscellanious -$ .

Gallery commision (ex.- 40%), (you get 60%)

Amount wanted by you after Gallery commission is taken- $ .

1 - Subtract Gallery comm. from 100

  • .40%


2 - Divide .60 into what YOU want for the item ex. -(.60 into $35.00{
what you want) = $58.34 > the price the Gallery must ask for the
item. Gallery receives 40% = $23.34

You receice 60% = $35.00