Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Having a "SALE" at a retail show

Hi all. I’ve got my first show of the year coming up and am anxious
to show some new stuff. But what about some of that other stuff I’ve
been lugging around for a couple of years? These pieces just haven’t
found their “owners” yet, but they take up SPACE. And they’re not
getting any younger.

I’d like to dedicate one smaller case to this older material, and
try to move it out with something like a “50% off marked price” sign.
I know this is a touchy subject for promoters. No one wants a flea
market. But if a small tasteful sign could help me move some of these
pieces out, it might be worth a shot. I also wonder how that sign
might affect perception of the rest of my full-priced inventory. I
don’t want to encourage price negotiations, or shoot myself in the

If anyone has any experience or advice that might be helpful, I’d
love to hear it. Thanks in advance!

On a related matter, let me share an experience that has helped me
keep a healthy prespective on pieces that haven’t sold for a long
time. I worked for 5 years in a high-end Beverly Hills Native
American art gallery. On the day I left, there were still some great
pieces in the case that were there the day I started! Maybe they were
a little overpriced, but, hey, this was Beverly Hills. They hadn’t
found their “owners” yet, but they were still fantastic. Since then,
it’s never bothered me much to have a piece past it’s “sell-by” date,
but I only have so much space.

Allan Mason

Hi there,

Set aside a small space at the end of one of your cases with a "sale"
or “old friends” sign for a few pieces. People will look at those and
get interested, everyone loves a sale. At that point you can mention
that you have other sale items NOT out and would they care to take a
look. It worked for me. At least I got my money back for the
materials and turned it into something new.

Good luck,


That will get you ousted from some of the shows depending on how
strict the promoters are. You could try having a “special” (a little
close to sale) or “showcased” (better perhaps) section, or maybe a
"My favorites" section (Hey you’ve had them this long they must be
your favorites right?). Have a markdown on the price tag if you wish
and the rules don’t expressly forbid it. But don’t make it a “sale”.

For what my opinion is worth =)


I'd like to dedicate one smaller case to this older material, and
try to move it out with something like a "50% off marked price"

It is my sense that the unspoken law at most shows is that this is a
no-go… but I think you could be OK with a small notice that said
something like “older pieces at pre-increase prices”. Never mind
whether you have increased prices on other pieces, or lowered them
on the older work…



I have some nice pieces that are really old, several years, and I
have tried at shows to put a few out and reduce the price, but they
don’t look anything like my work now and they stick out like a sore
thumb. I have thought about putting them together in a small area
with a sale sign, but it just seems tacky to me and somehow I think
it demeans the work - also they are actually worth more than my new
pieces because many of them have gold on them and putting sale prices
on them makes all my prices seem out of whack. I have decided,
painfully that it is probably better to remove the stones and turn
them back in for the metal, seeing as the metal has jumped in price
so much since they were made.


No one knows how old they are but you. So I would just price it to
where you want noone will know that it is 50% off just that you want
to move them, No sale just less expensive that’s all they need to

Don in Idaho

Hi Grace, My name is Dwaine and I own and operate a custom jewelry
store where we also represent local artist’s work. On occasion we
sell other people’s jewelry on consignment and take a 50% commission.
If you are interested in sending us some pictures of your "sale"
jewelry we may be interested in selling it for you in our unique
store. This would be a way for you to make a lot more money than
scrapping the finished pieces, and give us something fresh to put in
our cases. Let us know what you think,

Thanks, Dwaine

Hi Allan,

I have been thinking of doing the sale thing myself so have read the
answers with special interest. It seems the type of show makes a big
difference. Since you and I are in some of the same shows, I’m going
to guess that shows like this might be a good place to try a sale. I
don’t remember any prohibition to sales in the show rules and I get
the impression that price is a big issue for a lot of the shoppers. I
know that a sale is a magnet for some people. I also think the market
is a little sluggish and creating a little energy might be a good
thing. It’s worth a try.


I agree with Grace, it seems not only “tacky” but unethical to have
sales at juried art shows.

So, I have to ask, Beverly & Allan, what kind of shows do you do? If
it’s trade shows, then it may be allowed by promoters.

Grace, I would try to sell your old work thru galleries - you know
some owners, you may want to contact them