Should you stay in a gallery if sale’s don’t exceed membership

Should you stay in a gallery if your sales don’t exceed the membership fee.

Difficult question to answer. I suppose it depends on your business model to some extent. Are you in business for a long haul or on a month by month basis.

How long have you been in the gallery? A month, a year, more? How much loss, less than expenses, can you absorb over a period of time?

Does having your stock tied up in an unprofitable gallery keep you from doing profitable art shows in the same area.


It’s all rather moot since I just took all of my jewelry out of that gallery. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

Over the years I have been in and out of many locations ranging from small gift shops to large high end art galleries. In most cases I have consigned my jewelry at 30 - 50% of sale. Once in a while, they buy my work at a wholesale price similar to what I would make on consignment. As my work and reputation grew and customers found my work desirable, I found that I had to consign more and more work to have a presence in a shop that reflected my work. A few years ago I was in four stores on a consignment basis where I had to maintain $10,000 worth of jewelry in each location. After a health issue, I decided to cut back on my locations as maintaining $10,000 worth of stock in four locations was a real chore. At the same time I have improved my website making it an e-commerce website. I am now in one consignment location nearby where they do a very good job selling my work. I have complete creative control over the case and can remove work to sell directly to a customer if needed. So what do I suggest based on my experience. If you don’t have one, build a website. This is a place to direct people to when they want to see what you make. I sell a lot of jewelry just from people looking at my website and then asking me to sell them something. An e-commerce site just makes this easier and you will get orders out of the blue. If you work and live in a community where you work is appreciated, look for shows that you can participate in. My brother does a lot of shows (covid allowing), and that works for him. Look for a consignment location where you are nearby and can visit often. The trick here is to try and negotiate a friendly commission rate, like 30%, most places want 50%. This is a journey. If you aren’t in it for the long haul, don’t bother., just make jewelry and have fun. Good luck…Rob

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Thank you Rob. I appreciate your detailed information I’ve pulled my jewelry from that gallery. So now I’ll concentrate on my website and social media.

Silver Cloud Designs Jewelry

Don’t discount placing your work in a retail location, just be picky. I like having them be close so that I can stop by to clean my work if it is dirty, see what is being sold and make suggestions about how things are displayed. Openly ask for suggestions about how to improve your work and what might make it sell better. Be careful that you don’t go down a creative rabbit hole and make only what sells compromising your creative direction. My brother and I are lucky to have inherited a local market from our father that we have been building on for years. Work on your website and keep it up to date. Remember that a website is never done and should reflect the evolution of your art, so don’t allow it to be static. This is hard work. Good luck…Rob

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