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Standard parctices for online galleries?


#1

Orchidians, How do online galleries work? Like guild.com, for
instance. An online gallery has none of the expenses commonly
associated with a “brick and mortar” gallery, such as rent, utilities,
insurance, inventory and warehousing, etc. Presumably, the artists’
work is displayed in the online gallery, an order is placed, the
gallery pays the artist less their commission, and the artist sends
the order out. What’s the typical commission for this new type of
business? Anybody have a boilerplate contract for this kind of
business relationship?

Any other is appreciated!
Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts, USA.


#2

Hi Christine, Here’s the page URL for our on line gallery:
http://www.westcoastmetalart.com/Artist%20Membership.htm We are a
small operated by artists for artists. Hopefully this information
along with that of other on line galleries will help with your
research on the subject. Diane at WestCoast MetalArt.com


#3
  Orchidians, How do online galleries work? Like guild.com, for
instance. An online gallery has none of the expenses commonly
associated with a "brick and mortar" gallery, such as rent,
utilities, insurance, inventory and warehousing, etc. Presumably,
the artists' work is displayed in the online gallery, an order is
placed, the gallery pays the artist less their commission, and the
artist sends the order out. What's the typical commission for this
new type of business? Anybody have a boilerplate contract for this
kind of business relationship? 

Christine, I’ve been involved with Guild.com for about a year and a
half and they are similar to what you describe, except that they do
have to pay rent, utilities, and insurance � plus salaries � but not
inventory and warehousing (except for the books they publish). In
addition, Guild.com (I can’t speak for other online galleries) does a
HUGE amount of advertising, sends out beautiful, 4-color catalogs to
an extensive mailing list, issues a weekly newsletter to its artists
listing commission opportunities, and pays shipping costs (including
insurance, excluding packaging materials) for items sold. You should
also be aware that, in the last year, they were bought by Ashford.com,
and have a presence on that website in addition to the separate
Guild.com site.

My one complaint is that they are very slow to update individual
artists’ pages. It can take three or more months from the time you
send new slides till they make it to the website. Some of that time
is due to the jurying process but most is just backlog and the fact
that they give priority to putting up the work of new artists over
refreshing the pages of old artists (I currently have only two
pendants on guild.com and have been waiting for two months or so for a
bunch of new slides to go up).

As for commissions, when I started with Guild.com, it was 75/25, then
it went to 65/35 and now it’s 50/50 (but without the exclusivity
provisions that existed with the previous two payment arrangements and
without the per-image processing fees that existed with the 65/35).
In other words, it’s just like selling through a typical gallery
except that you have the option of selling the pieces yourself through
other avenues as long as you notify Guild.com ASAP when an item
becomes unavailable. Since I’m accustomed to consigning my work to
galleries, this is a near ideal arrangement for me.

Overall, I’ve been pleased with my Guild.com relationship. I’m not
interested in mounting and maintaining my own website at this time so
Guild.com gives me the web presence and selling opportunity that is
pretty much imperative these days. I have no idea if other online
galleries are as useful and well-managed.

Beth