June 8, 2008

How do you know when to pull out of a gallery?

Hi Szarka,

I have my work on consignment in two small galleries. While my work is selling, it’s moving very very slowing. I have an inventory of around 50 pieces in each venue which includes earrings, necklaces, pendants. But I’m beginning to think the maintenance of the jewellery & the displays is not worth it. In one venue the owner doesn’t seem to be actively promoting it either unless I’m there. The only 2 sales have been when I just happened to be there dusting & rearranging things!
So I was wondering if you had an opinion on how long you think should artists should wait before pulling work out of a gallery or shop & if there is a better way to negotiate exhibiting & selling your work via galleries & shops other than consignment?

Dear Slow Gallery,

I think there is a solution in the middle somewhere. Once I am in a gallery I don't pull out. I may pull some of my stock though.

Pay attention to what sold and see if you can give them something comparable to that at a lower price point. Add just a couple of things at a higher price point as well. A few knock out pieces gives you credibility and makes me people look, and a number of lower end in the style that sells there in what people will fish out of their wallet.

Then I would try to get more venues. The places that don't sell much I look at as advertising. Someone sees my name and my card their and that will double the effect if they see it else where too.

Can you just lower your inventory there? Don't pull out any inventory until you have another gallery. Then go into the old one and tell them that you have been watching what was selling and you came up with a new line "just for them". Get them excited abut your product and maybe they will push it more. Talk about how you advertise them. Find ways for them to see how having you is a big benefit to them. You scratch their back and maybe they will scratch yours. I am not saying you haven't already done all this. Just some ideas that are good to remember in a slow gallery.

I have had places that sell a few items a year to those that sell a few a week. Just keep your eye out. The best place I ever sold was a slash coffeshop/healthfood store. You just never know.


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