Jeff Lawrence on tue 20 may 97
I hope to moving my clay operation to a larger building with a natural
retail annex. Since the costs of moving will preclude a bunch of cash out
for stock, I was thinking of a consignment store.
For those of you with experience consigning from either side of the table,
please share your experiences. What do you like or dislike about the
practices of your consigning associates? What pitfalls await? What joys?
Thanks in advance,
Sun Dagger Design
Cindy on wed 21 may 97
I no longer do consignments and this is why.
1. The store owner has no personal investment in my wares, and yet is
allowed to use my capital to stock his shelves. Nothing you can do about
that, I'm afraid, but it is kind of a sore point.
2. Collecting from store owners is a hassle. Sometimes it's a major hassle.
All other bills seem to come before payments to the artists. Not only has
the merchant stocked his shelves with my wares for free, now he's sold them
and kept the entire profit. When and if he pays me, he assuredly won't add
interest to the debt. Nor will he pay me for the time I had to spend in
3. Though I get to keep a larger percentage of my profits with consignment
sales (assuming I collect anything at all, that is), it's just not worth
the hassles. I'll take my 50% and be happy to be out of the loop.
If you want to attract and keep consignment artists, here are a few
suggestions. Number One, do your bookkeeping chores diligently. Pay on time
every month and don't expect your artists to come to you to collect. Send
the check via the postal service along with an itemized list of work sold,
Keep an attractive show-room. Be picky about what you accept and don't
stack up so much stuff (even good stuff) that patrons can't see individual
Become friends with your artists. Demonstrate to them that they can trust
you, and they'll come back time and again. They will bring their friends.
You will be popular and well-stocked. :) (But not from my shelves. I don't
do consignment. ) Good luck.
Paul Thomas Jay on wed 21 may 97
Jeff Lawrence wrote:
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> Hello Colleagues,
> I hope to moving my clay operation to a larger building with a natural
> retail annex. Since the costs of moving will preclude a bunch of cash out
> for stock, I was thinking of a consignment store.
> For those of you with experience consigning from either side of the table,
> please share your experiences. What do you like or dislike about the
> practices of your consigning associates? What pitfalls await? What joys?
> Thanks in advance,
> Jeff Lawrence
> Sun Dagger Design
> ph/fax 505-753-5913
Jeff, I once did consignment with locl galleries. NO MORE! I have
found: my pots being used as still life setups in a back room, the
gallery changing hands with one telling me, gallery has lost all my
invintory, and the worst one "dealer" actually stole a complete show and
was nowhere to be found when I went to pick up my work.
I would suggest: 1,Keep a very close watch on invintory and change every
3 months, 2. Make sure that your keep realy good records of sales so
that you have enough money to pay everyone at tne end of Each month.
Sherry mcDonald Stewart on fri 23 may 97
Are any of you familiar with a large ceramic art retail store in San
Antonio Tx? It is located in the North Star Mall, and they take work on
consignment, and do a huge business. i don't know of any gallery that
gets the exposure that this one does, they did so well they put another
one in the mall, it has a lot of glass as well, and more sculptural
pieces. (It has been4 years since I was there, however, ) But they have
been in business for a long time and get good work. They let people take
stuff out of the store to try out in homews, etc. and bring it back
even. I just wonder if anyone has dealt with them and how it works for
The Shelfords on sat 24 may 97
Hi Jeff -
I have done both consignment and straight sales to the retailer, and mostly
I prefer consignment. I recognize the problems Cindy and others refer to,
but, after a few bad tries, I've been lucky with the retailers locally -
they are quick to pay out when stuff sells, quick to let me know of either
problems or kudos, and they take responsibility for breakages in the store.
They also will call to let me know if a customer has expressed an interest
in something they think I could produce easily. A good retailer is worth
her/her weight in gold lustre. And the biggest factor in that is feedback.
Give the artists useful and (as much as possible) positive feedback, keep
good records, and pay on time. You wouldn't think it would be a big deal,
would you? But if you do all that, you'll be a rare bird indeed.
Given these points, the advantage to consignment for me relates to the fact
that I'm not a big producer, and consignment allows me to juggle stock at
various outlets to suit their changing requirements or my own changing stock
availability. Also, if a piece is not selling in one place, if I have sold
it to the retailer, I hate to see it sitting around for ages, or worse,
being put "on sale." Instead, I just move those
"waiting-for-the-right-buyer" pieces around. Usually, the piece that has
sat through the season at one location, sells right away at the next. Can't
figure it out, but there it is. But all my selling locations are fairly
nearby - if I was packing stuff up for long journeys I'd probably think
s-mail: P.O. Box 6-15
Thetis Island, BC V0R 2Y0
Tel: (250) 246-1509
Jeff Lawrence on sun 25 may 97
Is it really that bad out there? First, thanks to those who commented -- I
have a better idea of how it looks from the consignors point of view.
To exaggerate, though, it appears many consignment stores
(1) maintain ill-lit facilities crowded with wares that get lost when sold
(2) pay only under pressure, when the artist can figure out they made a sale
(3) evanesce altogether with the artists rent in their pockets!
I had no idea I was so close to Snidely Whiplash! The way I was looking at
it was this. Sales make artists money. If they need more sales, consigning
is a way to generate them -- yes, the artist assumes more risk, but
typically nets a little more, too. If collectors line up outside your studio
every time you open your kiln, consigning naturally loses its appeal.
I'm in a competitive niche with bigger companies so my perspective is
different. I supply display fixtures at no charge, to prime the pump for
orders -- I have to, because my competitors do. But I don't gnash my teeth
about it, because I sympathise with the store owners trying to make their
business work. When they pay rent on their store, they invest every month in
everything on display.
I want to check out that consignemnt place in San Antone; anybody have any
experience with Clarksville Pottery in Austin?
Sun Dagger Design