Working Potter on fri 15 mar 02
> Subj:Liability, insurance and reducing losses
> Date:3/15/2002 2:21:04 AM Eastern Standard Time
> Dear Sharon,
> NOW WHEN THE WORD LIABILITY IS GENERALLY USED WE ARE OFTEN SPEAKING OF
> CUSTOMER'S COMING TO HARM IN OUR PLACE OF BUSINESS AND USING THE LEGAL
> SYSTEM TO REDRESS THEIR LOSSES OR OUR EXPOSURE TO THAT POTENTIAL.. As A
> BUSINESS YOU ARE GOING NAKED NOT TO HAVE SUCH COVERAGE AND MAY BE
> ASSUMING PERSONAL LIABILITY DOING SO.
> Having sold thru galleries and entered exhibits for well over 30 years
> there were damaged art and pottery all along the way on work in al
> lpricepoints. I only got an offer to cover my loss in one case in all
> those years , by the Museum of Art here , which I waved as they had
> budget problems and I WANTED THEIR GOOD WILL..Most of the times there
> was damage , the gallerys were very bad about hiding the damage on me.I
> can't tell you how many broken or chipped pieces were returned all
> wrapped for me.It made me feel like crap and if the piece were pricy or
> highly valued I probably never again sent them my favorites, if I
> still did business at all with them.
> I do not think there is an equitable solution in place in most places
> that cover these damaged non-shipping insured,customer returns nor shop
> damaged or shopworn, nor shoplifted wares.I do think that there needs to
> be something worked out but full price might be unreasonable to expect,
> and that does not just mean retail.I have noticed several rather
> aggressive potters better known than I am, make complete asses of
> themselves to get a full price payment. Some got nothing , some got
> paid, then dropped...so who wins??? Then there are the galleries where
> the owners or help drink their coffee out of your cups, out their ciggie
> butts in your plates and bowls, pot their gallery plants in your urns and
> throw their assorted junk or trash into pottery items there on
> consignment.Then there is the consigned work that is sitting, not on
> exhibit, but in their storeroom !!!
> [MY FEELING BEING''OWNED-OUTRIGHT PURCHASED ARTIST'S WORK- GALLERY
> PURCHASES MAY BE STORED BUT NOT MY WORK ON CONSIGNMENT].SHOP USED WORK
> PROBABLY WON'T SELL, POSSIBLY IS MORE LIKELY DAMAGED,AND IS HIGHLY
> DISRESPECTFUL TO THE CREATOR''.
> What would be fair needs hammering out as there are potential for both
> abuses and still an element of unfairness possible in most any
> solution.Nearly,probably all, all my damaged goods had to be trashed.Too
> many losses could really harm an artist's survival if they made few
> items in number and earned their entire living thru them[not teaching or
> otherwise employed].
> I will be interested in how the group answers this one.The gallery needs
> to even admit this goes on in most cases.The artists need to accept that
> loss is a fact but get some relief in some way and share risk with the
> sellers.You know insurance is really a financial arrangement to share
> loss within defined agreed upon parameters.We might need to explore the
> concept self insuring here....i.e between gallery and artist not outside
> insurance company.It would still be treated as a cost of doing business.
> Also if theft is the biggest loss, then mirrors, good lighting,a buzzer
> to alert clerks of entering and leaving, enough employees to cover
> customer traffic,elevated sales area, and security cameras are to be
> considered in gallery design as well as lower displays and placement of
> viewing sales desk.Reduce risks!! That keeps losses down and consider
> screening employees' backgrounds as employee theft is huge.There are some
> possible deterrants and safegaurds that might be explored.
> My 2 c worth.
> [I have run 2 galleries]