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art without the walm (was pricing w/ variable commissions )

updated sat 23 oct 04


Anne Webb on fri 22 oct 04


generally one has a set wholesale price and a recommended retail price.
you need to determine what you need to pocket after expenses and still make
a money..and dont forget to set your prices competitively.
be honest, consistent, and businesslike. vascillating isnt cool.
its important that your wholesale prices are *consistent* from gallery to
gallery, particularly if they are in the same city or geographic area.
remember the gallery/shop *is* your customer.

you cannot necessarily contol the retail price the gallery/store sets for
your work for once it leaves your hands and their pricing is in NO way your
responsibility, financially or ethically, nor is it a reflection upon you.
Thinking that if you lower/vary your cut (what goes in your pocket) to keep
the end retail price at gallleries/shops the same across the board, despite
your best of intentions, does not make much business sense to me.

You know.. you are paying a gallery or shop a commission so that they deal
with the public.
The public knows that the gallery or store set their own prices.
does not reflect upon you, the artist. I think a customer would feel more
cheated if you did a craft show, for instance, and bought something the
first day, then they return the next day to see that you marked everything
down 25% toward the end of the show! ..pretty tacky huh?..."welcome walmart
customers". anyhow, do you see the difference?

If you dont like the way a shop or gallery prices your work that much, take
your work out. better yet sell out of your studio or at art shows/fairs
then you can charge whatever you want and have a free conscience.

best of luck..anne

>From: Madrona Artist
>Reply-To: Clayart
>Subject: Pricing with variable commissions
>Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 09:24:46 -0700
>Hi all,
>I had a question regarding pricing. I searched through
>the archive and couldn't find what I was looking
>for,.. so hear goes.
>I have been putting my work for sale at several
>places, some places I sell and some I don't. I am
>looking to approach some galleries and other outlets
>to sell my work. The problem is that every place has a
>different commission rate. If I pay myself a fixed
>amount for a piece, then because of different
>commission rates (20%-60%), my piece will be priced
>differently everywhere. I would not want a customer to
>buy my stuff at a gallery (where the price would be
>+60%) and then go to another place and realize that
>he/she could have gotten it much cheaper. It makes the
>person feel cheated. I hope I am stating my dilema
>One way to fix this would be to make sure that piece
>is sold at the same price everywhere. Some places I
>would make more money other places less. But that
>doesn't seem fair to me either.
>Response from those potters who sell their work at
>different locations could better answer this question.
>Madrona Artists Guild
>3612 Center Street
>Tacoma, WA 98409
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