Thursday, 9 December 2010

The curious world of Sale-Or-Return

I work in a strange field where it is customary for the seller of my work to have no financial commitment or risk. Artists and craft makers are very frequently only able to get their work accepted by galleries and craft retail shops on the basis of Sale-Or-Return i.e I have to pay to send by post or courier, or personally deliver a batch of my work to a retailer, and that retailer then shows the work to their public for a period of maybe 3 months. I have no idea if the work is all on show, or if some or all is away in storage. The arrangement is usuall that unsold work will be returned after the conclusion of the agrred period, but in practice this usually slips until I put in a request to have unsold items returned.
Most of these galleries take the same 50% + VAT of the sale price as the ones who buy the work in. There is little room for negotiation and if I want my work on display in as many places as possible, then that is the way it is.
I would love to know what other areas of trade have a similar system in place, so please let me know.

I can have a small group of pots in a gallery that would be worth say £300, sitting idle and this can be replicated by may 10 galleries at once- representing quite a large value.
However it is certainly not all doom and gloom- I am very happy and grateful to recieve cheques in the post for sales, and there is a great benefit to having the work doing it's job for me way beyond the local public who visit Old Leigh Studios where I make the pottery. If it was all here with me, it would possibly be doing  less good.

I hope this comes over as a short informative item rather than a rant, as this is the spirit in which it is intended.

1 comment:

  1. That was informative - certainly in this recession I think we're all questioning the best way forward... Your post sheds light on how craft galleries make their money... personally I'm circumspect about 'on spec' stuff and only make for specific exhibitions, commissions, or opportunities - or creating opportunities, which is a little more tricky!!! Hands down to a-n...


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