Gallery commission question

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by f/stopblues, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. f/stopblues

    f/stopblues Member

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    I have a couple photos in a show coming up in October. It's my first time hanging anything in a gallery (yay!) so I was curious about customary practices with commission.

    This is a mixed media show and most pieces are going to be paintings, 3D works, etc that are one-off works. I have two framed photos I'm turning over to the gallery and they'll obviously take their commission from those if they sell. What if someone wants one after the intial ones sell? We'll have an area for business cards, so does that imply that someone would use my contact info and thus be an outside sale (ie. no commission?) I'm just not sure how that usually works.

    Thanks for your help! You guys have been my go-to source for everything photographic for a while now and have certainly been a big help getting into this show. I certainly appreciate it :smile:

    Chris
     
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  2. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    All of the galleries in my town will charge the same commission on sales that result from the work being on display in that gallery up to 30 days after the work has been taken off display. They don't want you end-running the gallery and shorting them the commission for their work promoting your art.

    There should be a clause to that effect right in the consignment contract.
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    And sometimes longer than 30 days.

    If you sell a photo after the time period is up and the buyer bought it because he/she saw it at the gallery, one might consider writing a check to the gallery for 10% of the sales price. Depends on your relationship (and desire for a future relationship) with the gallery.

    Vaughn
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Read your contract, it should state the terms of after sale
     
  5. f/stopblues

    f/stopblues Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I thought it would be in the contract, too, but I've combed that thing multiple times and it only says, "All sales will be subject to xx% commission." All the language sounds like things refer to an original piece, and then prints can be made available to the gallery to sell in addition, ie. prints made of an original painting. There is no mention of a time period for sales.

    I know it is best to just ask the gallery, I just wanted to ask on here first to see if there's a usual.

    Thanks again!
    Chris
     
  6. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Consider, also, that your print sold from that gallery and, if you replaced the print that was sold with a new one, it would have a chance to sell again.

    Sure, I would prefer not to give some of my money to somebody else but, in some cases, it is beneficial to both parties. You get to sell more prints. The gallery gets a cut of the proceeds.

    Remember that there is a lot of politics at play in many (most?) galleries. If you are a favored artist, they will put your work in more prominent locations where it will sell faster and/or for a higher price. If the gallery owner/manager doesn't like you, your photos could be stuck in a corner of a back room, somewhere. No, it's not right but it happens.

    Bottom line: Give your gallery some props. If they find you easy to work with and make money from your work, they'll be a lot more accommodating in the future.
    (That doesn't mean you have to be a door matt.)
     
  7. f/stopblues

    f/stopblues Member

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    That sounds like great advice, Randy. That's just the sort of wisdom I was seeking. Thanks!