View Full Version : different gallery-different price?
09-16-2000, 10:56 PM
Hi, I'm a newcomer and hope this topic has not been covered before. Here is my situation: After a great sell-out solo show at a university gallery, I was asked to participate in high end gallery's invitational. This gallery charges a 50% commission so I put a higher price than usual on a new painting. There were some inquiries into buying the painting but no sale. I now have this painting at home and plan to put in my Oct. solo show at the same university gallery. This gallery charges a 30% commission and considering the prices I charged last year, I plan to raise the prices a bit but not as much as I did for the high end gallery painting. The question is, should I maintain the price of this painting or lower it to where the other paintings will be. Or raise them all and risk not selling any? It seems somehow wrong to the buyers that at one gallery a painting would cost one price and at another less. I want to maintain a healthy and trusting relationship with both galleries and do not want to step on any toes. I'm new at this and would appreciate your comments. Also, the high end gallery has called me and left telephone numbers of people who saw my painting and want to see more of my work. What are my obligations to the high end gallery if a painting shown at the U. gallery sells to one of their clients? This is all too confusing! Help! All the above has occured in the last 8 months. Thanks!
09-17-2000, 01:51 AM
Your work should always sell at the same price, no matter where it is shown.
If a public founded gallery or community center takes less commission it means that you will get more money for your work. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif
09-17-2000, 05:38 PM
There are two schools of thought on this one. One is, that you charge different prices in different regions (big city vs. little village), the other is that your prices are the same whether you sell through your own studio or through other venues.
I am in the second camp. My paintings are priced the same anywhere you go. One gallery's commission may be one percentage, another gallery a higher percentage. Either way, the public should see consistent pricing. If I had a collector purchase a painting in DC, then go to a small town gallery and see the prices considerably lower, it my integrity would be in question.
As far as how to price your work...I recommend taking into account the cost of producing and quality of your painting, your time, and overhead (framing, travel, corespondence, etc.) where you are in your career, what genre you paint, etc. to artists of like kind. Do not price your paintings to match others in the show. You are your own artist and business. Don't raise your prices too soon, it's harder to pull back than to increase prices. When you are painting faster than you can sell them, it's time to increase. If you have 30 paintings and have sold one or two, wait until the market catches up with your prices.
Wishing you all the best!
09-17-2000, 05:53 PM
Have to agree with the others here. If I have work in a gallery, they charge the same amount as if I was selling on my own or at an art fair.
In the first case, I get 1/2 the price, but the recognition of being in a "good" gallery, and hopefully the sales to follow. In the second, I get the whole thing, but have more of my own time involved.
Or in your case, I assume that when u do a University Gallery show, you have to hang it yourself, send your own invitations, etc. That accounts for your time and money, whereas in the commercial gallery they are doing the hanging, etc. The time and money difference should work out about even.
09-17-2000, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the advice. I agree-one price, regardless of where the painting hangs. That was my gut feeling, but needed your input!
Any thoughts on my last question- when a painting leaves a gallery unsold and the gallery later sends clients to my studio and a painting or the same painting is sold, do I owe a full commission to the gallery for providing the contact? Also, people have heard that I will have a show soon and want to buy paintings now out of my studio. Is this ethical? There is no obligation to sell at the gallery of this next show but somehow it does not feel right. I have no intentions to sell before to avoid the commission; the buyers just want a jump on the show, first dibs, so to speak. I want to do the right thing; any thoughts on this matter would be appreciated. Thanks!
09-18-2000, 03:46 AM
It all depends on what agreement you have with the gallery. Are they your exclusive agent for the area?
If not, my opinion is that you can sell from home before the show as long as your prices are the same,(we all agree on this,) and as long as you have enough material left for a good gallery showing.
If the gallery sends you clients, you should give them a percentage that could be the full 50% or less, it depends from the gallery. I would ask them what percentage they expect. It sounds like a great gallery...sending clients to the artist's studio is not a very common practice among galleries!!
Your work seem to be in great demand...are we going to see some of it? http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
09-18-2000, 06:29 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rita Monaco:
It sounds like a great gallery...sending clients to the artist's studio is not a very common practice among galleries!!
I agree with Rita with the caveat that there are not that many collectors of any given style of art in an area and if you allow a customer to belong strictly to a gallery that does not represent your work you might be getting yourself obligated beyond what you wish. I would merely call up the gallery, thank them, and ask them what they expected, if anything, out of it, then commemorate that in a written letter to them. After all, they did not offer
you continuing representation after your show and did not manage to sell your work while it was there. Don't overestimate their value to you. Carrying inventory is not cost free to artists. Don't be too grateful to galleries.
If the gallery didn't select the pieces for the show, you can sell whatever you want and show whatever you wish. If you have a contract with the gallery see what it says.
Usually your contract will at leastspecify that the piece used in the advertising must be in the show & for sale. Otherwise, your only obligation to the gallery is to put on a show as you described it would be. you owe them nothing for what you sell yourself.
"put it in writing"
http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gifHey, I have two stars!
[This message has been edited by iyoung (edited September 18, 2000).]
09-19-2000, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by alfonsina:
Any thoughts on my last question- when a painting leaves a gallery unsold and the gallery later sends clients to my studio and a painting or the same painting is sold, do I owe a full commission to the gallery for providing the contact?
Speak to the gallery, but I consider this a "finder's fee" situation. If you will be doing the actual transaction, you would pay the gallery say 10-15% from the proceeds (whatever you and the gallery agree upon). If you take it to the gallery to be sold, the usual % is in force. Since they are not using wall space, staff, lights, or making the transaction, they do not receive as much. If however, they send you the client, the client takes the painting, the gallery makes the transaction, perhaps 20%.
Also, people have heard that I will have a show soon and want to buy paintings now out of my studio. Is this ethical?
You are your own business, just as the gallery is a business. You may show paintings/sell paintings anytime from your studio. If however, people are coming to your studio directly from advertising done by the gallery, then the "finders-fee" senario above applies. Keep everyting above board with your gallery if you are receiving traffic from them. That builds trust. But, if people are coming via word of mouth about your show, it's all yours. The other issue is whether you want to break up the body of work for your up coming show. You can either sell the pieces beforehand and paint some more, or just tell people that the work will debut on the opening day and will be available at that time. Most people clamoring for your work will want to look at it ahead of time. This will happen at the gallery before the opening as well.
Bottom line, you are the artist, meter out your work as YOU wish. Try not to be driven by the collectors/gallery. But if you have an opportunity to sell works, sell. It's up to you. The knots in your tummy will lead the way http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
All the Best,
09-19-2000, 05:50 PM
Thanks everyone! Looks like the best approach to galleries is an up front discussion of all terms and to put it in writing! To Rita, as soon as I can get my slides to fotos I will send a pic. of my work to this forum site. Congrats to iyoung on her new star!
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