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Old 02-02-2020, 09:18 AM
francjs francjs is offline
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Private buyers vs gallery

Hi, I would like to have some advice. I have 11 of my paintings that will be put up for a show in a local gallery (UK), starting in 20 days. This has been verbally agreed. But of course it is not sure they will sell.

At the same time, someone yesterday emailed me, he wants to buy 2 of my paintings. He saw them on my website, not via the gallery (they are not up yet).

What is the formally correct way to proceed here? I let the prospective buyer know about the show, but I don't know if they will go. Or I could sell now, and withdraw these 2 from the show - but I'm not sure if this is bad practice and might compromise future business with the gallery.

This is my first show via a gallery, so it's important that I do things right. Any advice from people with experience in this is very much appreciated.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:23 AM
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Ktmre Ktmre is offline
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Re: Private buyers vs gallery

I’ll be curious to see what more knowledgable people say here - I’m not a professional when it comes to this kind of thing so you can take what I say with a large grain of thought, but personally... I would talk to the gallery and see what they’re ok with it assuming you swap in 2 more. I wouldn’t risk my relationship with the gallery for the commissions on 2 paintings. And congratulations - you’re in demand!
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:27 AM
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Re: Private buyers vs gallery

I have a thought, but I am not sure how the parties involved would react. You could check with the potential buyer if they would agree to allow the works to be placed in the gallery with a sold sign. This may work to the gallery's benefit as people like to know other people like the art as well, so having two sold pieces may help create more of a demand for the others. Now the question of what to do with the sale of the two paintings. Have you set a price yet? If not, perhaps you could add in a small percentage for the gallery to cover just the lost profit minus the overhead (you would need to ask them what that percentage would be).

My limited experience with galleries is that they are a bit jealous concerning outside sales, even without contracts. I was once handed a business card and asked in front of a gallery owner by a client of the gallery to give them a call. When the client left I was told that he was out of line to do that, but the reprimand was double edged and directed at me as well. So tread carefully, they are a business so they will be looking out for their interests.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:26 AM
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creativevintage creativevintage is offline
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Re: Private buyers vs gallery

I would first ensure that the request to buy the paintings is valid. I have had many, many scam emails asking to purchase works that someone saw on my website but as time went on, they were not valid and were part of an attempted scan. That being said, I think once you promise and enter into an agreement with a gallery, you should honor that agreement and if the buyer is indeed valid, explain that they are welcome to purchase once the exhibit is over.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:14 PM
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Grotius Grotius is offline
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Re: Private buyers vs gallery

I'd check with the gallery. The galleries I work with would almost certainly insist that the gallery gets to hang the two paintings in question.

And I second the concern about scam emails. I get a scam email every other month. Usually it says that the writer saw a piece on my site that he likes and wants to buy for his wife. Or that he observed his wife looking at my website and noticed she liked some of the paintings. The scam often involves overpaying you by a counterfeit check, then asking you to refund the extra to a phony shipping company. Or just getting you to ship the painting before you receive actual money.
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:45 PM
francjs francjs is offline
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Re: Private buyers vs gallery

Thank you for your suggestions everyone. They are good. All considered, I'll talk with the gallery and see if they would be happy for me to sell (I don't think he's a scam, I can find them online and seem ok, but one never knows), put the red dot on the painting, and for them to take a commission.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:01 AM
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Kmart Kmart is offline
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Re: Private buyers vs gallery

I looked at some of your other threads, and your work is really cool! Welcome to the world of blurred lines with the galleries.
Did you already submit photo's of the paintings to hang for your show? If they have not seen the images of the paintings, I would say sell the two, and bring two different ones for the show.
If they have seen the images for the show, that's a different story.

In general, any time there is a show, it will stir up some renewed interest in your work, and these things arise. It is exciting to show with the gallery, but I would not be in a hurry to hand over hundreds of dollars if there is not some agreement to have those specific paintings in the show.

Good luck with the sales and the show!
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:50 AM
francjs francjs is offline
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Re: Private buyers vs gallery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmart
I looked at some of your other threads, and your work is really cool! Welcome to the world of blurred lines with the galleries.
Did you already submit photo's of the paintings to hang for your show? If they have not seen the images of the paintings, I would say sell the two, and bring two different ones for the show.
If they have seen the images for the show, that's a different story.

In general, any time there is a show, it will stir up some renewed interest in your work, and these things arise. It is exciting to show with the gallery, but I would not be in a hurry to hand over hundreds of dollars if there is not some agreement to have those specific paintings in the show.

Good luck with the sales and the show!

Thanks Kmart, I'm pleased you liked my work! And thanks for the suggestions. The gallery saw them, they asked me for some specific ones, including those 2. After giving it some thought, I'm happy to just send the paintings for the show, the person that wrote to me wanting to buy said they'll come, and I'll have the gallery send an invite to him specifically. This also brings traffic, which is good.
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:21 PM
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Cindy Schnackel Cindy Schnackel is offline
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Re: Private buyers vs gallery

Usually a gallery has a contract that states what happens if there's a private sale offer on a piece you agreed in writing to put in their gallery for a specified time. Easiest is to just have the buyer purchase it during your show.

Sales commissions on art should always be part of the price, so if you make a sale on your own, you get paid the full price, and if the gallery makes the sale, they get their portion for bringing the buyer to the table. It can be awkward when the two things overlap, so I'd just go with having them buy it from the show, or asking the gallery how they want to handle it if the contract doesn't address it.
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Old 03-06-2020, 09:44 AM
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Antoine Antoine is offline
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Re: Private buyers vs gallery

I've been in similar situations and starting out I ended up paying galleries a % for my private sales too many times. Today I will no longer do that. I have my own contract with galleries that states that I am allowed to ask works on consignment to be returned or not sent to them should a private sale occur.

I would be open with the gallery about the situation and ask what they suggest. They can hang the works as sold as others suggested, agree to only hang the remaining works or insist on a commision. I would not offer that first hand but if they insist and you are very eager to build a relationship you could consider.

Of course these are just suggestions. Do what you're most comfortable with & good luck on the exhibition!
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Old 03-06-2020, 09:45 AM
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Re: Private buyers vs gallery

I just noticed the dates and realize your show must already be underway. Please let us know how it turned out!
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