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could consignment hurt your business, handmade consignment

Consignee: the maker of goods.
Consignor: The shop or owner of the shop where you are consigning your goods.

Many makers I know ache to have their product in retail stores. Most are looking for a small retail presence to compliment their direct sales rather than to become completely focused on wholesale. Often, those makers will turn to consignment opportunities to sell their product.

An OMHG reader sent me an email responding to an earlier article I had written about entering the wholesale market asking for direction with her business. This prompted me to spend a little more time thinking about wholesale vs. consignment and why consignment can be dangerous.

When a shop BUYS your product at a wholesale price, they are INVESTING in your product. They have a vested interest to display your product, talk to their customers about it, and get it moving. It has value and they want it to succeed as much as you do. If a product is placed on their shelves with no prior investment, it does not have as much of a perceived value in the eyes of the retailer and may simply be a “shelf filler”. Psychologically, they have no incentive to move it as it helps make their shelves look full and when it is sold, they OWE you money which to the retailer feels like just another month-end expense.

Questions also arise as to who is responsible for certain business aspects related to retailing. For example, when I send a wholesale order to a shop the retailer is responsible for the shipping cost. This is the industry accepted standard. The line becomes blurred with consignment: who pays for shipping? Generally it is the consignee.

How is inventory controlled? How often will the consignor pay for items sold? What happens to items that become damaged, shop worn or out of date? In all of these cases with wholesale accounts, there are generally clear channels for retailers to follow: items broken or damaged in the store are the responsibility of the retailer. Any customer service issues are handled via established warranty or product support policies. Where is the consignee left in these situations?

I have experienced both sides of the coin. In university I made beadwork jewelry. I was good at it and decided to sell via a local consignment shop. I even turned down direct sales in an effort to support the consignment shop owner, who insisted she paid her consignors every two weeks. I faithfully would check in every second Thursday to find “she hadn’t written the cheques yet”. This went on for about two months before one day I went in to find the door locked and the merchandise gone. I never did get paid for my product. The store owner practically vanished.

Last year, I sent an Anointment order to a shop with whom I had a prior business relationship with on consignment. This shop is NOT a consignment store but an upscale boutique and I really wanted to have my product marketed there. We agreed to consigning the first order to see how the existing customers would respond with the expectation that all re-orders would be placed via the regular wholesale methods. I am happy to say that the business relationship has worked out well.

As a consignee there are things you can do to help protect yourself. You can establish a consignment agreement between you and the shop you intend to consign with. Think critically about the type of product you are sending and limit the value of your initial shipment to protect yourself.

There are some fantastic, well-established consignment stores out there and sometimes consignment of a first order is a good way to test the waters of a particular market. BE AWARE that consigning is a bit like a lottery, unless you have an agreement in place and/or you know the shop is well established and has a good reputation, you are taking a risk with your product.

For those of you with consignment experience, I’d love to hear your experiences-please share them in the comments!

  • http://ahousefullofmoxie.com Lisa Bacon

    Great article April!

    I don’t think that most shop owners are looking for shelf fillers…if products in their shop don’t sell, they don’t make a profit (whether it be wholesale or consignment). Consignment can give a small handmade shop a better chance of start up since they don’t have to put all of their money in purchasing wholesale up front.

    I think it can also work in favor of the maker since with most consignment agreements, the split is 60% of the retail. I definitely agree that you should NEVER consign without a signed agreement. I would be weary of any shop that tried to get you to consign without it.

    Love the article again…it’s definitely something to think about!

  • Melinda

    When I first began my business, I saw consignment as a way to get into stores. I had 2 horrible experiences, where I lost a lot of money and a lot of stock. The stores shut down, vanished and never heard from them again.

    I have been dealing with a store for several years now on consignment, and it works well. The owner is professional and always pays her accounts on time.

    However, given my previous experiences, I have made the decision not to deal in consignment again (apart from the lovely store mentioned above!). I do think it can work well, you just need to research very carefully. If I considered consignment again, I would definitely ask for references. If the store owner wouldn’t do this, red flag!!!

  • http://www.anointment.ca April

    Both great points, Melinda and Lisa. Of course there are great consignment shops out there, I have worked with some and you are correct, it can work in the favour of the maker if the percentages are a bit higher than what is normally found in a traditional wholesale agreement. There are some retail shops that will consign local items as a way to fill the shelves when budgets are tight, this is where red flags start to go up for me. I also have never, ever been asked to fill out a consignment agreement with any of the stores I have (and do) consign with – ever. So I’m not sure how pervasive this is in the industry, but for the protection of both parties, GET IT IN WRITING.

    • http://www.facebook.com/giftrepsandy Sandy Dell

      Yes, if you consign your products, don’t EVER do without a written agreement! And start out small so if things go wrong, you are not out so much money!

  • http://www.froggygirl.com Mika

    I came across an odd consignment arrangement recently and would love your thoughts! The owner takes your items on consignment, and each month pays you what you’ve set as your wholesale price for those items that sold. It seemed odd to me from the start..and the more I think about it, the more I think consignees are getting the short end of the stick. Maybe I’m wrong though, what do you think?

  • http://yellowplumblossoms.blogspot.com Jennie

    Hi April!! I wish I would have read this article a year ago before I decided to go down the consignment road. I was still a new business/shop owner and a woman about an hour north of where I live contacted me on Etsy. She said she was opening a consignment store and would love to have my items in there. I was pretty hesitant at first and actually told her no. Then 2 months later she contacted me again, and said she really thought my items would sell well in her shop and she would LOVE to have me on board. After dicussing with co-workers, friends, and hubby, I said yes. I sent her over $700 {retail} worth of product in June 2011 for her Grand Opening. The terms were she would pay me on the first of the month for the previous months sales. July came and went. I finally e-mailed her in August asking how her open house went and how my items are working with her shop. She finally got back to me 2 weeks later, stating she would get me a check out tomorrow morning, and that things are going well. She asked me to send her 4 more sets of bibs as well. So I happily did, and waited for my check. ABout 2 weeks later, my check had finally arrived. Not much, but it was something, and I just had to think – something was better than nothing right?!?! I kinda had a feeling things were going to turn out bad. I just had a gut feeling…that I kept pushing aside. In the end, I haven’t heard from her for 4 months now, and her doors are closed, and everything in her shop is GONE. Naturally her cell phone is out of service and she has not once replied to any e-mail since October 30th. :( A total loss $590. Totally sucks. Can you even do anything?? I filed a complaint with the BBB, which she NEVER responded to. Is it better just to call it a loss??

    Anyways. Lesson learned! Thanks for sharing your story!! :)

    xoxo
    Jennie

  • http://www.one98one.com/ Penny

    this is really a good read.
    Being based in singapore, the craft scene is pretty small. We do have a few stores but it’s somehow not enough.
    Breaking into international market will be the obvious move.
    Have seen many online retailers doing consignment but what should I look out for?
    Can I trust them?
    What if they do not pay me?

    I guess the only way to look out for is what other consignees they have.
    As someone new in the market, I am definitely on the lookout for new stores to break into but there is always a risk involved.

  • http://www.cattailswoodwork.com Brenda

    We had a craft guild that operated a retail shop for its members on a consignment basis..the rates were based on the dollar amount that was sold by particular artisans..the more you sold the less you paid in fees. Worked very well because everyone had a vested interest..however is no more.
    I have sold wholesale for quite a long time, have never worked on a consignment basis. If a shop owner is excited about your work they should be willing to purchase it…Maybe start with a few items of a new product to see how it sells but artisans have to make money and even waiting 30 days to be paid can be problematic.
    If you are just starting out put some time into your presentation, get a good booth together and go to a wholesale craft and gift show or maybe your local farmers market to test the waters. Stores will find you if you have something that fits their style. AND they will buy.

  • http://www.hopelovescards.com Kimberly

    There is another alternative to the consignment of goods – what about shops that have a variety of different craft based businesses under one roof. You pay a very low monthly rent based on the size of the booth you take (local to my area it is anywhere from $125-$300 per month. You stock, display and set up your space as you like it. Then the shop provides all of the retail support staff to ring transactions, answer custom questions. The “booth renter” pays a tiny commission fee (usually 10% or so + a credit card fee to cover the big shop owner’s credit card terminal fees) and VOILA! You are in your OWN small business for just a fraction of the cost of owning your own brick and mortar store. There are two or three of these businesses in my local area and it is not only great for the business person that wants a store + can not afford to leave a full time job, but also your inventory is still your inventory and after commission, rent and fees you are still making more than you would with commission + your not out anything other than rent if the arrangement doesn’t work out. Usually rental agreements are for 6 months to one year – depending on the big shop owner. It is a great option for customers too because they get to see a BIG VARIETY of different booths so there is something for everyone and the spaces are maintained and always look fun, fresh and unique!

  • http://storiedyarns.blogspot.com Jess

    This is a very good point! I decided to do a trial run on consignment recently, and it’s not going well. My items aren’t selling b/c, according to the shop owner, “they’re too expensive.” Makes me wonder if she’s saying that to her customers, too. I haven’t met her in person; her assistant met me and was very enthusiastic so I felt confident putting my items there. Now I just want my stuff back, and have e-mailed twice to no response whatsoever. I didn’t want to shell out the gas money to drive there, an hour away, but I may have to in order to get my items returned. Lesson learned.

  • http://theglossyqueen.com jennifer elizabeth

    my consignment experience was very similar to yours.

    i’ve consigned with a few shops that were on top of everything and eventually lead to wholesale orders. these shops were committed to moving the product – hence why consignment with them was successful.

    HOWEVER, the majority of shops i consigned with were not so on top of things. my product never moved. after months of sitting on the shelves my product would return ragged + shop worn.

    i also had to chase down shop owners for my checks. my most recent experience resulted in a loss of my merchandise after a shop closed and the owner never returned my items.

    now i just refuse to do consignment. it’s much easier for me to sell directly to customers or work with REAL BUSINESS OWNERS who will buy. and trust me those people are out there! i’m currently fulfilling a wholesale order for an online boutique based in the Netherlands and have an order pending with a Canadian business.

    good luck everyone!

  • Allison

    I have done consignment in the past and have also dealt with shop owners who have forgotten to send payment for items sold. I have toyed with the idea of doing consignment again in my city, but was wondering if it was even worth the trouble, especially since many stores seem to keep the same merchandise in stock for long periods of time.

  • http://www.anointment.ca April

    @Mika, that sounds like traditional retail with terms to me. In traditional retail you would pay the entire invoice 30 days after the items were received. This is a twist on it with the retailer only paying what has been sold. The consignee is definitely getting the short end of the stick there. Traditional consignment generally offers higher margins to compensate for the “wait and risk”, you’re getting neither of those in that arrangement. Having said that, it was the same arrangement I started out with in the second scenario that ended well, but we also agreed that any re-orders would be prepaid, which was fine.

  • http://www.anointment.ca April

    @Kimberly, there is a co-op like that forming where I live, I’m checking it out but I still have reservations about certain things: how they will monitor against shoplifting (and who is responsible), the monthly fee, and how they are going to market the shop. It is still in the planning stages with all of the details needing to be ironed out, but it is definitely an interesting “mutation” on the traditional retail/wholesale/consigment landscape.

  • http://www.anointment.ca April

    Also remember: NOBODY can sell your product better than YOU CAN. The right fit is key whether in consignment or retail.

  • http://thebowtique.com Jill B

    I almost dealt with consignment shops, but they always wanted me to offer a lower price.
    I did sell through a local boutique that I paid a small monthly fee and the owner paid what sold each month. Great idea, but I found I was always in to re-stock “my area” and eventually it became too much work.
    I focus my energies on direct sales.
    I absolutely agree with April in that you best represent your items.
    I am wondering if anyone has dealt with the new “deal of the day” sites like Zulily or others. (kind of a online consignment ararngement).
    Or what the thoughts on those are.

  • Holly

    Excellent post! Thank you!
    I have consigned and done fairs and don’t think that’s the right model for me, primarily for reasons others discussed above.
    Thinking about wholesale and wonder — what is the standard percentage of retail that the owner pays?
    Rental space is very common here so I get a little scoop from my friends. They say their items become very shop-worn, the staff do not sell at all (they are essentially clerks) and it’s hit or miss. They also are concerned about the perceived value of their items if the booths around them are not as well done.
    I also wonder about deal sites – like groupon. Is that a good kick starter?
    I find the whole thing disheartening and think about giving up! Thank you again for such a helpful post.

  • http://www.PersnicketyKids.ca Carolyn

    I own a small children’s clothing store in BC… and while I do agree with most of the points, there’s one key factor that’s missing. There are times when as a small business I just can’t afford to invest in the stock the way I want to. I’ve had local artisans bring in samples and a few pieces have really stood out. I KNOW they would do well, but I also know I can’t afford to pay outright for the stock. So I’ve offered a consignment option. Because it’s a product I love and believe in, I still show it and display it the way I would a product I’m highly invested in… because I want to help get the word out about the product/brand/etc.

    I’ve also had the opposite deal as a retailer. We started to carry a local artisan’s work and loved it. But then she started changing things… and all of the sudden everything we had in stock she had discontinued and was selling off for less than what we paid her wholesale for. She refused to buy back our stock, and because of that we took a hit. Not to mention that it made us look bad… that the artist was selling off the stock for almost 75% less than what our prices were. I still have items that she no longer makes and as such no one wants to buy.. even at a considerable discount. We now have a strict “consignment only” policy so if this were to happen again, any remaining inventory we have would just go back to the artist.

    So it really works both ways. There are retailers, especially small ones, that are willing to take a chance on locally produced products. BUT in the same token, we’re also expecting that once we’ve invested in those products that we won’t get left hung out to dry. It’s all about creating a good relationship and keeping the communication honest and open.

  • http://feelincrafty.wordpress.com louise

    I’ve had both good and bad experiences with consignment. Mostly good. The bad was bad though and I won’t deal with that company again. They had put my things in a model apartment. How was it going to sell there? Um, it wasn’t. If they had bought it wholesale, I wouldn’t have minded, but it was consignment. It was there to be sold, not to be put on loan to an apartment building for thier model unit. They also lost a piece. I did get everything back and apid for the items they lost. But what I learned from that was that you really need to check on your items often when they are in consignment shops!

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatkinsDesigns Cat Whitworth

    This has been fascinating to read, but I feel I do need to make a comment…. I am both a Gallery Supervisor and jeweller who sells in the gallery and online as well.
    I know there are a lot of businesses that have a bad reputation for not paying on time etc etc, but A- it is the responsibility of the crafter to research their reputation etc, and B- a lot goes down to experience and learning sometimes the hard way.

    The Gallery i work in sells work mostly through SOR (sale or return, or by consignment), and only a couple of our jewellers and ceramicists are bought in. It is totally impractical for a company to buy in a large order of items, ESPECIALLY if you are a new supplier and they don’t know how their customers will respond to the new work. Maybe its different in the states, but from my experience, it is standard practice here in the UK to sell to galleries/retailers by SOR. Our gallery is reputed and pride ourselves on paying on time, answering queries etc and returning work if asked, keeping stock levels up and selling work well. The thought of the items being “Shelf-fillers” is ridiculous! We want to make money too! Yes, you have to research where you want to put your work, but i think to say consignment may be “bad for business” is very unfair.

    Sorry to sound like i’m having a rant, but felt i had to defend the galleries! I sell my jewellery through my gallery, and though yes, waiting up to a month for my payment can be difficult, that’s my choice. If i didn’t like it, i’d take my work out and just sell direct or through someone else…

  • http://renatom.net rena

    good rules of thumb for considering consignment: sell to local stores only, so you can physically check in, ask for vendor references so you can see if they pay promptly and take care of your work, and if your work *does* sell well, ask to convert to wholesale after the first couple orders. oh yeah, and get it in writing :) my two cents as someone who has both sold on consignment and run a retail store that sold consigned work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatkinsDesigns Cat Whitworth

    I agree Rena :) good to support your local economy too!

  • Lori

    My comment has to do with shoplifting. If The jewelry I have on consignment in a store gets stolen by a shoplifter Can I press charges? I own the stuff that was stolen. I don’t know if the store will press charges since they are out nothing. Anyone know how that works?

  • http://www.aivilod.etsy.com Olivia

    This is all interesting to me. I’m thinking about making putting some of my jewelry on consignment. But i do have questions. Who is responsible for lost/damaged/stolen/worn items?? I would think the shop would be. Who provides the displays?? Is it professional to come up with and print out an agreement/contract from home using Word??
    Should i have the same items on consignment in different shops?? Should I be selling items that i have on consignment wholesale to other shops/stores/etc.?? Are they allowed to put my items on Sale without my permission.?? Just a few questions i’d like to get opinions on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/giftrepsandy Sandy Dell

      Olivia, all that information should be addressed in a consignment agreement.

  • Michael VRS

    Does anyone know what papers/documents are used when you consign something to stores?

  • http://PrairiePrimitives.etsy.com Tana

    While I have sold both consignment and wholesale over the years, in addition to craft fairs, online, etc., it’s highly unlikely that I will ever sell on consignment again; I’ve had too many bad experiences, and even lost what I thought was a good friend because she opened a shop and when times got tough, I was one of the last consignors to get paid. I’ve had a couple of shops vanish as well and others that were just extremely slow to pay.

    I’ve been selling wholesale for the last year and it’s going very well! There have been a few times when it’s been a bit hard to keep up with orders but I’m not complaining! I can sleep next week, right? ;-) I’m at the point now where I’m getting re-orders and a couple weeks ago, one of those re-orders came from a shop which had received their first order that very day … and it had already sold out!

  • http://Www.fibresandfables.com Rena

    I have a question – I have wholesaled a few items to a shop and she has since received multiple inquiries for custom work. I’m totally happy to do it, but have no idea how it works for payment – would i just ask te wholesale price on one custom order? Or should I request higher then 50% cut because it is not a bulk order? I would so appreciate opinions on this matter!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/giftrepsandy Sandy Dell

      Custom orders should have a set-up charge beyond the wholesale price. After all, it takes extra time and work to do a custom order.

  • Christina

    I recently visited a local consignment shop and told them about my handmade items. They said they’d be interested in taking a look, so I brought in some samples, gave them my business card and asked them to have the owner call me to discuss whether or not they’re be interested in selling my items. They never called, so 2 days ago I went back to the store to pick up my items and was shocked to discover they had been selling my items without my consent at a price point that I would never have agreed to. When I asked them to pay me, they said I will only receive store credit for 50% of the sale price, which is about 25% of the retail price I charge on Etsy and at other venues. They profited from stolen merchandise and are ignoring my requests to make it right. I never gave verbal or written consent for them to sell my items. They were just samples for them to look at. What should I do?

    • http://www.facebook.com/giftrepsandy Sandy Dell

      Have you tried file in small claims court? Sometimes they will ‘settle up’ without going to court.

  • http://Www.paintinglive.co.nz Kate williamson

    Who pays the transport costs to return goods? I’ve been dealing with a gallery making 45 percent profit from my work which sells very well but we have fallen out over a web site, she wants all my work out, even though this year she already has made $8000 + commission from my work she wants me to pick up my works four hours drive away and my works won’t fit in a car… Also she wants me to come over to take a sold painting off the frame to be rolled up for international travel at my cost. I’ve done this in the past to keep relations good but this is rediculous and greedy.

  • Jaycee

    It seems that consigners who complain about the consignment fee fail to recognize that the business owner is paying for rent, utilities, insurance, security system, credit card fees, marketing, web service, packaging materials (bags, tissue paper, boxes, etc.). Also the business owner is responsible for collection and payment of sales tax, keeping the store clean and staffing. None of this includes the start up expenses for fixtures, signage, painting & decorating, inventory management system, etc. Let’s not forget that in i clement weather the business owner also has to ensure snow removal from the sidewalk outside the Consigners should certainly do their research before placing their goods in a shop

  • Jaycee

    Continuing on……
    I have consigned my handcrafted jewelry in the past with mixed results. I am now getting ready to open my own artisan gallery so I have greater appreciation for the business owner and the expenses they have to incur. I also recognize the need for carefully written consignment agreements which protect both the artist/consigner and the business. So consigners out there, please bear in mind that in consigning your art your main responsibility is to create beautiful things that folks want to purchase. The business owner wants your work to sell not to fill up shelf space because how else will they pay their expenses and keep their business going . As a jewelry artist I know that I would rather have creations in a shop than have them stack up in my studio.

  • http://twitter.com/happilycrafting Happily Ever Crafter

    What do you feel is a fair consignment price? I did some research and found that most places (that I was able to find prices for) seem to consign for 40/60. I am opening an upcycled craft supply and locally handmade boutique. There are a lot of talented people, especially seniors, locally that have no outlet for their skills because they don’t know how to list via the internet. I have a special section of my shop reserved for locally handmade items, but no one seems to be interested because they feel that my fee of 30% is too high. I chose to go a full 10% over what I had found to be average in my research because I want to help people out, for me it’s more about getting some money flowing back into the pockets of craftspeople so that they can keep creating, but I fear if I go any lower than 30% than I might as well just go ahead and tell people they can sell their items for free. If I didn’t have overhead to consider I would do that anyway, but I’m afraid my shop will be very short lived if I can’t pay the electric bills. LOL. DO you think 30% is too high, if so what should I drop it down to. I don’t have the start up money to buy enough $35.00 tutus to fill the handmade section!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lusciousnixon Laurie Nixon

      I have a small shop with both locally made consignment items as well as other goods bought through wholesalers. I would not recommend going any lower than 30%… I have found that I often feel a slight resentment when the cheques to the consignees work out to be more than my own profit for the month. I do 70/30 as well, and have often pondered putting the rate up. I most likely won’t as I do not want to ruin good relationships with the crafters, but it crosses my mind every month when I write those cheques.
      Good luck with your store!

      • maryana ol

        In reply to -> ” I have found that I often feel a slight resentment when the cheques to the consignees work out to be more than my own profit for the month” . Have you thought about there is two sides of that coin; crafter spent their time/labor, $ on materials to create that product. I understand shop has a rent, bills, etc, but what shop would do without having consignees consign their products ?

  • Patrick Moore

    I have been doing consignment in two local stores for about a year now. One is a great relationship that is profitable to both parties and the other seems to be more of a “shelf filler.” I also have an online store http://www.amoredolceshop.com where I can sell my items directly. I think having my products sold in different ways helps me reach a wider audience. I haven’t tried wholesale yet, but you never know what the future holds! Thanks for the insight!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrelotto Mary B. Relotto

    Wonderful insights! I opened my first shop in October, all consignment. I charge 30% and each vendors pays a monthly rent, with a one year contract. The rent assures me that we’ll make rent and gives my vendors a sense of ownership. The 30% is for all other expenses, leaving next to nothing, if anything for profit. I am now considering opening a 2nd shop in a high traffic/tourist destination and want to buy most items wholesale. How to determine what I should buy wholesale and what to accept on consignment. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thank you! When Dames bond, Dames thrive!

    • http://www.facebook.com/giftrepsandy Sandy Dell

      I would think it would be very confusing and a bookkeeping nightmare to do both wholesale and consignment! Are you not in a position to purchase all the items you would like for your store?

      Another option would be to ask the folks you have dealt with for many years if they would help you establish your new store by giving your Net 60 or Net 90. I would think a savvy producer would jump at the opportunity to help you get started in a high traffic/tourist destination.

      Good luck!

  • http://www.facebook.com/giftrepsandy Sandy Dell

    Excellent article and excellent comments. Consignment can be a blessing or a curse to producers. As a sales rep and a former consignment store owner, I have written up an article on the issue: http://www.squidoo.com/consignment-agreements.

    I would love to hear some feedback from those of you who have worked well with consignment arrangements!

    Thanks,
    Sandy Dell
    ‘Gift Rep Sandy’

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristimtaylor Kristi Taylor

    As both a jewelry artist who has consigned her work in the past, and a boutique owner who has a number of artists’ work for sale on a consignment basis, I actually highly recommend it. There is, of course, a caveat, which is that both the artist and the boutique need to hold each other and themselves to the highest professional standards. It seems to me that when I hear of unhappy results from a consignment agreement, one or both of the parties should have taken heed of red flags before ever entering into an agreement.
    As a boutique, I have a consignment contract which outlines expectations regarding exclusivity & restocking of merchandise (by the artist) as well as reporting, inventory and payment (by me.) I hear constantly from artists that they are pleasantly surprised at how thorough and speedy we are in monthly inventories and pay schedules, so I am sure that this is not the norm.
    As an artist, I do not consign to any shop that doesn’t pass muster as far as their online or storefront presence. And I require some sort of a written agreement (although not necessarily as detailed as ours), along with regular communication regarding sales & customer response. I just pulled several pieces of my jewelry from a shop about an hour from my studio because the sales weren’t performing as expected. Nothing wrong with the shop, just probably not the right demographic. So, we both lived & learned.
    I think consignment is a great way for both parties to “test the water,” and is a nice way for shops to take a chance on a new artist. It can take many months for sales cycles to develop, so I think the minimum trial period should be at least 90 days, and actually prefer 6 months. Then the partnership can convert to a wholesale agreement.
    As an artist, I have one shop who purchases some of my “smaller” pieces wholesale, but also carries more one-of-a-kind pieces on consignment. It’s been a win-win for everyone!

  • http://etsy.com/luciousdesignsbyjennieh jennie hudson

    Hi April! this was very helpful to me, I am in a shop of a non blood related cousin, who initially said that she would not charge me a penny to display my work in her store, because this was family I did not worry too much about an agreement further, she was doing it for free. when I visited her shop to check in, I found that she had DOUBLED my prices which doesn’t help me since I have done extensive research to ensure I am comparable in pricing for type of work I do and mateirals used, ect. ect. I am just wondering if you could give good pointers on how to approach that, also, she did sell a piece, but didnt tell me right away, and didnt pay me on the spot, said she would pay me next time. should I take all this as a major red flag, even though she is ‘family’?