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Sales commission in a shop (not gallery)

LauraVest 15 33 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2011 9:08AM
Hi Everyone,

Hope you can offer me some advice.

I found out about a shop that is due to open near where I live and they will be selling art and design wares from local artists and some national artists too. They were advertising for people to contact them who may like to sell things in their shop. I got in touch to ask what commission they take and they replied 'it would depend on what you're selling' - so I emailed them over a few examples of what I may like to sell, depending on their commission.

I got an email with this response....

"Thanks for the information and your photographs are fabulous, I would be interested in selling them in the shop but to be honest I have no idea about commissions. The shop is quite small but we do have wall space so happy to take either separate large prints or a smaller trio. I really like the prints you have sent and think this would fit in with our other products. We are looking to support local and UK designers who do not have their work/products in the area.

Let me know what you would be happy to pay as far as commission is concerned?"

So I have no idea what rate to suggest. I have sold work in galleries before with a range of different commission cuts being taken from the galleries - one even 50%! Are shops different? I was thinking maybe 5-10% ? I was a little alarmed by the response that they have no idea about commission?! But think I am willing to give it a go, would you suggest a written agreement of some sort?

Thanks for any help,

JamesGarfield 12 915 4 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2011 9:17AM
Hi Laura

As they seem to have no idea regarding how much commission they'll take I'd start at 5% and see how it was received afterall you can always go up a little if they say no.
keithh 17 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
15 Feb 2011 9:17AM
If they are giving wall space over then a fair commission would be 30%plus. If you consider that they could buy a product in with a 50-100% retail mark up on, then asking someone to take up selling space on a 5-10% is a bit of a cheek really.
bfgstew 15 668 105 England
15 Feb 2011 9:20AM
Def getting it writing first.

Depends on how much your selling them for really but I would expect at least a 5% to 10% cut, the bigger the size/price the bigger the cut if you work it out on wall space. Don't out sell yourself though and think of it as a bit of advertising for yourself on the cheap.
brian1208 18 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2011 9:28AM

Quote:If they are giving wall space over then a fair commission would be 30%plus

I agree Keith, I have a main window display in a local art shop at the moment, no hanging charges but 30% commision, which is very reasonable in my experience.

If you try to screw them you will find that when someone comes along and offers a fair rate you will be out of the shop. Look on it as setting up a long term working relationship and treat them fairly and you will both win in the end
randomrubble 17 3.1k 12 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2011 9:34AM
My other half is involved with a shop that sells craft etc, and they take 35% which, it seems, is pretty well middle of the road for that sort of thing in our area.
Chris_H 17 1.5k 1
15 Feb 2011 9:38AM
I think Keith was closing to the Mark with at least 30%, all of the shops and galleries I sell in take 40%, it needs to be worth their while too as they are the one with lots of costs and risks involved with the shop, if it is not worth their while you will soon find your work gets placed out of the way in some dark corner somewhere or eventually gets replaced by other photographers.

If they need the stock badly which they probably do if they are just starting out and trying to keep their costs down then you may be able to get away with a much lower percentage, but I would personally look for a more reasonable amount that works for both parties in the long run.
Pete 20 18.8k 97 England
15 Feb 2011 9:41AM
They probably know how much is realistic, but are giving you the chance to give them a bigger's the negotiation process that often happens when you take stuff to sell to second hand shops. The first thing they ask is "how much do you want for it?".
In this case if you said 50% they're very happy and they assume you're happy. If you say 5% they will probably say we can't hang it for that and then you end up striking a deal in a middle ground of 25-30%.
LauraVest 15 33 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2011 10:11AM
Thanks for all you help guys. You always come up trumps with giving me a range of advice for all kinds of problems!!

I mentioned that I wasn't sure if shops were different to galleries in terms of how much commission I would expect to have cut and my initial thought was they would be lower - but it seems the majority of you are saying not. I didn't suggest 5-10% as a way of 'screwing' them over, just my lack of knowledge in this area. I just want to get a fair deal as much as they will do I suppose.

I think I'd be happy suggesting around the 20-30% mark and see how it goes.

Thanks again everyone.
User_Removed 11 4.6k 1 Scotland
15 Feb 2011 12:23PM
My local craft shop charges 35% commission but no fees on top of that. That's a bit lower than normal retail mark-up.

On the other hand a local coffee shop/restaurant only takes 25% commission and justifies this on the grounds that it is getting "interior decoration" for free. A good negotiating point maybe.

The other end of the sale is a local private "gallery" and antique outlet that charges between 20 and 50 per month hanging fee but then only takes 20% of sale price. I don't like that model at all but it seems quite common in the gallery and antique area.

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