Monday, February 16, 2009

You Make The Rules

A few minutes ago I saw some people talking about what stores take as a percentage for consignment and they were discussing whether they needed to raise their prices in other places to accommodate the store pricing. In fact one person suggested they "shop around" to see what stores have the best consignment percentages. Shop around with your own work to leave it in a store until it sells and then get paid...really??? I have to admit I was rather flabbergasted. Since when do people allow others to dictate the terms of their business? Is this something new or were they just a rare few new to the business world?

I have never done consignment except with one shop because the shop owner was a friend. (I wouldn't recommend doing that either because sadly it didn't turn out well.) I suppose there are people out there that don't realize that many shops prefer doing consignment because they are not responsible for insuring that merchandise. If the store burns down or the piece gets stolen you are just out that time and money on supplies and they aren't under any obligation to refund your losses.

Any serious business person sets their own terms and when they are approached for consignment or wholesale they are ready with those terms. The shop can take it or leave it. I have always done wholesale, and I set my own terms. They are fair to both of us and I have never had any complaints. I have a set percentage for the split that never varies for anyone, and an opening order minimum so that I am properly represented. I would never consider wholesale at the percentage they were discussing let alone consignment. They were getting a bad deal if they take it. Of course you should leave information about what you do if you think a shop would be interested in you, but to shop your work around looking for a good deal from the store...I can't even process that.

It's up to each of us to decide what we feel is fair for our work, ultimately it's your business and you make the rules. It's never up to a store to dictate what you should or should not do. You wouldn't go into their store and tell them how to run their business, and I am sure they wouldn't like it if you did. In the long run they will respect you more if you come in as a professional with set terms and a contract.

I am not saying you shouldn't do consignment if you're comfortable with that. I am just saying you should be aware of what it entails before you do it, and if they really respect your work and want your items in their shop they will accept your terms as long as they are fair to both of you. If they don't want to abide by those terms, then there is a good chance it wouldn't have been a good fit anyway because they might not value your work and properly take care of your items while they sit in their shop.

1 comment:

Mia Sophia said...

Absolutely! You are so right. It is so important to find someone that respects your work or you will find yourself on the loosing end of a bad deal!

Tons of consingment offers are blanketed across etsy and other venues just to see who will bite! Check contracts, CHECK REFERENCES! and don't do anything unless you are sure the shop owner is reputable!

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