BlogFebruary 1, 2012

What Is the Difference Between Selling and Consigning a Work of Art to a Gallery?


Consigning Works to a Gallery


In a consignment arrangement the work of art is usually offered actively for sale in our gallery and at and paid for when the work is sold by us to a client. We ask for a period of time, generally 9 months, during which we have the exclusive right to offer the work for sale. It need be noted that sometimes it may even take 6-8 weeks between the time we receive the work of art and the time it is ready to be shown and marketed for sale. In the remote eventuality that the work is unsold it is returned to the owner. Our success rate for selling on consignment is 90%.   


With a consignment arrangement our terms are usually that the consignor is agree to a net price, one  to which we are permitted to add a profit and our expenses, including maintenance charges (e.g. cleaning and framing if necessary). The projected profit margin is contingent on the value of the work of art, on a sliding scale from 7% for the highest value works up to 30% for the more modestly priced works.


Selling Works Directly to a Gallery


The second option sometimes available to sellers of important fine art is an outright sale. In this case we are taking a financial risk that our financial projection is one that we can realize and are making the financial investment in its ownership. While we are often agreeable to purchasing outright for resale works of art of a particularly fine quality, we expect that our financial risk be remunerated at a level greater than on a consignment basis.


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