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Monday, June 2, 2008

How Would You Choose To Choose?

Louis ArmstrongCommission or consignment?

The Elvis Presley I painted was a very successful gift from the Mississippi plantation owner to his son-in-law. Satchmo is for himself. He's going to put it on display somehow at their gift shop!

But this brings up the question I've gotten a lot: "How do we sell more?"

Galleries would tend to say consignment because their clients usually expect to be able walk out with the piece they specifically want. It's quite exclusive to be able to have a gallery owner make a special request of a represented artist as it means the supply isn't limited and prices won't stay as high unless it's a rare occurrence.

Boutique shops might say commission because it saves them on display space and storage, and they don't usually convey to customers that supply is limited to what they see. Also, because they sell mostly gifts, getting to sell custom items is a plus because people like the personal touch.

Each choice, though, has a different impact on the potential purchaser.

Consignment implies that these are all there are and it's up to the artist to choose the subject matter, so it's rare. Yet at the same time it makes it easier for the client to choose if they or someone they know loves the subject matter of one of the currently available pieces. They don't have to think about the subject matter, only who would want it. Also, they can see what they're actually buying. However it excludes potentially passionate people who would go crazy if they could just get the singer _____.

Commission gives them that opportunity and still makes it special because it's just for them, even though supply isn't limited. But it requires the client go on faith that a special order will receive as much attention as one display example and match its quality. It also forces them to think of the best choice of subject matter for their friend _____. Although, people like choice and like feeling included.

This has led me to ask places to have a good selection of pieces on display of suitable favorites and to alert interested patrons that custom pieces are also available. This gives customers enough examples to demonstrate quality and consistency as well as letting them walk out with one if they know someone who loves the usual suspects. It also gives them the opportunity to feel special receiving their own unique creation to enjoy or give away.

I've set up my gallery page the same way.

So, how would you choose to choose?


SOLD - Louis Armstrong 06/02/08

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