It's the letter G this week in the A-Z of Selling Handmade Silver Jewellery Blog but obviously it can apply to any art wares being sold.
G. Gallery / Galleries
So how do you go about selling in Galleries?
Galleries tend to mostly work on the basis of sale or return for your goods. Work on a rough guide of 40% commission with 20% VAT - so if you're not VAT registered (ie turnover of less than £73000) then your prices need to take into account this amount being taken by the VAT man. They will also generally want you to provide jewellery boxes/packaging for your items. As a general rule they will settle your account on a monthly basis for any sales in the previous month.
If you sell online or in other outlets it's vital that your prices don't vary from gallery to shop to online. Imagine how a customer would feel if they bought one of your items in a gallery and then went online and found you selling it at a cheaper price because you're not having to pay the fees to the gallery. It doesn't take much to see that they will go back to the gallery and complain! So, you'll have lost an outlet as well as annoyed the gallery immensly. Work out your normal prices based on the fact that you might sell to a gallery in the future if you haven't already got your jewellery into one yet.
Once you've worked out your prices, do some research and find out which galleries you'd like your jewellery to be in. If you can, there's no substitute for visiting them with some examples of your work and asking. Letters do tend to get 'lost' in a pile of correspondence and ignored. Try telephoning first to make an appointment - but if you're in the area and are wearing your jewellery and spot a gallery you like the look of - there's never any harm wandering in and asking on the offchance.
The other option is to join a reputable association (eg. Association of Contemporary Jewellery). These organisations will have local co-ordinators with meetings regularly organising group exhibitions in galleries.
Outlets for Lesley H Phillips Jewellery