Selling Your Work - Are Consignments Shops Worth It

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Forum topic by jerrells posted 10-08-2011 01:52 AM 2386 views 2 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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918 posts in 2854 days

10-08-2011 01:52 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question scroll saw scrollworking arts and crafts

I have been scrolling for some time and have sold by word of mouth and at a few Arts & Craft shows. All with a fair amount of success. Now I have found an opportunity to be involved in a Consignment Store to sell my product. However, my question is, are these worth the effort.

The arrangement for this consignment store is the rent/least space by the shelf. You pay $20 per month for a shelf that is three foot wide and about 18 inches deep. All of the basic fixture items are provided like stands, pegs and hooks. All you do is make the items, tag them with your price and provide the shop owner a running inventory list.

Once per month you would get a check for all items sold minus a 15% shop fee. The shop will pay all sales taxes. Several times per year the shop will purchase spcae in a local Arts and Crafts show and by lottery drawing you could be invited – FREE. The shop does all advertising and staffing of the shop.

This seems like a winning arrangement however I would like input for wiser ones that I. What do you think.

Thanks for any input.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

11 replies so far

View scoops's profile


56 posts in 2393 days

#1 posted 10-10-2011 08:50 AM

Seems to me that if you’ve already got the items to sell, what can you lose? Just pay the $20, display your stuff and see how it goes! If you don’t have to staff the shop waiting for customers you’re heaps in front. I do a market every month here at Bribie Island, Australia and sit there from 7:30am to midday, some months are good but other times I don’t even make enough to cover my petrol costs, but it’s good to interact with people, and have your work on show. I say go for it…you can always quit after a couple of months if you don’t sell.

-- yesterday today was tomorrow

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2471 days

#2 posted 10-10-2011 10:28 AM

Michael has a few things to say about consignment in his most recent marketing blog that might be worth thinking about. Some useful points just to make sure everybody dtays happy with the arrangement.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3278 days

#3 posted 10-10-2011 03:41 PM

Do it.

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2856 days

#4 posted 10-10-2011 05:26 PM

I have thought about this. There are many stores in Raleigh, NC that do things like this. The only issue I see is having someone pay for what it is worth. For example I made a coffie table that cost about $600 in wood and supplies, $600 is a lot of money, my time is free but still worth something, the question is how much is my time worth…...

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2854 days

#5 posted 10-10-2011 05:49 PM

agallant – you have spoken words of wisdon. In scrollsawing this is so true. I just finished a Arts and Crats show. Total sales about $250. by the time you take out material and such and that I spent TWO MONTHS getting ready – I say I made about 0.38 cents per hour. Problem is, there do not seem to be many stores in North Texas, where I live, that do this. So it’s word of mouth, WEB Site or consignment. I’m still trying to sort all of this out.

I just love doing this type of work, execpt this morning where about a hour into a cutting I broke a piece.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 2913 days

#6 posted 10-10-2011 10:46 PM

I would suggest talking to some of the other vendors that sell at the consignment shop. See what their opinion is of the sales. Are they making a profit from the store or are they just treading water? If you would do it, now is the time as the holidays are coming up and people will be looking for items.

The downside is that your products are treated like products on the shelf at WalMart. No one is there to sell the customer by explaining all the work, the type of wood, the way it is done and why you love to do what you do. All of these intangible things help motivate a customer to buy.

At the show I just did, I had a couple of previous customers come by and stayed for a while trying to find something they could purchase. They really wanted to buy something from me, because they like me and my products. With one of them, I designed an idea for them on the spot and they bought it. Now I have to make it but that’s part of the fun.

Give it a try in my opinion, but don’t expect it to go like wildfire. Go in with your eyes wide open.


-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

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Jim Finn

2648 posts in 2891 days

#7 posted 10-11-2011 12:43 AM

My experiance with consignment shops is that sales are poor . I never paid to display my stuff though. The store just marked up my items and paid me 60% of sales price. I no longer bother.

-- Website is

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3019 days

#8 posted 10-11-2011 02:10 AM

I think it is worth a try.
As you said with the shows – by the time you make it all, pay for the site, set it all up at the show, spend the day trying to sell the stuff you have and now you need to sell the stuff you haven’t sold some how.
I dont like the idea of shows etc because of all the drama involved. I would love to have a store here to put some of my stuff in. I have an outlet 3 hours drive away and have done pretty well out of it. They only take out 15% consignment fee once its sold and it can sit in the shop till sold. So its not a bad deal but as I said it is 3 hours away (little country town where my mum lives).
give it a go if nothing comes of it you really dont have anything to loose. also you dont need to stock up before you try to sell it, just drop something new in when you have completed it.

-- Theresa,

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3074 days

#9 posted 10-12-2011 07:20 AM

I have some boxes and cutting boards on consignment in two galleries. One has been okay with sales. I like that I can leave my stuff there and be in the shop making instead of at a show. There are a lot of minuses to doing shows as Theresa stated. Since one gallery has a 40% commission, the selling price gets bumped up quite a bit over the show price. I discount my price to them because I am not paying a booth fee and spending my time at a show. I can be in the shop. This keeps the price more reasonable- to me at least. I do know the owner is motivated to sell things and likes my work The other gallery is a new artists’ co-op and the commission is 20% with a $30.00 a month fee and a commitment to work there 1 day a month. It is in a good location and has good sales. I will have to see how this one works. I have raised my prices for this place because the clientele spends money. I have tied up a lot of inventory in the two places, but now I can make more. for shows. I do like to interact with customers at a busy show. I get to talk about what I do and get nice feedback. And I make new wood contacts at almost every show. I hate to sit around at a slow show. I could be in the shop. It is all a learning experience for me.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Tennessee's profile


2862 posts in 2484 days

#10 posted 10-28-2011 09:39 PM

I agree with Jim – consignment shops, the only person who makes any real money is the owner of the shop. And no interaction with people who may want something custom from you, so lost sales. Some consignment people will let you advertise your phone number, website, etc., on the shelf, that helps a little.
The gallery and artist’s shops are much better if you can get to one. Especially if you make friends with the person running the shop. Shows are still the best bet, although they chew up time. And gallery people will do a much better job promoting your stuff.
Another problem with consignment shops is I found most owners also have their own stuff in there, and it gets all the attention, the best spots, etc. A lot of the other stock is used as filler for the store, and a revenue generator for the shop owner. I stay away from them. Sorry….

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View EandS's profile


73 posts in 2432 days

#11 posted 11-27-2011 05:16 AM

They are. You CAN sell through them and at least its a public place to showcase your work. A number of our tables are in these shops.

-- ~ ~

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