Fair Commissions

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Forum topic by JoeyG posted 05-24-2012 12:49 PM 1876 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2863 days

05-24-2012 12:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have a question that some of you maybe able to help me out with. I have several stores or shop close to home that would like me to put my boxes in for sale on commission. I live in a small area and all the shop owners know each other. They have set a price at 33% on top of my price. I think them making something is fair. It is their business establishment and all of that. 33% just seems high just to put something on a shelf. They don’t even have to try and sell it, just take the money if someone wants to buy it.

What is a fair commission? Anyone with experience in this that can share their thoughts?

As always, I am most grateful to anyone who has anything to help in my consideration of letting these folks make so much money off of me.


-- JoeyG ~~~

26 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30142 posts in 2575 days

#1 posted 05-24-2012 12:52 PM

That’s a standard here as well. I think it is excessive also. But they don’t negotiate.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View KoryK's profile


229 posts in 2926 days

#2 posted 05-24-2012 01:05 PM

I’m just starting down this road and negotiated a deal with a shop owner out of Tennessee. We agreed I set my own pricing and we do a 70/30 split (started with a 60/40). The big difference is she pays for all advertising and promotions. She has already scheduled an interview with two of the local papers to highlight my work and in turn her shop. She is also trying to get my work in other shops at a wholesale price, but we are still talking about that. Like I said, this is my first attempt so I don’t know if its a good deal or not. We will see, but it seemed fair and I don’t know if any other shops would be willing to do it. Don’t hurt to ask?

-- If you not making sawdust, your probably wasting your time. Kory

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2646 days

#3 posted 05-24-2012 01:06 PM

I have 2 places that want me to bring them some stuff. We have not discussed any monies/percentages but I am just honored that they asked me…...........J

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4035 posts in 4301 days

#4 posted 05-24-2012 01:09 PM

My only attempt at local giftshop placement was a 60/40 split. 40% for me. Couldn’t do that.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View kepy's profile


293 posts in 2511 days

#5 posted 05-24-2012 01:17 PM

I have never paid more than 25%. Also, be careful of the shop. One I was in disappeared along with my pieces.

-- Kepy

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8612 posts in 2566 days

#6 posted 05-24-2012 01:28 PM

Just surfed your projects again Joey…. you’re really cranking out the boxes and they look terrific.

I can’t comment on what’s a “fair” commision, as my wife’s uncle “taught” me long ago that “fair” is where you take your little pet pig to get a blue ribbon :^) (little dysfunctional family humor there)...

I will suggest that the shops have fixed overhead costs and typically no other way to cover them. And they are actually bringing something very valuable to the party…. a paying customer!

Where I work now, we have several brokers selling products that we manufacture and often they make more on them than we do…. and we have all the material cost, labor and more importantly THE RISK associated with employing people in a factory envirionment. None the less…. they are making the sales.

I think what’s more important, is the question…”are you making what you think you need/want to make?”

If the answers is yes…. I’d suggest you not worry about what they’re making.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3094 days

#7 posted 05-24-2012 01:35 PM

That is fair

I pay 35%

But make sure you get prominent display as

shipowners will sell the goods first that they

have laid out there cash for

No good your money sitting in the back on a bottom shelf.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3546 days

#8 posted 05-24-2012 01:37 PM

33% seems fair and reasonable. Some wholesalers will want to purchase work at a 50% discount and some galleries want 40% consignment commission. Choose the galleries carefully and get a written contract of their policies. If your state has a local crafts guild and a retail store it can be another option.
there are some co-op galleries also that sell artists work for around 25% commission and you have to volunteer to work in the gallery a few days each month. You have to find the best option for your needs.

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2444 days

#9 posted 05-24-2012 01:42 PM


Remember that they have to pay rent, utilities and their employees. That money helps them. Sure they are not actively selling your product but it is taking up space so you are renting space and when the clerk rings it up, you are paying the clerk. You are also paying the employee to keep it clean and presentable. Your paying to keep the store nice and comfortable, the lights on, etc. It seems high but anything around 35% is fair, in my modest and humble opinion. Now if they try and go above that, they are eating into your money!

Very Respectfully,


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View MyChipCarving's profile


636 posts in 3362 days

#10 posted 05-24-2012 01:46 PM

I think Nate has hit it right on the mark. 33% is fair as it helps to put yourself in the store owners shoes.

-- Marty,, 866-444-6996

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3208 days

#11 posted 05-24-2012 01:50 PM

As a retailer I’ve always expected key (100%) markups to be standard.
That’s the posted price, before discounts or sales.

Applied to the terminology being used here that would be a 50/50 split.
I have always, on any product I made for someone else to sell, expected I have to be able to make it and sell it for 1/2 of what it will be retailed for.

As far as 35% being excessive, I don’t think so.
In my retail store, If I can’t make a 27% margin I don’t even break even.
The cost of doing business has increased over 12% in the last 3 years due to paperwork and regulations.
Just had gubmint snoops in the store twice in the last month.
Got cited for not having a “No Smoking” sign on the back door.
My back door is only an exit. Can’t be entered from outside.

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 3182 days

#12 posted 05-24-2012 02:00 PM

I second crank49. I sell to over 500 retail stores, website and catalogs and they all at least double the price that I sell to them at. As long as they can sell it at that price, i don’t care as I make the price that I need.

Another way to look at is that if you didn’t have your product in their store, how much time and expense would it take for you to sell that same item? Does it take time away from the shop? Would you rather be making product or selling it?

They will reach people that you don’t know about as they have a clientele that will buy from them. I would also continue your direct selling to customers as well. This way you can make full price from your customers and the extra sales from the stores will be extra money for you.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View learnin2do's profile


889 posts in 3089 days

#13 posted 05-24-2012 02:02 PM

If they can sell your items at a high enough price that your percentage is satisfactory, then all is okay!

I get 40/60. One store doesn’t seem to be able to fetch enough to get us both what we need. The other is just too high end -i don’t think people want to pay that much for my things. I enjoy seeing the check i get in the mail. I just need to figure out what sells there that i can make fast enough to actually fetch me a decent hourly for my work.

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2928 days

#14 posted 05-24-2012 02:09 PM

It’s really not your concern how much they make “off me”. As long as they sell your wares and you are getting the money you need. But to that end I would hold them to a reasonable schedule. Maybe, after three months with nothing sold, the commission changes or you change items. You can’t let them run your business any more than they should let you run theirs.
There is no fair.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2863 days

#15 posted 05-24-2012 02:10 PM

Thanks everyone. You guys have opened my eyes to look at it from a different point of view. I think I will give them the price I need and if it sells with their mark up that is great. If not then I will try something different. I have had a few pieces in a local shop with this set up and it worked fined for me, and they made theirs as well. Sometimes it just takes someone else saying what we already know. What does it matter what they make as long as I am able to make what I need to.

-- JoeyG ~~~

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