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Topic: Not getting ripped off putting work in Consignment Shops?  (Read 1522 times)
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uglyshyla
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« on: October 19, 2006 07:58:56 PM »

I have been contemplating having some consignment shops across the USA carry some of my work like dolls and some of my jewelry.Because of that I'm naturally worried about things like theft both in the store and from the owners,or what happens if somebody breaks something ect?
At least when you put your work in a art gallery they have insurance against theft and things like fire.But putting your stuff in a shop is a whole new ballgame.
Also anybody have any tips on what you should ask the shop ahead of time about putting things on consignment?
I know to ask about how much of a percent they take,but is there anything else I should inquire about?
SpanX!
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2006 03:00:15 PM »

Well, when you go into a meeting with a store owner for the first time it's very crucial to ask detailed questions.  When I put my work into a shop I'm interviewing the shop owner as they're interviewing me.  Small shop owners, like gallery owners, have insurance, too, by the way.  What you need to ask when you go into a new shop is what their policy is on lost/stolen work.  A lot of the time they'll tell you any loss is your responsibility, sometimes they'll split the cost with you or take responsibility.  Another thing to consider; theft isn't the issue you might think.  I mean, it happens.  But as a general rule it's quite unlikely that you're going to experience much theft unless you're putting your work into seedy-type places.  And you should probably avoid those places anyway.  What you need to know to make a consignment relationship work is how much commission the store takes, when you'll get paid for work sold and how much product they'll take from you.  If the owner is friendly, I wouldn't be too concerned about being ripped-off.
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nancydaffodil
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2006 03:17:30 PM »

Ask the owner about how she deals with missing items, also when you get paid for what you sell. I always assume it is by the month but this isn't always the case.  I wouldn't worry too much about the theft thing, I had a consignment store once and I don't recall ever losing anything to theft and if I did I would have paid for it myself.  If I couldn't return the inventory  to the client  (ie if something had been broken)then it would be treated as sold and they would get the full amount. Check out the store and the owner and if it feels good, go ahead!
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uglyshyla
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2006 07:52:45 PM »

Thanks for the info!

Well, when you go into a meeting with a store owner for the first time it's very crucial to ask detailed questions.  When I put my work into a shop I'm interviewing the shop owner as they're interviewing me.
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uglyshyla
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2006 07:54:01 PM »

Thanks for the info,yea I was worried about that too,because since I make dolls sometimes they are easily broken,so I wasn't sure what to ask about theft,which the only reason I worried about that is because some of my stuff is so small and things being broken.

Ask the owner about how she deals with missing items, also when you get paid for what you sell. I always assume it is by the month but this isn't always the case.  I wouldn't worry too much about the theft thing, I had a consignment store once and I don't recall ever losing anything to theft and if I did I would have paid for it myself.  If I couldn't return the inventory  to the client  (ie if something had been broken)then it would be treated as sold and they would get the full amount. Check out the store and the owner and if it feels good, go ahead!
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2006 10:41:30 AM »

I'll just ask: are you yourself insured? What happens if you have your own loss? I'd say ask the shop owner for sure about their insurance, but also contact your own insurer to find out how you can cover yourself in the case of theft/fraud or whatever other bad things can happen to your stuff.
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uglyshyla
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2006 10:26:36 PM »

Thanks for the info.I have shown stuff in a gallery or two,and I always know to ask them that,but I was clueless if the same rules went for stores as well.
ThanX
U.Shyla

I'll just ask: are you yourself insured? What happens if you have your own loss? I'd say ask the shop owner for sure about their insurance, but also contact your own insurer to find out how you can cover yourself in the case of theft/fraud or whatever other bad things can happen to your stuff.
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2006 10:24:33 AM »

I'm considering consignment as well.  This is a great thread for info!

Thanks!
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2006 10:48:01 AM »

in some cities and states there are laws governing such things to protect your work. these laws came about after consignment stores were destroyed in fires and other accidents. you might ask your local SBA if your area has such a law.
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2006 11:17:13 AM »

As someone who works in a brick-and mortar shop that deals with consigned items (albiet motorcycles and not crafts) I can tell you it is VERY difficult to insure items on consignment. Why? Because you haven't purchased them.

A few months ago we had a bike stolen, but our insurance refused to cover it because legally, it wasn't ours. Ownership was in someone else's name. In the end the guy's insurance had to cover it, and we just paid his deductible out of pocket.

Of course, vehicles are a little different since they're titled and registered, but the basic concept is the same... your insurance company has no interest in covering someone else's goods. Those are considered the responsibility of the owner's insurance company.

In consigning my crafts, each place I've consigned with has maintained that while they will make every effor to protect my crafts, they can't be held responsible in case of theft. My renter's insurance however will cover it.

In the case of crafts folks consign with me in my onilne shop, they're generally cheap enough that I can self-insure... which is to say that if my studio gets broken into and folks jewelry is stolen, I will just pay them out of pocket. But if I was running things on a larger scale or with more expensive items, that just wouldn't be possible.
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