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Hi everyone.  I am looking into showing some of my things at a small gallery/gift shop near me.  My question is Is it ethical to also submit work to other similar shops in the same area or even in different cities?  I don't want to be unfair to anyone giving me a chance and I do want to get into a few different shops if possible but not if it means being inappropriate or unethical.  I know artists will sell work in galleries around the country with no conflict but I'm talking small monetary gains as apposed to several hundred dollars or more.  Also, is it a conflict to sell similar pieces on my website while other pieces are in a shop? What are your thoughts on these?

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Most galleries or shops request that you not sell within a certain radius in order to keep their sales high.  They may spend advertising on you as being a featured artisan or visiting artist so they need to be respected for their returns.  Selling in other cities or states is usually not a problem.  I am struggling with the issue of my web site listing items on view at other places because my program will not allow me to omit the price.  I would rather not compete with museum prices and would rather omit them entirely.  Instead, the only option I have is listing them online at the same prices the museums charge.

That's kind of what I thought.  I'm going to wait and see if this one particular shop wants me for sure before I approach  any of the others.  I don't have prices on anything on my website so I'm thinking I may be able to direct interested people to the shop that has that particular piece for sale.  I think that will be a fair way to do things.  I'm thinking it might even be a good idea for me to ask the shop owner about that.  I can always delete the picture until it comes home again.  I joined a Halloween Artists group that has an Etsy shop.  I'm going to wait to see what happens at the gallery first before I post anything on it.  Better safe than sorry.

Even though it is a shop, you might want to get a written agreement with them regarding their markup, you portion, responsibility toward items in their shop (are they insured), how long they will keep items before requiring a rotation of new items, and how many items they wish to carry at any given time.  Such clarity will help to avoid future misunderstandings that can not only terminate a relationship, but send messages to other potential representatives or shops that you are not a good person to deal with.  It is also for your own protection.  You can find sample agreements on line or as a lawyer to help draw one up if the store doesn't already have one in place.

That's great advice. Thank you Jeanne.  I hadn't thought of that myself but I will make sure to do that.  I'll look this up online as well so I go in there prepared and knowing what to look for.

I put pieces of my PMC pendants in a high end shop in Boca Grande Florida.  They have done very well for me.  I was approached by another shop owner down the street from them, wanting to also carry my work.  Since Boca is a small tight knit community, I decided that it wasn't fair to the first shop, even if I put in different pieces.  I could have certainly used the sales, but I felt it would be a slap in the face to my first shop that gave me such a wonderful opportunity to break into that market..  I have found several other outlets in the surrounding area, but made the decision to keep each area with only one be fair and ethical.  It also makes your work a bit more "exclusive", which I tend to like!!!!


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