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galleries and now from my soap box

updated mon 7 dec 98


Fay & Ralph Loewenthal on sun 6 dec 98

Dear Clayarters, there are obviously methods that work
some and not for others. Fay sells on consignment to a lady
who has a persian carpet shop in a beach resort town close
to our city. She pays us as soon as she has sold the article.
She sells quitre consistently. We had our ware at another
gallery in the same town and barely anything moved. It is
just a matter of finding the right place for oneself.
We were in Johannesburg two weeks ago and we went into
a shop selling Judaica. They had two of Fay's pieces on
consignment. The one we had priced at R40.00 and the
other at R20.00. They had priced both pieces at R180.00
each. Fay hit the roof. This was a total rip off. A friend of
Fay's son had placed them with the shop, so we told him
that we were not prepared to supply anybody who marked
up the ware 600%. We told him to remove the articles and
put them somewhere else or return them to us.
I feel it is rather strong language to call somebody a scab if
they are using a marketing tool that works for them. If we
want to sell on consingment that is our personal choice and
we bare the risks. In any case we can always choose to
whom we can sell on consignment and from whom we
demand COD.
It is better to "Network", paraphrasing Wendy Rosen's book
"Crafting as a Business", and find out which galleries sell
the type of ware that we produce and are honest, reliable
merchants. I am sure that within Clayart and other Art /
Craft networks, we can wield enough power to threaten the
defaulting galleries with blacklisting in one way or another.
As a small business I can understand that small galleries
do not have the Capital or Cash Flow to afford to pay for
all their stock. Consignment helps them and us to at least
keep the home fires burning. I know how I feel when I have
tens of thousands of Rands of stock lying around and no
Please folks there is not need to get vitriolic about a
subject. First think it through and then see what everybody
has to say before making harsh statements. Keep well
potting and keep potting well Ralph in PE SA.