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gin stirrersLike many makers, as well as online, I sell my work via some shops and galleries across the country. The benefits of this do not always outweigh the drawbacks, so for my blog this week I'm looking at some of the advantages and disadvantages.

 

4 Advantages

1) It helps to spread the word about your work and introduce it to new audiences

2) When a retailer wants to add your work to their collection, it can feel as if it reaffirms the quality of your pieces

3) It is low maintenance – once your collection has been delivered all you need to do is check what has sold and invoice the retailer

4) If you create from home, it distances your work from the 'home-made' which often has some less positive associations for the professional maker

4 Disadvantages

1) The sale or return policy of most retailers means you bear all the costs upfront and often have stock tied up in several locations for several months without a return

2) Slow payment – it always strikes me as very unfair that some retailers take months to pay you for stock that has sold

3) Commission rates of up to 50% - accurate pricing of work is something that a lot of makers find difficult and we understand that retailers have very considerable overheads but commission rates often mean that pieces you sell through galleries don't actually generate any profile for the maker

4) Despite assurances that your details will be added to their website, shared on social media and communicated as part of the gallery's offer, many owners don't actually get round to doing this so you loose out on the potential benefit of extra publicity.

As with most things, it comes down to having to access each opportunity for its own advantages. I have some lovely gallery owners, one who pays for stock up front, one who is great at publicising my work and many who are supportive and appreciative of my wanting to work with them. However, I've also had some very frustrating past encounters as well. What about you?