Being a potter or an artist isn’t just about creating the work …. for many, it’s about how to sell your artwork. I say ‘many’ because some people are just happy to create for themselves and never sell anything. That’s fine, but for those who do want to at least recover their costs or start marketing their work for sale, there are several steps to follow. Today we’ll look at retail.
Cold-calling doesn’t always sound the most appealing, however, it can be very fruitful if you persist. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to be a right pain in the proverbial and sell like a desperate salesperson… it means making a phone call or fronting up face-to-face and offering your work. Out of courtesy, make a phone call or drop in to a shop first and ask if the manager is interested in acquiring your products. Obviously they’re going to want to know what it all looks like, what it’s made of, whether it’s been made recently, how long it to make, whether you made it yourself or collaboratively and of course how much you want for it.
Some retailers will offer you the option of selling on consignment, ie they’ll not buy it from you up front, but put it on display and if it sells, they’ll get a cut and you’ll get what you want, obviously at an agreed price.
Some retailers will also offer to buy it from you at a wholesale and agreed price. Be prepared for this – even if you’re selling a one-off, it’s likely they’re going to want to pay wholesale prices. They may not even like your first example. So, also be prepared to go away and return with something more to their liking, or tailored to suit their decor, demographics or customer requirements.
Other retailers may work like a gallery set-up where they look like a shop but you are actually paying for the space you use. For example, check out Market Fair in Ferntree Gully, Victoria – they offer stall space at all sorts of rates and for various lengths of time.
Of course there’s the online retailer option. This takes research and time. Look into what’s involved, what sort of commission is expected from the retailer, what transaction fees they charge, postage and who organises and pays for it, advertising fees, tax etc. There can be all sorts of hidden costs so do your homework. Check out Handmade Australia and Etsy – they’ve got heaps of ideas and options for selling your work.
Definitely worth investigating…