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Thread: Would you sell your work to decorators?

  1. #111
    toyotadesigner's Avatar
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    Re: Would you sell your work to decorators?

    Not a criticism, just different approaches and concerns...
    You assume that I give away prints to family, friends or neighbors. I don't - as I said. The reason should be obvious: They like different things than I do. I could easily give away some prints from my 'gallery' and archives, but why should I go through all the hassle... at the same time I really appreciate that they don't give me their self made dolls, puppets, planters, teddy bears, bbq grills - you name it. It's better they sell this stuff at local markets and avoids embarrassing situations for all of us.

    And to be honest: if I read somebody is giving his prints to the salvation army or burns them - well, then I'd say he had missed a lot in his life, especially if it is his personal, private hobby.
    No espere demasiado tiempo para empacar una mochila, de lo contrario sus sueños se han ido de nuevo.

  2. #112
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Would you sell your work to decorators?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    .A "serious collector" is probably seeking a trinket for status or an investment for profit...
    Do you know any serious collectors? The ones I've known love photography, display it proudly, act as reliable patrons to photographers who need the money, and often make major donations to public collections. I think you're describing frivolous collectors, not serious ones.

    An "art critic" will likely read more into it than is there, or studiously see something else entirely than what it was...
    You're describing bad critics, not good ones. Anyway, they aren't typically customers; they write about work. Someone writing about your work is generally a Good Thing. Even if they happen to see some things that you don't see. More to the point, they'll get people to look who otherwise wouldn't.

    A "decorator" will show the work to many, and ultimately pass the work on to someone who simply displays and enjoys the work for what it is...
    At least until the client decides to redecorate

    a more realistic query might be, "will you stick your friends and family with something they don't want ...
    That's always a sad question. I've stopped giving pictures as gifts, unless someone has dropped a pretty obvious and specific hint that they want something. I'm a little past the age when my mom's obligated to stick my pictures on the door of the fridge.

  3. #113

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    Re: Would you sell your work to decorators?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    Do you know any serious collectors? The ones I've known love photography, display it proudly, act as reliable patrons to photographers who need the money, and often make major donations to public collections. I think you're describing frivolous collectors, not serious ones.
    I suppose you're right, but you're taking all the fun out of being a contrarian...

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    You're describing bad critics, not good ones...
    There are good ones???



    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    At least until the client decides to redecorate
    Well, they can always give them to their kids! Oh, wait, then we're back to that last scenario...

    Seriously, though, I think most of us are quite happy when someone is taken by our work enough that they want to purchase it, regardless of the reason. And if it's a decorator who is likely looking to resell it, at least it's an educated buyer who recognizes the work's appeal to someone else's appreciation, whatever that may be.

    Perhaps a more practical and business-like question would be, "would you give a professional discount to a decorator who, in reselling your work, is arguably acting in the same capacity as a gallery owner who receives a considerable commission?"
    Last edited by Mark Sawyer; 6-Oct-2009 at 12:41.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  4. #114
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    Re: Would you sell your work to decorators?

    Perhaps a more practical and business-like question would be, "would you give a professional discount to a decorator who, in reselling your work, is arguably acting in the same capacity as a gallery owner who receives a considerable commission?"
    Hm. Why should I give a discount or rebate? Do I get a discount or rebate at the supermarket, gas station, hospital, bakery, car dealer just because I am a photographer?

    Gallery owner considerable commission? Nope: if someone wants my prints he can buy them by placing cash on the table. It's the same procedure as with any other 'commodity' I collect in the supermarket: no pay no way through the cashier's lane.

    On xmas markets I sell my prints for cash. No discussion. Like my car dealer: car for cash, no discussion.

    OK, I just refuse to participate in the dirty rat race of realtors, gallery owners, 'good friends', recommendation partners, etc. Reason: If I would have intended to finance somebody's life I would have chosen a career in a bank. Simple as that.

    I don't know who ever had set up this weird system, but it's time for a change. A radical change.
    No espere demasiado tiempo para empacar una mochila, de lo contrario sus sueños se han ido de nuevo.

  5. #115

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    Re: Would you sell your work to decorators?

    Well that would wipe out all private fine art galleries. Whether that's for better of for worse, I suppose we could argue...

    A gallery owner provides the space and staff, publicizes the show, and brings in an established clientele to whom he/she presents the work as a desireable purchase. So a work that sells for $1000 may see 40% to 50% go to the gallery, and the rest to the photographer. They have a business to run, and mouths to feed too. The commission is as fair as the mark-up at any other business.

    The question is whether a professional decorator who purchases your work might deserve the same discount. On one hand, the decorator may be going out on a limb, hoping it sells to a client. Or it may be used as a "decoration" to help sell something else. But remember, a gallery may insist on exclusive rights to represent your work, and they may never sell a single piece. In the case at hand, the decorator is buying the work immediately. And the decorator may also be putting your work before a large number of people, and may refer buyers to you directly in the future, asking for no commission or commitment.

    Worth maybe a 25% discount?
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  6. #116
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    Re: Would you sell your work to decorators?

    Quote Originally Posted by toyotadesigner View Post
    Hm. Why should I give a discount or rebate? Do I get a discount or rebate at the supermarket, gas station, hospital, bakery, car dealer just because I am a photographer?

    Gallery owner considerable commission? Nope: if someone wants my prints he can buy them by placing cash on the table. It's the same procedure as with any other 'commodity' I collect in the supermarket: no pay no way through the cashier's lane.
    It is okay to be your own retailer, as long as you don't mind undertaking all the effort of retailing. But many would prefer to keep working at what they enjoy and are willing to compensate someone else for doing their retailing for them. If you think retailing anything is easy, then I suppose you won't value it much. Personally, I think it's much harder than making good, salable photos.

    Why is that somehow evil, as the tone of your post suggests?

    Rick "happy to rent services and not expecting to get them for free" Denney

  7. #117
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    Re: Would you sell your work to decorators?

    I guess I have to clarify something: I don't mind if a gallery makes 50% on the object / products. Each boutique, shop, etc needs to make a profit. That is normal. What I object is that they want to run a 'no risk' business: you have invested time and money into the prints you give them. They keep **your** work, time, investment for free for months, and you can't give your work to anybody else.

    It would be more than fair if a gallery would purchase your products right away and pay for them. Then they can add a markup and sell it. Because they know the market and their clients they can pretty much evaluate the value of your product and estimate their profit. If not they have the wrong job.

    The decorator: ok, he makes money selling your product with a markup. Why an additional discount?

    It appears to me that society ended up in thinking 'rebate, cheap, discount' instead of values. Some people even dare to call this system 'marketing' - which it is not.

    When I sell a print to a decorator for i.e. 100 Euro and he can sell it for 200 or even 400 - so what? It depends on his cleverness if he can make a small or huge profit. I can't tell him not to charge more than 200 and his commission will be 50. Far too much hassle, and I can never control him (and to be honest I never will - there are other important things in my life I want to pursue).

    Imagine this scenario: I drive up to the gas station, fill up my tank with 100 liters diesel for 1.10 per liter. Then I tell the cashier: listen, I want a 25% discount on the diesel and if I should ever get a new project today or tomorrow or in a month I will mark it up so you'll get the rest. Guaranteed.

    Then I go to the supermarket with the same story...

    Do you think I'll have the slightest chance to leave the gas station with the full tank and the supermarket with a packed shopping cart?

    I'm going to buy a new camera. I'll tell the manufacturer: Hey, I have to feed my office overhead, secretary and assistant - give me a discount - you can be lucky if I purchase my camera from you and not the other guy...

    Are you convinced this will ever work?

    As long as this won't happen I don't see any reason to give discounts or rebates.
    No espere demasiado tiempo para empacar una mochila, de lo contrario sus sueños se han ido de nuevo.

  8. #118
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    Re: Would you sell your work to decorators?

    Quote Originally Posted by toyotadesigner View Post
    What I object is that they want to run a 'no risk' business: you have invested time and money into the prints you give them. They keep **your** work, time, investment for free for months, and you can't give your work to anybody else.
    This is something you have negotiate with the dealer. You have to be comfortable that they'll invest adequate resources in selling your work. It takes considerable resources to sell work; if they manage to sell it then they've earned their commission.

    You're right that you don't want your work sitting in a flat file while they spend all their efforts on someone else's work. You have to be comfortable asking specific questions about this. Good gallery contracts include specifics about how often they'll show your work, etc.

    It would be more than fair if a gallery would purchase your products right away and pay for them.
    More than fair, but less than plausible. It's hard enough for galleries to stay in business selling on consignment. They just don't have the capital to buy work outright. Especially when you see how artwork sells; typically a whole body of work is shown, and a handful of individual pieces end up selling.


    The decorator: ok, he makes money selling your product with a markup. Why an additional discount?
    Quantity discounts on art are commonplace. If someone's offering to buy several pieces at once, it's generally worth your while to give them a deal. For one thing, you'll be doing a lot less work than if you had to make several individual transactions.

    For most of us, it's unusual to have someone come along and buy a pile of prints. I'm happy to have a simple way to express gratitude. And I've learned that collectors tend to expect it.

  9. #119
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    Re: Would you sell your work to decorators?

    t takes considerable resources to sell work;
    This is a fact for every business, shop, wholesale. I wonder how other businesses can survive with a straight forward approach. Someone must be telling the photographers that they live on another planet... which is not true.

    Good gallery contracts include specifics about how often they'll show your work, etc.
    Just imagine a supermarket would have contracts where they tell the supplier how often they'll show his products - a hilarious scenario.

    More than fair, but less than plausible.
    Why? Just because this business kept drumming weird ideas into the heads of photographers and artists?

    It's hard enough for galleries to stay in business selling on consignment. They just don't have the capital to buy work outright. Especially when you see how artwork sells; typically a whole body of work is shown, and a handful of individual pieces end up selling.
    It's hard for any shop owner to stay in business if he doesn't know how to run it and how to calculate the markup, how to estimate his market.

    No argument for me.

    Quantity discounts on art are commonplace. If someone's offering to buy several pieces at once, it's generally worth your while to give them a deal. For one thing, you'll be doing a lot less work than if you had to make several individual transactions.
    OK, if someone will buy 10 prints of image A, 20 of image B and 50 of image C I might consider a discount: 10 prints 2%, 20 prints 3%, 50 prints 4%. Same discounts as in trade. Why more? No reason for huge discounts here.

    For most of us, it's unusual to have someone come along and buy a pile of prints.
    Correct, unless you sell to a department store or 'posters-r-us' or similar markets.

    I'm happy to have a simple way to express gratitude. And I've learned that collectors tend to expect it.
    You have learned from whom? Who says that these are 'the rules'? It's time to break these kinky 'rules'.

    Don't get me wrong - I see what you mean, but I'm asking if the 'learned and perceived behavior' is correct. I just want to point to the discrepancies between the 'normal' business world and the photographer's world.

    As long as there will be the point and click digital talibans who throw away their images via microstock the good and well trained photographers will have a problem. That's the way how society turns and develops.

    However it is up to us to stand up with an upright back, with dignity and pride and speak out loud 'no' to a rotten system.

    Though it is sometimes hard - very hard - to say 'no'.

    I have established a very nice trick. If someone asks for a considerably large discount I grab into my shirt pocket and place a list with phone numbers (grocery stores, gas station, car dealer, clothing store, etc) onto the table and say: ok, agreed, if you would be please so kind and call these establishments to give me the same discount - unfortunately I have to make a living in the real world and not a world you are trying to project into my brain.

    This separates the good from the bad guys.
    No espere demasiado tiempo para empacar una mochila, de lo contrario sus sueños se han ido de nuevo.

  10. #120
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    Re: Would you sell your work to decorators?

    N.B.:

    Just did a quick search in google:



    1.060.000 art galleries along the US east coast... way too much if they all want to survive. No wonder it's hard to sell 'art' these days. Most of these have been opened by people who dreamed of an easy life by letting others learn a craft and selling it with a huge markup to a 'wealthy' clientele.

    See the sponsored ads on the right hand side:

    Abstract Canvas Art...50% off.

    The most rotten marketing method to sell - the same strategy that made America lose their jobs to China!

    The second ad:

    Safrai Gallery... Special prices

    Huh? Who is going to byte the dust here? The artist of course! Don't even think the gallery will loose any money on deals!

    Third ad:

    Art Pictures
    Search over a billion pictures and images using Google.

    Forth ad:

    Is your art worthy? ... Get the attention you deserve!

    Hello? Are you sure you don't suffer a serious brain damage?

    Nothing but empty promises of fame.

    Appears to me there is no place for 'art galleries' anymore, be it painting or fine art photography.

    (Art) galleries try to get across a certain flair and reputation. In contrast the decorator knows the offices, homes and tastes of his clients. He is doing a much better work and job than the fluff, glitter and glamour puff business of 'galleries'.

    Now do the math: how many prints to you need to feed 10% of the galleries and agents, how much time and money will you have to invest just to be one of ten or even hundreds in their showrooms?

    As I said: it's a rat race with the worst conditions for the 'supplier'. It always translates into: you do the work and the others make the money...
    No espere demasiado tiempo para empacar una mochila, de lo contrario sus sueños se han ido de nuevo.

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