Here’s how to sell jewelry to people who appreciate handmade artistry, by displaying your pieces in art galleries. This can be an especially good way to sell your higher-priced, one-off items.
Customers who shop in galleries are usually prepared to pay a premium for their purchases, and they are often seeking unique artwork that they won’t find elsewhere. Gallery owners and their staff know how to sell jewelry and other art to this type of clientele, and they are are constantly looking for interesting new handcrafts to display.
How to Choose the Best Galleries for Your Jewelry
Galleries often focus on a particular style, niche, or medium of artwork. If you find one that specializes in a theme, material, or era that characterizes your jewelry, it could be an excellent channel for selling your art.
For instance, if you make dichroic glass jewelry, look for galleries that focus on glass art. Also be sure to get a good idea of the gallery’s personality. While a conservative establishment would probably know how to sell jewelry in a Victorian theme, they may have trouble selling trendy body jewelry.
How to Locate Prospective Galleries
1) Check your local listings for any likely galleries in your area. If they’re close enough, you can stop in anonymously before making any appointments to show them your jewelry.
2) Look in the classified ads of art magazines to find advertisements for galleries. Some art publications also publish annual gallery listings.
3) When your friends and family travel, ask them to keep an eye out for any galleries that seem compatible with your jewelry line. Your loved ones are usually happy to step into a likely establishment and pick up a business card for you to follow up on.
4) Do some Internet searches for galleries that pertain to your style of jewelry. For best search results, use quotes in your search terms – such as:
“gallery” + “glass art”.
Take a close look at the online presence of these galleries to determine whether they feel like places that know how to sell jewelry from your product line. Check for a section of their website regarding their preferred procedure for artists to contact them about carrying their work.
5) To show your work to a gallery in your local area, call first and set an appointment with the person in charge of accepting new work. If they say they’re not accepting anything new at this time, thank them politely and consider the next one on your list.
6) For galleries farther afield, send a brief email to the gallery owner, introducing yourself and stating why you think your jewelry fits well with their gallery. Include a link to your website so they can take a look at your work when they have time, to decide whether or how to sell jewelry like the pieces on your site. If you don’t hear back from them within two weeks, call the owner to follow up.
How to Learn More About Your Prospective Galleries
Investigate the business side of these galleries in more detail. Ensure that they have a good marketing plan, and that their items do sell within an acceptable period of time. When talking to a gallery owner regarding how to sell jewelry from your collection, here are some things to find out:
1) What kind of advertising do they do? What special events do they host, and what promotional mailings go out to their clients?
2) Will they give you the names of a few of their other artists whom you can call or email to find out their experiences with this gallery?
3) Do they buy art on a wholesale basis, or take items on commission? What percentage of the retail sale price does the gallery pay the artist?
4) If they work on consignment, how often does the gallery send out payments to the artists?
5) Will they have special promotions or exhibitions of your jewelry?
6) Is the gallery staff well educated in the work of the artists whose work they carry? It’s the salespeople’s job to know how to sell jewelry as well as how to sell the artist to their clientele.
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