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I just received an email from the small gallery that sells my functional pottery. My price points range from $20 to $90. The gallery owner wanted to let me know a customer reached for something on the top shelf, it dropped on the glass shelf which broke and cascaded down breaking several of my pieces. The customer said they will pay.  The gallery owner wants me to come in, look at the damage and set a price. What is the norm?  full price for all pieces that I can sell? discount percentage if it is a large number of items? if only the lid is broken on a canister just charge for the lid???

 

I have worked with this gallery owner since 2012 and she has always been great. I do not want to damage my relationship with the gallery. The gallery charges me $35 a month plus 20% of my sales which I think is great. I live in north central Ohio and there are not that many venues available to sell my work.

 

I have never had this issue before, just looking for some advice....

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It sounds like both the gallery and the customer want to be responsible about this. I would say full-price of the pieces you can't sell, no more or less. If the gallery wants to keep 20% because you would have paid them that much in commision if the pieces had sold, then that is fair. They have to replace their broken shelves. For 2-part pots (like a jar+lid), if one part is damaged then the cost of the whole pot should be compensated. Making a new lid for an existing pot is a lot harder than making them at the same time.

 

Sorry this happened :-(

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Mea, has made a great call on this I think. As a craftperson, you have to cover your losses, and yet because you want good relations with your galleries and your clientele you need to be firm, but fair.

 

 

best,

Pres 

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It's been a long time since I ran a gallery, but you may check to see if 1) the gallery has insurance to cover this event; 2) the deductible is not unreasonable to where it wouldn't be feasible to make a claim. Otherwise I agree with Mea.

JohnnyK

GiselleNo5 likes this

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Sorry. This is the gallery's problem, not yours. You have entrusted your pieces to them. They should pay you the same net amount they would have paid you if the pieces had sold.

They can charge or not charge the customer. That has nothing to do with you.

If I were the gallery, I'd just eat the cost, pay you and call it a cost of doing business. How much are we talking about? $100 -$200?

GiselleNo5 and mdobay like this

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... the wisdom of putting ceramics on high shelves where customers can reach for them, which they will of course, do.

 

None of this is under your control of course. If I had a gallery that only charged a 25% commission I'd want to keep a good relationship with them too.

 

I'd probably accept the fickle nature of the universe and try to keep the gallery happy by taking their suggestions, within reason. Art is breakable, **** happens.

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Sorry. This is the gallery's problem, not yours. You have entrusted your pieces to them. They should pay you the same net amount they would have paid you if the pieces had sold.

They can charge or not charge the customer. That has nothing to do with you.

If I were the gallery, I'd just eat the cost, pay you and call it a cost of doing business. How much are we talking about? $100 -$200?

 

I agree that the gallery should be dealing with this. As a business that has customers coming in on a regular basis, they should? right? have insurance to cover this type of thing. 

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Sorry. This is the gallery's problem, not yours. You have entrusted your pieces to them. They should pay you the same net amount they would have paid you if the pieces had sold.

They can charge or not charge the customer. That has nothing to do with you.

If I were the gallery, I'd just eat the cost, pay you and call it a cost of doing business. How much are we talking about? $100 -$200?

I agree not your problem, that said be careful how you handle as this could make or break your relationship with the gallery and piss off a future customer.. IMHO I would just eat the cost all the way around, that way the Gallery owner wont hold it against you ( not that its your fault)  and the customer will most likely still shop at that gallery and potentially buy more then they normally would because they want to support the gallery.  Lets not forget word of mouth of the customer telling other potential customer not to shop their because they will have to pay is an accident happens.  my2c

nancylee likes this

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Every Situation can be different.I'm just saying it can be just about anything.

In one shop I have been in on a consignment basis for  over 40 years its the customers fault and they pay (I get paid). If an earthquake happens its my fault (I eat it)`-now I just wholesale to them and its their issue no matter what happens.

My current deal with a large market (think Whole Foods) breakage is my fault .

In a few other outlets breakage is their issue except for earthquake (as that is not covered in their insurance)

Generally if you whole sale its always their issue-consignment can vary depending on your verbal or written agreement .

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Sorry. This is the gallery's problem, not yours. You have entrusted your pieces to them. They should pay you the same net amount they would have paid you if the pieces had sold.

They can charge or not charge the customer. That has nothing to do with you.

If I were the gallery, I'd just eat the cost, pay you and call it a cost of doing business. How much are we talking about? $100 -$200?

I agree not your problem, that said be careful how you handle as this could make or break your relationship with the gallery and piss off a future customer.. IMHO I would just eat the cost all the way around, that way the Gallery owner wont hold it against you ( not that its your fault)  and the customer will most likely still shop at that gallery and potentially buy more then they normally would because they want to support the gallery.  Lets not forget word of mouth of the customer telling other potential customer not to shop their because they will have to pay is an accident happens.  my2c

 

I agree with this. I don't yet make my living doing this, but sometimes good will is a lot more than $100 or even a couple of hundred dollars. I'd go for the good will. YOu will surprise and delight the gallery owner and the customer. They will make it up to you.

Nancy

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My point is that the gallery shouldn't expect you to eat the cost of a problem that happened at their gallery. They should feel,badly that they put your pieces in harm's way. You might offer to mitigate the cost to the gallery of you are feeling generous by splitting the loss with them, but I doubt I'd be that accommodating.

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There was this one time, I was in a gift shop in Minnesota, looking at pottery, when my offending purse knocked a mug off the shelf!  I took the mug with the now broken handle to the shop owner and said "no problem I will pay for this!"  She told me she would give it to me at her cost.  So apparently she was willing to eat her profit in order to keep a customer happy. 

 

Roberta

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