Is It Better to Sell Your Artwork Directly or Sell It Through Consignment?

One of the most common questions artists will often have is whether or not they should sell their artwork through consignment. Consignment is a process where an artist agrees to provide artwork to a gallery. The idea is that the gallery can expose the artwork to more people, which increases the odds of a sale.

There are a few other benefits of going through the consignment process. First and foremost, you may be able to get more money for your artwork in certain scenarios. Because the gallery isn’t buying the artwork directly, it will often charge a higher retail price. If the artwork sells, you could potentially make more money than if you sold your artwork directly.

However, regarding consignment, it only works if the artwork sells. If it sits in a gallery for a few months or even longer, it could get overexposed. That’s why it’s very important to only work with galleries that have a significant amount of traffic and are motivated to sell your artwork. You should also ensure that the gallery is reputable so you don’t enter a contract where you’re on the losing end.

For example, you should know in advance what percentage the gallery is charging you for exposure. There is no set number for a consignment agreement and they will differ depending on the gallery and its involvement. A 50/50 split could be fair in some circumstances, but it will be up to you to determine how much you want to basically pay for exposure.

In Many Cases It’s Better to Sell Directly


If you are an unknown artist or need money quickly for your artwork, you should consider selling your artwork directly to a gallery. Although not every gallery has the funding to do this, there are many galleries and auction houses that will buy your artwork for a fair price, so you can pay your bills and get to work on your next project. At Great Dane Auctions, we purchase artwork from seasoned and upcoming artists for our gallery and upcoming auctions. If you want to know more about how to sell your artwork directly, we would love to speak with you!

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