I get regular requests to supply my work to shops on a consignment basis. And while I used to do it, I don’t anymore. Consignment is essentially a request to stock a stores shelves at my own personal cost, with no risk to the store other than giving up some shelf space. If something doesn’t sell, they simply return it.
1) I understand that many really great stores are very small and have very little capital. But, here’s the deal, I’m small and lack capital as well. It costs me loads of money to make this stuff. It took me a lifetime to develop my style and technique. I have nearly a decade of higher education and over 20 years experience. That’s a huge investment. Plus I have bills that need to be paid, right now, and I do that by selling my wares.
2) When stores return goods, often they aren’t in salable condition. Paper is fragile stuff, and collectors are a finicky bunch. If a store sends something back to me with even minor dings, dog ears, pressure creases etc. then that is a dead piece of inventory. I’ve lost my time, the cost of manufacturing, as well as any profit I might have made from selling the print.
3) I have paying customers. It sounds harsh, but money talks. I can’t spare a bunch of inventory and a whole morning packing it up for free when other people are willing to pay for these same goods.
4) This stuff is pretty cheap to begin with. These aren’t Maseratis, they’re prints that usually cost far less than $100 each.
I hate to be a dick, typically the shop owners are incredibly nice people, but from my experience consignment is usually a losing proposition.