I have sold my jewelry and wire work on consignment before, with pretty good success. However, I recently spoke with a shop owner who wanted me to pay a nonrefundable consignment fee to sell my work. I'd honestly never heard this before, and I'm a bit wary. Should I be?
There are no hard-and-fast rules or formulas for how various selling arrangements are created. The fact that you're feeling wary most likely indicates that there's something that doesn't seem fair to you. You can certainly ask the shop owner more about why they have a nonrefundable fee and see if the answer makes sense to you. If the person doesn't know you, the fee might be a guarantee that he or she makes money even if your jewelry doesn't sell. Keep in mind that any flat fee will come out of your profits, and if the owner doesn't sell any of your jewelry, you would lose money because of the fee. The best agreement is one where you both win, so if you can't strike a deal that benefits you, feel comfortable walking away.
- Dr. David Weiman
Dr. David Weiman is a respected expert in the field of marketing and selling handcrafted jewelry and a well-read contributor to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads "Ask the Experts". He is the author of Introduction to Marketing and Selling Jewelry, The Jewelry Selling Answer Book and The 5 Keys to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry. A free newsletter on selling handmade jewelry is available at his website: www.marketingjewelry.com.