Consignment and Wholesale: Which Is Better?

This is part of a series of posts featuring advice and best practices for artists.

Before making any decisions about how to sell your work, let’s investigate the benefits and structures of each method. Today Megan Auman, writer, metal smith, and art business specialist, gives us the basic breakdown of wholesale.

Wholesale: “you sell your products directly to the store at a reduced price (typically 50% of the retail price).”

Vintage dollar, via aiBOB

What to expect when selling wholesale:

In a wholesale transaction, an artist sells a piece to a store or gallery at about 50% of the retail price; wholesale payment is usually Net 30 (paid in 30 days), and the artist or buyer might also request proforma payment, which means the invoice for items is binding to both parties. This usually occurs with new accounts.  When opening new accounts, it is a good idea to get three references from other artists who sell at the store or gallery.


The artist receives prompt payment, and does not have to manage the (sometimes) tedious record keeping of consignment. Artist does not have have liability or insurance for pieces once they are in the store or gallery.  If an item is damaged, broken, stretched, or stolen …it has already been paid for!

Check out the continued post, where we discuss consignment!

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