art consignment

How to Sell Art on Consignment: 12 Tips for New Sellers

Consignment is popular sales method used by artists. Many aspiring artists, at some point, wonder how to start selling this way.

To consign your art, research auction houses, determine the value of your artwork, attend sales to understand the process, document your pieces, choose an auction house that meets your needs, review the contract, avoid selling in advance, follow drop-off rules, set reserve prices, be aware of payment timelines, arrange for unsold artwork pick-up, and explore online consignment options.

Appraising and selling art on consignment can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful consideration and preparation. Whether you have a valuable piece passed down through generations or a forgotten treasure in your attic, these 12 tips will guide you through the process of selling art on consignment and help you choose the right auction house.

art consignment

  1. Determine the value of your piece: Assess the prominence, condition, and demand for your artwork. Gather any paperwork that proves its significance and determine its potential auction value.

  2. Research auction houses: Explore different auction houses, subscribe to their newsletters, follow them on social media, and read up on recent sales. Understand their clientele and the auction process.

  3. Attend sales: Attend in-person or online sales to experience the process firsthand. Visit auction viewings before the sale to understand how your artwork will be reviewed, valued, and sold.

  4. Document your artwork: Make a list of the pieces you want to sell and ensure they are properly tagged. Keep copies of all relevant paperwork associated with the value of your artwork.

  5. Consider the selling season: Certain types of art sell better during specific seasons. Identify the appropriate time to sell your artwork to attract the right buyers and potentially increase your profit.

  6. Ask key questions when choosing an auction house: Inquire about the auction house's tools, experience with similar works, specialization, past auctions, buyer demographics, quality guidelines, marketing plans, pickup services, consignment fees, likelihood of sale, insurance coverage, and payout period.

  7. Review the consignment contract: Carefully read and understand the consignment contract provided by the auction house. Know what happens to your artwork if it sells or doesn't sell.

  8. Avoid selling items in advance: Once your artwork is designated for auction, refrain from selling it outside the auction process. Interested buyers can leave advance bids or participate in the auction.

  9. Follow drop-off rules: Adhere to the auction house's guidelines for artwork drop-off, whether it's during specified receiving hours, by appointment, or via pickup services provided by the auction house.

  10. Set reserve prices: Understand the rules regarding reserve prices, which are the minimum prices below which you are unwilling to sell. Get the auction house's reserve policy in writing to avoid potential fees.

  11. Know when to expect payment: Determine the payment schedule for sold artwork. Auction houses typically wait for buyers' payments to clear before issuing payments to sellers, which can take 30-45 days.

  12. Arrange for unsold artwork pick-up: If your artwork doesn't sell, be aware of the pick-up date and location specified by the auction house. They will not store your items indefinitely.

  13. BONUS TIP: Seek advice from experienced consignors: Consult with friends who have consigned artwork before or join online communities to gather additional tips and insights from those experienced in art consignment.

  14. BONUS TIP: Build a strong online presenceArt consignment at Naturalist Gallery offers artists increased visibility, control over pricing, marketing support, and streamlined sales processes, enabling them to thrive and grow their careers.                                             art consignment

Consignment can be an exhilarating process, whether you're working with a renowned auction house or a local one. By conducting thorough research, appraising your artwork accurately, asking relevant questions, selling strategically, understanding your contract, obtaining insurance, and seeking guidance from seasoned consignors, you can consign your artwork with confidence and increase your chances of success.

You may also find the following articles helpful:

Top Online Art Galleries

Building Your Online Presence As An Artist

10 Tips and Tricks for Maximizing Your Art Sales

How to Become a Successful Artist

The Art Gallery: Everything You Need To Know

Why Gallery Representation is Good for Artists: 9 Key Benefits

Gallery Commissions: Understanding the Value for Artists

How to Price Your Artwork

How to Get Your Work in a Gallery

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