Art Business Essentials: How To Create a Consignment List for Artists

What is a Consignment report for artists?

Consignment reports, also known as consignment sheets, are formalized agreements between galleries and artists. Consignment sheets, or consignment reports, define terms and conditions for sales and address how art should care for. They also work to establish relationships between galleries and artists.

What is a consignment report?

In most cases, the artist will provide a gallery with art for free in consignment reports. The gallery will then sell the art for a commission, usually 40% to 50%.

Consigning artwork is a great way to help artists, even though it may seem like a high commission. Artists can consign their art to gain exposure and help with the sale arrangements.

Artists may be reluctant to sign a consignment agreement. This is due to the additional paperwork involved and the possibility of awkward negotiations. Consignment agreements are a best practice you should use when establishing relationships with galleries or selling your art.

You and the gallery can keep track of your consignment reports, which helps you and the gallery to know what you have sold and what is still available. You and the gallery will find it helpful to have a copy of the consignment reports. This will ensure that your work is correctly accounted for, whether sold or returned.

It can take time to track where your artwork is, especially when you start working with multiple retailers or galleries. It might surprise you to hear how often we have spoken with artists who have lost or forgotten about artworks they consigned without proper documentation.

This small step could save you hundreds of thousands or even thousands of dollars. Documentation can help you protect against misplaced, lost, or forgotten work.

What should I include in my Art Consignment Report?

A consignment report can be as simple as a formal report on the artwork you are consigning to a gallery. It will include details about the artwork, its condition, care instructions, and notes.

Start with Consignment reports. To help you and the gallery track a delivery, provide a consignment ID number, contact information, and date.

Include the following information in your report about the artwork you are consigning.

  • Images/thumbnails for the works that you are consigning
  • Retail Price
  • Wholesale price
  • Dimensions of the work
  • Creation date
  • If applicable, the weight
  • Description of the work
  • Notes for care or installation

Consider your consignment report a condition report for any gallery you are partnering with. Be thorough in explaining the piece’s condition and how it should be treated and cared for.

It is essential to be clear, deliberate, and ingenious when establishing professional relationships with galleries. After reviewing your artwork and consignment details with the retailer, you should record your signature. Also, note the name and signature of the recipient. You will be a more pleasant person to work with and a better artist worker. They will remember you and be excited to have you back to replenish their inventory.

How to create a consignment report

You don’t need to know a new program to create consignment reports from scratch. You don’t have to waste time figuring out how to use design programs or formatting something professionally in Word.

Artwork Archive’s reporting tools help artists save hundreds of hours by generating consignment reports in just a few clicks.

To view an example of a consignment report, click here with your artwork.

Are you an Artwork Archive or already a user?

Click on the Locations link to create a consignment for work at any of your locations. Click the gray Reports button next to the retailer or gallery for which you want to create a consignment report. Select Consignment Report from this drop-down menu.

Click Generate Report to fill out the details. You will be taken to Reports. To open a PDF, click the Consignment Report button or the Download Arrow. You can then provide your galleries with a detailed, polished report so that you both have all the information related to the consignment.

Learn how to use Artwork Archive to generate consignment reports.

What other information should you include in a consignment statement?

Consignment agreements are generally more detailed than reports and include overarching business agreements. However, you should still be evident of representation limitations or expectations in a consignment for a particular body of work.

These are some details you should ensure your consignment reports cover if an initial consignment contract doesn’t explicitly cover it or if there have been changes to this consignment term.

Exclusivity: In some cases, you may wish to include information regarding representation expectations or limitations. Some galleries may want to represent an artist only or have restrictions for artists who have multiple representations. You, the artist, can determine what is best for your career. The gallery can also help you choose the timeframe for exclusivity. The digital age has made it easier for artists to sell their work. However, exclusive gallery status is no longer necessary. Templates for consignment agreements are available.

Accounting Details: When do you get paid? Do you get paid immediately after a work is sold? Once per month, These terms should be clearly stated in your art consignment agreement. It is common for galleries to lose their radar during hard times.

Length of consignment: How long can the gallery or retailer keep the artwork until it is sold?

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