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This agreement can be used when consigning your work to a gallery or store. Keep in mind that this agreement cannot shield you from disaster — for example if the gallery files for bankruptcy. So, before you commit to consignment, it’s always wise to check out the gallery or contact other artists who consign at the gallery. If possible, check online reviews, and ask for credit information. After you consign, stay in contact with the gallery. Regular communication may alert you to problems. And when you have a concern — for example, you’re convinced that the gallery is taking a nosedive — remove your work.
Read more about consignment sales and UCC requirements.
Explanation for Consignment Agreement
For a detailed explanation of any clause, see below.
Appointment of Gallery. This provision establishes whether your relationship with the gallery is exclusive or nonexclusive, and establishes the geographic area within which the gallery will represent your works. Exclusive means that while the agreement is in force, only the gallery (not you or another gallery) can represent the sale of the artwork within the territory you define. If the agency relationship is nonexclusive, then others (including you) could solicit potential sales within the territory. If it’s exclusive, insert a statement in the territory section to reflect the regions in which you have granted rights, for example, “New York State.”
Shipping: Three choices are provided for shipping costs: an open choice in which you can describe your arrangement; the traditional approach of “whoever ships, pays;” and a negotiated approach that is established by using Attachment B.
Ownership; Loss or Damage. This provision establishes the gallery’s legal liability for any damage that occurs to your work while it is consigned to the gallery. The reference to “secured parties” and the Uniform Commercial Code is to prevent the gallery’s creditors from seizing your work to pay the gallery’s debts. You can read more about consignment sale rules.
Miscellaneous Provisions. Here’s a summary of common boilerplate provisions.
Attachment A: Inventory Listing. Complete the inventory listing. It’s important to provide a detailed description of the artworks and to establish the price at which each item will be sold. You may need to determine the price with the gallery’s help because the gallery is likely to know the territory. The final decision as to the price is up to you, not the gallery. If you are submitting this sheet when modifying consignments, for example, supplying new work, it’s wise to have the gallery sign and send back the new Attachment A (you don’t need to sign it). We have included an optional signature section on this Attachment.
Attachment B: Expenses. This optional section establishes how any applicable expenses will be paid (or split, as the case may be). It’s more likely you will use this attachment if you are dealing with high-ticket crafts or if the gallery is providing a special exhibition, not merely offering your work for sale. You and the gallery should agree on estimates for each expense and insert that sum in the attachment. If certain estimates are inapplicable, insert “N/A.” You can also request approval of any expenses over a certain amount (for example, over $500).
Send two signed copies of the agreement to the gallery. One copy is for the gallery’s records, and the other is to be returned to you with the gallery’s signature.