Ouch.. its getting a little sour in here. I do believe Justan that you jumped a bit off the deep end as Slobodan just made a mistake with the name. There was no need to call him stupid or say he is throwing insults.
But onto something more interesting that Bill said.
With regards to 50% commission, I think this works great for a $5,000 painting perhaps. If it takes a few months to sell, then each party makes $2,500 and is happy. But I think on a $400 or $500 canvas, the numbers don't add up. You see, I have maybe 18 stretched canvas pieces all around the city on commission. This works great for the store owner because it gives them zero risk. If it doesn't sell and they want to get rid of it in 6 months, they just give it back. When it does sell, they pay you for the one sold, and order another one to hang on the wall for commission, so you will always have 18 pieces out. If you continue shooting and adding more to your portfolio and the stores want to try another piece, you just increase the amount of canvases you get back! Of course you don't want to think about how to wind down a business if it comes to an end, but even if a few sell every month, you really haven't made any money. You might chaulk up the one on the wall as the sample piece, but this only works if you're gonna sell at least 10, so then you can say each sale has an associated 10% cost for the one hanging on the wall. Now this one on the wall may help sell paper prints, but once again, the paper prints will be a fraction of the price, so you might need to sell 7 or 8 paper prints just to equal the cost of the big canvas on the wall, and then you really aren't making any money yet, you are just offsetting the cost of the piece on commission.
I'm wrestling with this in my head right now and I just don't like the business model. I think both parties should take a risk. It might seem like the store owner is taking a risk by using up wall space to show your picture, but I just don't see it this way. Moving forward, here is what I am trying. I will offer the first piece at 40% off. So a $400 canvas which would usually cost the store $200 will now be sold to them for $120. They will more than triple their money if it sells, and if they want to order another one, they can at the regular price because they should have some idea of how well it is liked. If the canvas ends up selling only paper prints, then we are still both happy, and one day the store, if they have to, can deeply discount the canvas, still make money, and I as the photographer don't have to worry about getting it back. Some of the art stores can even do their own stertching, so instead of me charging an extra $50 for a stretched piece, they can just buy the first canvas for $50 cheaper and at the 40% off the rolled canvas price. (in my example the rolled canvas is $150 instead of $200, and at 40% off equals $90... super cheap for the store and I'm still making money without the risk)
Now the first guy I talked to wasnt' too happy, but I'm not giving up. It just doesn't make any financial sense to keep supplying more canvases as I shoot more amazing pictures and get nothing for it until it sells. If you consider that I already have $4,000 in inventory all over the city, the only way to make this business profitable is to be selling what, at least $20,000 worth of stuff to offset this inventory cost? Basically what I'm saying is if your sales are $1000 a month, but you have 18 pieces out there, when you subtract all your costs, you just aren't making any money. The store won't be open too long if it doesn't make money and hence the photographer shouldn't be expected to as well.
Would love to read some feedback what people think.