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Need consignment advise...damaged goods

Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:50 am
by shesjustalittletwisted
Hi there....a dear painter friend of mine recently had a bad experience with a shop that had some pieces on consignment. It was not a gallery, more of a boutique shop. When the pieces did not sell, she had to pry the pieces away from the shop owner, who actually had them at her house, I assume, hanging on her walls. My friend sent several certified notices, made phone calls etc in order to collect her work. When she did finally get it back, it was damaged. She can do some repair work, but still.
She contacted the Better Business Bureau. I suggested seeing if a complaint of some sort can be filed with the local Chamber of Commerce and sending an invoice to her for the repairs. (It will most likely not be paid but will provide a paper trail for the loss at tax time)

I told her I would post this....wondering if any of you have had similar experiences and if/how you resolved them. I realize she works in a different medium but it is an issue we all can encounter.

There was a very loose agreement signed, nothing that stated results for damages. Does anyone have a good consignment agreement? Also, if the shop/gallery provides their own, do any of you have them sign your own personal agreement also?


(thought I would include her website...she is very talented

Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:02 pm
by Jackie Beckman
My goodness, she's talented, isn't she? Introduce her to glass! I'd bet she would have a blast. Wish I had some advise about her situation; I don't, but I just hate hearing about things like this happening to artists - too bad.

Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:55 pm
by charlie
if the written contract doesn't state what happens in case items get damaged, she has no legal recourse.

the bbb is run as a benefit to the companies who pay to have their business listed. they have no force to getting companies to resolve issues with customers, and as a matter of fact, if the ocmpany states that they cstomer is out of line, they will usually take the side of the businesses rather than customers.

if the person was using the art in their home, i would have sent an invoice to the shop for their commission. after all, it wasn't being actively displayed for sale anymore.

Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:57 pm
by Dennis Brady
Here's a sample consignment agreement that many use. It's fair to both the artist and the gallery.

Also, here's an article about consignment selling you might find helpful. ... onsignment

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:26 pm
by Debinsandiego

Just curious, was that some where here in town? (San Diego/Del Mar?)

Let me know, so I can avoid this botique/gallery.


Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:06 pm
by Kitty
terms need to be spelled out in an consignment agreement before goods are given to a store.
it pays to drop into stores that have goods on consignment, and see how things are going. there has to be a reasonable time-frame within which sales are expected, or the goods must be returned.
stores that take merchandise on consignment have little incentive to sell the work -- it can easily become store decorations. or in this case, home decorations.
it's an unfortunate story. avoid consignment.

billing the woman seems appropriate, and small claims court works, too. people say it doesnt, but it is an effective tool, and often being served by the Sheriff is sufficiently motivating that the Evildoer will return the goods (in perfect condition) or pay up. i once sued somebody in Small Claims Court, for a non-business debt, and the tongue-lashing the judge gave the jerk i sued was worth as much as the money i recovered.

every time i hear one of these stories, it reminds me how truly fortunate i am to do business with quality stores and galleries, run by decent people, who pay their bills on time, and treat me well. good luck to your friend.