6 Ways to Increase Business with Your Existing Gallery Accounts

Wholesaling? Use these strategies to increase revenue by making more sales with each store account that you already have.


Shopping at an artist booth


1. Do regular follow ups to capture reorders. It’s very frustrating to see an artist who wholesales not follow up with their accounts to drive reorders on a regular basis. Ideally, you want 3-4 “turns” per year in your stores – and they measure how important you are as a vendor by looking at total sales. When inventory of your work gets low, sales drop. Keep displays topped off by shipping fill-in orders, and suggest that the store carry some back stock as well.

2. Ask for custom orders. Are you willing to take special orders from the store’s retail customers? Perhaps a particular stone in a ring, or an item in an unusual color? Let the buyer know. And make two line sheets for your collection: one with prices for store buying purposes, and one without prices that they can share with shoppers who want to place a custom order. This enables the store to sell something they haven’t had to purchase first, to make additional sales, and please customers who want a very special piece from you. Win/win/win!

3. Suggest that they bring in new lines. In addition to designing 30% new merchandise in your collections each year to keep things fresh, speak to the gallery buyer or owner about stocking additional lines of yours in their store. You may create several collections, perhaps in different themes or in different price point ranges. When your work sells well, these additional pieces might just belong in their store, too. If they aren’t familiar with the multiple collections that you sell, have a conversation about increasing your share of the “real estate” in their store.

4. Make an artist appearance or do a trunk show. Meeting the artist is an exciting event for most customers. Your appearance pulls in extra customers who may shop for your work, and buy others items in the store as well. Bring items to the trunk show that they do not have in inventory, including one-of-a-kind and high-end pieces. When they sell, this affirms to the retailer that you are an important member of the group of artists they represent. Split the proceeds, or suggest the store’s half of the sales be taken out in wholesale merchandise. This gives them the opportunity to realize more than double that amount when it sells at retail.

5. Give them an exclusive, and ask them to increase their commitment to buy. Stores often ask for exclusivity in their area. That means that you might want to get something in return, such as an agreement that they will commit to purchasing more of your work this year.

6. Help them sell more. Provide merchandising and sales tips for their staff, so that they can share the benefits of your line, and tell your story. Empowering salespeople to sell for you leverages your presence in their store, and an increase will be very apparent to the buyer. As you prove that you are a good partner, you prove your importance and grow your business relationship.



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  1. Trunk shows sound like an interesting idea. What can artists do to connect with the organizers of these shows? Do they also work for paintings, or are they more for more portable craft type work?

    • Theresa, A trunk show is an arrangement that the artist makes with a retailer – usually a regular wholesale account, although sometimes the artist can do a trunk show to “break the ice” and see how their line sells to the store’s customers. This is not something a painter would do; usually it works well for a jewelry or accessories designer, an artist who sells into the bridal market, or even has a line of home decor. Painters would be more likely to make artist appearances at galleries where their work is being represented, but that would not be called a trunk show, and the arrangement is different.

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