Writing a Sale or Return Agreement

Posted on Sep 21, 2014 in business tips | One Comment
Writing a Sale or Return Agreement

I’d like to start and share some of my business tips blog posts that I wrote after my first trade fair in 2012. These posts went down really well with other makers and generated a lot of comments and feedback so I thought I’d revisit a few of the topics and share the experiences I’ve had over the last couple of years. The first is the very popluar How to Write a Sale or Return Agreement which is my best performing post on my last blog.
Some galleries are willing to purchase work from makers on a wholesale basis but in current economic climes galleries may be more reluctant to buy in work from newcomers to the market or makers who may not be well known to them, and may suggest taking work on a ‘Sale or Return’ basis. This gives them a chance to see how work sells in their particular gallery at less risk to the gallery, and is a great chance for emerging designers to showcase their work to a larger audience. Some of my inital SOR galleries now buy my work directly and even though SOR may have its ups and downs, my experience has generally been really positive and has led to really good mutually-benficial relationships with my stockists. I’d definitely recommend it but I think there are several things you need to consider…

My Sale or Return (SOR) agreement covers the following points:

1. A list of work which the agreement relates to, clearly dated to avoid confusion. Prices should be stated and you should make sure that RRP or artist prices are differentiated. You don’t want to lose out on profit by giving them the wrong price.

2. It mentions that I retain copyright and reproduction rights of all work, and that the gallery will not permit reproduction/copying/photography without my prior written permission.

3. I state that I will be responsible for shipping of all goods to the gallery.

4. All work is insured by the gallery whilst the work is in their possession and that any breakages, damage, loss will be reimbursed to me at trade price.

5. How you wish to be paid and when and how/when you would like to be notified of sales. I have requested to be informed at the end of each month of any sales and to be paid by the end of the following month.

6. All works remain my property until sold, this is to avoid any claims by creditors if this unfortunate situation should arise.

7. The gallery will be responsible for returning work to artist unless previously arranged.

I intend to supply SOR agreements to galleries who would like to stock my work on a SOR basis so they can sign and return to me before I despatch the work. This avoids any misunderstanding. Most galleries will also supply their terms and conditions, so it is a good idea to read these thoroughly before signing and returning to them.

I hope this has been useful. If anyone would like a copy of my agreement please email me, I don’t mind sharing it, as long as you understand that I cannot be held responisble for any shortfalls/omissions etc…. If I’ve missed anything I’d love to hear from you.

1 Comment

  1. Linda
    September 21, 2014

    That’s really useful. Approaching galleries to stock my fine art photography prints is on my To Do list but I’d not considered that they might ask for pieces on a sale or return basis. Thanks for sharing.