WHY GALLERIES CHARGE 50%


Many artists grouse at the 50% commission galleries take on sale of artworks. As someone who has been running a small local gallery for the past couple of years, I would like to share with you a sample of the mechanics behind that rationale. And as you can see, unless the artwork is valued way above the $5000 demonstrated here, galleries do not exactly become rich from the sale of art. Also, the example below does not factor in other incidental costs such as the cost of freighting artworks from overseas, the cost of entertaining art collectors and patrons, or the usually exorbitant cost of participating in an art fair.

For artists, buyers, institutions and gallerists, obviously, there are differences, advantage and disadvantages in selling or buying direct from artists' studios and through galleries. I shall not elaborate on that in this post but your decent local gallerist should be able to share why so.


Artists take note, serious collectors and art consultants do pay attention to your pricing and its fluctuations over the years. Always plan for the long term, otherwise, as I have personally witnessed with some young and emerging artists, the haphazard management of your sales could come and bite you back when you least expect. It places you in a quandary and gallerists will likely stay away when you need help getting back on track.


Also, to all, please stop the injustice of comparing small local galleries with international, mega gallery brands.



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