Industry sector: Retail and wholesale

Art gallery: Sources of income


Your gallery's sales income is likely to come from a number of different sources. These might include some or all of the following:

  • sales of pieces that you have created yourself. You may be intending to sell your own art, either exclusively or in combination with other artists' work
  • commission from sales. A large amount of your income is likely to come from the commission earned from the sale of pieces of art created by artists other than yourself. Set the level of commission you charge so that it is sufficiently high to generate enough income for you to cover your overheads (including your own drawings) but not so high that it scares artists away. Typically, galleries charge at least 20% to 30% commission and sometimes quite a bit more. Be aware that, although some commercial artists may want input from you on the prices they should charge for their work, many will want at least a say in the selling price. Of course it's up to you whether or not you're prepared to display their work at a particular price
  • sales of prints, posters and cards made from originals
  • entry charges. You may decide to charge a small fee for entry to your gallery, although you should give this careful consideration as it may put off potential visitors. If you plan to open a fully commercial gallery where the aim is to sell art works then an entry fee is probably out of the question
  • sales of gift items. You may sell items such as crafts, postcards, ceramics and so on
  • sales of art equipment. This may prove popular with art students, amateur artists and possibly professionals, depending on the quality of the items stocked
  • picture framing services
  • picture restoration and valuation services
  • artists' workshops
  • sales in a café or restaurant