Art Dealers and Galleries

Art Dealers and Galleries

Overview

The 4,700 art dealers, galleries, and auction houses in the US generate revenue by selling artwork or earning commissions from consignments. With a consignment sale, the dealer earns a commission based on a percentage of the purchase price. Auction houses earn commissions based on the hammer (sale) price. Primary-market dealers develop relationships with promising new artists and help establish a market for their work. Secondary-market dealers specialize in art for resale on behalf of collectors, institutions and estates.

Long Sales Cycle, Slow Moving Inventory

Art dealers and galleries often have significant investments in inventory, with no indications of a quick return.

Vulnerability to the Economy

Demand for art is sensitive to economic conditions, and drops during periods of uncertainty.