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Re: To rep or not to rep?


The choice to work with a rep or not is a business decision that is mostly a
financial decision, are your prices set to accommodate the reps commissions
and the percentage claimed by your outlets (while still giving you a living

A good rep will be the one that fulfills the contract that you both agree to
(and sign). The Tad Crawford book mentioned on this list a month or so ago
(Business and Legal Forms for Crafts) includes contracts specifically
designed to use in establishing relationships with sales reps. It discusses
many negotiating points that will stimulate your thinking about the values
and risks in the relationship and how to address them in the contract.

One point worth mentioning is, limit the time of the agreement. This way, if
the rep is 'leaving your samples on the bottom of the bag', or if they are
not a good fit for you, you'll be free of them (and them of you) at the end
of the contract. You can then move on to a new rep with all your new

The article that Peter sent about "selling out and the MFA crisis" seems
worth mentioning here also. That article talked about training artists in
digital media to make them 'market skilled' in addition to being artists.
Your questions points to another path too--a path I am more interested
in--to becoming a working artist in our society. Understanding our art and
the potential markets that already exist or that can be developed for it,
then taking the actions any business person would take to match product (our
art) to market.

Think creatively. Not just about your art, but about the relationship of
your art to the world. Think creatively about your business and what is
possible. And, as Art Rubino pointed out in his response to you message,
think realistically and learn as the world teaches you where you are right
and wrong.

Don Drake
Dreaming Mind

(510) 727-9131

>What do you all think of sales reps? Some people work
>purely through reps; others swear never to
>work with them. Given my situation - 2 little kids at
>home and me working in my garage - I cannot
>hope to cover a sales territory with any efficiency.
>Nor am I keen on the "art & wine festival" route.
>So the only option I have is to find reps. I have a
>couple of names, from my customers. But how do I tell
>a good rep from a bad one?
>Can anybody offer any suggestions? Do listmembers in
>the Bay Area know of any good reps? Are there
>magazines or newsletters which have rep listings? How
>do I recognize a good rep from one who will just leave
>my samples "at the bottom of the bag"?

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