The Art gallery and gift shop business

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The Art gallery and gift shop business

10/15/2007 - by: Acquireo Team - Director of Marketing,

A business that includes a picture framing business, an art gallery and a gift shop is a business that has an excellent chance of succeeding. If the location is high traffic this will get potential customers to stop and go through the gallery. If your shop is located in a tourist area you may get an entirely different group to visit your store depending on the time of year.

The gift and framing business should give the store a constant cash flow and the gallery will help the bottom line each quarter. Pictures and art works are an individual like or dislike. What one person would find a must have item another could pass on without a second thought. This means in the gallery you will need to have some variety of art and pictures.

Two attributes are needed to be a successful gallery owner. You must be passionate about art and you must be a good businessman with really good people skills. Negotiating the sale of an expensive piece of art is not a take it or leave it type of sale. It takes some skill and a willingness to deal to make the sale happen.

Start a store, Buy a store, Buy into a Franchise

These are three of the ways to get started in this business. Starting from scratch is the least expensive in start up cost, but also the most difficult to make successful. Buying an existing store is wise for some people as there is already some cash flow and a customer base. Buying into a franchise may offer some advantages, but the buyer should really study the franchise offer and make sure they can live with any restrictions that are part of buying into the franchise.

All of these options have merits and a plus and minus check off system will let you understand better the difference between the ideas. The amount of money you have available for the startup or purchase will also be a determining factor on which way you go. Buying a successful shop that has a clientele is not a bad way to go and may offer the greatest chance of success. Also the current owner may be willing to finance part of the sale price.

A business broker could be of help in finding businesses that are for sale. They would probably be of help in locating potential properties that are up for purchase. They also may be able to give you some solid advice on how much to pay.

Where to find items to sell

Estate sales, eBay and the Internet offer items that could be purchased by a knowledgeable buyer. If you know what the market is looking for or are good at seeing a fad develop, you could find some bargains in these venues. There are many Internet companies that will offer you smaller items for the gift shop and for impulse type purchases. Unusual and visual are two of the prerequisites for items for your shop. People are attracted to the unusual and the more visual the item is the more likely the sale.

Another way to find items for sale is to build up a list of artists that are willing to let you represent their work. Meeting local art teachers and art groups may also let you find an artist before they become famous. Art and craft fairs and shows are another way to find items that could be sold in your shop.

Join any mailing list you can find for people in this business. The more information you have, the better you are able to stay up with what is happening.

Location is important

Location is always important in any retail business. If you wish to sell at the higher end of the art world you better plan on having a prestigious address. Tourist type shops can be on a retail street or in a shopping strip. Good traffic is the key to being successful. You need the walk-by traffic to get people in your shop. The casual shoppers can turn into a customer that spends some real money if your items catch their fancy. You never know who will pull out a credit card and buy the most expensive item in the shop.

Advertising the business

This unusual business lends itself to mail campaigns and e-mail notices. Local radio and TV may work, but you will need to try it on a small level first to see what kind of a response you get from your ads.

A current Internet site is a great way to push the new items in your store. You must have the capability to change your web pages yourself, as you need to make the changes. A stale website is never a good idea. It must be kept fresh.You may want to see what other shops do to gain business if you have some contacts in the business.


This business is different and can be a very interesting way to make money. Inventory turnover will keep people coming back to see what you are currently displaying. One-man shows and special types of art can also bring in the old and new customers. Finding a constant source of new items is the art of running a successful business. New ideas, art pieces and gift items are necessary to stay current in the business. This is the only way to get old customers to stop in and see you again. If your items are stale, the old customers will grow bored with seeing the same thing each time they stop.

New artist and new art pieces will always be a new experience for customers. If you are lucky enough to find an up and coming artist, your shop could become very busy if you are representing the artist. Unknowns can be valuable too, as customers always want to be the first to recognize a new talent.

The range of possibilities in this business is only contained by your imagination. This is the great part of this kind of a business. It is always changing and keeping your interest in what is going on in the creative world.

If interested in owning an existing art gallery or gift shop business, visit Art galleries for sale or gift shops for sale at

author: Acquireo Team

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