Tips for gallerists in January: time to rethink your inventory management

January is a low season for most of the art galleries. After the winter auctions, Christmas art fairs and exhibitions, buyers tend to take a small break from artwork hunt. This period is perfect for gallery managers to focus on their inventory management. Paperwork is not the most exciting part of our job, but it is very important to keep things organized in the gallery.

There are several risks of not keeping things in order and leaving the documentation as the last priority. One unintentional mistake could be enough to break up with an artist, or even worse, a collector.

Let’s suppose that you have to present an artwork to a collector, but you don’t know exactly where it is stored or exhibited right now. What will you do in this case? Just to avoid similar unpleasant situations in your gallery, we’d like to share some useful tips that will make your 2018 even greater.  

1. Arrange your artwork storage

Your storage can easily become a mess during the year, if you’re always dumping items inside without finding a proper place for them. With a few simple changes, you can have a tidy, organised inventory where you can always find what you need.

First, organize your warehouse and make an inventory list. Second, group your artworks by the artists and not by the size. This order will make your search fast and flexible. Then create labels for all of the artworks in your storage and stick them on the front of the packed artworks. Alternatively, if your artworks not packed, put it on the backside. This way you can always find what you’re looking for.

2. Update your contacts

Keep in touch with your buyers and collectors by email. Sending them a newsletter in January is a great way to refresh your contacts. Write them a couple of kind words about interesting art fairs stories, museum exhibitions or publications. Then ask them to confirm their email address and telephone number.

3. Enhance your business with diagrams and sales lists

Do you know exactly who bought what last year? Detailed statistics can alleviate your planning process for the upcoming months. If you can categorize your collectors  in different groups such as abstract lovers, fans of conceptual art, you can quickly give them a tailor-made offer.

These activities take some time, but January is a perfect period to get all these tasks done. With the help of an inventory management software you can speed up this process to save time and effort.

Sándor Pál Tóth 
Co-founder of GalleryTool