Your Social Security Number—Keep It To Yourself!

Payment for Consigned Merchandise Does Not Require a 1099-MISC!

by
Diane Burket

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not require Consignees to give Consignors a 1099-MISC, so there’s no reason to give your art gallery, consignment shop, museum or retailer your Social Security number (SSN). Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. Keep your SSN number confidential, except when authorized by law.

My partner, Armand Cabrera, and I are in the art business. Armand is a fine artist that consigns his paintings to galleries across the United States. When the paintings sell, the art gallery writes a check to Armand for his portion of the proceeds. Occasionally, a gallery erroneously requests Armand to provide his SSN on a W-9 Form. We do not send it to the gallery because the IRS does not require it.

Armand consigns merchandise (artwork) to the gallery and they pay him for merchandise they sell. He is not considered an Independent Contractor, nor is the gallery paying him money for “services”. The gallery is paying him for merchandise. Merchandise is considered an “Exception” to the IRS. The IRS does not require galleries or consignment shops to report payment for consigned merchandise to artists or other consignors—although the payment is taxable to the consignor.

Let’s look at it like this…You purchase merchandise from Nordstrom, Safeway, Petco and Home Depot. At the end of the year, you don’t ask for their SSN (or Federal ID #) and issue a 1099-MISC! You’ve purchased merchandise—you haven’t employed them or hired them to perform a service.

Don’t take my word for it. You can view this information on the IRS.gov website on this page:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1099msc.pdf

You will see the merchandise reference on the left side under “Exceptions”, 2nd bullet. The Internet is riddled with misinformation about this subject. Please—get your facts from the IRS official website—not from accountants and bookkeepers who make their living by preparing your taxes.

I don’t know why galleries and other consignees ask for this unnecessary information.Perhaps their CPA’s insist on it so they can make more money from their clients by creating needless paperwork. Maybe they’re just clueless. In any event, hang on to your SSN and only provide it when required by the IRS!

About the Author:

Diane Burket is an award-winning Voice Over Professional. She has been voicing scripts for over 20 years. She can be heard on National Commercials, Corporate Films, Training Videos, Telephone Prompts, Internet Sites and Multimedia recordings. In addition to her Voice Over, Diane also is the Agent for Armand Cabrera, a nationally-known oil painter represented by fine art galleries across the United States.
http://www.dianeburket.com/

Please follow and like us:

Art Galleries— Post Prices On Your Website!

by

 Diane Burket
As the Artist Agent for Armand Cabrera, I’m passionate about internet gallery pricing because failure to display prices diminishes our ability to sell paintings. Armand is a full time artist who shows his art in fine art galleries across the United States. Many of his galleries neglect to include prices on their websites. They are losing business, frustrating potential customers and ultimately—costing Armand and I money.
Art Galleries are in the business of selling art. It’s a mystery why some galleries (and artists) don’t post prices on their websites. Art collectors go to art gallery websites for information. If potential buyers don’t see basic information, they become frustrated and navigate to another gallery website. At the least, collectors want to see:
· Pictures of Available Paintings
· Prices
· Artist Information
· Gallery Information
Gallery Point of View
Some dealers argue that omitting prices helps to start relationships between the gallery and the buyer. If the customer calls to ask for the price, the gallery feels they can pitch the customer and, if necessary, offer incentives.
My View
Art collectors are not naïve. They know art costs money. Why withhold information and manipulate collectors into calling the gallery? Many avid art collectors will never pick up the phone to inquire about the price of art. In addition, the customer can’t contact a gallery after hours, so the probability to make a sale can only occur when the gallery is open. One of our collectors told me there’s so much art out there from which to chose—she’ll go to a site that displays prices rather than pick up the phone to inquire about a price.
Gallery Point of View
Posting prices devalues art. They’d rather “soft sell” the art.
My View
Internet visitors want details at their finger tips. The gallery does a disservice to their collectors and their artists by not using every opportunity to sell their paintings. Every major fine art gallery and auction house displays prices on their sites. It must be working for them!
Gallery Point of View
Their artists don’t have consistent prices. The artists inflate their prices for some galleries and reduce them in others. The gallery doesn’t want the customer to know the price discrepancies.
My View
Artists that don’t maintain consistent pricing are unprofessional. Fine art galleries shouldn’t represent them. The art market across the world is very intimate, thanks to the Internet. It’s easy to discover if an artist sells his work at significantly dissimilar prices. (Of course, one must consider the cost of framing—gold metal, gold leaf, etc. —but that’s another subject.)

Gallery Point of View
The gallery uses the website to get potential customers interested in their works—not to actually make sales from the site. They want the collectors to come into the gallery to purchase their art.
My View
It’s very short-sighted to think that all customers will visit a gallery. Many art collectors don’t live anywhere near the gallery. Countless 21st Century customers are Internet savvy and often purchase paintings they see online. Granted, the collector will call to discuss details with the gallery—but having accurate pictures and prices on the website helps to seal the deal.
FACTS
1) Our best selling galleries post prices and sell many of Armand’s paintings from their websites. Some of their customers never walk in the art gallery door.
 2) Failure to list prices has become such a problem for website visitors that usability expert Jakob Nielsen recently deemed it the number one web design mistake. I quote Mr. Nielsen—“The worst example of not answering users’ questions is to avoid listing the price of products and services. No B2C ecommerce site would make this mistake, … Price is the most specific piece of info customers use to understand the nature of an offering, and not providing it makes people feel lost and reduces their understanding of a product line. We have miles of videotape of users asking “Where’s the price?” while tearing their hair out.”
3) Your website acts as your salesperson across the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
4) People looking for discounts will ask for a discount. If Internet customers like a painting and the price is in their ballpark, they are intelligent enough to realize they can communicate with the gallery by email or telephone and request a discount.
5) The gallery will save the customer time and embarrassment by listing the retail price on the website. A buyer would be embarrassed to find a painting retails for over $50,000 when he assumed it would be under $10,000.
6) From extensive research, I have found that failure to list prices is a collector’s pet peeve. One collector told me she saw a painting she wanted to purchase in an advertisement in a national art magazine. She went to the gallery website and was frustrated— they did not post prices. Rather than call the gallery, she Google’d the artist’s name and found him at another gallery—one that posted prices. She called that gallery and bought a painting from them.
The time has come for art galleries to make it easy for collectors to buy paintings.
The 21st Century art buyer demands it!
About the Author:
Diane Burket is an award-winning Voice Over Professional. She has been voicing scripts for over 20 years. She can be heard on National Commercials, Corporate Films, Training Videos, Telephone Prompts, Internet Sites and Multimedia recordings. In addition to her Voice Over, Diane is also the Agent for Armand Cabrera, a nationally-known oil painter represented by fine art galleries across the United States.
http://www.dianeburket.com/

 

Please follow and like us:

Mistakes in Choosing Email Addresses

by
Diane Burket

Choose an email address using your domain name…and never change it again!

If you’re using an email address with someone else’s domain name—you’re losing a great branding tool—and you’re advertising for other people. Comcast, Hotmail, Yahoo, Charter, AOL, Gmail, and other ISP’s are happy you’re giving them free advertising…but it’s not helping your business at all.

What am I talking about?

Here are 2 of my websites: http://www.dianeburket.com/ and http://www.armandcabrera.com/

I use diane@dianeburket.com and diane@armandcabrera.com for my primary email addresses. Although my Internet Service Provider (ISP) is Comcast….I don’t use the Comcast email they provide. (d_burket@comcast.net).

Why? Well, why would I advertise for Comcast? I already pay them for a service….I don’t need to advertise for them with every email I send! I’d rather advertise for myself.

Every email you send should have your own branding on it….not someone else’s branding. It’s your way to get your website address out there to everyone on the receiving end of your emails.

Most website hosts give you multiple email addresses FOR FREE! I use IXWebhosting.com. Inexpensive, (I pay only $3.95/month) great service…and 2,500 email addresses. Of course, I’ll never need that many. Take advantage of this benefit—you’re already paying for it.

I’m always surprised to see art gallery owners, actors, business owners, etc. using their ISP’s email addresses. gallery@comcast.net, actor@hotmail.com These same people spend countless dollars on advertising and press—but when it comes to their own email address, they advertise for someone else. Makes no sense.

Another benefit to consider in using your domain name email address…You don’t have to change your email address every time you move or switch to a different ISP. How often do you get a change of email address notice from family, friends and business associates? If they’ve got their own website, it’s unnecessary to change their email address every time they change ISP’s or jobs.

My partner and I moved across the United States a few years ago. We didn’t have to change our email address even though we changed locations and changed ISP’s. Our customers didn’t lose track of us and we didn’t have to bother them with a change of address notice. Simple.

So—-if you’ve got a website, brand with yourself and never change your email address again!

Diane Burket is an award-winning Voice Over Professional. She has been voicing scripts for over 20 years. She can be heard on National Commercials, Corporate Films, Training Videos, Telephone Prompts, Internet Sites and Multimedia recordings. In addition to her Voice Over, Diane also is the Agent for Armand Cabrera, a nationally-known oil painter represented by fine art galleries across the United States.

http://www.dianeburket.com/

http://www.armandcabrera.com/

.

Please follow and like us: