Case in point: A sales clerk in the shop adjacent to my gallery came in quite often to chat and admire a certain painting. In fact, she liked several of the paintings on display that were all done by the same artist, and one in particular caught her fancy. The $200 price tag was far out of her range, or so she said. "After all, I am just a poor shopgirl," she once said with a laugh. But she sure liked that painting and might even save up to buy it one day.
Since every art dealer marks up the price of the art to help pay for the rent, advertising and utility bills associated with running a gallery, and since the artist in question, a lovely woman I really liked, was coming in to the gallery to pick up her work, and knowing she would rather sell it than stick it in the trunk of her car and take it back home, I suggested to Poor Shopgirl that she could have the painting minus my markup for $100. I mean, big deal, at least let someone have a good day, right? This plan thrilled and delighted Poor Shopgirl, prompting her to look at some of the other paintings with a fresh eye.
Fast forward to Poor Shopgirl who had never been able to afford one painting for $200 walking away with two paintings for $320. The Lovely Woman I Really Liked left with $120 in cash and a check for the balance. The good news is that I, the Schmuck Who Made It Happen, was not holding my breath waiting for either one of them to suggest I get even one thin dime.