Nice arrangement, Rosemary! Of course, the easiest way to see the type of markup done by your shops would be for you (or a friend or relative) to go in and look at the prices on your items.
Depending on the shop, keep in mind that their prices may seem quite high in order to have a margin for advertised sales, etc. To define some terms, if you sell an item to them at your cost/wholesale price and they mark it up exactly 100%, then they are pricing your items "keystone. " If they mark your item up 200%, then they are pricing "triple keystone. "
I could be wrong, but I don't think there is a "standard, " or any specific rules for a store when it comes to pricing.
I forgot to tell you all about some of the arrangements I have with galleries and gift shops. Most galleries take a 40% to 60% commission, so it is wise to mark your items accordingly, keeping within that area's price points so they still sell and don't just 'sit there looking pretty'. One gift shop my work is in takes a 30% commission, but it is a no-profit organization.
When deciding to place your work in any location, here are things to consider (and ask if they are not forthright about them):
Do they cover good advertising; do they take care of returned checks and credit card fees; do they provide packaging and what type is it; are you allowed to have your cards with your work; do they have insurance to cover your percentage in case of fire, theft, etc; do they have a knowledgeable staff who can 'sell' your work; what type of display and lighting will your pieces be included in; do they take care of keeping the display clean and organized or are you expected to do it; do they have an agreement to sign that states the benefits and responsibilities of both parties (and anything else that you may have questions or concerns about). These items are what the commission is going toward (besides the building rent, utilities, etc). Now, is what they require too high or just right?
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong