How to Sell Limited Edition Art Prints

By Elise Wile ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Scanner
  • Archival paper
  • Clear protective sleeves
  • Mailers
Creating limited art prints can increase your income.

Limiting the number of prints that you sell can make your work more appealing to many art buyers. Numbering prints gives art buyers a feeling that they own something that very few others have. While not all prints appreciate in value, if a print is to become a collector's item, it must be numbered so that collectors are aware of the limited number of prints available on the market. Creating a limited edition art print is a straightforward process that any artist can do.

Decide how much money you want to make from each print run. Calculate how many prints you think you can sell. Set the number of prints and their price accordingly. Generally, the fewer the prints in a run, the more you can charge for each print.

Scan your artwork using the CMYK mode on your scanner. Use the highest resolution available--a minimum of 1200 dpi (dots per inch). Save each piece as a TIFF file, as the image will be high quality and able to be printed by a professional if need be. Take the artwork to a professional print shop or a photographer if it is too large for your scanner.

Print your art prints on archival paper with a matte finish. Use a quality printer that produces consistent colors. If your artwork is larger than 8 1/2 by 11 inches, you may want to take your pieces to an fine art printing shop to have them professionally printed. You can also send them to a printer who specializes in giclee (professional digital) prints.

Number each print. You can put the number on the front or the back--it is a matter of personal preference. Write the total number of prints in the edition beside the number. For example: 21/25, which represents the 21st print in a print run of 25.

List the prints you are selling on your website. Include how many prints are in each limited edition as well as how many prints have sold. Update the information after you sell each print. Indicate how customers can purchase the prints.

Promote your prints. Hang your prints in local restaurants. Create social networking pages for your art so that your friends can share your artwork with interested parties. Put a link to your website at the bottom of emails to friends and family.

Sell your prints in a variety of venues. You can matte them and sell them at craft fairs and art shows, use online artist's markets and create a shopping cart for your website.

Set up a payment method for your buyers. You may want to use an online payment method or apply for a traditional credit card merchant account.

Keep track of each print you have sold and its buyer. Create a separate spreadsheet for each print. Include fields for the name of the buyer, the number of the print and the price. You can also enter this information in a simple record book.

Ship your prints carefully. You can ship them in a cardboard tube or in an envelope that has been reinforced with cardboard. Place your print in a plastic sleeve if you are shipping it flat, as this will offer further protection.

Tip

Choose a print size that you think will sell. Standard sizes, such as 8 by 10 inches sell well because frames are readily available in that size.

Sign your prints, as this can increase their value.

The advantage of using a spreadsheet to record your sales is that you can then export your customer's names as contacts to include in promotional mailings.

Warning

Never increase the number of prints in a limited edition after you have announced the run and sold prints.

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.