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I did a cursory search for this topic but there are so many posts about prints, that I think it would take a while to find an answer! Sorry if this has been discussed before.

I am going to be selling prints in addition to original paintings at fairs this year. There is a lot I don't know yet, but my main question is this: Should I offer prints of a piece ONLY if I've already sold the original? Or, would it be normal to have the original hanging in my tent with print reproductions of the piece a few feet away in my print rack?

I've heard that people looking to buy originals vs people looking to buy prints are 2 completely different demographics, so maybe it doesn't matter? I just have no experience with this yet, so I'd love your feedback.


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First of all, don't refer to them as prints. Call them reproductions because the original exists. You will find that not all shows allow reproductions. Some of the top tier shows state no reproductions in their application. As for actually selling them, some shows want them to be editioned and some don't care. Whether or not the original is for sale is irrelevant. You might need two booth pictures, one with a bin and the other without for shows that don't allow reproductions.

You will find, depending on how you price your originals and reproductions, they will appeal to different people. Actually you want them to appeal to different people. The point of selling reproductions is to have something for people who can't afford your originals.

Larry Berman

Hi Larry, you are always so quick to respond, thank you!

Don't worry, I've thoroughly read the rules for each show I've been accepted into to find out which allow reproductions, what percentage of the booth they can take up, etc.

It makes sense that originals vs reproductions would appeal to different people. 

I’m just throwing stuff at you. Most high quality shows want reproductions to be limited and numbered. Some allow you only to hang them on one wall. Some only allow 1 bin and don’t allow you to hang any. If the show doesn’t care if they are numbered then that would tell me that it’s a lower quality show and I’m probably only going to be able to sell prints there. Having a lot of reproductions does turn some buyers off that want originals. What kind of an artist are you and what is your goal? Does it take you a long time to paint a painting? If so, you probably need to price your originals higher because you don’t want to sell them all and run out. Having your originals priced higher May give more value to your reproductions.

I feel like you sell what you have the most of. If you have a lot of prints, you will sell more prints and less originals and visa versa if you have more originals.
Just know that when you go into prints, you will spend a lot of time basically being a framer. Matting, shrink wrapping and framing and you will have much less time to paint which in turn puts you in a box of needing to sell Reproductions.

If you are a fast painter maybe you should be play with your prices. If you can offer small quick originals that are the price of larger reproductions, then do you need prints. I mean the goal is to create, not to be a framer. It something to think about.

I don’t sell reproductions any more at shows, but I have a lot of them from years ago, that I still sell on Etsy. That’s another option.

It’s a balancing act between the need to make money and finding time to create.
Good luck, just my opinion.


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