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Presenting Your Fine Art Prints For Sale

One of the keys to successful sales is your presentation.  Artists find that presenting giclees in a way that preserves the quality while displaying them in a refined manor sells more prints. Digital fine art prints, commonly called giclees, need to be handled and presented as you would any fine artwork. They should have a neat, clean, and professional presentation; it can’t look like you decided to start selling prints yesterday. You must also present your prints in a way that protects them, using acid free materials.

If you are selling out of a booth, the booth needs to look as professional and clean as the presentation of your prints or originals.  The same is true for displays in retail locations. The more “put together” you are as an artist the more sales you will have.

There are several ways to present your prints and originals professionally. You can offer prints framed, matted/backed/bagged, or just backed and bagged.

We will review some options that we are most familiar with. There is no one single way that is correct.

The best method to ensure sales for any given print is to have all options available for your clients.  A selection of prints that are framed and ready to hang is perfect for clients that want the easiest option. For clients who prefer to choose their own framing you can offer matted and bagged prints that can potentially fit a standard size frame. Standard sizes can help save your clients from the anxieties of additional costs that may come from custom framing. You can also offer just the print itself backed with acid free foam core or mat board and bagged for your client to purchase and pursue matting and framing themselves. Providing all of these options offers your client several different price points as well as the ability to personalize the framing. Your clients will have the opportunity to save on framing costs when selling standard sized prints that are matted and backed. Additionally, if they don’t like your frame or matting choices they can take all of that upon themselves by buying that loose print.

In a booth or retail space, highlight your original artwork and give them plenty of room to breathe. As an artist your primary concern will be to sell the originals if they are for sale. Original artwork has the highest profit margin for you and can draw more attention from people walking by your booth. Clients who enjoy the artwork but cannot afford the original artwork will be happy to see that there are prints available as well. Clearly separate and clearly mark your prints and originals.  You want to steer very clear of people mistaking your prints as originals and vice versa, which can happen with high quality prints.  One of the ways of isolating your prints from your originals will be to offer your prints in a bin at the front of your booth or retail location. A nice accompaniment to the print box in the front is a mini print box just next to your checkout location.  You want to try to trigger some nice impulse buys, and having minis at a lower cost is a great option.

Matting and/or framing your paper prints with archival materials and techniques provides the best possible protection. We recommend acid-free or rag mats combined with a UV protectant glass. Although acid-free and archival materials can be more expensive, it is worth it to protect the life and longevity of your prints. If you’ve invested in the highest quality prints, it makes sense to also invest in the highest quality materials to protect them. If you use non-archival materials to mat/frame your prints, they will yellow and/or fade over time greatly reducing the life of the print.

Ultimately, you need to put yourself in your clients’ shoes and ask yourself how you would want to buy a print and take the extra steps to make sure your potential clients are buying with confidence.  Think about all the little details so you cover all of your bases and are ready for success.

If you like this article and want some one on one time with one of our staff to discuss this topic please feel free to give us a call at 703-684-0005