Art Facts

Sold Out Editions

A limited edition is considered sold out and on the secondary market when it is no longer available from the artist or the publisher (primary source). It’s considered sold out even though art dealers may have the limited editions in stock.

Those who offer limited editions establish secondary Market Value Guidelines. The popularity of the artist, the rarity of the edition, the interest of the consumer in owning the edition all are factors that help determine the secondary market value of a limited edition.

The designation “Sold Out by Publisher” means that the print is unavailable at the publisher, but may be available at individual dealers. Due to the limited quantities, availability of sold out prints cannot be guaranteed.

Why Does A Limited Edition Print Increase In Value?

When an edition is published it is described as a “New Release” and is offered for sale at a retail price, known as the “Issue or New Release Price”. As prints in the edition are sold and become scarcer, the edition is described as “In Low Supply” and collector’s interest in the print usually increase. It is important to aquire “Low Supply” Prints without delay because so few exist.

When all of the pieces in the edition are sold and are no longer available from the publisher, the edition is described as “Sold Out”. It is then only possible to obtain prints trough other collectors or galleries that have already stocked them, but rarely for very long. At this point the price of sold out prints frequently increases from the original issue price, due to supply and demand.

The Secondary Market

The Secondary Market is a term used to describe the reselling of sought-after prints by collectors and galleries to each other. People wishing to obtain "Sold Out" prints must do so on the Secondary Market often at a higher price. The secondary market in the art print industry refers to the resale market. That is, the publisher is the primary market because he is the original source of the edition of prints. When the edition has sold out, that does not mean the piece is unavailable.