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What does secondary art market mean?

What does secondary art market mean?

Secondary market art sells worldwide everyday at auction houses and in galleries and by art brokers. What is the secondary market? If you are looking to buy orginal art or prints you will come across the term secondary market. But what is secondary market and what's the difference between primary and secondary markets?

At Simply Jack Vettriano we have, possibly, the UK's largest variety of secondary market Jack Vettriano Limited Edition Prints and Artist's Proofs. If you are looking to buy orginal art or prints you will come across the term secondary market. But what is secondary market and what's the difference between primary and secondary markets?


When a limited edition print is first released by Jack Vettriano's publishers it is available to buy directly from the publishers and from Jack Vettriano Official Stockists, such us here at Simply Jack Vettriano. When a Limited Edition Print goes on sale for the first time, it's called the primary market.


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When the publisher sells all the Limited Edition Prints they have, they cannot print any more, as the prints are limited to the number that are available. The Limited Edition Print is then only available as a resale item - when someone that bought from the primary market has now decided to the sell their print. It's pre-owned art and is called the secondary market.

Don't let the words pre-owned alarm you. There are many highly collectable artworks sold on the secondary market every day from artists worldwide. Most pieces of art sold at auction houses are secondary market pieces.

There are many reasons for the original buyer deciding to sell their art. Art collectors may decide to sell their collection of a specific artist to make way for a new artist. They may decide to sell a piece in order to purchase a new piece by the same artist. Tastes change over time and they may just have fallen out of love with a piece they once adored. Or prices may have risen since they initially purchased and they are looking to make a profit by selling. We also find our clients selling prints because they are moving home.


Are prices on the secondary market higher than the primary market?

When a Limited Edition Print first goes on sale there is a recommended retail price, which all official stockists use. If someone, who bought from the primary market, decides to sell the Limited Edition Print, it's up to the seller to decide how much to sell their print for, and for a buyer to decide how much they want to pay.

If the print is still available on the primary market, it is unlikely that the seller will be able to ask a price higher than the original selling price.

If the print has sold out at the publishers and is a highly sought after print, it's likely the print will sell for a higher price than it was originally bought for, as there is demand for the print.

There is no guarantee that the value of a print will increase. We would always advise that you buy a piece of art because you love the art and you want to admire it on your wall every day, and not as an investment.


Before you buy...

If you are considering buying a secondary market print look for authenticity and provenance. If you are buying a Jack Vettriano Limited Edition Print or Artist's Proof we would always recommend buying from a Jack Vettriano Authorised Retailer. If you are buying from a private collector or from ebay then we suggest following our steps to check before you buy, to help make sure you are getting an authentic Jack Vettriano print.


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Do you have any questions about the secondary market? Let us know in the comments below. Or why not browse our selection of Jack Vettriano primary and secondary market Limited Edition Prints?


Wondering what the image is at the top of the page? It is Jack Vettriano's Lunchtime Lovers.