Seller / Buyer Payment options for High Value Prints

General art-related discussion.
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:52 am


I was curious as to what methods people were using to accept payments for high value pieces ($20K+). I have a print (a sign Banksy with some damage) I’m thinking of unloading one of these days to pay off some medical bills so I’m thinking from a seller standpoint, but people might be interested in both the buying / selling aspects.

I think PayPal has a $10K limit so something like that, so that would take multiple transactions. And then can a shady buyer just say he never received it and get his money back?

Bank Transfers seem like a good way to get your account hacked and wire transfers seem like a scam possibility

Do people use Venmo?

In person cash might be best but then there’s always a chance of being robbed unless you meet up at the bank or something?

Do people have a gallery or auction house sell it for them? Does the gallery pay up front? Do you hand delivery to the gallery or auction house and fill out paperwork?

Just curious as to what methods people have used and how their experiences went.
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:17 am

Best way is bank transfer or failing that use a gallery that you know and trust like castle gallery.

All I know about paypal is a friend of mine sold an artwork and had a few thousand sent to their paypal account. When they tried to transfer their money to their bank paypal blocked it under the guise that he doesn't normally recieve large payments into his account and paypal decided it was suspicious even though the buyer was happy with their purchase and recieved it. It was an international transaction. So paypal froze the money and had the seller jump through all sorts of hoops in order for paypal to hold onto the money for as long a sthey could. The seller mentione dhe thought that he tried to transfer the full amount of money (his money) into his bank account in one go after three days and believes that if he left the money sitting in his paypal account longer or transferred a small amount he would have had no probles with payapl.

and thats the issue regarding paypal; no one knows why or when they will decide to freeze peoples money.
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:17 pm

My only experience selling a high ticket item was when I had sold a classic truck to someone in Canada. Like you I had feared a bank transfer would put my account at risk. So I talked to my bank and they allowed me to open up a temporary account at no charge just for the bank transfer. Once the temp account received the money from the sale I transferred the money into my real account, canceled the temp account and I released the truck to the transportation co. who were taking the truck to Canada.

When I had purchased a Banksy years ago in was done through a bank transfer to a bank in England. I did it through my bank again but used a credit card instead of actual funds from my bank account to pay for the print. This way i’d have my bank and credit card company to help protect me in the case the deal went bad.

Good luck with your sale.
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:51 pm

Work with a gallery if possible. They know how it all works.
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:33 pm

Which Banksy are you moving? I've got nothing on selling/buying short of meeting in person and hands over a couple straps of hundreds and exchanging in a public place.
Last edited by jjttdw on Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:25 pm

If it’s a $20K+ transaction, best to do it in person if possible. I am sure the buyer can afford to meet you in person or y’all can meet halfway or something. There have been instances where I’ve worked out a mediator with the buyer (that we both trust). The mediator holds the item until the cash deposit clears from the bank, which is a same day thing. If an in-person transaction is not feasible, then you can go the auction house or online “gallery” route and have them earn their cut. There’s peace of mind for you this way. As far as paperwork and fees go, it really varies on a case by case. You can email Castle Gallery for instance and see how they handle it. It might just be a consignment deal where you ship directly to the buyer after the piece sells and Castle might vet the buyer, or maybe you mail directly to Castle and they assume the risk from there. Best to ask them. If you go via Artsy or something, they may have their own methods.

Honestly, for peace of mind, I’ve declined big value transactions that I haven’t been able to conduct in person. Someone in China, for example, offered me a high amount for one of my items recently, but I politely declined. Not worth the hassle in case the item gets lost, stolen in the mail or if the buyer is potentially shady. But if the buyer is able to meet in person, then game on. If it’s a domestic deal, then it’s totally worth the $300-500 to fly out and meet in person and spend a day or two in a new city. It would cost you/the buyer around this much to ship and insure the item, anyway.
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Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:23 am

Thanks for the good advice everyone. I really appreciate it. I agree, in person in a public place would make me the most comfortable as well at this point.

Besides the gallery listed above, are there any other galleries that would be good to contact? How does that usually work, Is it a commission based thing where you get paid after your piece sells or do they buy it off you and resell it through their contacts?

Has anyone dealt with an auction house like Sotheby’s? I know there is seller / buyer premium, but maybe it’s worth it for the extra exposure? Who/Where is the person/point of contact? Do you drop off the item in exchange for paperwork and then get a check and a 1099 after it sells?

It’s a Banksy NOLA w/ COA. It has a hard crease in the image (received that way from POW). I’m the original owner and was going to try to restore it at some point but starting to think that isn’t going to happen.
Last edited by pvecchi on Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:57 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:53 am

With a NOLA mate, work with a gallery. You'll get a lot of tire kickers and people trying to talk price down. That's an in demand image and a gallery shouldn't have any issues selling it for you.
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Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:02 am

wottagunn wrote:With a NOLA mate, work with a gallery. You'll get a lot of tire kickers and people trying to talk price down. That's an in demand image and a gallery shouldn't have any issues selling it for you.
You aren’t kidding about the people contacting me, that’s for sure. Any recommendations for good galleries to work with for a US seller?

Thanks for the comment, I really appreciate it :pint:
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