The Expert Guide To Selling A Banksy

Donuts (strawberry) by BanksyDonuts (strawberry) © Banksy 2009
Joe Syer

Joe Syer, Co-Founder & Specialist[email protected]

Interested in buying or selling

If you are in the market to sell a Banksy print, we are here to guide you through all the important considerations and to ensure your print ends up in the right hands, for the right price, in the right condition and at the right time. Here are a few pieces of expert advice before you start your journey.

Read MyArtBroker's Banksy Investment Guide In 2024

MyArtBroker’s approach to selling Banksy has been recommended by Street Art Bio in their article ‘How to Sell a Banksy: Best in Class‘.

Looking to buy a Banksy print instead? Read our dedicated Banksy Buyers Guide.

Banksy Vs. The Art Market

Banksy is avidly scornful of the art market, writing in his book Wall and Piece: “When you go to an art gallery you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires”. The mischievous artist has a long history of formulating tongue-in-cheek critiques of the commercial art world through his work.

One of his earlier works from 2006, Morons, stated: “I can’t believe you morons buy this shit” and in 2018 at Sotheby’s Auction House, his Girl with Balloon print theatrically shredded itself moments after it had been sold for just over £1m. In 2019, Banksy even set up a guerrilla art shop, Gross Domestic Product, offering all his artworks for sale to a select audience, for a limited time, and for less than his market value, in a further subversion of the formal art industry process.

However, Banksy’s provocative approach vis-a-vis the art market shouldn’t keep you from selling one of his works – he might make fun of you for it, but you’ll be the one to reap the benefits.

After an extraordinary run between 2020 and 2021, Banksy's market underwent a correction in 2022, but fear not: this is likely a sign that his market, well-established at present, is beginning to reach maturity. Moreover, in 2022, over 300 prints by the graffiti artist sold at auction, totalling £14.7 million, with signed limited edition Banksy prints selling for anywhere between £3000 and £882,000 at auction. As Banksy's reputation is consolidated in the canon, and his market reaches maturity, if you're looking to sell in 2023, we are here to help you get the right price for your print.

To learn more about the highs and lows of the Banksy Market, read our Banksy Market Watch here.

Or, download our Ultimate 5-Year Market Report here.

How to estimate the value of your Banksy print

Understandably, the first question you might ask is: “How much is my Banksy worth?” Much like anything else to do with the elusive artist, the answer is – it depends. Prints can vary in value according to a number of factors: the edition size, colourway, subject matter, whether the print is after a popular Banksy mural condition and quality. Signed, numbered prints, for example, are valued more highly than test proofs (the unnumbered proofs made to test out inks and the look of the piece), but all are collectable within the right market conditions.

As most Banksy pieces come in a series of multiple prints, it’s easy to get a sense of market value by looking at recent sales prices online and researching Banksy auction prices across the major auction houses.

It’s even possible to use eBay as a research tool. Go to the Advanced Search option and type in “[print name] + Banksy + Pest Control” (to search for listings with an official Pest Control CoA). You also want to select the Art category and the option to search for sold listings. You’ll then see the prices that (supposedly) legitimate pieces have reached.

Of course, Banksy pieces regularly go under the hammer and generate headline-making figures which set the market for Banksy’s work overall. Moreover, if a major art gallery or museum– such as the Tate Modern, or MoMA – held a Banksy exhibition that would also help his stock rise hugely. This research can give you a benchmark from where to start, then adjust for some of the main considerations such as condition, authentication, market and if your print is signed.

The fact that there is a thriving market for Banksy pieces means it's often possible to find prices for work similar to yours and go from there.

Is your Banksy signed or unsigned?

Check the lower corners of your print: Banksy’s prints come in signed and unsigned numbered editions, as well as artist’s proofs. There are usually 600-750 unsigned editions and 150 signed editions per print.

Signed editions are, normally, more desirable and will fetch a higher price because they are rarer. But due to the phenomenal demand for any Banksy artworks, unsigned are also always a collectable Banksy artwork. Signed prints have fared well in the recently turbulent market, with a 15% average sale price decrease year over year (YoY) 2022 (year to date). 2020 saw unsigned prints take a YoY average sale price increase of 232% followed by a 2% increase in 2021. Signed prints growth in 2020 was 132%, whilst still exceptionally high, was not as dramatic.

As for unnumbered test proofs, these are used by Banksy to test inks and the design of the piece and are generally less valuable than numbered prints, but still highly collectable.

Pest Control - MyArtBrokerPest Control © Pest Control

How to authenticate a Banksy

As well as holding onto any paperwork pertaining to your initial purchase of your Banksy print via a private sale, gallery or auction, the key to proving the authenticity of your work is having a corresponding Certificate of Authenticity (CoA) from Pest Control.

If you bought your Banksy print recently, it should already come with a Certificate of Authentication from Pest Control, the official handling service who has acted on behalf of Banksy since 2009. By which we mean, they are the only handling service – there is no other organisation representing Banksy in any legitimate capacity. All Banksy prints come from Pest Control, and legitimate pieces will be authenticated by them.

If you bought your Banksy before 2009, for example from the now defunct printers Pictures on Walls (POW), you can contact Pest Control to confirm your work is genuine. This can take from two weeks to two years – they almost always have a large backlog. For more information on this process, check out our guide to verifying your piece with Pest Control.

Pest Control never authenticates Banksy street artworks, partially because Banksy intended these to be a part of public space, and partially to avoid his implication in any criminal activity. They also won’t be able to tell you the value of your Banksy piece, but simply confirm if it’s legitimate.

It is absolutely vital that you keep any paperwork relevant to the piece’s purchase—the first step to selling your Banksy is always to gather all of this together. Any buyer’s first concern will, and should be, with provenance – nobody wants to buy a fake. Without the proper paperwork, the selling price will dip considerably and most auction houses, dealers or galleries will refuse to accept it.

Assessing the condition of your Banksy print

The condition of a piece will affect its value. If your Banksy print is not in perfect condition, it might be necessary to restore the piece, which will require expert involvement to assess and amend the damage. The best way to know the condition of your print is to get a professional to appraise it; here at MyArtBroker, our specialists can offer you a free, zero obligation valuation, which will take into account the condition of the print. We also work with several trusted conservation specialists who perform restoration and can point you in the right direction if you need help.

Pictures on Walls (the sole publisher of Banksy’s prints) mainly produce prints on wove paper. Early works were printed on thinner stocks than later ones, and are therefore more vulnerable to damage. One of the most common problems for prints is the paper becoming cockled or ‘wavy’. Paper can contort over time due to changes in the atmosphere, humidity and temperature. It will then need to be pressed and flattened.

Sometimes tape will need to be removed from the back of the print – if this is not done by a professional it can result in skinning. When the tape is removed some of the paper fibres are lifted off the paper, which becomes effectively damaged and reduces the artwork’s value.

Learn more about how to look after your Banksy print here.

Submit your Banksy print for a free valuation

Fragile by Banksy - MyArtBrokerFragile © Banksy 2022

When to sell a Banksy print

It’s worth thinking carefully about when you sell – if a similar piece is on the secondary market you don’t want to compete against each other and drive prices down. Wait until there seems to be a gap or evidence of a desire for the Banksy you are selling. Interest in Banksy can starkly rise depending on his activities.

For instance, in November 2022, following a series of murals in Ukraine, located from Kyiv to Borodyanka, Banksy further expressed his solidarity with the country, by releasing a new artwork in print form and raising money for international charity, the Legacy of War Foundation. As well as exemplifying the artist's ongoing benevolence and engagement in charitable causes, the artist's continued topicality undoubtedly picques interest for his art within the print market.

Where can I sell my Banksy art?

The final practical decision when it comes to selling your Banksy is where and how to make the sale. The main options are through an auction house, via an online platform, or through a private sale.

Obviously, we’re big fans of private sales and believe it helps both buyers and sellers, which is why we do it. But there are advantages and disadvantages to all the methods. Deciding on the right platform to sell a Banksy will depend on your own level of confidence and expertise in the art market.

Selling Banksy via an auction house

If you decide to go with an auction house, they will appraise your work for free and help you set a reserve price. Their specialists will determine authenticity, condition and value of the piece. An advantage of auction houses is that they will often have a good audience of collectors – and Banksy has a strong market – so for a one-off original sometimes it makes good sense, and you might find a better price than you would via private sale.

However, on the day of the auction, luck will play a significant role and you may be up against similar lots that have the potential to weaken the appeal of your piece. For prints, it’s rarely the most cost-effective way of reaching a buyer. You’ll also have to wait 2-3 months for a sale date and you’ll have to cover transport costs and the substantial fee – often up to 15% off the seller.

To learn more, we recommend reading our comprehensive Guide To Auction v Private Sale in the Banksy Market.

Selling Banksy via an online auction

Many new sellers turn to public online platforms with a guaranteed large audience, such as eBay. These can offer huge audience exposure plus the ability to tailor your listing as you want, set rates for delivery, add a minimum price and more – all for a small commission fee.

There is however a greater risk of fraudulent buyers, time-wasters and crucially, less of your target collector audience. You’ll also be solely responsible for setting the value of your Banksy without the expertise.

Selling Banksy privately via a broker

Selling through a private brokerage such as MyArtBroker can often be a good bet for the inexperienced than going through an auction. Private brokers give you access to a network of clients they know well and who will be interested in your Banksy.

Private brokers can also help you with questions around authenticity, how to set realistic prices and supply potential buyers at a much more leisurely pace than the stress of an auction.

This patience does go both ways. Buyers through brokers will often be savvy, and less inclined to offer the above-estimate prices that auctions can bring. You also need to find a broker who you can trust to provide the buying market you need to maximise your artwork’s potential.

Why sell your Banksy with MyArtBroker?

A Dedicated Broker

MyArtBroker will introduce you to your own personal expert broker who will find you a buyer and guide you through the process without any charge to you— you can get to know our friendly specialists here. Our brokers will help you with authenticity and condition checking, offer advice on realistic sale prices and the optimal time to sell plus manage the negotiation from start to finish.

As we value your prints as much as you do, our brokers will always ensure they negotiate the best price for you. Even better, it’s free to sell!

Our network

As a specialist network of Banksy collectors, we have buyers looking for specific works all the time so it will often be a swift process to find a buyer for your work. With over 30,000 collectors buying and selling artwork daily, and over 75,000 visitors to our website every month, at MyArtBroker we have a worldwide network of private collectors, brokers and galleries to help you find the right buyer at the right price.

Our online platform also lets us market your piece discreetly, saving you the hassle of dealing with potential buyers or the stress of an auction. It also means your artwork is on display 24 hours a day, reaching your target market while you get with other things.

Selling a Banksy with us can happen extraordinarily quickly. With our network and the high demand for prints, our brokers might find you a buyer to pay for and collect the artwork within as little as 48hrs.

Get in touch with us here if you’re interested in selling a Banksy print and we’ll talk you through the process.

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