How to Buy Limited Edition Prints for Children

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How to Buy Limited Edition Prints for Children

Children’s art is a good addition to any nursery or bedroom. It can brighten up a room and if the image is taken from a well-known book then it will be recognised and loved. Signed limited edition prints for children can also gain value over time. Buying limited edition prints for children on eBay can make a special present for a birth, baptism or birthday as well as being a collector's item.

A print is a reproduction of a work of art. The difference between a limited edition print and simply a poster attached to a canvas is significant. Buyers should know what they want from their print and how much they are willing to spend.

Types of Prints

Prints are created in different media and it is essential to research them and understand the results that they produce. Contemporary artists usually reproduce their work digitally. A copy is taken from the original image and used to create exact copies.

The following table briefly describes some of the main traditional and modern printing methods.




Lithography is a traditional method of printing which uses a smooth stone or metal plate. A grease pencil is used on it so that the ink will only appear on some parts of the stone.


The etching process involves an image being scratched into the surface of a metal cylinder. This technique will not produce identical prints because of the inking and wiping process of the cylinder.

Screen printing

In screen printing ink is transferred through a stencil by a squeegee or file blade. It can reproduce the same design without compromising on quality, as well as print in multiple colours.


Giclée is sometimes called the modern printing technique of lithography. It can use up to double the amount of colours of lithography and produces fine art inkjet prints on canvas and paper. However, giclée printing is unregulated so there is no guarantee of quality.

Limited Edition Prints

Artists often choose to make a run of prints which are signed and numbered.

  • Limited edition prints are worth more than unofficial copies.
  • Smaller sets of limited edition prints are more valuable than larger sets
  • The lower numbered prints in a set are also worth more.

When buying a limited edition print it is important to do extensive research, on the specific print being sold, as well as the seller.

  • Check the photographs of the print closely to ensure that they are not stock photos.
  • Look clearly for the signature and number on the print
  • Check that they have not just been digitally added onto the photo.
  • If it is a genuine limited edition then it should not be on sale elsewhere.

It’s easy to learn a lot quickly by looking at similar “Completed items” in advanced search function on eBay. Also, compare prices of similar prints and check the seller’s rating. If possible a record of previous owners can help to determine a print’s legitimacy. Limited edition prints may increase in value, however, this is not guaranteed. Think carefully before buying prints solely for their investment value.

Why Buy Limited Edition Prints for Children?

There are several factors to consider when buying limited edition prints for children.

  • Firstly, they grow up fast.
  • If the print is from a book that is aimed at toddlers then buyers must consider the longevity of their purchase. However, buying a limited edition print increases its resale value.

As long as the print is well cared for and kept in good condition then a signed and numbered, limited edition print would be easily saleable on eBay a few years later. There is also potential it could increase in value, though this cannot be guaranteed.

Five Factors to Consider Before Buying Prints

Buying prints from art galleries is expensive due to the cost of rent, and delivery is often not available.

There are many advantages to buying prints on eBay but it is also good to check your seller’s returns policy if you are some distance apart.

There is more choice on eBay which allows buyers to choose a piece that they want, rather than being restricted to the holdings of a local gallery. eBay has a wide choice of prints which are all covered by the Buyer Protection Scheme. The following factors are aspects to consider before buying a print online.

1. Type of Print

Research the original medium of the drawing or the painting. The type of print will determine how realistic a print will look. For example, prints on canvas and paper will have different textures.

2. Size

Check the dimensions and whether they match the original. It is also important to consider the space in which it will be hung and that it will fit.

3. Quality

Check the quality of the art against the asking price. Paying below the odds but still expecting top quality art is unlikely. This could include low resolution prints or a poor colour quality which has lost its brightness and will therefore look lifeless in comparison to a top quality print. However be aware that when viewing photos on a computer screen, prints can appear to be lighter or darker than in reality. The photos can also depend on the lighting when it was taken.

4. Value for Money

Research in this area is essential. Work out exactly what the seller is selling and whether it is a reasonable price. Prints can vary from high resolution professional prints to a standard photograph poster stuck to a canvas. Be sure of what is being sold and whether it is worthy of its price.

5. Seller and Delivery Assurance

Remember to check the delivery costs. If the print is worth a lot of money ask the seller whether they will insure the print during delivery. Check the seller's rating and whether others are bidding on it. A rare limited edition print will be popular and attract interest. Do not hesitate to ask the seller any questions about the sale or the delivery.

How to Search on eBay

To begin an eBay search for limited edition prints go to the Art portal under the Collectables heading. Then navigate to the Prints section where there are sub-sections for Antique, Modern and Contemporary prints.

Results can be filtered using the boxes in the left-hand side panel. This will reduce the number of results. Check the box 'Limited Edition' as well as in any other sections such as 'Subject', 'Condition', 'Price', 'Style', 'Medium' or 'Signed/Unsigned'. When the search has been narrowed down enough, and there are several suitable options, the search is still not complete. It is important to spend some time researching the product and gathering as much information as possible before thinking of buying or placing a bid.

There is a search box on every page and also an advanced feature where the search category can be specified. To find prints quicker for limited edition prints search in the "Art" category. For more search tips use eBay’s Search Tips page. Use key words to narrow down preferences and carefully read through the search results to check that they are suitable.

If the searches are unsuccessful then save a search on My eBay which will send an email notification when the search is matched.

How to Buy Prints on eBay

The benefits of buying from eBay include access to hundreds of trusted sellers, as well as PayPal secure payment systems. This offers choice as well as protection. Read carefully over the listings that are a good match and study the photographs and details given. To answer any queries, or to have certain details clarified, do not hesitate to Ask the Seller. To buy the chosen product, either place a Bid, Buy it Now or put down a Best Offer. The Buying Tips page has more information on buying on eBay.

Security on eBay

Before making a purchase, it is important to do thorough research and understand exactly what is being sold. Read through the description of the product thoroughly. It may be helpful to jot down notes or to bookmark the page so that other listings can be compared.

Look carefully at the photos and check that they are of the original product. Perhaps request further photographs in order to see parts of the product clearer or from an angle that is not shown in the listing. This is especially important for signed prints and may be helpful to get an idea of a print's size, for example a picture of it in a room or with a person to see the scale.

If the print is not brand new then it is a good idea to get information about the ownership history. Find out how many owners it has had and what condition it is in, such as whether it was hung in direct sunlight. Cheaper quality prints may be affected by colour fading.


Buying art for children can bring their favourite storybook characters to life. It can be difficult to choose prints that will provide lasting enjoyment but a limited edition children’s print should retain or gain value which can make it a good investment when it comes to reselling it.

The key to a successful buy is to carry out thorough research. Buyers should know what they want and be patient to get a reasonably priced deal. eBay offers secure payment through PayPal and all purchases are protected by the Buyer Protection Program.

This allows buyers to shop with confidence and to make the most of the choice of products that eBay offers. The decision making process is helped by the search function that ensures buyers can find the children’s prints that they are searching for amongst the many listed limited edition prints on eBay.

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