Pricing information

Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in ResidenceRegistered Users Posts: 3,165 Major grins
edited September 28, 2005 in Mind Your Own Business
How much should I charge for XYZ?

How many times has that come up in your mind at one point or another? It seems like a vexing problem. Most people are used to, and familiar with, consumer product pricing, a widget has a certain value, and is sold for a certain price that is determined by someone in a dark office in a galaxy far far away. But what happens when you step outside this zone and want to sell your time, talent, or intellectual property?

The answer is very simple, there is no set price for such things. You are the master of your own pricing domain here. You call the shots. You set the price.

So how much do you want to make? Come on now, you have a number. Don't be shy, write it down, I would happily do XYZ for $X.

Now, if someone came to you and said, "hey, would you do/sell/license your XYZ for $X?" would you say yes? At what point would you say no? Write down the "no" price. What you now have is your zone of negotiation.

If the prospective customer balks at the initial price (they don't want to spend $X, they want to spend $Y), and you are willing (for one reason or another) to negotiate, then modify what it is you are offering (simplify, fewer, less time, more restrictions, etc) and charge less for it. Keep negotiating until you both find a happy (or at least satisfactory) medium.

If you can't come to an agreement, then part ways and wish the person success in finding what they want. One of the greatest joy maintainers/ stress reducers is learning to say no when you don't want to do something.

After a time of doing this, you will get a feel for how much you *know* you need to charge in order to remain profitable/interested/productive in what you are doing. As with most things in life, experience is the key to ultimate success.

Until you can gain that experience, getting a head-start may help. That is where books and the web can come in handy. To anyone who *even thinks* it would be cool to sell your photographs, you need to pick up a pricing book. It will help give you that head-start many need to get the wheel rolling. So, run, don't walk, and pick up this book (or an equivalent):

Pricing Photography
Third Edition
The complete guide to assignment & stock prices
by Michal Heron and David MacTavish
Allworth Press

This book covers a multitude of topics relating to determining your prices, negotiation, and how to do it right from the beginning.

This is but a simple quick answer to the most common question. A little more in depth answer that addresses business concerns like profit will come later.

A thanks to DavidTO for suggesting this sticky. And it is worth reading his own thread.

Value of your Photographs Thread

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