Lack of printing options - Loxley

Celtic SnapperCeltic Snapper Celticcompositions.co.ukConwy, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. UKRegistered Users Posts: 277 Major grins
edited September 29, 2016 in SmugMug Pro Sales Support
I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of products available from Loxley through Smugmug.
It appears that it's impossible to have a 'bread and butter' standard frame, which is what everyone wants. The only option available to my potential customers is the very ugly 'contemporary box frame', it's no wonder I'm not getting any sales.
In addition to this, printing via Loxley is expensive - very expensive! If someone wanted to pay top dollar for a piece of art, they would purchase from an award winning, famous professional. Anyone coming to me is likely to be looking for photography and frames at a budget. I realise the quality of the prints and frames from Loxley are exceptional, but customers buying from me (an ameteur photographer) are not going to pay these rates. I need budget options either from Loxley, or from another Lab that can offer more competitive rates.

Incidentally, what other options are available to me for ordering through Smugmug? Does anyone else take orders via e-mail \ phone, and if so what are your processes for taking orders, printing prints, framing, delivery and taking payment?

Also, as my images are not standard sizes, can I not assign recommended sizes to the prints, and hide unsuitable sizes. The crop facility isn't really suitable.

Thanks,
Carl

Comments

  • WendeeWendee SmugMug Support Hero Registered Users Posts: 171 Major grins
    edited September 19, 2016
    Hi Carl,

    We do have other print labs available, but Loxley is the only one located in the UK.
    http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/93270

    Product prices at another lab like EZPrints might be more affordable, but shipping would then be more expensive.

    You might wait for additional replies from the community about taking orders directly from customers. :)

    With the Portfolio account you have now, you can have one active pricelist applied to your entire site. With the Business account you can have multiple active pricelists and apply them to specific galleries and individual photos. You could have a pricelist for 4:5 ratio images that will fit sizes like 4x5, 8x10, 16x20, etc and have another for 2:3 ratio images that will fit 4x6, 8x12, 12x18, etc.

    I hope this helps! If you need anything else, please let us know.

    Take care,

    Wendee
    SmugMug Support Hero
    http://help.smugmug.com/
  • tartan snowtartan snow old guy UKRegistered Users Posts: 52 Big grins
    edited September 29, 2016
    Hi there, I also have to use Loxley but have to say that people are very happy with the quality and speed of delivery. I'm nearer to Glasgow than you so you may not get delivery the next day just via regular post though. Is it the cost of the frames that you mean when you say they are expensive? I have my setting set so that people can only order paper prints or digital downloads and you are able to set the prices at whatever you like so they don't have to be expensive at all but obviously you make less from them. I don't mind having low prices because I find that if you make them cheaper people buy a few more, often the same photo but in several sizes. For example they will buy one photo if it's a tenner but may buy three if they are only three or four quid each. When I buy any prints for myself for relatives etc I get them from DS Colour Labs as do most photographers I know. Great quality and as cheap as anything. Great range of stuff other than photos too.
  • RyansViewRyansView UKRegistered Users Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
    I would like to bump this thread as I'm sure it applies to many UK photographers using Smugmug.

    Loxley are a bit on the expensive side. There are many other great print labs in Britain, same quality at a more reasonable price. Please consider adding another to your range, I'm sure your UK photogs would flock there (possibly en masse) and you'd get a lot more sales for your effort.

    Their product range on their site is excellent but via Smugmug is poor. I have spoken to Loxley and they have said it's up to Smugmug to increase the range of products they make available.

    Whether you add another print lab in the UK, get Loxley to lower their price and/or get a wider range of products from Loxley, please do something as I'll be looking elsewhere to sell my images come time to renew my subscription as a UK based photog.

    Other than that, keep up the good work :smile:
  • AceCo55AceCo55 Aussie Grinner Registered Users Posts: 945 Major grins

    Amateur here as well. I'm in Australia where there is NO print lab (in Australia) through Smugmug.

    I general have only locals or people in nearby districts who want prints and or frames ... so I self fulfill
    I do have a professional wide format printer so I print my own.
    I am also able to cut my own mats.
    I buy "economical" (=cheap!!!) frames online, and only offer sizes that fit.
    The self printing, matting and framing means that I have to keep a reasonable amount of stock on hand (I live in a small rural location)
    I can only get mat board when I travel 300km (one way) to access the store.
    I also have cardboard tubes and thick envelopes for sending prints.
    As a result, there is a "standing" cost of materials always hanging about the house.

    I take requests via my contact form on my website (Wufoo) and have it set up so that the subject of the incoming email is the person's first and last name. That makes it easier to keep track of emails.
    On my website I have a section outlining the items I am prepared to offer.
    For prints I offer A4, A3 and A2
    It also includes a table suggesting which file sizes are most suitable for a print size.
    Despite reminders in numerous places that indicate what information I need, invariably I have to direct the person back to the relevant page on the website or send a couple of emails back and forth until I get the info I need - You need to factor in this time. For me, it is a hobby so I don't mind.

    For most of the requests I can deliver online or just drive around the town to their place ... or wait until the next race meeting to catch up with them.
    Getting framed prints packaged up and shipped out is awkward - luckily I don't have to do it very often.

    I created an Excel spreadsheet to record the requests and also to keep track of where the request is in the process.
    I get paid mainly either by cash or via a direct deposit into a bank account.
    I have cards made up with my bank details and have created a price statement in Word to included the details of the request and the bank detail.
    Again that involves checking the account to see that the request has been paid and then updating my Excel file.

    The OTHER way would be for you to take the order, get all the details you need and then outsource the production of it to the print lab of YOUR choice.
    You may also be able to get them to ship to your customer's address ... although many people like to make sure that the print is OK before sending it off.

    If you are doing a lot of requests, you may or may not want to devote the time to self-fulfill.
    That's the convenience of Smugmug's shopping/cart facility.

    As I said, it is not an option for me here in Australia so I have chosen to self fulfill (and I get a bit of self satisfaction out of doing it - but I only work part time these days)
    I did have a Portfolio account but the only feature that I was using was the custom watermarking, so I went back to a Power account.
    I only upload small files that already have my watermark embedded - there is no reason for ME to upload high res images as no-one can buy them from my website.

    That's just my experience. Im sure there are plenty of others who have a MUCH better process than mine.
    Best of luck :)

    My opinion does not necessarily make it true. What you do with my opinion is entirely up to you.
    www.acecootephotography.com
  • tartan snowtartan snow old guy UKRegistered Users Posts: 52 Big grins

    Is it still the case that Loxley Colour are the only UK printer used by Smugmug?

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MASuper Moderators Posts: 13,487 moderator
    edited June 23, 2021

    @tartan snow said:
    Is it still the case that Loxley Colour are the only UK printer used by Smugmug?

    According to the help page, yes.

    The print labs are shown on this help page:
    https://help.smugmug.com/print-labs-available-with-smugmug-rkHDggvkNSf

  • Lille UlvenLille Ulven Lille Ulven ScandinaviaRegistered Users Posts: 563 Major grins

    Just adding to this: having Loxley as the only European provider of prints is now rather unfortunate for "continental" European customers, as no matter what they will need to pay taxes on every print, be it from a US or UK lab, since the UK left the EU.
    So it would be great to see another continental European lab on the list at least.

    https://www.lilleulven.com - The Photos of my travels
    https://blog.lilleulven.com - The Stories of my travels
  • ShinryaShinrya Peter Stewart Hội An, VietnamRegistered Users Posts: 192 Major grins

    It would be great it SM could partner up with Whitewall in Germany.

    I always use them for EU orders whenever people from UK/EU e-mail asking about prints, so then I direct them away from ordering through the SM site (for which I use BayPhoto) and do the order directly.

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