Finally Took the Plunge

TMcEwenTMcEwen Big grinsRegistered Users Posts: 107 Major grins

Hey Guys and Gals, I have finally decided to take the plunge and start selling some of my work but now I need help. I have started the pricing and selecting a printer and so on but I have a few questions. I chose Bay Photo because I hear good things about them but I still have 2 questions.
1. How much markup is normal? It automatically started at 400% markup but that seemed high so I went down to 200%. Is this about the norm?
2. The amount of products seemed rather overwhelming and I was thinking of just selecting a few things to offer. It seems less confusing and straight to the point. Does anyone else limit what you offer?

Any help would be appreciated as I am feeling overwhelmed and out of my comfort zone.

- Thomas McEwen - (Nashville, TN)
http://www.tmcewenphotography.com/

Comments

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaRegistered Users Posts: 5,311 Major grins

    Sounds right to me. My mark-up is between 300% to 500% depending on the product.

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaRegistered Users Posts: 5,311 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2017
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MASuper Moderators Posts: 13,564 moderator
    edited March 3, 2017

    Limiting the number of products and the number of sizes you offer is a good idea.

    First decide which products you want to offer. Remove the rest from your price list.
    Next, review the photo sizes for the products. Remove the sizes that don't work with your photos; you can easily see this by selecting an option and looking at each of the offered sizes in the cart. For example, I looked at this photo - http://www.tmcewenphotography.com/Landscapes/i-HwVPRNQ/A - on your site.

    • In traditional canvas, the only size that looked reasonable (to me) was 40x60.
    • In metal, the following sizes match the aspect ratio of the photo: 4x6, 8x12, 12x18, 16x24, 20x30, 24x36, 30x45, 40x60. That leaves a lot of sizes on your price list that don't do the photo justice.

    I didn't look at the other products you are offering but I know that the size issue exists in the other products as well.

    You are allowing viewing of your Original photo. Why? I know, you have the right click message turned on, but that doesn't prevent someone from grabbing the photo from the browser cache. Decide on the size that you are comfortable with displaying and change your gallery settings to match that size. You can make bulk settings changes in Organizer.

    It appears that your originals have your watermark on them (as opposed to using smugmug to place the watermark only on the display copies. If I purchased a print and it came with a watermark on it I would return it.

  • TMcEwenTMcEwen Big grins Registered Users Posts: 107 Major grins

    @denisegoldberg said:
    Limiting the number of products and the number of sizes you offer is a good idea.

    First decide which products you want to offer. Remove the rest from your price list.
    Next, review the photo sizes for the products. Remove the sizes that don't work with your photos; you can easily see this by selecting an option and looking at each of the offered sizes in the cart. For example, I looked at this photo - http://www.tmcewenphotography.com/Landscapes/i-HwVPRNQ/A - on your site.

    • In traditional canvas, the only size that looked reasonable (to me) was 40x60.
    • In metal, the following sizes match the aspect ratio of the photo: 4x6, 8x12, 12x18, 16x24, 20x30, 24x36, 30x45, 40x60. That leaves a lot of sizes on your price list that don't do the photo justice.

    I didn't look at the other products you are offering but I know that the size issue exists in the other products as well.

    You are allowing viewing of your Original photo. Why? I know, you have the right click message turned on, but that doesn't prevent someone from grabbing the photo from the browser cache. Decide on the size that you are comfortable with displaying and change your gallery settings to match that size. You can make bulk settings changes in Organizer.

    It appears that your originals have your watermark on them (as opposed to using smugmug to place the watermark only on the display copies. If I purchased a print and it came with a watermark on it I would return it.

    Very good points Denise. As far as my watermarks, that was my mistake. I only meant to have a shopping cart on my prints page which those photos do not have the watermarks on there. Thank you for pointing that out. I also will change that size to keep the thievery down hopefully. Thanks for the tips.

    - Thomas McEwen - (Nashville, TN)
    http://www.tmcewenphotography.com/
  • TMcEwenTMcEwen Big grins Registered Users Posts: 107 Major grins

    @Hikin' Mike said:
    To add,
    I only offer paper prints, wall art and mat/framing. This is what I do: http://www.imagesinthebackcountry.com/purchase/

    Good stuff Mike and thanks for the link. That does help and confirm the percentages.

    - Thomas McEwen - (Nashville, TN)
    http://www.tmcewenphotography.com/
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2017

    On your prints section you allow sharing and downloading. Take those things away. I would also limit viewing to large or maybe even medium.

    I agree on limiting sizes. Personally I'm a fan of offering standard sizes as that is what most non-photography people are used to. Making things easier for your customers will increase sales. We do not do a lot of prints as that isn't our business model, but when we do, the only sizes we offer are 16x20 and 24x30 (we shoot in 8x10 so this is easy for us). We also limit paper to metallic and Giclee prints and float mounted metal prints. Now I don't recommend limiting choices too much if print sales are going to be a focus for a photographer. It works for us.

    A 4 to 5 hundred increase sounds right to begin with and you can always adjust if needed. Limited sale times or number of prints is also worth considering. That inspires people to buy. If you leave the same image up on the website for a long time people get used to it.

    edit to add:

    One thing about pricing that I've learned over the past couple of decades is about knowing your market.

    We live and work in an area where most prints are purchased at art galleries and there are a ton of them in the San Fran bay area. So prices tend to be a bit higher than maybe other areas of the country/world, but buyers know this and kind of expect it. So know where your potential customers are and what are they used to seeing in terms of prices. If you're too low, they will wonder why. Most people equate price with quality. Just something to keep in mind.

    Steve

    Website
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MASuper Moderators Posts: 13,564 moderator

    @Cygnus Studios said:
    On your prints section you allow sharing and downloading. Take those things away. I would also limit viewing to large or maybe even medium.

    While your advice is good from a standpoint of limiting theft, if the OP is attempting to sell landscape photos on a web site I believe the large size is too small to see a good representation of the photo. It might be worth surveying viewers to see if they spend enough time looking at small images (and yes, I believe a large size on smug is quite small) to make a purchase decision.

    Then again, it is very difficult to sell photos online so maybe a limitation like this won't matter.

    --- Denise

  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

    @denisegoldberg said:
    While your advice is good from a standpoint of limiting theft, if the OP is attempting to sell landscape photos on a web site I believe the large size is too small to see a good representation of the photo. It might be worth surveying viewers to see if they spend enough time looking at small images (and yes, I believe a large size on smug is quite small) to make a purchase decision.

    Then again, it is very difficult to sell photos online so maybe a limitation like this won't matter.

    --- Denise

    Maybe it's because I use a huge monitor that large seems to be big. I do agree that monitoring how people view the images on the website is the best answer.

    Steve

    Website
  • TMcEwenTMcEwen Big grins Registered Users Posts: 107 Major grins

    @Cygnus Studios said:
    On your prints section you allow sharing and downloading. Take those things away. I would also limit viewing to large or maybe even medium.

    I agree on limiting sizes. Personally I'm a fan of offering standard sizes as that is what most non-photography people are used to. Making things easier for your customers will increase sales. We do not do a lot of prints as that isn't our business model, but when we do, the only sizes we offer are 16x20 and 24x30 (we shoot in 8x10 so this is easy for us). We also limit paper to metallic and Giclee prints and float mounted metal prints. Now I don't recommend limiting choices too much if print sales are going to be a focus for a photographer. It works for us.

    A 4 to 5 hundred increase sounds right to begin with and you can always adjust if needed. Limited sale times or number of prints is also worth considering. That inspires people to buy. If you leave the same image up on the website for a long time people get used to it.

    edit to add:

    One thing about pricing that I've learned over the past couple of decades is about knowing your market.

    We live and work in an area where most prints are purchased at art galleries and there are a ton of them in the San Fran bay area. So prices tend to be a bit higher than maybe other areas of the country/world, but buyers know this and kind of expect it. So know where your potential customers are and what are they used to seeing in terms of prices. If you're too low, they will wonder why. Most people equate price with quality. Just something to keep in mind.

    Excellent info Steve. It is starting to make a lot more sense now. I also viewed your website. Excellent work but now I am hungry (Which I guess is what you inspire to do). Thanks again.

    - Thomas McEwen - (Nashville, TN)
    http://www.tmcewenphotography.com/
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