How to price digital downloads to not compete with print sales?

amys_wavesandwondersamys_wavesandwonders Watsonville, CARegistered Users Posts: 15 Big grins

I've disabled digital downloads for now until I figure this out. I have no idea what an appropriate price for downloads is so as to not compete with the prints. Can anyone give guidance? I'm totally new to all this.

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  • slpollettslpollett Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,101 Major grins

    I don't think there is an easy answer, tbh. It really depends on how you feel about selling your digital files. I resisted for so long, but finally bit the bullet and started offering them in 2020. I tend to do more seniors and family portraits and let me tell you, the kids want the digital files and so do lots of Moms. They want to buy the files and then use them for invitations or thank you cards and stuff like that. I already provide web-sized low resolution files for sharing on social media, so they don't need to purchase the file for that, at least from me.

    I would "prefer" to only offer the digital file as an add-on after a certain dollar amount ordered, but then I had more questions from that. What order threshold would I want to set? If I said that any orders over say $500 could add on the digital file, would that be an unlimited number of files or just the files that were used for that print order? What if someone just wanted digital and no prints? Then after all that, I'd still have to figure out how to price the digital file.

    I looked at what other photographer's are doing and it's really all over the place. Some don't offer at all. One of my local photographer friends actually gives the files to her customers who place the larger orders with her. Some sell the files for what I consider to be a fairly high price. Some sell them for what I consider to be way to cheap.

    You would need to think about what you want to make on a session and then price accordingly. Do you charge a large session fee? If so, what is included in that session fee? If you do charge a fairly substantial session fee, you may be able to price your digital files at a lower amount since you are making more of your money up front from that session fee. I've seen that more in the higher end photographers in my area. They may charge $800-$1000 for a session, but then sell the files for $10 each (for example). Someone who charges a lower session fee may need to charge more per file.

    I'm somewhere in the middle, I think. I charge a moderate per hour session fee and then whatever the customer may want to purchase in a la carte. I have a number of packages available, some of which include digital images. I took a look at what my customers generally request and what they actually order, and then I priced accordingly. I don't generally get the high end customers since I do mostly seniors. My orders generally average $200 - $500. So far, I've been comfortable pricing my digital files at $50 each. The kids complain that it's too much, but I'm not willing to price them any lower. What they usually end up doing is ordering prints to share and then one or two digital files that they use for their graduation announcements and stuff. Since I started selling the digital files, my sales have more than tripled. So, I guess it was a good idea even if I "really" didn't want to do it.

    I hope this helps a little.

    Sherry Pollett

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