Bayphoto markup range

excessnoiseexcessnoise PhotogrinnerRegistered Users Posts: 12 Big grins
edited September 20, 2015 in Mind Your Own Business
Hi. I'm wondering what most use as their starting default mark up for Bay Photo products. I've started a poll to get a better idea, understanding that we all later make individual adjustments.

Bay photo markup 7 votes

0%
0% 0 votes
0% - 50%
0% 0 votes
50% - 100%
14% 1 vote
100% to 200%
28% 2 votes
about 300%
14% 1 vote
about 400%
0% 0 votes
Over 400%
42% 3 votes

Comments

  • excessnoiseexcessnoise Photogrinner Registered Users Posts: 12 Big grins
    edited September 15, 2015
    Only two responses so far but, surprisingly, but happily, at the higher end of the scale. Good. Let's see if others respond...
  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaRegistered Users Posts: 5,272 Major grins
    edited September 15, 2015
    I voted. I don't have just one price-point. Depending on the size I use 400% up to 550%.
  • excessnoiseexcessnoise Photogrinner Registered Users Posts: 12 Big grins
    edited September 15, 2015
    I voted. I don't have just one price-point. Depending on the size I use 400% up to 550%.

    Thanks. That's very useful.
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited September 15, 2015
    I voted in your poll, but honestly selling prints is something our studio does purely as an afterthought. It has never been our focus and never will be. However, for us the cost of the paper and ink have nothing to do with how we price our prints. Our price points are based mainly on profit margins and loosely on what some of the art galleries in the area charge for similar sized photographs. We also strictly limit the size and choice of products.
    Steve

    Website
  • excessnoiseexcessnoise Photogrinner Registered Users Posts: 12 Big grins
    edited September 16, 2015
    Though only three votes so far, very useful! I see that you're all okay with a higher margin, which is obviously where I'm headed. Thanks. Anyone else, please weigh in.
  • SamSam San Jose CA Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited September 16, 2015
    Hi. I'm wondering what most use as their starting default mark up for Bay Photo products. I've started a poll to get a better idea, understanding that we all later make individual adjustments.

    This is a very poorly thought out and worded poll.

    Kinda like:

    Your in a tough situation, which would you rather have a parachute or small rubber boat?

    Sam
  • excessnoiseexcessnoise Photogrinner Registered Users Posts: 12 Big grins
    edited September 16, 2015
    Sam wrote: »
    This is a very poorly thought out and worded poll.

    Kinda like:

    Your in a tough situation, which would you rather have a parachute or small rubber boat?

    Sam
    Improvements welcome.
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited September 16, 2015
    Improvements welcome.

    You are taking one part of the equation (cost of prints) and attempting to come up with a price point that includes many other questions/answers.

    People buy images because they speak to them, not because they are cheap or printed on a certain type of paper. Consider that photographs are sold from a dollar to millions of dollars, and none of that has anything to do with the cost of printing.

    You need to decide what your images are worth and market them accordingly.
    Steve

    Website
  • mercphotomercphoto Bill Jurasz Registered Users Posts: 4,550 Major grins
    edited September 16, 2015
    I think what Sam is getting at is there is more to pricing a print than simply marking up the cost of the print by some fixed amount. A very popular rule of thumb for most any business is that a home based business should mark up cost-of-goods-sold by 3X, and a retail based business by 4X. And this is actually a pretty good rule of thumb. But notice that cost of goods sold includes not just the cost of the print itself, but your time in capturing the image and post-processing the image as well (at whatever hourly rate you choose). And by that measure your pool only factors in the cost of paper.

    Now, if you have ALREADY recouped the cost of image acquisition and processing, then maybe its not a bad way to price things after all.

    Pricing is something I used to struggle with all the time when I was trying to make a buck with the camera. There are no easy answers to this question.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
  • excessnoiseexcessnoise Photogrinner Registered Users Posts: 12 Big grins
    edited September 16, 2015
    Thanks all. Quick clarification [didn't want to bore everyone].

    I've been selling images for too many decades. Sold my first shot, literally, when I was 7 (okay, it was a fluke). Straight out of high school, I opened my first studio. Since, I've run a communications group and managed international campaigns. Caveat, most of this was in Europe where I moved to in the 80s before moving back to the States about four years ago. Second caveat, is that I never sold products per se. I would charge my fee, and then at best, sell camera-ready prints for publication. This is a new model for me and I was struggling with finding a competitive price point. I could have done my due diligence by looking at print prices on various sites and then finding a comfortable place therein; likely towards the high end but within reasonable parameters nonetheless. Instead, I figured I would ask the Community to give me guidance. Clearly, I fully understand that I can charge whatever I choose and whatever the image(s) is worth. This said, even if I'm a little high and the client thinks I'm at the high end, I can justify it while knowing I'm selling within a reasonable range.

    That's it really. So, in short, I'd be glad to know what the higher end of the price spectrum is and I used the Bay Photo price list as a starting point because it seems to be the more popular one (I think). Also, because the SmugMug site gives the 400% default, I was curious to know if they had arrived at this methodically or haphazardly.

    To me, this is a key discussion to be having. I hope by its end, I will have gained insight.
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited September 16, 2015
    This is a new model for me and I was struggling with finding a competitive price point.

    Competitive to whom? There is too wide of range of prices and quality to base your price on some random sampling of websites. Are you all attempting to sell to the same pool of people?

    There are simply too many factors to come up with some "average". If you are creating images that are semi unique or better than most, then you charge more for it.

    If you don't sell any, then obviously you are marketing to the wrong people or you need to improve your images. Now some may suggest that if you are not selling then your prices are too high, but I am not one of those that believe prices can be too high.
    Steve

    Website
  • excessnoiseexcessnoise Photogrinner Registered Users Posts: 12 Big grins
    edited September 16, 2015
    Thanks Cygnus. I see the two fees as separate, always have. The shoot is one thing, the product is another. I, personally, want to be acceptably competitive on the product side and be tied to my quality on the shoot side. That's all. So I don't want to sell an 8x10 at ten times what they would pay if they bought an 8x10 at a shop.

    Anyway, I didn't think this would be polemic thread - oops. Just wanted to sell products at a reasonable price. But I think I have enough of an idea now to start. Thanks all.
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited September 16, 2015
    The highest selling photo to date was just over 6 million dollars. I'm sure if that photographer had come onto a forum and suggested that he was going to offer a photo for that price, most would have laughed themselves silly. Prior to that, the top selling price was just over 4 million. Not a compelling image in my opinion, but obviously someone thought it was worth the money.

    Terms like affordable and competitive are relative terms. They depend on what you are talking about and to whom your talking with.

    If you wish to sell photos for 30 dollars or if you wish to sell them for 300,000 dollars, both are affordable and competitive.

    My point is don't sell yourself short and base your prices on what someone else thinks is correct. Do what's right for you.
    Steve

    Website
  • SamSam San Jose CA Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited September 17, 2015
    Thanks Cygnus. I see the two fees as separate, always have. The shoot is one thing, the product is another. I, personally, want to be acceptably competitive on the product side and be tied to my quality on the shoot side. That's all. So I don't want to sell an 8x10 at ten times what they would pay if they bought an 8x10 at a shop.

    Anyway, I didn't think this would be polemic thread - oops. Just wanted to sell products at a reasonable price. But I think I have enough of an idea now to start. Thanks all.

    PLEASE..........my comments (for sure) along with others, (my opinion) are not a personal attack on you!!!!!!!

    We each have our own writing skill level. Mine is not so great, but that doesn't stop me from trying. :D

    The real heart of the pricing issue as clearly stated by the majority of posts is that, pricing of photography is not a simple matter of product markup. It even goes beyond tallying up all your costs and adding something on top.

    The short answer was "don't just think or create a price based on the cost of printing".

    As a quick example you state "Just wanted to sell products at a reasonable price." This is much to subjective to actually answer. What is "reasonable" to one can be outrageous to another. What is "reasonable" to one is cheap trash to another.

    For individual photographers and artists in general one must really put your thinking cap on and try to consider all the aspects of your product or service. The actual cost of the goods sold, (printing) can be one of the smallest inconsequential factors or when dealing with high volume (IE: Walmart) the most most important.

    My thought is to first objectively evaluate the quality and uniqueness of your images. Determine how you plan to promote, market and sell your prints. Who is your market? People with a lot of disposable income? Folks with limited disposable income. Also what are others charging for similar work?

    Yes you must look at your costs as well. Studio, gear, labor, insurance, travel, etc, etc.

    Put all this into a blender and power up!

    Give that a taste and adjust as necessary.

    The other method used by many is to write numbers on a wall, (10%, 100%, 200%, etc) then blindfold yourself and throw a dart at the wall, and go with that.

    While widely used this method has not withstood the test of time. :D

    Sam
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Registered Users Posts: 1,621 Major grins
    edited September 18, 2015
    Sam wrote: »
    ...

    While widely used this method has not withstood the teat of time. :D

    Sam

    So, that'd be the 'suck it n see' method, presumably?

    pp
  • SamSam San Jose CA Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited September 18, 2015
    So, that'd be the 'suck it n see' method, presumably?

    pp

    One should never trust spell check. :D

    "TEST of time"

    Sam
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,711 Major grins
    edited September 20, 2015
    Thanks Cygnus. I see the two fees as separate, always have. The shoot is one thing, the product is another. I, personally, want to be acceptably competitive on the product side and be tied to my quality on the shoot side. That's all. So I don't want to sell an 8x10 at ten times what they would pay if they bought an 8x10 at a shop.

    Anyway, I didn't think this would be polemic thread - oops. Just wanted to sell products at a reasonable price. But I think I have enough of an idea now to start. Thanks all.

    As said before, this is all irrelevant. You price it to stay in business and make a profit. Markup percentages are meaningless and I do not like the price model of marking up the cost of a print based on the cost. You price based on what pays your bills.

    I had a conversation with a client. My model is based on minimum order. She was asking what she could get for her $360 credit. I said whatever she wanted, look at the price list. She then said her son talked to another photographer who happened to be on the beach at the same time. He told her son he shoots for $100 and gives them a CD of everything. She wanted to know what she "got" for 360 because the other guy was giving everything away for $100.

    I told her I treat this like a business and not a hobby. There is no way I could do this for $100. I would have to get another job just to be able to afford taking pictures for other people. If she wanted everything it would be substantially more than $360.

    The point is if you try to compete on price you are going to lose because there are part timers who have great full time jobs that would love to make an extra couple hundred a month on the side. You charge $30 for an 8x10? They will charge $10. You charge $150 for a session fee? There will be a guy that will do everything for $100. Marking up the price based on the percentage of the cost is meaningless. You price it for what pays the bills. If you have to price low to be competitive then you can't sustain your business. You are not selling a piece of paper, you are selling the image.
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited September 20, 2015
    jonh68 wrote: »
    You are not selling a piece of paper, you are selling the image.

    15524779-Ti.gif

    This is what most people (including a lot of beginning photographers) do not get about photography.
    Steve

    Website
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,711 Major grins
    edited September 20, 2015
    15524779-Ti.gif

    This is what most people (including a lot of beginning photographers) do not get about photography.

    Yep, be it a large canvas or 4x6 my time is the same. Pro's and even p/t photographers sell themselves short. I do get it but don't get it when the part timers undercut the pros thinking since they are not professional they shouldn't charge what pros do. They look for extra cash on the side. If photography wasn't my main source of income I would charge MORE than what I am doing now.

    Otherwise I would be out shooting what I wanted to do, not what someone else wanted me to shoot. Work less and make more.

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