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I need some advice on pricing

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Randy, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. One of my customers just asked me for a price on 102 jpgs and a dozen prints, 4x6's and 8x10's of her daughter (softball). I normally charge $15 for jpgs, $4.75 for 4x6's and $6.75 for 8x10's.
    These are probably not rich people (although that shouldn't matter I can't ignore it). This is my fav sb team to shoot. I have no idea how to price this to make it affordable for the family. I almost have to throw out any thoughts of previous individual pricing but then I have to be concerned about the other parents who bought pics during the season, after each game and for the regular price......

    I want to say something like $400 for everything but that is setting a bad precendent when the word gets out that you can just wait until the end of the season and buy all your kids pics and a deep discount.

    What would you do ?
  2. Randy,

    There's nothing wrong, as I see it, for providing a discounted price for a quantity order. The per unit cost at many places drops if you buy more units, print labs are one of them.

    As to the amount of the discount, that is a bit trickier. I think your existing customers would understand that there is a price break for a large order, but if the price break is too much, you will motivate them to place the bulk order. And if the discount is to much, you diminish the base unit value of your pictures.

    Personally, I think a discount of more than $1100.00 off a one-off pricing amount of $1,530.00 for jpgs alone is a bit steep. End of season sale on jpg's of 30-50% might be more reasonable, although once done, your customers will expect it next year.

    I don't know what your base costs/margins are but I would think that you don't want to discount either bulk or per unit costs below your corresponding costs, and you want to maximize your margins. It is a business after all.

  3. nipprdog


    Jun 8, 2006
    Exactly. IMO, a digital file should never be sold for less than the cost of an 8x10, even in volume. Based upon your prices, I would say somewhere in the $800 range at minimum. If they can't afford it, that's to bad. But like you said, you don't want to set that precedent.
  4. Oldtime


    Jul 5, 2006
    Durham, NC
    I agree a lot with what Mark said
    You came up with a pricing structure to begin with , so why change?
    25% to 30% discount for Quantity after season Jpegs perhaps-- but remember your setting a precedent doing this and Parents talk. Next year will in season sales drop as other Parents look for this same deal???
    It is a business, you have created a pricing structure ( and people have bought due to that structure and the quality you provide) Is one $400.00 sale worth losing what you have -- because be assured word will get out
    Just some thoughts
    Good luck with the decision
  5. First off, your normal prices are very fair. I charge $6 for 4x6's and $18 for 8x10's. Digital images (files) I price very differently. For low resolution, I charge $15 and for high resolution I charge $25 per image. I also require the customer to buy a print of their choice before I will sell them a digital image. In this situation, I would charge normal prices for the prints, and give a bulk discount of ~30% for the digital files. I am sure the parents will tell other parents about the great deal they just got, so you don't want to start a trend where they will only buy after the season.

    Keep in mind that you also need to process all of those images (if you do indeed "fix" them). The one thing I don't discount is my time.
  6. thx guys

    i just sent her an email and said a 50% discount but we should discuss digital vs prints in order to save her some money.
    If I do the fulfilment vs smugmug I can pass the savings to her.
    I'm gonna suggest she goes with 5x7's for all of the pics.

    btw, these negotiations (i have 3-4 of these every season, but never this large) almost always end up with a sale of 20 or so pics since most parents think they should only pay a max amt and get all the pics for that amt.....

    the lesson learned here for me is to stop shooting the same team so much and the same players....(I saw this coming as her daughter is very photogenic...if you remember the girl sliding back to 1st pic i posted a few months ago)
  7. great point on the PP since I don't keep the PP jpg-s and instead re-pp so i can crop to the exact print size....
    thx !

  8. thx Mark.....you prob understand my market better than anyone since economics are very similiar between Durham and Clt....
    I think I can live with other parents finding out that for orders over $1K you get a 50% discount. I usually discount 4x6's to $4 if a parent buys 20 or more but most parents don't ask and just pay the $4.75 price.

  9. thx Mark.
  10. thx Jim

    I am going to try to talk her into all 4x6's at $3.50 each and do fulfilment myself (adorama is doing 4x6's for under a dime now)...that way she get the pics and i don't set any precedents I will regret....

    plus i doubt she would even know what to do with a jpg
  11. acena


    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    I offer several families $750 per sport per season for the "unprocessed" digital files of just their athlete. I have one who has taken this option for their daughter, who plays two sports, 3 years in a row. No prints. They usually do their own printing but call me up for special prints such as 11x14s or collages. The above price assumes I go to at least 3 games during the season and I do not shoot their players exclusively. I reached that number because I want a minimum of $250/game to promise to be there at specific games during the season. One parent just waits for a DVD at the end of the season, the other asked for a special gallery so they could just download it at their leisure.

    The download option was actually easier because PhotoShelter allows me to have an image appear in multiple galleries without the need for multiple uploads. The athlete specific gallery I password protect then enable the download function plus I do not publicly display the gallery. The player can either download one image at a time or download the entire gallery. I used to set it for original size but now just set it for 2400 pixels on the longest side. The size was a problem for some especially for those files created by my 1Ds which is 21mp.

    I looked at it this way. I am saving 20% from the fulfillment costs once you have factored in the 10% for Photoshelter, 3% to the credit card companies plus lab fees. I had one team with two families who went with this option, but their kids graduated this year. 8-(
  12. It probably won't help you much, but I sell my graduation print files on a CD for $45/$3SH. This is roughly based on my average sale for a grad.
  13. $45 for the whole CD
    how many pics ?

    update: the mom hasn't replied to my offer of 50% off my regular prices. I think she doesn't understand the value of jpgs vs a print and prob only intends to make a single print from each jpg
    eventually we will discuss how much she wants to spend and then I will have to tell her how many prints she can get for her budger...it always ends that way
  14. acena


    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    You are so right. We should just cut to the chase and save everyone the hassle.
  15. acena


    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    I hope this is not your main source of income
  16. Usually 2. Only color and density corrected. $15-20 is usually the low end choke point sale on HS grads. $45 for 2 files versus $30 for 2 sheets is a decent deal.

  17. I have read many of your posts and thought you to be a decent poster, but that is a rather jackass statement; not sure what it is meant to accomplish? I don't presume to know your market, why do you think you know mine? Most of my customers are one time, with little to no resale. I would rather sell a $45 CD with 2 images on it than produce 1 8x10 for $15.

  18. acena


    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    Sorry. I did not mean to make it sound like a jackass statement, but more of a statement of shock that someone would sell something for so little to make it a primary source of income. You're right I do not know the market at the bottom of a gin bottle as your profile indicates so with all due respect I really am interested to know how someone can make money selling something for so little and expect a chance at any resale when the customer is getting the files or the negatives so to speak. I hope my questions are not mistaken for anything other than questions of interest as opposed to any malicious intent. If I thought you were a bonehead or wanted to be a jackass, I would be comfortable saying so from the get go.
  19. Fair enough explanation.

    As I mentioned, there is little no no resale on grad pix. Its very time sensitive. The very small amount that reorder don't effect the bottom line much, so selling the "negatives" isn't really an issue. On most high school ceremonies, the average sale is ~$30 or 2 sheets. If I can up that to $45 and not have to pay the lab to print, I figure I am ahead. The price is right at what the market will bear, so charging more would simply result in fewer sales. We review our sales in all our markets and then adjust the pricing each year.

    You are correct in saying that I could not keep my lights on if I were selling the "negatives" for resalable images so cheaply. This is not what is happening however.

  20. acena


    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the explanation and Georgia seems to be a much better place than the bottom of a gin bottle though I have never been to the latter and have spent lots of wonderful time at the former.
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