Is my pricing out of line?

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by GBRandy, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. GBRandy

    GBRandy

    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    I know many of you post & sell your images....so I thought I would ask in this forum on what is considered reasonable pricing for sports images. I just trated that process in earnest selling to people I do not know....

    My prices are set-up as follows:

    4 x 6 = $4
    5 x 7 = $5
    8 x 10 = $10

    Too much? Too little?

    you can see them here: http://www.rstess.exposuremanager.com/
     
  2. acena

    acena

    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    You are giving them away Randy!
     
  3. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Your prices are too cheap Randy. I even think mine are low at $5. for a 4x6, $7.50 for a 5x7 and $15.00 for an 8x10. If you are hoping to capitalize on volume sales from a couple of clients, that's on thing, but selling a few shots to many clients warrants higher pricing. I recommend bumping up your numbers a tad.
     
  4. You're in line w/ my prices, which is, as Alex says, giving them away...I'm not a pro, just trying to cover my hosting costs and a little extra for some low-end toys, i.e. TC, not a 300f2.8.

    In my area, from the pros I've seen 4x6 going for $8 to $11 alone. 5x7 pics are usually $15-$22 range.
     
  5. acena

    acena

    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    Btw, I noticed you are not protecting your images with a watermark, which Exposure Manager allows you to do. It may not be a big deal, but I am experiencing more and more people downloading the images and printing it themselves despite the "right-click" being disabled. They simply take a screen shot. Sure the print comes out awful but many do not care.

    Actually, some are willing to spend a little money by purchasing a 4x6 then scanning it to make a larger print albeit with a loss of quality. I was asked by a team to create a slide show for their year end banquet. The slideshow was to consist of photos I took of their team as well as those taken by the parents. Some turned in digital files and some gave me prints to scan. One of the prints that came was a photo I took. It was my photo all right since it was a perfectly strobed volleyball shot but it was on inkjet paper and had a marked color cast to it.

    I spoke to a few other photographers in the area and they too are complaining that their re-order rate has been dropping and the only thing they can blame it on is the fact many people now own scanners. It happens enough that I am thinking of not selling prints smaller than an 11x14 maybe even a 12x18 starting next fall. Another option, which aother photog in the area does, is to price everything below a particular size the same. i.e. $35 for anything up to a 11x14. Let's face it. The same amount of work goes into producing an 11x14 as it does a 4x6. Go for the Neiman Marcus strategy as opposed to Wal-Mart. Both strategies work but I just do not want to compete in the volume game. It would be more enjoyable to just fold up and do something else than fight for nickel and dimes.
     
  6. GBRandy

    GBRandy

    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    Good question....these are professionally printed through the print partner for Exposure Manager....guess I should know who that is huh?....I'll look that up.

    No one has complained about the pricing, but in preparation for the inevitable one that does I am looking for a sanity check. This is a new concept for this area...I am the only one doing it so I want to be reasonable and fair...starting a tad low isn't all bad.

    I also do not want to be like the guy I read on another forum....sold his gymnastics pictures at cost while two professional guys were at the meet....sure hope he is good, 'cause those pro's aint ever coming back...and that's not fair to the parents & kids....know what I mean?
     
  7. Agreed with too cheap. Those are the prices I ask from friends (at the golf club, for example) who want a number of images (for just a couple or so, I give them).
    For people I don't know (but not for (semi) professional work) I would easily charge about double what you suggest Randy.
     
  8. mine are

    4 x 6 = $4
    5 x 7 = $6
    8 x 10 = $8

    and they sell alot so i think yours are fine
     
  9. GBRandy

    GBRandy

    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI

    The watermark thing has bugged me, but you are correct. Just for kicks I printed an 8 x 10 of my neighbors kid using a display only file. I asked my wife what she thought and she awh..doesn't he look cute :eek: I asked my neighbor what he thought...he was thrilled! ick.... watermark are on the way i guess.

    Another reason is the growing use of digital frames....I bought one and it would be snap to download a display only image, crop and save to the frame....viola...looks great. :(

    You are correct about the size versus price...I need to re-think that. I spent 15 minutes cleaning up four 4 x 6's and it would have been just as much work had they been 8 x 10' or 11 x 14's.... Hummmm

    Have you ever sold just the digital file?
     
  10. GBRandy

    GBRandy

    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    I would be furious....what did you do?!
     
  11. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    The topic of print pricing can be interesting, but take this note into consideration. Pricing is set according to what the local market will bear, but you also have to keep in mind that these images are created with very expensive cameras and lenses. I doubt that you are using an inexpensive consumer body and lens combination. No, you are using a high-performance body and lens...and using them in locations that are dusty, wet or avail them for the distinct possibility of damage from being dropped. All profits go down the drain if your gear suffers some sort of malfunction or damage. Then you take your images home to edit them using your expensive computer and computer software, this stuff isn't cheap. What happens if the computer crashes...more lost profits because the CPU needs repair or replacment. The cycle is vicious! I recommend adjusting the price upward to afford the eventuality of repairs and/or replacements....not to mention what you already deserve for your professional quality imagery.
     
  12. acena

    acena

    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    People complain about my prices and ask for for discounts all the time. It's in many people's aura to just want to haggle about everything. With hate in my heart and sugar on my tongue, I just let them know that it is free to look.

    When you start discounting, you enter a death spiral. I have my standard 10% off orders in excess of $100 but that's it. Well not really. I also sell digital files at $250 per CD of 10 images though I did work out a deal with a parent who purchases without fail about $500 worth of prints every season for the last 4 seasons so I approached him with an offer. For $750, I would give him all the digital files of his daughter from 3 different games. He gets a boat load of images and I have a floor on three games where I still can profit from others on the team as well as the other team. Btw, despite having the digital files, he still purchases collages and large prints from me.

    I also have a policy of not shooting at certain schools' events unless I am paid up front. i.e. no dough no show. It seems I am not the only photographer that has the same policy for those schools, which are actually in well to do neighborhoods, but for whatever reason do not buy photos from anyone as far as I can tell. I am not doing that because of spite but pure sound business practice. There are also booster clubs where I do everything on a handshake and will bend over backwards to keep them happy.

    P.S. When a coach asks me for something, I just usually give it to them. I had one coach ask i it would be possible for me to give him a couple of 8x10s to hang in the locker room. I sent him one of every player. I sent him one of almost every player. The prints are 8x12 mounted on masonite with brush stroke texture and my website address at the bottom.
     
  13. acena

    acena

    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    Nothing because the school is one of my largest clients so I am at the moment looking for ways to prevent it from happening in the future. And the guy's daughter is a senior. The school actually brought the issue to my attention as well because they do not like it happening any more than I do.

    If any one has any ideas, I am all ears.
     
  14. GBRandy

    GBRandy

    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    Priceless....I need to employ that much more often. Perhaps a life changing moment for me....priceless

    Thank you
     
  15. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I found out two weeks ago that the feature runningback at one of the schools that I shoot has been in the habit of downloading the images that he is in from my PBase account. I had wondered why he and his parents didn't buy much....now I know why. I dislike watermarking images on my PBase account because I post them here to share, but I'm going to have to re-think my decision. I'm quite certain that if he is taking images, he is also recommending to his friends that they do as well. I can only imagine how much money I have lost due to the lack of watermarking.
     
  16. I have stopped selling 4x6 prints all together. I had begun to notice that was the hottest selling size and I, like Alex, figured that the customers were scanning them to make larger prints.

    Another thing I found out was that shooting with these huge megapixel cameras provides a large enough file even when sized down for web posting to make a decent image from the typical ink jet printer. This is how I found out. At work we had a gathering where I took a few images. I just sized them down to what I usually size them to to post on my pbase page and here at the cafe, 800x531. Well to my surprise just after I had sent them to the Business Manager I happened to step into the Busibness Office to sign a few things and already hanging on the wall was an 8x10 of one of the shots I had just emailed her. I was completely knocked over. The quality was not that bad at all.

    I remembered when I first started shooting to make money I would email the coaches a shot or two of their kid of course sized down for the web at 800x531. Finally it donned on me as to why they never purchased any prints. Heck I was freaking giving them away. :mad:

    My prices:
    5x7 $7.50
    8x10 $12.00
    11x14 $20.00
    16x20 $40.00

    Also I think pricing has a lot to do with where it is that you are selling prints. If the area you are shooting in is struggling economically I think you have to factor that into your scheme of pricing. Just my 2 cents.
     
  17. GBRandy

    GBRandy

    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    I hate watermarking as well...it detracts from the image and I think it may cost sales because people can not see past it. But, I think we all look a these images differently that proud parents do....

    I was all happy EM disabled right click features on their site....until my 14 year old laughed at me and (on a Mac) went alt+shift+4...selected & enter and dumped a copy of my newly protected image directly to her desktop :eek:

    At Alex's suggestion, I just watermarked my Softball shots...I'll work on a more professional version when I get home tonight....
     
  18. acena

    acena

    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    The good news bad news is this. The only way to prevent others from taking your picture is not to post them and only if the watermark is across the player's face. Now I only post images at 400px on the longest side and place my watermark on the bottom. This does not prevent anyone from making a bad print or sharing with friends, but my watermark will hopefully remain with the photo and I now look at this as the cost of "advertising." Sure they can take my watermark off the bottom left hand corner but most would not bother when they send it off to their friends.
     
  19. I watermark across the middle but not for what I post here.
    If someone finds a pic here they are in and downloads it maybe it will get them to look at my site....
    There appears to be many ways to get an 800 x whatever pic so right click protection is fallable. Most of my customers are parents w/o the skill, time or desire to 'not pay' for pics. On smugmug you have to post full size pics to get smugmug to offer large sizes. You can prevent originals and larges from being seen but there appear to be ways to get at them anyway. At my 1st year intro price of $4 I have sold almost 800 pics in 6 months, 90% 4x6's, 5% 5-7's and 5% 8x10's. 90% to soccer parents. Next year I will probably go to $5,$7, and $9 and see how that works.
     
  20. acena

    acena

    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    I want to stop selling 4x6s and 5x7s at a minimum, but still trying to figure out how to do it w/o alienating long-time customers versus scanners. There are plenty of parents who only buy one-size so they can fill the same size album full of memories. Season after season they come back. Then you have your one offs who may or may not be scanning to make larger prints.

    My prices and % of on-line sales

    4x6-$11-31%
    5x7-$14-43%
    8x10-$20-16%
    Other-10% (mostly 11x14%)


    I don't have the answers, but these are all the issues going through my mind as I evaluate my business model for the fall. One local photographer sells his stuff for $65 whether you want a 4x6 or a 16x20. I am thinking of these possibilities for the fall: 1) everything 8x10 and below sells for $20; 2) everything 11x14 and below goes for $35; 3) keep the prices the same but have a minimum purchase amount of let's say $35; 4) just not sell anyhting less than an 8x10 or 11x14. The question is do most people have a small scanner or do most have one sufficient to scan an 8x10. If most can scan 8x10s, then I may have to draw the line at 10x15. When I am invited to show my stuff at athletic banquets or when I show them off to parents on the sidelines, I do not show anything less than an 11x14.
     
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