Pricing your photos for sale

Joined
Sep 27, 2008
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I recently launched my website www.brianholberg.com. When launched I had the thought of perhaps one day selling photos but it wasn't my main reason for the site. I wanted it set up to let family etc see my work.

I have been approached by a number of people looking to purchase photos. How do I price these? I could look at what other people charge and go from there.

Today I was at a conference and there was a photographer there and he showed me his site and I looked at his prices. They were high (in my opinion) If I recall an unframed 8x10 was $175. I asked if he sold many photos and he said he didn't only since he wasn't pushing that on his site.

I don't want to give the work away but also don't want to over price. I'm not sure where to begin though.

Thoughts?
 
Joined
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There are books/software out there on the topic. I'd just look at as many pro/semi-pro sites as I can find and go from there. I've read in the past that a rule of thumb to be profitable is that your total cost to market your photos and related products should not exceed 35 percent of your selling price. I've been going by that for metal prints, canvases, framed prints etc. that have a significant printing/shipping cost associated with them. For plain traditional prints I'm using market data from looking around at web-sites etc.

The only wildlife/landscape prints I've sold have been those seen in person when I've had them hung somewhere. I use the site as a way to book the sales so I don't have to deal directly with credit cards etc. but all my sales to-date have been in person.

Good luck with it and don't sell yourself short.
 
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Go to SM or Zen and throw an 8 X 10 in your cart, you'll get an idea pretty quickly
on pricing. You can charge whatever you like, I prefer actual sales to overpricing. :wink:
That will give you the cost Zenfolio charges. Say they charge $10. Well I could then say fine $20 plus shipping. I made $10. Whoo hooo. On the other hand if that same size print on average is sold for $50 well then I am losing $30 I could have had made in additional profit.
 
Joined
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Location
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
There are books/software out there on the topic. I'd just look at as many pro/semi-pro sites as I can find and go from there. I've read in the past that a rule of thumb to be profitable is that your total cost to market your photos and related products should not exceed 35 percent of your selling price. I've been going by that for metal prints, canvases, framed prints etc. that have a significant printing/shipping cost associated with them. For plain traditional prints I'm using market data from looking around at web-sites etc.

The only wildlife/landscape prints I've sold have been those seen in person when I've had them hung somewhere. I use the site as a way to book the sales so I don't have to deal directly with credit cards etc. but all my sales to-date have been in person.

Good luck with it and don't sell yourself short.
I will have to do some more searching then to see what I can find.
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
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Baton Rouge, La.
That will give you the cost Zenfolio charges. Say they charge $10. Well I could then say fine $20 plus shipping. I made $10. Whoo hooo. On the other hand if that same size print on average is sold for $50 well then I am losing $30 I could have had made in additional profit.
If you actually sell anything at the higher rate. Otherwise, you lose the opportunity to make $10. That is the rub - I sell a few prints, give a way many more and enjoy it all. It covers my web costs and buys me a piece of gear from time to time.

If I was in business, I would (and have done for the things that I actually shoot for money) check the local market and price accordingly.
 
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If you actually sell anything at the higher rate. Otherwise, you lose the opportunity to make $10. That is the rub - I sell a few prints, give a way many more and enjoy it all. It covers my web costs and buys me a piece of gear from time to time.

If I was in business, I would (and have done for the things that I actually shoot for money) check the local market and price accordingly.

Chad - I'm not following what you are saying here. If I sell at a higher rate how do I lose the opportunity to make $10?
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
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If you over price, you won't sell anything. For example - you can get matted 11X14's of practically anything in NOLA for around $25 in the French Market, so there is little reason for me to market NOLA stuff. I see websites that have shots advertised for far more, but doubt that they make many sales.
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
2,483
Location
Missouri
Go to SM or Zen and throw an 8 X 10 in your cart, you'll get an idea pretty quickly
on pricing. You can charge whatever you like, I prefer actual sales to overpricing. :wink:
That will give you the cost Zenfolio charges. Say they charge $10. Well I could then say fine $20 plus shipping. I made $10. Whoo hooo. On the other hand if that same size print on average is sold for $50 well then I am losing $30 I could have had made in additional profit.
Chad - I'm not following what you are saying here. If I sell at a higher rate how do I lose the opportunity to make $10?
If I am reading correctly, I think Will was stating that you should just jump on Zenfolio and go into a photo already on there (a current zenfolio user's site). Throw an 8x10 in your cart and check the price. Basically look at what current zenfolio users are charging. Probably in the $10 neighborhood. Zenfolio print costs are around $2 plus their percentage for fullfillment of the order ad you might make $6-7 on an 8x10 that you sell for $10.

By upping it to $20 per 8x10 you will reduce the number you sell but make more per sale. It's the whole Supply and Demand. Sell 2 at $20/each or 5 at $10 each....more people will buy at a lower price so you will possibly end up making more in the end...again, as Chad said, you need to check your local market as well and compare to photographers that are comparable to your quality.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
5,317
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New Mexico
Nicely interpreted, Nate. I get paid to shoot, prints sales are the gravy. I price them
reasonably ~$20 for an 8 X 10 (I net about $15) and sell dozens from each event.
Lately downloads (w/personal use copyright release) have been catching up...even
better margins. Lots of guys think their stuff is worth $50/$75 or more. Dream on. :biggrin:
 
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