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Thread: Selling Prints?

  1. #1

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    Selling Prints?

    I've only been doing this for about 3 years now. (Photography) I haven't printed a single one of my images. (a printer is next on my list and i'll get one in about a month)

    I just got an email from a guy who is interested in purchasing several of my photos. The problem is, i have no idea what they are worth

    So my question is, what is the going rate for a quality print ? I realize the size of print has alot to do with it, so lets just say a 8 x 10.

  2. #2
    rob marshall

    Re: Selling Prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    So my question is, what is the going rate for a quality print ? I realize the size of print has a lot to do with it, so lets just say a 8 x 10.
    Oscar Wilde commented on people who 'knew the price of everything, and the value of nothing'. So I wouldn't get too hung up on price. A thing in the market place will always have a price, it just depends on the quality, appeal, fashion, skill of producer, must-have factor, and, I suppose in these hard times, the state of the economy. Selling anything too cheap sends out a subliminal message to buyers that the producer is no good (which doesn't apply to you) - ergo, the goods are not much good. Selling too high is OK if the buyer is prepared to pay for it, but then there's the question how many people are prepared to pay for it, and can you reach them?

    Something relatively unusual and different, well-executed with some flair, and well presented is always going to be 'worth' more than some standard run-of-the-mill product.

    I'd try it out on a few people that you don't know very well, just to see what they might be prepared to pay. After all, they could easily be some of your buyers. Why not post a shot here and we will tell you?

  3. #3

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    Re: Selling Prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    Oscar Wilde commented on people who 'knew the price of everything, and the value of nothing'. So I wouldn't get too hung up on price. A thing in the market place will always have a price, it just depends on the quality, appeal, fashion, skill of producer, must-have factor, and, I suppose in these hard times, the state of the economy. Selling anything too cheap sends out a subliminal message to buyers that the producer is no good (which doesn't apply to you) - ergo, the goods are not much good. Selling too high is OK if the buyer is prepared to pay for it, but then there's the question how many people are prepared to pay for it, and can you reach them?

    Something relatively unusual and different, well-executed with some flair, and well presented is always going to be 'worth' more than some standard run-of-the-mill product.

    I'd try it out on a few people that you don't know very well, just to see what they might be prepared to pay. After all, they could easily be some of your buyers. Why not post a shot here and we will tell you?
    Thanks rob, this is one he is VERY interested in and i happen to like alot. Selling Prints?

    He is also interested in quite a few others as well, as long as they arn't TOO expensive. I was thinking of $25 plus shipping for a 8x10 on a good art paper.

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Prints?

    Work out your costs (printing + you could add your own time if you wanted + framing if you are doing that) and then multiply by 2.2 (don't know why, but I read that on here) = sales price.

    Don't undersell.

    Don't know if Peter Ryan is looking in on the site just now. Peter is great on advice on this subject.
    Last edited by Donald; 7th July 2011 at 07:13 PM.

  5. #5

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    Re: Selling Prints?

    That sounds OK to me; as long as you retain the copyright.

    While nobody wants to work for nothing, I have always thought that it is better to sell two items at 10 than to not sell one at 20.

    A couple of years ago a friend had a cafe so he put some of my prints on the wall, with a for sale price tag attached. I sold a few and he got free wall decoration.

    But lately, I have found that I am getting asked to donate images for more prestidous organisations. The photos are credited to me - but no payment. However, I am supposed to be retired now and a little bit of 'glamour' never goes amiss.

  6. #6
    rob marshall

    Re: Selling Prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    Thanks rob, this is one he is VERY interested in and i happen to like alot. Selling Prints?

    He is also interested in quite a few others as well, as long as they arn't TOO expensive. I was thinking of $25 plus shipping for a 8x10 on a good art paper.
    It's a very good shot and very attractive. I wouldn't hang it on my wall because it's not my type of thing, but I'm quite sure that a lot of people would. Might appeal in particular to some kids. I'd say $25 sounds good, but bear in mind what Donald said.

  7. #7
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Prints?

    You should ask how much have you got? I saw this question asked in a tv reality show claiming to be true and remarkable.
    I like the question, 'how much have you got', because if they have nothing you get nothing. If they tell lies of course, they get nothing.

    Generally you got to think how much it cost to do, with time and paper ect, and how much would you get if you sold a thousand at a reasonable price.

    I think I prefer to ask, 'how much have you got'.

  8. #8
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Prints?

    Hi Steve,

    A really nice shot there. I have been selling my prints at markets for a number of years and I had the same issue when I started. Have a look at some online places like e-bay. There are thousands of prints there and you can see different styles but pricing is pretty constant.

    You have to decide if you are going to sell limited edition prints or, as I do, if-you-like-it-buy-it-and-enjoy-it. I would prefer to sell more prints at a lower price than wait forever to sell one and they pay 70% of that to the gallery owner. Makes no sense to me. I find most sales are to people who like to talk to the artists about where, why, etc you took the image. This sells more images than just hanging them on a wall in a gallery with no-one to talk to the piece. This is true here because you said a friend approached you to buy a print. Don't discount the personal touch and this should give you confidence.

    You have to look at costs but you are not framing them so it is pretty easy to work out. You are only selling a couple so it is not going to cover teh costs of you gear yet so I would be adding amortised costs of equipment, personal time, etc, etc. Here I mean how much does it cost you to get the image printed, packaged and delivered and then add a margin. I like Donalds 2.2x - don't know where it comes from but sounds good. The person is looking at buying a couple you say so I would prefer to sell three at a reasonable price rather than one at a slightly higher price and no more. Make a set of two or three. Sounds like he/she has space on the walls so go for it.

    I know we are in different countries but we pay in dollars here what you guys do in pounds. I sell my A4 unframed prints for $55 and A3 at $70. What I have found is that people will pay for larger prints but feel they could take a photo themselves and frame it if it is smaller - anyone can do that. I would think that GPB25 is a good price for an 8 x 10 but you can increase it exponentially as it gets larger.

    I do see guys selling their images for hundreds and people say why don't you do that. Well some have a reputation I don't yet and others have taken on significant overheads by renting shops and turning them into personal galleries. Most don't survive long. But also don't undervalue your work as mentioned above because it does reduce the perceived value of the market generally and others do make a living out of this so you don't want to destroy the perceptions of photography as an art form that has value.

    Good luck and I hope it is the start of something great. I do enjoy talking to people at markets and it has now flourished into running workshops, lecture series at the local community centre and travel tours. So who know where it will lead. Don't be afraid to print and show your work.

  9. #9

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    Re: Selling Prints?

    The price guide of materials (including wages) and multiplying by x2.2 is average small business pricing practice. x2.0 is about as low as you really want to go, and then just for an easy job with no reject/operational material losses. x2.5 is for a difficult job or where you don't really care if you get the order. But this does include premises costs and power, etc.

    So in a case like this, x2.2 on just materials (no labour costs) is really about as low as you should ever get. You will have the occasional loss (broken glass or smudged prints etc).

  10. #10
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    The price guide of materials (including wages) and multiplying by x2.2 is average small business pricing practice.
    Hi Geoff, I understand where you are coming from but the problem I have is "including wages". How do you calculate wages for one print. Is it the time to drive to the location, search out an image, take the shot, drive home, process it, take it to be printed and deliver it or some arbitary number based on your wage in your day job. I understand the busienss model but I am not sure it applies here.

    I remember when I started in finance years ago and my first lesson was - there's the phone, when it rings pick it up and quote. I asked, what do I quote? The response - nothing over under 10% (some time ago now). I asked, what do I quote over 10%? Answer - if you are winning them all you are quoting too low and if you are losing them all you are quoting too high.

    I think in this instance when we are starting out and it is not our day job a good guide is a public forum like e-bay or the like to see where the market is.

  11. #11
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Prints?

    Just went though the same process a few months ago and the advice I received here plus other digital forums generally went along these lines...

    Total cost of print (including other materials if requested- mat, frame, etc) x 2.23. You can also add a flat fee of $6 for a 8x10, $8 for 11x14, and $10 for 16x20. The flat fees were for your time. Whatever pricing you set, Ive been strongly advised to stick with it and not vary it or you might have customers wondering why they paid this much and someone else paid that much...

    Hope that helps.

  12. #12

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    Re: Selling Prints?

    Thanks everyone , you were alot of help.

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