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Author Topic: What is the proper markup for prints?  (Read 6098 times)
marcmccalmont
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« on: April 29, 2009, 08:09:44 PM »
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What percentage is proper for a gallery to take for a Fine Art Print? How about if it is not a purchase but consignment?
What is too much ie greedy?
What is a fair retail price for a 13 x 19in print on nice paper without a mat or frame? with a mat? matted and framed?
Thanks
Marc
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 02:54:09 PM by marcmccalmont » Logged

Marc McCalmont
Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2009, 12:19:48 PM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
What percentage is proper for a gallery to take for a Fine Art Print? How about if it is not a purchase but consignment?
What is too much ie greedy?
What is a fair retail price for a 13 x 17in print on nice paper without a mat or frame? with a mat? matted and framed?
Thanks
Marc
Normal %age 20 to 25%.

I intend to charge £250 or more for 50 Megapixel 24" * 34" @240 ppi, (or bigger if stitched) prints mounted and in £50 to £70 frames.

It costs tens of thousands to be able to produce good, big prints, using a camera with a full range of movements, shift-and-stitch ability, polarizing filters and all the bells and whistles, and if I cannot charge real money for prints, I will not recoup my expenditure in galleries.

Depending on the quality of the frame, print and mount, and where you are selling them (what are the other picture selling for, and how good are they?)

13 x 17in (A3) print on nice paper
without a mat or frame?                £20-25
with a mat?                                 £30-40
matted and framed?                     £50-70

My A1 prints are four times the size and four times the price: What res camera do you have?

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JohnBrew
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 01:19:21 PM »
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I was always told $1 per square inch. Personally I charge whatever the market will bear as framing and matting vary.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2009, 02:51:27 PM »
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Quote from: Dick Roadnight
Normal %age 20 to 25%.

I intend to charge £250 or more for 50 Megapixel 24" * 34" @240 ppi, (or bigger if stitched) prints mounted and in £50 to £70 frames.

It costs tens of thousands to be able to produce good, big prints, using a camera with a full range of movements, shift-and-stitch ability, polarizing filters and all the bells and whistles, and if I cannot charge real money for prints, I will not recoup my expenditure in galleries.

Depending on the quality of the frame, print and mount, and where you are selling them (what are the other picture selling for, and how good are they?)

13 x 17in (A3) print on nice paper
without a mat or frame?                £20-25
with a mat?                                 £30-40
matted and framed?                     £50-70

My A1 prints are four times the size and four times the price: What res camera do you have?

Thanks for the help files from a 5D, 5DII and P30, many of them stitched, the reason I asked is the galleries in Hawaii want a 100% markup ie $100 wholesale and $200 retail, seems a bit high to me I would have thought 20 to 30%
Marc
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2009, 02:52:24 PM »
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Quote from: JohnBrew
I was always told $1 per square inch. Personally I charge whatever the market will bear as framing and matting vary.

Is this wholesale or retail pricing?
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
ericstaud
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2009, 03:10:50 PM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
What percentage is proper for a gallery to take for a Fine Art Print? How about if it is not a purchase but consignment?
What is too much ie greedy?
What is a fair retail price for a 13 x 19in print on nice paper without a mat or frame? with a mat? matted and framed?
Thanks
Marc

There is no such thing as a fair retail price.  You charge what the market will bear.  The neighbor kid down the street charges $20 for a 13x19.  I'm pretty sure that Robert Polidori charges more than that though.  Let's just call it $1,500.  So anywhere between $20 and $1500 and you should be safe.

I would look at the last several price lists for this gallery.  Go to other shows to see how others are pricing.  Don't price your work to low, by definition that makes it less valuable.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2009, 03:27:45 PM »
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so would it be reasonable to price prints as follows?

          Wholesale       Retail
11x17  $60              $100
13x19  $90              $150
17x22  $120            $200

Before meeting with the gallery owners I want to have my ducks lined up!
Marc

Some of the galleries have commented that the images are the best they have seen on the island for what its worth, I have just never discussed pricing at this point.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 03:29:59 PM by marcmccalmont » Logged

Marc McCalmont
Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 04:30:07 PM »
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Those prices seem waaaaaaay to cheap to me. These are signed (editioned?) fine art prints right? Not commercial reprints. Most galleries out this way (and we are a serious art destination) mark up 100% ( or pay you 50% of the retail price). Decent galleries have very high expenses (rent, advertising, staff etc.) and 50% is reasonable in my opinion. If 50% seems like a low return on tour investment then you are not charging enough.
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Kirk

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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 04:54:28 PM »
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Quote from: Kirk Gittings
Those prices seem waaaaaaay to cheap to me. These are signed (editioned?) fine art prints right? Not commercial reprints. Most galleries out this way (and we are a serious art destination) mark up 100% ( or pay you 50% of the retail price). Decent galleries have very high expenses (rent, advertising, staff etc.) and 50% is reasonable in my opinion. If 50% seems like a low return on tour investment then you are not charging enough.

Yes these are very nice signed and numbered prints, I print each one individually on my iPF5000
This is the kind of information I need. Should I double my price?
Marc
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 05:30:10 PM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
Yes these are very nice signed and numbered prints, I print each one individually on my iPF5000
This is the kind of information I need. Should I double my price?
Marc

You should research the prices at the local galleries and at the gallery you are speaking with.  They know the clientele, you don't (and we don't).  The prices that anyone tells you here are just as out of context as the numbers you're making up.

Come to Los Angeles.  I can take you to a gallery that has never sold anything for less than $20,000.00.  I can also take you to a gallery that has never sold anything for more than $1,000.00.  Which kind of gallery are you working with?  You have not provided any context for your work, the gallery, or the clientele.  How will any advice stating specific numbers have any basis in reality?  You need to do the footwork yourself.

To give you good advice can you answer these questions:
What were the prices at the last 5 shows the gallery put on?
What cut does the gallery take?
What cut do all the competing galleries take?
What were the prices for work at the competing galleries in each of the last 5 shows?
How much does it cost you to print a piece?
Have you factored in the cost of replacing the printer every year? The computer?  The camera?
Is your work better, worse, or the same as the other work being sold?
Are these pictures of celebrities? Then add 100%
Are these pictures of your cats?  Then subtract 300%
Do you do drugs?  Then add 14%
Are you known as a commercial photographer?  Then subtract 35%
Are you sleeping with the local art critic?  Then add 50%
Is your name Ansel Adams?  Then add 600%
Do you price your photos based on how much it costs to make them?  Then subtract 75%
Do you talk about photography with your friends?  Then subtract 60%
Do you NOT talk about photography with your friends?  Then add 17%
Do you frame your pictures with colored mattes?  Then subtract 53%


If you answer all these questions, then we can tell you how to price your prints.  But of course by the time you have the answers, you will have also already set the prices and we'll be asking you for advice.  Hopefully I'm coming across as funny here.  Just trying to make the point that you'll have to do some homework in your local market (and perhaps in the national and international market depending on your intentions).
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 05:48:25 PM by ericstaud » Logged
marcmccalmont
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 08:32:21 PM »
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Here on the Big Island of Hawaii there are art galleries but no real photography galleries.
The galleries have shows for artists but I have yet to see a show for a photographer.

I see very expensive original art that is average at best ($20k-30K) and
high priced giclee's $1500 to $3K.

The few photos that I have seen are in two categories
1) $1500-$2500 large prints (20x24) framed (fancy art paper with torn edges, nice images but from a technical perspective lacking a bit)  or
2) the tourist prints $20-$50 look like they were shot with 35mm film 20 years ago. packaged in plastic with a cheap white stock mat.

The art galleries are impressed with my work, comments like "the best I've seen on the islands" so I would like to position myself as a high end photographer with prints that have the "classic look" of a photograph not the ragged edged art paper or canvas prints but the more traditional look of a photograph.

At any rate I'll set a higher price commensurate with the quality of the print and we'll see how it goes
Thanks for your help
Marc
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2009, 09:00:29 PM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
Here on the Big Island of Hawaii there are art galleries but no real photography galleries.
The galleries have shows for artists but I have yet to see a show for a photographer.

I see very expensive original art that is average at best ($20k-30K) and
high priced giclee's $1500 to $3K.

The few photos that I have seen are in two categories
1) $1500-$2500 large prints (20x24) framed (fancy art paper with torn edges, nice images but from a technical perspective lacking a bit)  or
2) the tourist prints $20-$50 look like they were shot with 35mm film 20 years ago. packaged in plastic with a cheap white stock mat.

The art galleries are impressed with my work, comments like "the best I've seen on the islands" so I would like to position myself as a high end photographer with prints that have the "classic look" of a photograph not the ragged edged art paper or canvas prints but the more traditional look of a photograph.

At any rate I'll set a higher price commensurate with the quality of the print and we'll see how it goes
Thanks for your help
Marc

Marc,

I'd not let the term "giclee" justify a higher price than your printer's output. Print quality should determine that. I'm not certain exactly what process you're referring to, but in most cases it's a BS label applied to inkjet prints (and sometimes Lightjet prints). You probably know that it is a French term with the approximate meaning of "spurt". My French friends tell me that it is also used as slang for "ejaculation" (sorry folks, if that's inappropriate here). In fact some of them really snicker at it's use as a means to "class up" a printing term. They think it's stupid, and I agree. IMO it's marketing garbage, but others are certainly welcome to their opinions.

I don't offer "spurt" prints, but I do like how Brooks Jensen refers to pigment ink jet prints: "Pigment on Paper".

I mat my 16x22 images with archival materials, including ArtCare treated foam core backing board and quality mats. A simple "gallery frame" and quality mat, when purchased in some quantity from a supplier specializing in serving professional photographers and artists, costs around $100 (a little less maybe) for double mat and glazing with Acrylite. Prices will vary from this point by going to a wider mat or different frame, etc. Add ink, rag paper or whatever, and your costs get up there. Don't  forget lost copies due to paper imperfections, test prints, printer maintenance, etc.

Good luck with your process. And let us know how your gallery meeting goes.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 09:23:00 PM by DFAllyn » Logged

ericstaud
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2009, 09:36:34 PM »
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Quote from: DFAllyn
Marc,

I'd not let the term "giclee" justify a higher price than your printer's output. Print quality should determine that. I'm not certain exactly what process you're referring to, but in most cases it's a BS label applied to inkjet prints (and sometimes Lightjet prints). You probably know that it is a French term with the approximate meaning of "spurt". My French friends tell me that it is also used as slang for "ejaculation" (sorry folks, if that's inappropriate here). In fact some of them really snicker at it's use as a means to "class up" a printing term. They think it's stupid, and I agree. IMO it's marketing garbage, but others are certainly welcome to their opinions.

I don't offer "spurt" prints, but I do like how Brooks Jensen refers to pigment ink jet prints: "Pigment on Paper".

I mat my 16x22 images with archival materials, including ArtCare treated foam core backing board and quality mats. A simple "gallery frame" and quality mat, when purchased in some quantity from a supplier specializing in serving professional photographers and artists, costs around $100 (a little less maybe) for double mat and glazing with Acrylite. Prices will vary from this point by going to a wider mat or different frame, etc. Add ink, rag paper or whatever, and your costs get up there. Don't  forget lost copies due to paper imperfections, test prints, printer maintenance, etc.

Good luck with your process. And let us know how your gallery meeting goes.


Good point about the spurt prints.  It's was coined as a term 18 years ago to help distinguish IRIS prints made without archival papers and ink from those that were meant to last...  Giclees.   Your Canon printer likely makes prints with greater tonal range, color range, accuracy, detail, and are more archival than those Giclee prints of 18 years ago (if you choose the right paper).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giclée
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2009, 12:52:47 AM »
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I'll keep you posted!
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2009, 08:39:00 AM »
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I am considering higher prices for my larger prints but offering a bunch of products for sale such as Thank You cards, calendars, books and folios at a more reasonable price so there can essentially be a market for everyone at any price point to purchase something from me.

Do you guys think that is a good idea?

My 13x19 would be around $175 while a calendar = $20, book = $40, thank you cards (25 pack) = $20 and so on...
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 08:40:57 AM by MichaelAlanBielat » Logged
Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2009, 10:23:37 AM »
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Eric... Thanks for taking the time.
Many a true word is spoken in jest, but most of your questions are very relevant.
Quote from: ericstaud
Come to Los Angeles.
This invitation was not issued personally to me, but my step-daughter lives in LA, and she might become my US agent, so you might see my pictures in you local gallery some month soon. I hope the US market is big enough for the both of us. I hope to visit LA some time, and I would like to meet you.
Quote from: ericstaud
I can take you to a gallery that has never sold anything for less than $20,000.00.  I can also take you to a gallery that has never sold anything for more than $1,000.00.  Which kind of gallery are you working with?
I am in the UK midlands, and here most galleries would rather hang photographers than photographs!
One local gallery sells paintings, and the occasional classic photo of e.g. Bardot. My pictures would be the only contemporary photographs, and would be alongside original paintings £1,500 - £20,000, and prints (including Giclee) from paintings £350 - £2,500.
Quote from: ericstaud
You have not provided any context for your work, the gallery, or the clientele.  How will any advice stating specific numbers have any basis in reality?  You need to do the footwork yourself.
We have to cater for the market - I am putting together a versatile system that can cope with a very wide range of subjects - from macro to landscape.
Quote from: ericstaud
What cut does the gallery take?
25%, an up market hotel quotes 20%, but would not actively market the prints.
Quote from: ericstaud
How much does it cost you to print a piece?
There is a thread here re what to charge for Epson Stylus Pro 7900 prints.
Quote from: ericstaud
Have you factored in the cost of replacing the printer every year? The computer?  The camera?
I think that a £10,000 professional computer/printer/software bundle could easily do 10,000 prints, so £1 per print might cover it - if you do 10,000 prints in a few years.
Quote from: ericstaud
Are you known as a commercial photographer?  Then subtract 35%
I intend to be... I am doing some stuff for galleries before I get booked up for commercial stuff.
Quote from: ericstaud
Do you price your photos based on how much it costs to make them?  Then subtract 75%
Do you talk about photography with your friends?  Then subtract 60%
Guilty.

So, do you think £250$ would be reasonable for "Best on the Island" 50 Megapixel or stitched, 7900 24 * 34" prints, nicely framed and mounted?

I would rather shift volume at £250$ than be more ambitious - what covers your overheads is gross margin per year.

The theory is that that would give me a £100$ margin... so, if a gallery can increase their margin, and I still get £100$, that's OK.
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lisa_r
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2009, 09:25:25 AM »
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re: squirt prints

I live in NYC and it seems the high end galleries here have been referring to ink jet prints as "archival pigment" for some time now. I think this is a nice label, as it's descriptive, makes the prints seem durable (which they are if done right), and does not go with a made up silly name like giclee which people don;t know the meaning of anyway.
It also looks like the vast majority of prints for sale are in fact digital, (not silver or C-prints.)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 09:28:40 AM by lisa_r » Logged
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