Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Selling prints  (Read 12888 times)
Greg D
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 169


« on: April 07, 2010, 12:04:21 PM »
ReplyReply

The proprietor of a local dog boarding kennel is planning on opening a small art gallery in an adjacent space to help raise funds for the local animal shelter, and so I might hang a few photos in it.  They'll be smallish prints, as small as 8x10, and no larger than 13x19 (or B3 and smaller for those of you in the non-backward world  )  I've hung my prints on my own wall, so I know about basic framing practices, but I've never made any attempt to sell any.  So a few questions:
Pricing - I know this could vary enormously, but mine are obviously going to be very close to the bottom end of the scale.  Any ideas based on the sizes mentioned?  Any conventional formulas based on cost?
Presentation - I figure I'll frame these in simple metal frames.  Any better ideas?  And should they be offered for sale simply mounted and matted as well as framed?  Or just as a naked print as well?
Any advice appreciated.
Logged
RichardLechner
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 01:00:19 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: grog13
The proprietor of a local dog boarding kennel is planning on opening a small art gallery in an adjacent space to help raise funds for the local animal shelter, and so I might hang a few photos in it.  They'll be smallish prints, as small as 8x10, and no larger than 13x19 (or B3 and smaller for those of you in the non-backward world  )  I've hung my prints on my own wall, so I know about basic framing practices, but I've never made any attempt to sell any.  So a few questions:
Pricing - I know this could vary enormously, but mine are obviously going to be very close to the bottom end of the scale.  Any ideas based on the sizes mentioned?  Any conventional formulas based on cost?
Presentation - I figure I'll frame these in simple metal frames.  Any better ideas?  And should they be offered for sale simply mounted and matted as well as framed?  Or just as a naked print as well?
Any advice appreciated.
I see a lot of people selling 8x10 mounted & matted for $20-30.
Logged
JeffColburn
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 59



WWW
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2010, 02:08:06 PM »
ReplyReply

Prices vary a lot, depending on the photograph, size, geographic local of the gallery, etc. I could sell an 8x10 for twice as much in southern California as I do in northern Arizona.

I would suggest seeing what others in your area sell prints for. As for me, I sell my unmounted prints for $50 for 8x10 and $100 for 13x19. When I add mats or frames, I double the cost of these items and add that to the base price.

In the gallery I offer 13x19, 8x10 and 5x6 prints, and each images is available in all three sizes, framed or just matted. The 5x6 only comes with a backboard, no frame or mat. I get my frames and mats from http://www.FramesByMail.com.

By offer framed prints, and prints with only mats, you give people a chance to buy your images for different prices, depending on what they can afford. The more options you offer, the more sales you will make. Go to my blog http://www.thecreativescorner.com/ and scroll down a little to see how my prints are displayed. That white thing hanging from the art bin is a plastic ID badge case that hold business cards for people to take.

Good luck and Have Fun,
Jeff
Logged

If you're interested in photography, stock images of Arizona and Fine Art Prints of Arizona, visit www.TheCreativesCorner.com
Gary Gray
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 25


« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 07:32:12 PM »
ReplyReply

A little after the fact I can see, but still a subject that comes up often enough from some of my local photographers trying to get into art sales.

Here's my take and by no means is this definitive, as I'm sure different things work in different areas.

When I first started doing art shows and festivals, I made up a bunch of framed prints for sale along with packaged prints.  Different sizes, different looks, etc... Most of them didn't sell, most of them became damaged over time due to handling.  After a couple of years, I learned that in venues such as I was choosing, framed prints were not going to sell well because nobody wants to walk around with a hunk of wood and glass while they visit other venues.  This thinking was reinforced by observing and talking with other photographers attempting to display and sell their framed photographs.  Selling an expensive framed photograph just wasn't going to happen this way with any regularity and the long term damage made it unprofitable to continue.

What I've since done is to carry only a few framed photographs, to be used mainly for display as decorations and attention getters.  Most of my "product" is packaged photographic prints of different sizes.  I always keep a few prints of the framed versions on hand for sale as well.

So, it all comes down to pricing and profit margins (from my view of the road)
Profit margins on framed art are not very high.  
Profit margins on prints are very high.
Framed art is too subjective (I think)  Some people want it to match their sofa or carpet, so if you've framed and matted a photo in anything other than black wood and white matte, you'll never fit their color (colour) scheme and end up dragging the framed print around from show to show until you eventually damage it beyond value or sell it at a loss.

Prints are where the profit is for me.  I make my own large format prints, so it costs me next to nothing to make a print any size and in any quantity.  Packaging material cost more per print than the print costs to make.

I always keep different sizes of prints in my sales bins, almost always in a selection of the common frame sizes.  I also sell pre-matted packaged prints with basic white acid free mattes.  I always sell prints, never done a show where prints didn't sell.  I always keep mailing tubes and tissue paper for packing large prints for customers (easy to take on a plane or train).

As for pricing your work, I think it's a bit like buying wine.  You can buy a $10 bottle of wine and it tastes okay but nobody is going to consider it to be a great wine because it only costs $10.  Put a $500 price tag on that same bottle of wine and you think you're getting something better and some people have a need to feel like they are getting a better wine vs a cheaper wine.  The price they pay fills that need.

With the wine theory behind us, I've found that the higher I price my prints, the more money I make.  At first I had a tendency to mark down the price of my prints to increase sales and reduce my inventory.  It didn't work. Cheaper prints don't sell any faster.  When you want to reduce your price, raise it.  I may not sell quite as many prints but the unit return is higher and some people don't care what they spend on art and are prepared to pay a premium.  It's psychological to the extreme.  Some people are looking for "posters" and are only going to pay a "poster" prices.  They'll haggle with you over $5 for a 8x10 print.  I don't mess with those folks.  When somebody sees a photo they just have to have, they generally don't care what it costs so long as it isn't way overpriced.  If somebody wants to drop $125 on a print, I'll give them a break on a second print.  This strategy works well.

With that in mind, I've found I can sell just about any 16x20 (B3) size print for between $90-$120.  And without the frame, 90% or more of that sales price is profit.  I've had shows where I've sold 30 prints in a day, and other shows where I've only sold a hand full.  Depends on where the show is and what I'm selling at any given moment.

I'd recommend taking a look at the top photographers in your area and see what they are charging for prints.  Don't charge more than they do, that would be too arrogant.  Don't charge the average local price either, you're sending a message to your customer that you're average.  Tell them and show them you're better than the average bear but cheaper than the "popular" photographers and your work is as good or better.  

The psychology of print sales, from my view of the road.

When you become well known, all of this of course goes out the window.
Logged
JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 08:56:44 PM »
ReplyReply

Very good and helpful post Gary, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences.

Jack



.
Logged
Dick Roadnight
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1730


« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 04:30:19 PM »
ReplyReply

My thought is that photographic prints (good ones) are worth no less than prints of paintings... so, if you have what it takes, in a gallery that sells prints of paintings for 300 to 800, you should be able to sell photos for the same price.

...most gallery owners have never seen a quality photograph, and one said that "a photograph was just what happened to be in front of the photographer when they pressed the button"...
Logged

Hasselblad H4, Sinar P3 monorail view camera, Schneider Apo-digitar lenses
kpmedia
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 57



« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 02:48:16 PM »
ReplyReply

and one said that "a photograph was just what happened to be in front of the photographer when they pressed the button"...
To quote Bugs Bunny: "What a maroon."

Logged

Long time Nikon user. Currently using D200 + D3s for sports photography.
JeffColburn
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 59



WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2010, 12:44:25 AM »
ReplyReply

My thought is that photographic prints (good ones) are worth no less than prints of paintings... so, if you have what it takes, in a gallery that sells prints of paintings for 300 to 800, you should be able to sell photos for the same price.

I agree, but it's not reality. The buying public sees a painting, and realizes that they can't go home and make a painting like the one they saw. But they see a photography, and feel that they can take that photograph too. It's a sad state of affairs, but that's what I've seen.

Have Fun,
Jeff
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 11:57:49 PM by JeffColburn » Logged

If you're interested in photography, stock images of Arizona and Fine Art Prints of Arizona, visit www.TheCreativesCorner.com
Dick Roadnight
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1730


« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2010, 12:35:26 PM »
ReplyReply

I agree, but it's not reality. The buying public sees a painting, and realizes that they can't go home and make a painting like the one they say. But they see a photography, and feel that they can take that photograph too. It's a sad state of affairs, but that's what I've seen.

Have Fun,
Jeff
My theory is to produce large, high-res pictures that you could not produce with amateur kit, and use all the tricks available to pros (including shift-and-stitch, pan-and stitch and using a 10m tripod with a Sinar P3 and Apo-Digitars with electronic shutters) to get pictures that you could not get with a DSLR.
Logged

Hasselblad H4, Sinar P3 monorail view camera, Schneider Apo-digitar lenses
Steven Draper
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 147


WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2010, 09:31:36 PM »
ReplyReply

The selling of prints is an interesting subject. I'm a commercial photographer and sell prints through galleries - I also chair a successful members gallery.

There are a number of business models and just about as many variations as photographers.

Essentially at one end you have a "market rate" for a particular size, almost regardless of subject. Most photographers within any particular area will fit within this bracket and sales will vary depending on the photographer working out where people who enjoy your subject matter will by. I know some photographers who sell a high volume of work using this model.

To increase beyond a pure market rate requires a following and generally this is achieved by gallery backing. At this point pricing become more formula based. width x height x artist factor + frame.

Within my area representation within a couple of galleries, having a signature style, quality work and good artistic vision scores an artist factor of 15. Adding a big city gallery adds to it further, but a reputation of selling at each level is normally required.  Beyond a certain point purchasers / collectors generally work through a gallery and the credibility a gallery offers an artist. Your story is also important, although that will not sell a piece that someone does not visually enjoy.

However one must also remember that costs such as quality of frames, printing, gallery fees take a large % and as price increases the number of purchasers decreases. Beyond a certain size technique, equipment and artistic vision become more critical too.

However I'd say from reading your post that larger galleries are perhaps something for the future. The most important thing I could say is enjoy the feeling of having people enjoy your images within the art space, enjoy the day when they sell and photograph for yourself, not for perceived trends.

atb
Steven
Logged

image examples are at my website  stevendraperphotography.com   and Polepics is      "Here"
JeffColburn
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 59



WWW
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 12:21:31 AM »
ReplyReply

My theory is to produce large, high-res pictures that you could not produce with amateur kit, and use all the tricks available to pros (including shift-and-stitch, pan-and stitch and using a 10m tripod with a Sinar P3 and Apo-Digitars with electronic shutters) to get pictures that you could not get with a DSLR.

You and I would know what's needed to make photographs like you're talking about, but the average buyer wouldn't. So they see a nice picture and say, "I have a camera, I can do that," and they leave to try. Maybe they can't make a 20x30 print from their image, but they're just as happy with an 11x14, and look at all the money they saved. I see this all the time in galleries. There is a small segment of the buying populace that appreciates what goes into a good print, but they are few and far between.

Have Fun,
Jeff
Logged

If you're interested in photography, stock images of Arizona and Fine Art Prints of Arizona, visit www.TheCreativesCorner.com
LoisWakeman
Guest
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2010, 04:26:51 AM »
ReplyReply

My thought exactly Jeff.
Logged
JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2010, 10:52:52 AM »
ReplyReply

The selling of prints is an interesting subject. I'm a commercial photographer and sell prints through galleries - I also chair a successful members gallery.
There are a number of business models and just about as many variations as photographers.
Essentially at one end you have a "market rate" for a particular size, almost regardless of subject. Most photographers within any particular area will fit within this bracket and sales will vary depending on the photographer working out where people who enjoy your subject matter will by. I know some photographers who sell a high volume of work using this model.
To increase beyond a pure market rate requires a following and generally this is achieved by gallery backing. At this point pricing become more formula based. width x height x artist factor + frame.
Within my area representation within a couple of galleries, having a signature style, quality work and good artistic vision scores an artist factor of 15. Adding a big city gallery adds to it further, but a reputation of selling at each level is normally required.  Beyond a certain point purchasers / collectors generally work through a gallery and the credibility a gallery offers an artist. Your story is also important, although that will not sell a piece that someone does not visually enjoy.
However one must also remember that costs such as quality of frames, printing, gallery fees take a large % and as price increases the number of purchasers decreases. Beyond a certain size technique, equipment and artistic vision become more critical too.
However I'd say from reading your post that larger galleries are perhaps something for the future. The most important thing I could say is enjoy the feeling of having people enjoy your images within the art space, enjoy the day when they sell and photograph for yourself, not for perceived trends.
atb
Steven


Thanks for the addendum Steven.

I agree with your counsel of photographing for yourself and not following trends, and I appreciate your perspective as someone who's run a gallery.

Other than the overall vison of launching of one's career, there are also the details cost-to-benfit ratios in obtaining papers, inks, mats, etc. and trying to profit as much per-sale as possible, without going so "cheap" that your own product suffers.

Toward this end, I found Redimat's prices on mats, frames, etc. to be pretty darned reasonable, for some pretty good product, so I thought I would share this info as well. If anyone knows of any cheaper (but still nice-quality) alternatives, I would appreciate the info.

Thanks,

Jack


.
Logged
JeffColburn
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 59



WWW
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2010, 08:30:12 PM »
ReplyReply

Check out http://www.FramesByMail.com too. Their prices are very cheap, even for custom sizes.

Have Fun,
Jeff
Logged

If you're interested in photography, stock images of Arizona and Fine Art Prints of Arizona, visit www.TheCreativesCorner.com
JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2010, 08:24:02 AM »
ReplyReply

Check out http://www.FramesByMail.com too. Their prices are very cheap, even for custom sizes.
Have Fun,
Jeff


Hi Jeff;

I saw the link you posted before, and Frames-By-Mail really does have some nice-looking frames. Unfortunately, however, when I did the actual math and compared prices, they were more than twice as expensive as Redimat.

I just placed a bulk order with Redimat for 25 mats (18x24) with dimensions cut for 13x19 photographs at the tune of $174.91 for standard white color. To compare prices, I attempted to order 25 mats of the identical dimensions through Frames-By-Mail and the total cost was $379.94. (Both totals included shipping.)

According to my calculator, Frames-By-Mail is more than twice as expensive as Redimat. Where each mat from Redimat cost me only $6.99, the mats from Frames-By-Mail would have cost me $15.20 apiece.

This sure didn't seem "very cheap" by comparison; it seemed very expensive by comparison.

Thanks for trying though,

Jack




.
Logged
JeffColburn
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 59



WWW
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2010, 01:34:23 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi John,

It does look like ReadiMat is cheaper than Frames By Mail (thought my total at FBM was $288.29 plus shipping for archival mats). However, I found Redimat's site to be hard to use, and the $10 setup for custom mats and $100 minimum per order was a bit bothersome. I'll look into them with more detail when I need more mats.

Thanks for the tip.

Have Fun,
Jeff
Logged

If you're interested in photography, stock images of Arizona and Fine Art Prints of Arizona, visit www.TheCreativesCorner.com
JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2010, 04:23:06 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi John,
It does look like ReadiMat is cheaper than Frames By Mail (thought my total at FBM was $288.29 plus shipping for archival mats).

Hello again Jeff;

I agree, Redimat is cheaper (for my order anyway), but I am not sure what your total was for?




However, I found Redimat's site to be hard to use, and the $10 setup for custom mats and $100 minimum per order was a bit bothersome.

Hard to use? As is implied by the name, the mats Redimat offers are both wholesale and "ready": in other words, they're pre-sized, pre-cut, and already packaged. By contrast, the mats from Frame-By-Mail have to be sized and cut (on top of which I had to tinker with the dimensions of what I wanted with my order). Because the 13x19 mats were "ready" with Readimat, as they were already pre-packaged in bundles of 25, all I had to do was click an "order" button to order. By contrast, I had to custom-specify all of the dimensions with Frames-By-Mail, which took me much longer to do, and when I was done the price was more than double the price of Redimat.

As you noticed, Redimat does offer the flexibility of custom orders as well, which may jack-up the price a bit ... yet a $10 "setup fee" for custom orders from Redimat is still preferable to the $100-$200+ overcharge from Frames-By-Mail. (I find that to be more bothersome, actually.)

Regarding a minimum order, keep in mind the whole advantage conferred by Redimat is the fact it is a wholesale outfit, so of course they are going to have a "minimum order" policy to make their low, low prices worthwhile. Every wholesaler does this.




I'll look into them with more detail when I need more mats.
Thanks for the tip.
Have Fun,
Jeff

I have kept your offered link as well and will do the same, so thanks for the tip also. Different orders might yield different turnouts, as far as price disparity goes, so it never hurts to always compare and contrast before hitting the "buy" button

Jack

PS: Still interested in knowing of any vendors that have a lower (not higher) price than Redimat ...




.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 04:25:38 PM by John Koerner » Logged
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad