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Author Topic: Profit from Prints  (Read 23840 times)
wildlightphoto
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« Reply #80 on: February 26, 2013, 09:53:57 PM »
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Congrats Justan!

 Grin  Grin  Grin
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Justan
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« Reply #81 on: February 27, 2013, 09:01:19 AM »
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Thanks very much for the congrats!

The event organizers told me that prior to ’08 that the local home show had a large number of artists that participated. In this one there were 4.

Around this area there are only a few art shows, and then only in the spring/summer and one ultra high-end show around xmas. And then, most art shows are a double gouge for the seller. The show demands both a high booth fee plus a commission. The rest of the time arts are mostly incorporated along with the larger overall shows. A couple of gallery owners I work with have asked me about their doing home shows, wine and chocolate shows, and some crafts fairs. Evidently none are willing to commit to the expense.

The downside to doing a home show is that the artists are in the same display area as any number of other hawkers. F’instance, one neighbor sold a tool that separates garlic and ginger from the plants’ skin ($12 to $30 per sale); another sold hand warming devices ($3 to $18 per sale), another sold aloe vera lotion ($8 to $30 per sale), another promoted their acupuncture service, another sold pillows, and so on. The closest near-art product nearby was some nice higher end knives – and they said they had a bad show. Such is the nature of the economy at this time.

And yet, nowhere else can one get access to close to 100K people shopping for something (probably inexpensive) for their home.

On the other hand, I sold at least one work that started out as print bin item, but turned into a custom made 6’ long work. To be truly successful at this kind of hesitant and reluctant environment, I will need to learn a lot about closing sales.

Bill, you are extremely fortunate to be in a community that is highly supportive of the arts. Here, even though hundreds or more said “That cost includes the frame!?” for my bigger and even mid-sized works, I felt like I need more chutzpah or other sales skills to really increase the sales numbers.

I was lamenting this with another husband and wife artist team. The sellers of heating pads and aloe can show the consumer how nice the stuff feels on the hands, or how it warms and relaxes the shoulders and thereby play to the impulse purchase. With art one cannot really try something on for size or feel, but instead the product must grab an emotion or fulfill enough of a perceived need for them to contribute C notes. Thousands said they loved (or fill in the positive comment about the work) but only a tiny fraction of those converted.

Next year I plan to do at least 3 of these shows, and between now and then will read several books on 1:1 sales techniques and acquire some good panos of local interest for the other locations.
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bill t.
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« Reply #82 on: February 28, 2013, 01:18:52 PM »
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The artists dropped out mostly because at least locally the booth rate at home shows is a little more than twice that of art fairs, for 1/8 the attendance.  $950 for a 10x10 corner booth.  A roofer will probably find leads, but not necessarily an artist.  And the two home shows here have a requirement that both side panels can only be 3 feet high, which makes displaying flat art a difficult thing.  Had quite a fuss about that at setup time, we won.  It's important not to assume that home-show rules = art-fair rules.

And uhuh, the guys on the other side of the drapes were doing Chinese Pulse Analysis, and the "it slices / it dices" guys were everywhere with their tilted mirrors.  The vendors that weren't of the Home Depot persuasion were of the County Fair persuasion.  Our neighbor across the aisle had an entire, extra-large tree shredder set up for display, with its safety-orange paint polished shiny-bright, and tires stained RGB zero black.  Strangely fun, in a surreal sort of way.

We're going to try one more in April, which is said to be a better show.  If sales are mostly to vendors again, that'll be it for home shows.
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Rob C
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« Reply #83 on: February 28, 2013, 02:40:07 PM »
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On Sky TV's Finance show tonight, they posted an item on UK High Street shop closures They were up over 900%, yes, 900% in 2012. The greates number of deaths? Card and poster shops. What's the point anymore unless you own your own property in a hot tourist town?

Rob C
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David Watson
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« Reply #84 on: February 28, 2013, 04:22:38 PM »
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On Sky TV's Finance show tonight, they posted an item on UK High Street shop closures They were up over 900%, yes, 900% in 2012. The greates number of deaths? Card and poster shops. What's the point anymore unless you own your own property in a hot tourist town?

Rob C

Rob

Even that does not work too well.  We have an hotel and restaurant in a smart tourist village 2.5 hours from London.  We opened a gallery in a redundant building.  Plenty of visits, plenty of compliments but hot many sales.  The reasons?  Lack of money; lack of space;

Even in a good charitable cause sales are limited as we found out with a show in support of the National Trust.

Unless you have "name" and the possibility  of potentially increased value selling prints for more than peanuts in the UK is very very difficult.
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Justan
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« Reply #85 on: March 01, 2013, 12:41:05 AM »
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The artists dropped out mostly because at least locally the booth rate at home shows is a little more than twice that of art fairs, for 1/8 the attendance.  $950 for a 10x10 corner booth.

Very different market here. HS rates are about on par with our biggest art fair – the Bellevue show, plus the Bellevue show charges a commission. Of course, they both claim nearly 100 thousand visitors, which deserves a premium rental. I’m not convinced the art show deserves a premium rental plus a $% on sales.

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And the two home shows here have a requirement that both side panels can only be 3 feet high, which makes displaying flat art a difficult thing.  Had quite a fuss about that at setup time, we won.  It's important not to assume that home-show rules = art-fair rules.

Agreed that is not a wise assumption. I ran into that quibble starting at my first show and since then have gone to pointing out to the organizers in great detail from the outset, including asking them to look at the Pro Panel web site that due to these panels, my booth can’t meet the height restriction on the front part of the booth. By spelling out the details, I’ve gotten mostly good locations (including the need for great parking for my trailer at every show so i can get inventory). Another plus is that by putting a big bright lighted pano on the neighbor’s side – with their grateful permission, of course - my booth can be seen from the other end of the festival.

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Our neighbor across the aisle had an entire, extra-large tree shredder set up for display, with its safety-orange paint polished shiny-bright, and tires stained RGB zero black.  Strangely fun, in a surreal sort of way.

I didn’t see a chipper at the show but did see the tree trimmer saw with 30’ long extension pole was on the next aisle. (I remember several years back when they sold those long poles with little electric chain saws on the end and a remote switch. Man oh man did that ever have Bad Idea written all over.)

I know what you mean about the fun. It is a simple if odd life at one of these shows, and I’ve gone through some withdrawals the last couple of days that surprised me.

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We're going to try one more in April, which is said to be a better show.  If sales are mostly to vendors again, that'll be it for home shows.

Here the Feb. HS is the big one. In spring other shows bring the major crowds.
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bill t.
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« Reply #86 on: March 01, 2013, 12:29:09 PM »
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In regards to the  "cards" question that disappeared while I was writing this post, I don't do cards for lots of reasons.

They distract attention away from the far more lucrative framed pieces.

They take away display space from the far more lucrative framed pieces.

At the very important attendance peak in the early afternoon they can fill your booth with people who like to rummage through ditzy little stuff, and effectively block people interested in framed pieces.

If you're selling them, that takes valuable time away from schmoozing potential big buyers.

They can kill sales.  "Oh, I just love that piece, how much is it?  Oh, here it is as a card..."  Lots of times well meaning friends will point out a card to save their buddies from spending real money.

And at some level they make your booth look somewhat déclassé.

One of the most dangerous things you can have in booth is a promotional card with a URL visible on it.  "Oh, I just love your work, but is this all you have?  Oh, I see on this card that you have a web site!  I'm going to go home and look at all your work!"  Goodbye forever.  Once again, so-called friends often point out the URL as a defusing tactic.  Promotional cards should only be given to good leads who are walking away empty handed.  But keep those URL cards out of sight.  Business cards are somewhat safer to leave in view, but for various reasons only 3 or 4 should ever be available to simply pick up.

But if you do want to leave a big pile of cards up for grabs on your table, you can easily restock by digging them out of the trash cans at the exits.

The promotional cards I use are mostly leftovers from gallery show announcements.  That refers customers to commission galleries instead of directly to me, but it gives people a place they can go right away and once again be exposed to pieces they can buy on the spot.  That's a lot more likely to create a sale than somebody staring at a web site.  And it puts a salve on the wounds of gallery owners who feel competed-with when their artists attend nearby art fairs.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 12:30:50 PM by bill t. » Logged
Justan
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« Reply #87 on: March 02, 2013, 11:21:53 AM »
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The business card thing at an art booth is an interesting one.

On the one hand, advertising is a key to success and traditionally handing out a business card and promotions is the most direct way to do this.

On the other hand, I’ve heard a number of long time artist say that cards should only go to paying customers.

At my last event I offered both cards and promotions. I handed out > than 1000 of each. If nothing comes of it, I’ll probably reduce the practice to those who buy or those i talk with for a while at shows.

WRT selling gift or holiday cards, that looks to be a very difficult way to make a living. It would probably require stocking and restocking display bins at a lot of locations, which brings with it a pretty high overhead. In general trying to make it worthwhile to sell something at $1 to $7 profit per package requires a lot of work and production for not a lot of return. But clearly there are those who do it well.
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MartinSpence
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« Reply #88 on: March 02, 2013, 04:11:52 PM »
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Hi folks

I'm wondering what you think of this as a marketing tool in the hope it may lead to sales of other prints....

I had seen someone else do this and thought I'd give it a go?

Basically I allow people to download an image as a wallpaper for their PC/iPad as on this link:

http://www.martinspencephotography.co.uk/blog/yes/white-park-bay-photo-download-pcipad

Any thoughts?

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bill t.
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« Reply #89 on: March 02, 2013, 05:47:51 PM »
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First of all, your work is gorgeous and among the best I have seen in that genre.  Congratulations.

I think it's a bad idea.

Most of all, I don't think people make connections between what's on their monitors and what they might want of the wall.

Some years ago I gave somebody in local government several 1000 x 3000 dpi image files on the stipulation that they would be used one time only for a printed brochure, and then destroyed.  A year or later I found cards with those images on them for sale at a gift shop.  Somebody at city hall decided they should just go ahead and put my images up on line, full size.  It took quite a while to clean up the mess.  The person making the cards claimed that since they were online they were public domain, and all the more so because the "government" had put them there.

I have a more or less abandoned website with some images on it.  I get a couple calls a month from people who will gladly pay $19.95 for a large print, just like down at the hobby store.

And lastly, try running one of those 1920 dpi files through Resize 7.5 or PhotoZoom5.  It's scary.
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BrianWJH
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« Reply #90 on: March 02, 2013, 09:58:45 PM »
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I agree with Bill, after a while the wallpaper image looses it's initial impact even if it's spectacular it just takes a bit longer by then a print sale is less likely.

Cheers,
Brian.
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iluvmycam
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« Reply #91 on: March 03, 2013, 08:47:29 PM »
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Martin, nice work. Start selling on ebay. I see people selling smaller size prints for $25 to $50 a pop.

Go to the big name photogs sites and see what they get. Mary Ellen Mark $3000 a print, Les Krims $600 to $2500 and such. If your a 'no name' like me, then serious collectors may not even want it for free. They collect names not photography.

You guys should start selling prints right here if it is allowed. I'd buy some prints if they were cheap. $25 - $35 a pop. I buy prints on ebay once in a while, just for fun and to help other photogs in a very small way. Print them with archival pigment, no need for wet prints unless you want to do wet prints to sell. The rule for me is: if the ink jet = the wet print in IQ then it is fine. And if it does not, then it must be a wet print.

On the Large Format forum they do print exchanges. But I don't have large format prints nor did I have their subject matter of rocks that was this years topic. 18 guys exchanged prints. They got them very cheap, some nice stuff too.

I don't have too many pretty subjects. Mine are more for collectors that like odd subjects. But I never promoted my name, so I have no notoriety and collectors don't want a 'no name' photog.  I am trying to make a short run book right now. (200 to 400 copies, not a Blurb book.) One publisher possibly interested, but will most likely have to self publish. 3 printers rejected me since they don't approve of the subject matter.

I just started in Dec with promoting myself.  It is almost like a full time job. I am in 2-1/2 museums and possibly 2 or 3  more once the Boards vote. Or they can reject me just as easily. Wife and daughter-in-law will trash all my photography when I die. (They both hate it.) So I figured it is now or never to try and archive some of it, or it will all end up in the nearest dumpster when I kick off.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 01:30:15 PM by iluvmycam » Logged
KevinA
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« Reply #92 on: March 06, 2013, 12:50:37 PM »
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I looked into doing that and almost bought an underpinner to add to my wood working tools, but found that some framing shops can produce outstanding results and ship them to me for less than I pay for sticks locally. Plus it is 1 thing less to worry about and spend time on. If there is a problem, they ship the fix in a couple of days. The combination of quality and ease, and frankly, lower cost than doing it myself, is what lead me to using pictureframes.com and economyframes.com. I only buy frames and sometimes do the final assembly for these, but still do the other parts in-house.

At my next show, I’m partnering with a framing company who offered me a bunch of coupons to hand out at the show. They don't sell art and i'd rather not sell frames unless i have to. This combination means I can promote my works and people can get frames made to their impulse. It is a win-win, at least in theory.

Some years ago I did the lot, cut matts, cut frames underpinned etc. It taught me one thing, doing it all is not cost effective. It just isn't. I bet most people here do it themselves to keep the price lower, I doubt many work out what it costs to get it done professionally and charge themselves at that rate, be honest you don't.
If you don't you are working for cheap. Making frames and mounting takes time to do well.
So say you do charge full whack for doing it yourself, would it not make more sense to be working at something else, like marketing your work?
Whatever I do these days I price it at what it costs to get the work done professionally, if there is something I have the time and expertise to do and I do it, then I make extra profit. I would hate to extra work just to be cheaper.
It took sometime for me to realise this, because when you work it out with the money you have available it looks to make more sense in doing it yourself.
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bill t.
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« Reply #93 on: March 06, 2013, 04:34:42 PM »
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I cut and joined the following frames last nite, between 7 and 10:30, using very modest equipment:

1, 36 x 96
1, 35 x 84
2, 29 x 64
2, 27 x 50
4, 20 x 49

Hard to work up really good numbers, but I figure I was earning around $300+/hr doing that in savings over commercially available frames, even at wholesale.  Good work if you can get it, IMHO.

The trick is, the rules for just plain old sticking a canvas in a bare frame without any of the BS involved with mattes, glass, backing, etc is a whole different world o' framing, and a heck of lot easier.  It's those prissy little matted frames with glass that kill you, meh!  Canvas was partly a design-for-manufacturing decision for me.  And I have to say, I have never once had to settle for a goofy looking corner.

It's three in afternoon, and I just now finished stuffing my pre-mounted canvases in those frames.  Not bad at all, I'm very pleased with myself today.  I'm going to an art fair this weekend and I can guarantee I will kick the butts of everybody there who relies on third party framing.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #94 on: March 06, 2013, 09:27:42 PM »
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Bill, do you use an underpinner for joining the frames?  What's your 'modest equipment', if you don't mind me asking?
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #95 on: March 08, 2013, 10:48:24 AM »
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Mike,
Here are several options to go along with your framing and other offerings.. (Apologies in advance if I have shown this in the past.)
Multiply with clear coated edges and back and aluminum hanger. (Other half not shown.)
Canvas mounted to multiply with Seals print mount ultra.
You can mount canvas or paper on hardboard as well.
I have a big edge sander to polish the edges which makes them look real nice.
You can clear coat the edges and back or leave them unfinished.
Spraying them black is another option that looks good.
The third picture is printed metal attached to multiply with the same Print Mount Ultra through the laminator.
Yes it takes time to be fooling around with edges and backs but they look so good finished properly.


« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 11:07:56 AM by Dan Berg » Logged

Isaac
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« Reply #96 on: March 08, 2013, 10:59:55 AM »
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36 x 96

What were the original pixel dimensions of the image? (Just curious.)
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kevk
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« Reply #97 on: March 09, 2013, 12:29:12 AM »
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The trick is, the rules for just plain old sticking a canvas in a bare frame without any of the BS involved with mattes, glass, backing, etc is a whole different world o' framing, and a heck of lot easier.  It's those prissy little matted frames with glass that kill you, meh!  ...

... I just now finished stuffing my pre-mounted canvases in those frames.  ...I can guarantee I will kick the butts of everybody there who relies on third party framing.

I like the tune you are whistling here Bill - how do you pre-mount? Do you glue or vacuum press the canvas to board or something? Do you spray the canvas with one of those varnishes before/after mounting?

Cheers!
Kevin
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Graham Clark
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« Reply #98 on: March 09, 2013, 03:58:07 AM »
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The business card thing at an art booth is an interesting one.

On the one hand, advertising is a key to success and traditionally handing out a business card and promotions is the most direct way to do this.

On the other hand, I’ve heard a number of long time artist say that cards should only go to paying customers.

At my last event I offered both cards and promotions. I handed out > than 1000 of each. If nothing comes of it, I’ll probably reduce the practice to those who buy or those i talk with for a while at shows.

WRT selling gift or holiday cards, that looks to be a very difficult way to make a living. It would probably require stocking and restocking display bins at a lot of locations, which brings with it a pretty high overhead. In general trying to make it worthwhile to sell something at $1 to $7 profit per package requires a lot of work and production for not a lot of return. But clearly there are those who do it well.


I agree, however with social media tools if more cards get into more hands, and if more links are visited there's a chance it can be re-spun and go viral!

Graham
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Graham Clark  |  grahamclarkphoto.com
Justan
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« Reply #99 on: March 09, 2013, 08:20:20 AM »
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I like the tune you are whistling here Bill - how do you pre-mount? Do you glue or vacuum press the canvas to board or something? Do you spray the canvas with one of those varnishes before/after mounting?

Not to speak for Bill, but I learned the technique from him: The face of the canvas is coated with Glamour II and left to fully cure. The coating can be done by spray or roller.

After that use Gator Board or Mighty Core as a substrate and a thin coat of a glue known as Miracle Muck by Raphael’s ( http://raphaelsap.com/miraclemuckandaccessories.aspx ) on the Gator or Mighty, then carefully apply the canvas onto coated media. You can roll the canvas onto the glued media, or lay the canvas flat, back side up, and carefully lay the media over the canvas and press to make sure it is flat and so there are no trapped air bubbles, and then turn the laminated work face up to dry. Be sure to immediately clean any glue from the face of the canvas!

The Muck drying process can be kind of scary to watch. The corners of the gator will probably lift into a lazy U shape and then relax down to being perfectly flat. Do NOT use FOAMCORE as it will curl and stay that way.

After the Muck fully dries, trim the work and wrap a frame around it and you’re good to put it on the wall.

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I agree, however with social media tools if more cards get into more hands, and if more links are visited there's a chance it can be re-spun and go viral!

The operative term there is “if” and yet it’s definately worth a try. Were it me, I’d start gearing up now by way of contacting local vendors in preparation for the Thanksgiving to New Year buying crowd. Add to that your suggestion of a lot of social media. The more opportunity the better!

My only advise is that when one does everything right, one will get what one sets out to get. So if the goal is to collect lots of $5 dollar bills, that shall be the reward.
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