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Author Topic: Pricing Canvas Prints  (Read 4188 times)
rgvsdigitalpimp
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« on: November 12, 2013, 01:36:54 PM »
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Hello.  Quick question.  I already have a pricing system for my canvas print sizes.  I had a buddy of mine ask me for a 36x48 1.5" wrap and when I was looking at my price list I had that listed for about $290.  I went online and I found some at about $200 with free shipping and archival certified material.  How!?  I want to try and compete but I just can't with those prices.  Should I drop my pricing to match up with online retailers?  Or just stick to my guns. 
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 01:42:10 PM »
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Are you talking about your own prints or prints you would print for him from his files?
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Slobodan

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rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 01:45:38 PM »
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Sorry I should have been more specific.  Yes, I'm getting the photo's from the photographers or designers and just printing them and stretching as well.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 01:57:41 PM »
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I am using a pro lab that charges $99 (plus shipping) for a 32"x48". You can not compete with high-volume labs on price. Instead, try differentiating your offering. It could be attention to detail, speed/quality of service, superior communication and co-operation with the client, community ties, etc. However, if none of that matters to the client, and they just want the cheapest, you either drop your price or give up.

Alternatively, you can show them this:  Wink

« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 05:42:53 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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louoates
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 05:37:39 PM »
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I gave up even trying to estimate canvas prices for those who call me out of the blue. Most are searching for cheap on line sources and somehow think that whatever I can do to improve their digital file is worthless.
The last estimate I gave was of an enlargement of one of my own images they saw on my web site. It was a unique shot that I know no one else has. I quoted a very good price but was told that it was double what they could get on the internet. I guess one mountain is a good as another.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2013, 06:26:44 PM »
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I am using a pro lab that charges $99 (plus shipping) for a 32"x48". You can not compete with high-volume labs on price.

No $#*&ing kidding.  At that price, they're barely covering ink and canvas, let alone stretchers and labour.  Is it coated? 

Maybe they make it up on the shipping...
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 06:56:30 PM »
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No $#*&ing kidding.  At that price, they're barely covering ink and canvas, let alone stretchers and labour.  Is it coated?  

Maybe they make it up on the shipping...

Yes, coated. Back covered with a black cardboard, ready to hang. Shipping is reasonable, UPS, between $7 and $12, depending on the size of order.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 08:07:12 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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langier
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 07:28:40 PM »
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I won't even try to compete with Wally and Stapes and others regarding canvas...I don't even want to deal with people who are that price sensitive since they take twice the effort and want to pay half the price. Not worth the headache. I price my canvas on the high side and differentiate my work with getting the canvas out quickly if needed, properly fixed to make the print better, or mirror the edge to make the image stand out, rather than wrap the edge over the side like the cheaper places.

I also point out that the entire process is hand-done here at my studio and here in my community which sometimes score points to the quality-minded customer.

Separate yourself from the cheapies with quality, turnaround speed, skills and craft and you'll get a better return on your efforts.

Another way to up sell your work is to send the cheapies your file and let them do their thing. Take the same file, craft it well with your spin and put them up side-by-side and if you've got a better product it should stand out as such when put side-by-side. Tthen you can point out the actual differences between "price" and "quality". The website "crappy vs snappy" comes to mind...
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Larry Angier
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rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2013, 01:09:24 AM »
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Thank you Lang.  Great info. 
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Colorwave
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2013, 01:37:59 AM »
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I charge $.14/square inch for canvas printing and coating for low volume clients (regular clients that order frequently get a bit of a break).  A chain of framing shops near me has recently gotten into the canvas printing business and the print, coat and stretch for quite a bit less than my cost for printing alone, using an Epson solvent printer and polyester decor quality canvas.  

The framing shop values repeat customers, though, so when someone comes to them asking for accurate color or fine art quality printing, they often recommend them on to me instead of taking their money and potentially facing an unhappy customer.  When someone is focused on price alone, I reciprocate the referral.  

It's foolish to try to offer your services at prices that compete with high volume mass market demographics unless you compete on their terms.  I think it is possible to offer higher quality printing at higher prices without getting sucked into a low margin battle that you are likely to loose at.
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rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2013, 07:36:38 AM »
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Hey Color let me see if I get this right.  A 16x20 measures to about 320 square inches.  And at $.14 a square inch, that would come out to about $44??  Am I doing something wrong with my calculations?  Seems kind of low prices for a canvas wrap. 
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2013, 12:22:25 PM »
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... at $.14 a square inch, that would come out to about $44?? Seems kind of low prices for a canvas wrap.  

Actually, that would be about 60% more expensive than what the lab I use charges for a 16x20 ($28).
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 12:24:03 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2013, 01:43:03 PM »
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Wow.  Ok then I guess I won't complain about my pricing then.  I lowered it a little and it's still way above $.14 a square inch.  Smiley
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chez
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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2013, 09:52:01 AM »
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Now you are making a big assumption that the cheaper priced print has a lower quality. Before I started printing for myself, I sent out to have my canvas prints done and the quality and turn around time were fabulous. Cost was almost as much as it costs me to print my own now. Like any mom & pop shop, it is getting harder to compete with the Internet giants out there.

It's the same concept of people going to places like B&H to purchase their equipment rather than getting personal service from their local shop.

I won't even try to compete with Wally and Stapes and others regarding canvas...I don't even want to deal with people who are that price sensitive since they take twice the effort and want to pay half the price. Not worth the headache. I price my canvas on the high side and differentiate my work with getting the canvas out quickly if needed, properly fixed to make the print better, or mirror the edge to make the image stand out, rather than wrap the edge over the side like the cheaper places.

I also point out that the entire process is hand-done here at my studio and here in my community which sometimes score points to the quality-minded customer.

Separate yourself from the cheapies with quality, turnaround speed, skills and craft and you'll get a better return on your efforts.

Another way to up sell your work is to send the cheapies your file and let them do their thing. Take the same file, craft it well with your spin and put them up side-by-side and if you've got a better product it should stand out as such when put side-by-side. Tthen you can point out the actual differences between "price" and "quality". The website "crappy vs snappy" comes to mind...
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smjphoto
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2014, 11:03:53 PM »
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I don't see anything about a wrap or even stretching for .$14/sq in in Colorwave's post. Is, in fact that included?
Stuart
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Colorwave
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2014, 12:42:26 AM »
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That is the price per square inch for the total canvas trim size, meaning that it counts any border.  I normally print 2.5" borders for 1.5" deep stretchers, so that means a 16" x 20" gallery wrap is billed at 525 square inches (21" x 25").  At $.14, that is $73.50.  Stretching is extra.  For 16" x 20", stretching adds an additional $43.00, for a total cost of $116.50.
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jferrari
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2014, 07:41:49 AM »
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Just as a point of reference, I sell wholesale only. My price for a 16" x 20" ready-to-hang gallery wrapped print, 1.5" depth, with serial number plate and Tyvek dust cover is $35.60. My clients will pick up their orders at my studio or, if they so choose, crating/shipping is available for an extra charge.
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smjphoto
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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2014, 10:58:06 AM »
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Jferrari: wow, that's really economical by my references. Can I ask what kind of printer and canvas you use? Do you varnish the canvas w 2 or more coats?
I'm just trying to compare "apples to apples".
Thanks
Stuart
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jferrari
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2014, 03:56:40 PM »
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Jferrari: wow, that's really economical by my references. Can I ask what kind of printer and canvas you use? Do you varnish the canvas w 2 or more coats?
I'm just trying to compare "apples to apples".

Epson printers (pigment not dye) on poly/cotton blend canvas. Make my own strainer frames. No longer varnish the prints, too much hassle. I use a vacuum press applied, over-laminate film. I live smack dab in the middle of downtown nowhere and am charging what the local market will bear.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2014, 01:18:06 PM »
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You can also safely assume that many of the low price leaders are now on solvent printers.  This cuts a huge amount of the cost for them as they no longer have to coat, and can handle the prints immediately with no danger of rub off.  It's pretty hard to tell the difference now between a print on a solvent canvas with a glossy finish from a coated/matte or glossy canvas print.  The newest Epson's are very good machines and have come a long way.    This is of course a non-archival solution and no one yet really knows how long the solvent inks will last.  They make a print that can be placed indoors or outdoors, is very durable and appears color fast. 

Also, if the shop is printing on a glossy canvas without coating it, IMO you are just buying trouble in the long run.  Most glossy canvas I have tried has a much more fragile top coat and in the long run if you don't coat it then you will tend to see problems down the road. 

These same shops can also produce huge photo prints on traditional photo paper, that will not out gas and have sizes well beyond standard poster paper for around 25.00 a print. 

Shipping is also advantageous for them instead of you, since again they have a high volume, get a better UPS rate and can buy the shipping boxes in large numbers and store them. 

Also a lot of these same shops are no longer stretching with a staples, but instead using the instant wrap style bars.  These hold the canvas edge with glue and can produce a very nice finished piece, and you can knock one out in 1/4 of the time on sizes like 16 x 20, 18 x 24 and 20 x 30, which is the main sizes that people seem to want. 

The volume that these type of shops are printing to is simply too hard to compete with.    They are using cheap labor that once trained can produce the product in a way that the consumer is happy with.

The consumer perception of printing seems to be pretty much the same as their perception of photography, i.e. it's so easy to do, all you do it connect the camera to the printer and hit print. 

Paul Caldwell



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Paul Caldwell
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