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Author Topic: Pricing Canvas Prints  (Read 5175 times)
louoates
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2014, 01:36:46 PM »
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Paul, great summary of current canvas print technology. The era of selling large canvasses at a profit for most photographers has been over for some time.
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Colorwave
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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2014, 01:48:02 PM »
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Yes, Paul, it's almost impossible to successfully compete against the volume players using solvent printers on their own terms, and I certainly wouldn't want to try.  I have a local branch of a chain of framing shops recommend me to customers that want quality and longevity, even though they sell their own custom stretched canvas gallery wraps made in house.  Their prints are equal in quality and price to those made for Costco, so we each occupy different niches of the food chain.  Just as I wouldn't want to have a low priced hot dog stand next to Costco, I see competing with their print offerings in the same way.
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bill t.
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2014, 06:36:15 PM »
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I distinguish my canvases by supplying them at very large scale framed in impressive, 3 to 5 inch wide frames that would make Peter Lik envious.  Sofa-sized through boardroom-size, that's where the action is.

I have a shop system that makes those easy to produce, the cost to me is not dramatically more than a set of stretcher bars.  The canvases are mounted, which is also a very efficient operation.  For not much more time and effort, for a given price calculation I get a price point not too far above wraps, with much higher perceived value.

Large scale framing is a tough nut to crack and gives you a significant competitive edge.  Customers almost universally place a very high value on large scale framing (say 30 x 60 on up) and do not classify it in the "we can get that for zip down at Costco" category.  It's still something special much like large wraps were 5 years ago.  And the notion that professional framing is wildly expensive lives on, I milk it for all it's worth.
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2014, 01:33:59 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 thisWink



She had the same art teacher I had.
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2014, 01:40:09 PM »
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This reminds me of the old joke about two guys talking about their widget businesses.  One asks the other how he can make a profit when it costs him $5 a widget but sells it for $4.

Well says the second guy, I make it up in volume.
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markdauber
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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2014, 08:14:15 AM »
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Bill,
could you further discuss the "shop system" and that the canvas is "mounted"?  Mounted as opposed to stretched?
Thanks
Mark
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PeterAit
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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2014, 09:29:19 AM »
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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.

It's depressing. We photographers tend to have an inflated opinion of our own work, but still! My favorite (or least favorite) is when a woman expressed interest in one of my prints at a show "because it matched her decor." 
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Peter
"Photographic technique is a means to an end, never the end itself."
View my photos at http://www.peteraitken.com
bill t.
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« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2014, 12:05:41 PM »
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Ah, but one mountain is NOT as good as another when we're talking about a LOCAL mountain versus some generic, far off mountain.

Images of local scenes sell like hotcakes, in the local area.  Almost all my photographs are of the local landscape, and I have easily sold many 1,000's in my relatively small city to people who are thrilled to see their familiar environs glorified to sofa sized pieces in their homes and offices and institutions.   "The Apotheosis of Where You Live" should be the title of all your pieces.  So to all you nearby competitors: go out and shoot arches and the slot canyons, please!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 12:12:56 PM by bill t. » Logged
Justan
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« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2014, 12:56:47 PM »
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Quote
It's depressing. We photographers tend to have an inflated opinion of our own work, but still! My favorite (or least favorite) is when a woman expressed interest in one of my prints at a show "because it matched her decor."

The image has to match the perceived needs of the buyer. Their needs are all that matters. It is often an impossible task.

Quote
Ah, but one mountain is NOT as good as another when we're talking about a LOCAL mountain versus some generic, far off mountain.

At my last show one prospective customer was interested in what I have of Mt. Rainier, our local icon. I have several, all of which are captured close to the mountain from 3/4ths the way around. This particular customer would have none of it. It was not just the mountain, not just the time of day, not just the time of year, but the particular angle they wanted to match. You see, they have a house about 100 miles north of the mountain, and they want something wall size that is like the roughly 1” bump on the horizon they see when looking out their door. I have a good seller that is slightly N/NE and they want one that is just slightly N/NW. Uh huh.

A long time art shlepper told me that when a customer wants a way out, they will always contrive it, even when it doesn’t exist. Such are the needs of buyers.
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bill t.
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« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2014, 02:17:53 PM »
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could you further discuss the "shop system" and that the canvas is "mounted"?  Mounted as opposed to stretched?

The LuLa hard discs are positively clogged with posts about mounting canvas.  Enter "miracle muck" into the "Search..." box at upper right and step back quickly.  The best posts are of course mine, but there are admittedly others on this forum with interesting takes on the process.

As far as my so-called "shop system" goes, it is simply a matter or minimizing procedural steps and distances between boxes of moulding, the Phaedra miter saw, and the table where I join frames together, and also of having adequate shop table space.   I'm 1 for 2 on that.  Remove as many unnecessary steps and as much wasted motion as possible, and you have a system.  Sometimes a simple modification to things like where you keep you hand tools and how many times you have to turn around can save an hour a day.  One of the biggest time and fatigue saving revolutions for me was simply never having to do a 180 degree turn while holding a stick of moulding.

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