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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> people from shoots wanting Christmas cards - help!
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12/06/2010 05:03:53 PM · #1
Ok, I've done a couple of shoots this year, and now people want Christmas cards.

They are also asking me to send them the file so they can have them made.

HELP!

Do you just charge them for the file and let them have it? Do you print the cards and mark them up? When Walmart does them for .28 cents apiece and whcc does them for .48 -- printing them at whcc and marking them up seems to make them ridiculously expensive for a normal family.

How do you handle this? If I'm normally charging $5.00 for a 4x6 -- they're obviously not going to order 75 pictures to include in their Christmas cards. But I don't blame them for wanting to send them out. I'd like to have it affordable for them, but I'd also like to make some off of it, as well.

Suggestions?

Help? Please?
12/06/2010 08:29:37 PM · #2
I offer both options. They can buy the digital file if they want to make their own cards/prints or they can purchase cards through me. Yes, to print them through WHCC and then sell them for a profit, they are more expensive than Walmart. They're also nicer and more custom.

You can also do something like tinyprints.com which allows photographers to upload a file for clients to use on cards but doesn't give the clients access to the actual file. You could do that and sell the file for a bit less then, since it'll be limited printing.
12/06/2010 09:21:44 PM · #3
thanks for the info -- I never heard of tinyprints.

How do you determine the price for the digital file? They may only want it for Christmas cards, but then they have no reason to buy again.
12/06/2010 10:52:07 PM · #4
Originally posted by vawendy:

They may only want it for Christmas cards, but then they have no reason to buy again.


Exactly. :) You have to decide what the price point is where you feel okay about the fact that they won't be purchasing any other prints from you. Unfortunately, there's no real equation for determining this the way there is for profit markup, etc. Personally, I don't want to go through an entire session and have them buy a single digital file and be done with it, so I have a minimum purchase of prints/products before single digital files are available for sale. At that point, they are $125/ea, but my prints 8x10 and smaller are $40 so you might feel more comfortable with a lower price.

One of the benefits to doing the cards yourself is that your logo goes on the back. Advertising!
12/06/2010 11:03:36 PM · #5
When this happens to me, I put the photo up on SmugMug, price the digital download at $50 and the cards are market prices and then they can choose for themselves. Mostly, folks buy the digital download.
12/07/2010 10:45:43 AM · #6
i have a lab charge built into my pricing that covers my costs for everything but the print. sometimes, that lab charge is part of shooting fee, sometimes it is part of the print purchase - it just depends on who and what i'm shooting.

here are some insights into basic print pricing that you might find useful.

like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' mk, i offer digital files, typically priced somewhere between generating sales i might otherwise not get and being compensated for giving someone a file that i will have little control over what they do with it.

it is EXTREMELY challenging, educating people as to what they're paying for and why need to pay it. this is where anyone who wants to sell anything gets hurt by people that give stuff away. when people can get decent stuff for free, they have no appreciation as to what's involved in having the imagery exists in the first place...no appreciation for the costs of the equipment (or studio!), the time it takes to master it, the time takes to manage photographic archives, the time it takes to process and deliver anything. all they know is that you click the shutter and the prints costs 18 cents...why pay for anything else? it's only when you really start looking at all the costs and you start valuing your time do you realize you just can't give it away. here's some more thoughts on giving it away vs charging for it.

Message edited by author 2010-12-07 11:26:03.
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