Selling photos - is this doable?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Brian Huether, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. I don't like any of the options that require me to pay monthly fees or have
    sites take a percentage. I was wondering if this is possible: Do any of the
    major online print shops provide site developers a backend into their
    printing service? So imagine that a user goes to my site, and they select
    the image and print size they want. Then the order ties right into
    shutterfly's (or whoever) order processing system. Has the internet evolved
    to that point yet?

    Brian Huether, Apr 25, 2005
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  2. Brian Huether

    Roy Guest

    If you are trying to sell QUALITY prints, any system like that would make it
    look very unlike a QUALITY operation.

    What would happen if the order went through on a bad day, would you expect
    the PAYING customer to have to complain to the printer.

    That, of course, is over and above the problem of you having to promote your
    own website, and getting potential customers to find it. That would probably
    cost a lot more than the percentages charged by the good Agency sites. Art
    Dealers often charge 30 to 50 percent plus Tax on Sales. So why do artists
    still use them???

    Roy G
    Roy, Apr 26, 2005
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  3. Brian Huether

    ecm Guest

    I agree with Roy G.

    You're paying for the not-inconsiderable cost of "doing business" when
    you deal with the gallery sites. I would expect that Shutterfly, et al.
    will charge a similar fee for their services....

    As a small business owner (not in the art industry, thank
    goodness....), I can tell you that customer service, office staffing,
    Visa/Mastercard charges, bank fees, bad debts, and office
    rent/heat/lights/maintenance/coffee etc. etc. are not a small part of
    what you pay when you buy a product or service. You could try to keep
    your overhead down by doing a lot of it yourself, but you'll wear out
    pretty quick - it's a full time job, even if you're not selling much.
    Customers expect service at least 8 hours a day, 6 days a week; some
    are reasonable people, some are not.

    My advice? Consider trying a gallery service initially, to start to get
    your name out there. It'll give you a chance to learn while possibly
    making a bit of scratch to support "artistic development", and give you
    a chance to figure the industry out. Attend a few industry conferences
    and network a bit, maybe even work at an art gallery for a while
    yourself. Once you have developed some contacts and sources and know
    how things run, then strike out on your own. Maybe, if you're good at
    it, you'll be able to start your own gallery service for other

    Good Luck!
    ecm, Apr 26, 2005
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