Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Selling prints online

  1. #1
    Marco Annaratone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Berlin
    Posts
    207

    Selling prints online

    My apologies if this topic has been already dealt with to death. I searched around and could not find what I was looking for, so I am starting this post.
    My constraints are as follows:

    1. I will do the fulfillment myself. That is, I do not care if the solution offers also printing services.

    2. I want a service/site only for selling commercial, unlimited quantity photos - my fine-art, limited copy activities are on a separate site that is thought for gallerists, collectors, curators etc.

    3. I will not sell digital photos (read: no download by clients) but only physical prints.

    4. It should allow me to post a few videos as well.

    5. I am happy to pay some yearly fee for a customizable solution that does not make me invest too much IT time.

    I have done all my due diligence already, so what I am interested in is real life experience from someone who is using some of these services. To avoid misunderstanding, I am talking about companies like Photoshelter, Zenfolio, SmugMug, etc.

    THANKS!!!!!!!!

    Cheers
    Marco

  2. #2

    Re: Selling prints online

    This has been covered, but let me put in my .02. If all you needed was an online store, we'd all be too busy counting our money to post here. These services will do a good job of killing sales for you. They are places to browse and move on, not places to buy. There is no call to action. Anyone can come there and look all they want, any time. I am sure this is not what you want to hear, but one of these sites will be a total waste of your time and money.

    I have made a living selling photography for 39 years. First, you will have to be an excellent marketer. Second, you will need to do personal selling one to one. Expecting someone to find you online, fall in love with your work and immediately pull out the credit card comes under the heading of too good to be true. Spend your time learning marketing and sales. Then you will be far ahead of the zillion photographers who do not.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    14,747

    Re: Selling prints online

    There's only about 10,000 wannabee photographers trying this already, and I doubt even 1% of them are making a dime. In this day and age people go to the web,
    browse images, and are done with it. What do they need prints for? You need some intervening method of marketing that identifies you are having something different worth actually ordering, and not just looking at via a browse. As at is, a photographic website is nothing but the modern version of a business card unless people have somehow already seen your actual prints and like desire them.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    73

    Re: Selling prints online

    I don't see how your #1 and #3 are compatible with a "commercial, unlimited quantity" environment. How is your intended market different from what every stock agency caters to, and what are you offering that would make a buyer choose you over Getty/Alamy/etc.?

  5. #5
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    14,747

    Re: Selling prints online

    Heck, even National Geographic spits out print-on-demand inkjets of their magazine pictures and massive stock base for next to nothing. Somebody that just wants something decorative on their walls might even pirate a web image and desktop print it. They aren't fussy types to begin with. I realize that this is an interesting dilemma for numerous photographers - but that is the gist of the issues - photographers offering web images are way too numerous already. At a certain point, people just go "ho hum" and web advertising becomes counterproductive. What makes your images stand out over millions of others? If they are indeed superior, that is not something likely to be conveyed digitally on a screen. It kinds like a restaurant trying to hold down the fort with fine walk-in cuisine, yet at the same time sell fast food out the back door using a Roach Coach : two different business plans that are hard to juggle compatibly.

  6. #6
    Marco Annaratone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Berlin
    Posts
    207

    Re: Selling prints online

    Thank you for your comments.

    Back to the reason of my post: "I am interested in real life experience from someone who is using some of these services."

    Does anybody have some experience with one of these services?

    Cheers
    Marco

  7. #7

    Re: Selling prints online

    Hi Marco. Go ahead and try it and report back. Just trying to help you out here.

  8. #8
    Nana Dadzie Ghansah ndg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    522

    Re: Selling prints online

    Hi Marco, on another note, your images of Berlin Entry ways is awesome! Took me right back to when I lived in Berlin. Great job! What lens did you use for the capture?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    145

    Re: Selling prints online

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco Annaratone View Post
    Thank you for your comments.

    Back to the reason of my post: "I am interested in real life experience from someone who is using some of these services."

    Does anybody have some experience with one of these services?

    Cheers

    When I first began in photography 6 yrs ago, I shot local HS & some college sports. I did some freelance work for a couple media publications, but also sold prints of the games/ players I photographed. I passed out business cards after the games directing them to my site.

    I used Photobiz.com along with their e-commerce site. It allowed for credit card transactions (at that time, needed to sign up with a merchant card company). Transactions went smoothly & I received an email when each order came in. I fulfilled the orders myself & printed thru Millers (mpix.com) who drop shipped the prints directly to the customer via USPS Piority.
    that grew each month over 6 months of doing it, but I hated culling & editing the 400-ish images per game.

    Selling very specific images (sports photos) to a particular buyer is one thing, selling art online is completely different. I now only do art & do not try to sell online personally. It needs to be done in person. The buyer is much more inclined to buy from an artist they have had face to face interaction with , who they like & want to support what that artist is doing.

    With that said, I do license certain images with a company who sells canvas gallery wraps nation wide thru Walmart, Kmart, Sears & other such stores.

  10. #10
    Light Guru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    625

    Re: Selling prints online

    Square space is a good option for building your website and they have what you need to do the payment transactions.

    The big question is how to you plan on getting people to you website? Without that nobody will be buying anything from you.
    Zak Baker
    zakbaker.photo

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
    Ansel Adams

Similar Threads

  1. Selling own prints on own site
    By pbryld in forum Business
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 11-Jul-2012, 22:38
  2. Selling prints online - Ebay
    By Ed Richards in forum Business
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 27-Oct-2006, 22:07
  3. Selling Your Work Online
    By jonathan smith in forum Business
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 26-Apr-2005, 08:17

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •