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Thread: Print Prices for Online Sales

  1. #1

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    Print Prices for Online Sales

    I am about to add a paypal option to my WWW site to allow people to buy prints. At least in the US, shipping will be flat rate ($10) and I am thinking about pricing black and white prints at 8.5x11 for $40 and 11x14 for $75. I am curious how about this compares with art fair pricing and other online pricing.

    Thanks,

    Ed

  2. #2

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    Re: Print Prices for Online Sales

    Ed, I can't tell you how it compares to art fair pricing, but that comparison is pointless anyway. You price your work based on what you need to earn from it and what it costs you to produce.

  3. #3

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    Re: Print Prices for Online Sales

    I think those prices are ridiculously low for original art. I have a lot of experience coordinating a very large (1000+ visual artists) art exhibition and even if you doubled those prices, you'd still be at the low end.

  4. #4

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    Re: Print Prices for Online Sales

    Ed, I recently had a fellow photographer question me about my print prices. The comparison they were making to my prices had nothing to do with how I price my work. I reminded them that I do not sell 'a print' per se, but work from my portfolio. Price your work for what you feel you are worth. If you sell a lot, raise your prices.

    Kind regards,
    Darr

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    Re: Print Prices for Online Sales

    I am assuming these are open edition prints and since you can sell unlimited quantities of each the pricing is not far off. I would probably raise the 11x14 to $95.

    I do about ten juried art fair shows a year in Florida. These are not easy times to sell your work. My advice would be to offer your open edition at aggressive prices and hold your ground on your limited edition work.

    www.timeandlight.com

  6. #6
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    Re: Print Prices for Online Sales

    Personally, I don't see why online prices should be any different (lower) than other venues. There are original Ansel Adams or Brett Weston prints that have been sold online.

  7. #7

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    Re: Print Prices for Online Sales

    You can charge what the guys who already have a good gallery deal going want you to believe they are worth, and not sell very many... Or you can make them affordable and somewhat frivolous, impulse purchases by selling them dirt cheap so that decent art gets into the hands of an average, poor Joe or even a fellow photographer.

    I wouldn't pay over $100 for any living photographer hawking a little inkjet or silver print. However there are a lot of interesting $50 to $100 photos if artist's made them available at a do-able price.

    You have to experiment, you don't want to get overwhelmed with a low margin item, but it seems like you have work that people might buy 10-20 prints of, and you could offer them as portfolios for a nice price.

  8. #8

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    Re: Print Prices for Online Sales

    I'm in an exhibit now where the photographs range from about 16x20 to maybe 20x50 (large panoramas). Each photographer set his or her own price. Most are digital in one form or another, only a couple darkroom prints. The prices range from a low of $150 to a high of about $1,000. Of course they're all matted and framed which obviously adds to the price. I mention this just to illustrate the range of prices charged for similar work by similar photographers (some known in this part of the world but most unknown).

    I think pricing is a matter of balancing your desire to sell as many prints as possible with the idea that you don't want to virtually give your work away. My own theory is to price on the high side - not outrageous, just on the high side of what I think is reasonable - just because I'm not going to make enough money from print sales to have any effect on my lifestyle no matter what I charge and I don't want to go to the trouble of packing and shipping for peanuts. But I'm not a professional or even an amateur who makes a big effort to sell his or her work. I enjoy photography too much to start photographing for sales rather than for my own pleausre.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  9. #9

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    Re: Print Prices for Online Sales

    QT,

    If the public were clamoring for my art, I would agree. But since I think pricing matters, with an online sale I get most of the proceeds, while with a gallery I would get 50% at best, and that would require a lot of up front cost in making and perhaps framing prints for inventory and display. With art fairs, I would have to spend time and gas, and putting a value on those would make sales even less remunerative than a gallery. So a print sold on the WWW is worth a lot more to me than a print sold for the same amount of money in other venues. If I get swamped, I can always raise the price a little. I do not buy into the "once low, always low" mentality - I can remember when even I could have afforded an AA print as a student. (I also remember a friend at college in the late 60s saying I should buy some Escher prints, they were cheap and they would be really valuable when he died.)

  10. #10

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    Re: Print Prices for Online Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Richards View Post
    QT,

    If the public were clamoring for my art, I would agree. But since I think pricing matters, with an online sale I get most of the proceeds, while with a gallery I would get 50% at best, and that would require a lot of up front cost in making and perhaps framing prints for inventory and display. With art fairs, I would have to spend time and gas, and putting a value on those would make sales even less remunerative than a gallery. So a print sold on the WWW is worth a lot more to me than a print sold for the same amount of money in other venues. If I get swamped, I can always raise the price a little. I do not buy into the "once low, always low" mentality - I can remember when even I could have afforded an AA print as a student. (I also remember a friend at college in the late 60s saying I should buy some Escher prints, they were cheap and they would be really valuable when he died.)
    Ed, I understand the points that you make.

    If you plan to sell your prints online, you have set the worth of your work at x-dollars. You can only expect to market it in a gallery for the same price. This is an ethical consideration. Also, the "once low, always low" concept works both ways. You can raise your prices, however you can not at a later date lower them, assuming that you are offering the same product; again, an ethical consideration.

    You have done some good work, best of luck with your venture.

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