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Selling photos - is this doable?

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Anonymous
April 25, 2005 10:07:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

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?

thanks,
brian

More about : selling photos doable

April 25, 2005 10:07:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Roy wrote:
> "Brian Huether" <bhuetherNO@comcastSPAM.net> wrote in message
> news:f-KdnSN64fWY9_DfRVn-iw@comcast.com...
> >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?
> >
> > thanks,
> > brian
> 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

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
photographers.....

Good Luck!
ECM
April 26, 2005 4:21:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Brian Huether" <bhuetherNO@comcastSPAM.net> wrote in message
news:f-KdnSN64fWY9_DfRVn-iw@comcast.com...
>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?
>
> thanks,
> brian
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
!