Pricing & Options

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From eroctuse2/Brock (761) Send mail to this user on February 5, 2012 12:52:45 PM CST

I've recently started selling prints online and I've been told that I am underselling my work and underselling other photographers. I don't know what sort of pricing is standard. I didn't want to over price, but I didn't want to be "the cheap guy" that underpriced everyone else either. Any recommendations on what is fair?

Also, the site I'm using to sell seems to have a million options on sizing, finish, and even what sort of merchandise. A friend suggests the big photographers don't even offer small prints like 4X6 & 5X7. I felt like t-shirts would seem cheap and almost removed the ordering option, but they were some of the first things to sell. Is it possible to have too many options? Would it be better to limit options and clean things up?

I'm not posting this for shameless self promotion, but if you want to see the options and pricing for yourself, my site is

I would sincerely appreciate any advice.


P.S. I've been away from this site for a considerable time, so please forgive while I try to relearn writing html. :)

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From markj913/Mark (8,340) Send mail to this user on February 5, 2012 3:02:42 PM CST

I wouldn't worry about what anyone else says about your pricing. You should sell for what you think is a fair price that reflects the time and effort you put into your work. If nobody buys it, your prices are too high. If you selling as fast as you can produce you are setting your prices too low. The optimal point is somewhere in between; only you can figure out what that is, and it may (probably will) change over time. If you become well-known you will be able to sell at a higher price. If you are really good, but unknown, you will have to set a lower price to create demand, and make a name for yourself. Forget the other guy who complains that your pictures sell more than his do for a lower price; that's his problem.


From robertwallis/Robert (15,574) This user is a Premium Member This user is an Administrator Send mail to this user on February 5, 2012 3:21:59 PM CST

The flip side is that some are suspicious of low prices and won't buy. One trick artists on the festival circuit learn is that bumping prices up actually improves sales many times. Newbies tend to underprice their work and it works against them. Go figure ;-)


From markj913/Mark (8,340) Send mail to this user on February 5, 2012 5:12:22 PM CST

Yeah, I hadn't thought of that. Good point. Still, not worth worrying about someone else claiming he's undercutting them.


From eroctuse2/Brock (761) Send mail to this user on February 5, 2012 5:20:36 PM CST

Thank you both for responding. I've been doing more research since I posted this. Looking at other local photographer sites and pricing, and I believe I do have my prices set too low. While others in my area are charging $15 for a 4X6 mine are priced at 57 cents. Their 8X10s go for $60 while mine are priced at about $6. They bottom out at about $200 for a photo shoot and I had quoted $75 in the past.

I still won't go that high, but I've wondered if people thought they must be garbage if they're so inexpensive. Through my searching I found quite a bit of harsh criticism regarding people that charge too little. Some changes are in order.

Neither of you mentioned the idea of limiting options, just to clean up the ordering process. Do you sell and do you offer seemingly silly things like sticker and t-shirts or prints in 4 different finishes?

Thanks again.


From marshall/Marshall (12,608) Send mail to this user on February 5, 2012 5:51:52 PM CST

Your prices are unintentionally saying that the value of your pictures is basically the same as someone else getting a print made. You need to price your pictures as if the photo - as if *your* effort, inspiration, and talent - has the value, not the mechanical process of putting on paper.


From eroctuse2/Brock (761) Send mail to this user on February 5, 2012 8:45:30 PM CST

Alright, I've just finished updating my pricing. I'm still below other local photographers, but I'm also closer to their pricing. I'm new to this and don't feel I deserve to ask for the same amounts yet, so I think this is a good place to start. A good compromise.

Thank you all for convincing me to put a little value to my work and giving me things to think about.


From 800lbjackalope/Aaron (1,830) Send mail to this user on February 28, 2012 6:57:05 AM CST

Have you been selling any photos?


From tab62/Thomas (4,266) Send mail to this user on March 1, 2012 9:51:45 AM CST

Good question! The key is what the buyers are willing to pay. Remember there are a lot of avenues to purchase photos these days like RF or RM with tons of established companies out there. If you want higher prices per photo that RM is the way to go but you will have fewer sales that in the RF companies like Shutterstock or iStock. T


From ndelacova/Nicolas (1,753) Send mail to this user on April 7, 2012 8:13:36 AM CDT

If you had been selling so cheap, where was the profit? I know they (Smugmug)take the price of the actural print out and then they take 15% as well. That did not leave you witha high enough profit. Your pictures are very good but what drives customers to your site? How do you market and to who. I also use Smugmug but I cover events (mainly school and parties). My parties sale is already covered before I sell the first photo. My school events are essentially there to market myself as a photographer. If I sell a print, thats great but the main purpose is to market myself for paid events. Also, they give you an option of two labs. Hopefully, you chose the better one of the two. The bottom line is that you want to be known as a great photographer and not as a cheap photographer. I have seen the prints from bay Photo and I am quite pleased. Hope this helps. Nicolas


From savad/Mike (68,206) This user is a Premium Member Send mail to this user on April 12, 2012 8:20:19 AM CDT

to be honest i don't know what the right price is. the idea behind underselling is, your teaching the public that photos are cheap and aren't art - because art is expensive. my store is at i get a piece of the profit of whatever is marked up there. people will often perceive quality based on a high price. on the fine art i'm on, collectors don't mind spending big bucks on things because it's not their money. don't be afraid to charge more, because then you can run a sale or coupons and still be ahead. ---Mike Savad


From steveheap/Steven (403) This user is a Premium Member Send mail to this user on April 15, 2012 1:56:00 PM CDT

I just checked your pricing today and saw the 10x8 at about $20 I think. I believe you should double that to really make it worthwhile. However, the chances of selling on Smugmug is not very high, to say the least, and if someone really likes your image, they will pay whatever you ask. You are unlikely to get a casual buyer look at one of your flowers and decide to buy it. Not only do they have to find it somehow, but they also need to be convinced that they should pay for a print. I've been on Smugmug for a couple of years Backyard Image and in that time I have sold exactly one image. Someone found one of my pictures of the moon rising over Washington DC through a convoluted route via a stock agency I am with and asked for a square format print. I think I charged $80 or so. You may do better to license your images via stock agencies - a small amount of cash per download, but much more chance of them being found. Steve


From rodneytillson/Rodney (0) Send mail to this user on April 26, 2012 5:02:30 AM CDT

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