Listing Prices on Your Website

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by dawssvt, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. dawssvt

    dawssvt TPF Noob!

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    I am going to be raising my prices significantly in the next couple weeks after talking to a few local wedding photographers, so I have a question about pricing.

    I have noticed that the majority of top photographers do not have prices listed on their website. They may have where their packages start, but never go into detail about prices for each package. A few of them have all their packages listed, but without prices.

    So, my question... Do you have your prices listed on your website or not? Why or why not? I would like to hear the advantages and disadvantages of each side. Here is a link to my website...

    Captured Moments - Photography by Dawson - Las Cruces, NM - Wedding Photographer

    If everyone could post a link to their website also, that would be great. I would like to get a feel for how everyone is presenting their packages.

    Thanks!
     
  2. burnws6

    burnws6 TPF Noob!

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    I don't because I do more commercial, fashion, and editorial. So my circumstances are going to vary a loooot.

    I could do two commercial shoots and have one range from 200 bucks, and the other 2000. Just depends on a lot of things. Lights, location, assistants, post processing, how they're going to market or publish the photo.

    As far as weddings go, I can see that being easier to keep within a price range, but I would still think they're plenty of room to change.

    IMO I wouldn't put prices. Your website is where you show off your work and say a little about yourself. That's it. When a client calls you or emails you, the relationship automatically becomes personal, and you're not seeing just a webpage you're getting a quote from the owner.

    I think that produces better results even to the point that some people might be pressured to not say it's too much. lol But then again, I've never had my prices, I can't really, on my website. So I can't make a comparative opinion. But in my mind, that's how I see it.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is a common question...and there doesn't seem to be a clear right or wrong way to do it.

    On one hand, you have to figure that some people who visit your site will look for the prices, and if they don't see any, they will just move on. I know that I do that a lot when I'm looking at web sites for something I'm looking to buy.

    But on the other hand, you ideally don't want the type of clients who choose you because of price. You want them to fall in love with your images, so that they are almost willing to pay anything to hire you.

    It can also come down to how you sell and how good you are at it. If you don't put your prices on your website, you are wanting prospective clients to call or E-mail you. Once you get the first contact, you can launch into your sales pitch/technique....and as many people will tell you, you probably don't want to talk about price right away. Many sales pros will actually deflect the conversation away from price, giving them time to sell the client on the product & services.

    Although, I know some rather successful photographers who went from not listing their prices...to listing them (or at least a 'starting from' number) just to help weed out the bargain shoppers. Because if you don't have any price listed, you run the risk of having every person who visits your site, calling or E-mailing to ask about it....and that can be a lot of people which wastes your time & theirs, if they are not in your price bracket.
     
  4. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    I put it all out there. My pricing is set, and I don't bargain. I don't want to deal with "tire kickers".

    I do however, know of photogs who are not established who will make deals in order to stay in business.

    Best however to just name your price and not deal. It makes you more valuable in the client's eyes. Just my 2 pennies.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think Mike makes a good point about at least showing a minimum price for your services. Whilst I fully understand the idea behind not showing prices and having them come to you for the product of your work alone (and though word of mouth as well) I think that its important to give people an idea as to just how much this wonder will cost them.
    In a practical world it might take you several years to get to the point where people come to you for your images alone since that kind of marketing idealy needs you to be well known in the "right circles" so that you can attract highpaying and highly selective clients.
    The rest of the human population of working photographers need to give some idea of the minium costs they are going to be charging otherwise as Mike said - many will simply move on to another website where they can ensure that they can afford at least the base cost before contacting. It's then your job to push the rest of the costs onto them in your pitch.
     
  6. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    Here is the real world deal.....A potential client only gives you a few seconds. They review your shots and then wonder if they can afford you. Then they go to your pricing info if you have it.

    If you don't post the pricing info, and your photos are great, they will instantly think they can't afford you, no matter what your pricing is.

    Secondly, they don't want to leave you all their personal info, because for all they know, you will spam them to hell and back. They just WONT fill out your form. Never in a million years.

    Ok, maybe once, but they will be on to the next photog pronto.
     
  7. dawssvt

    dawssvt TPF Noob!

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    Great comment - thanks! I think I'm going to have a start price for my packages and nothing more. Then I will be able to explain my price structure when I sit down and meet with the bride and groom.

    Yea, I'm going to list my starting prices, so they will have a ball park figure of what I charge. I actually had my first meeting today with my new pricing structure and I was trying to do the same thing in avoiding the pricing question until she looked through all of my work. That's always been my goal - for them to fall in love with my work. Thanks for your comment!

    Thanks for the comment. Have you tried not listing your prices? If so, did you get more meetings with the prices listed or not?

    Thanks for your comment. This seems to be the best idea, to list my starting price. I just changed my website to include just my starting price.

    I don't think it's a good idea to not have any price at all listed. I think you are right in saying they will just move on. Thanks for your imput!
     
  8. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    Yep, I've tried it both ways. I now teach seminars for PPA on WHY to list pricing. Of course this is all up to you.
     
  9. FinerWorks

    FinerWorks TPF Noob!

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    bennielou, I couldn't have worded it better myself. All I kept thinking as I read everyone's replies was how quickly people hop from one photography website to the next. In my experience, their are 3 general types of clients.

    The first: Money is no object (client is loaded and only wants the best)
    The second: Strictly by referral (you did their cousin's wedding or something)
    The third: Bargain Hunters (as cheap as they can find)

    So really, it's more common for your website to be visited by the first or third type. Unfortunately, the first type of client probably has the top professional photographers in her area in mind. The ones who EVERYONE talks about or has used for the past 30 plus years. So the likelihood of them surfing the web for a photographer is not as high as one would hope.

    The third type of client will primarily use search engines to find local photographers, and because they ARE price shopping, "insert bennielou comment here"

    So everyone is right. Unfortunately, not everyone's clients or situations are the same, so it's really something you have to analyze closely before making a decision.
     
  10. Chris Cummins

    Chris Cummins TPF Noob!

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    Mercedes Benz doesn't publish their prices, why should I?

    Price is something that needs to be shared with a lot of context for the client to properly value your work. Your website is not going to provide enough context.

    A $1,500 photographer who has been shooting for 2 years is more costly than a $2,000 photographer that has been shooting for 15 years. But a prospective client will regard your service as a commodity and try to compare apples and oranges most of the time if you publish your prices on your website.

    I had to learn that the hard way.
     
  11. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Our prices are now high middle to lower upper end for our area. We have no problems publishing rates on our website. We still get plenty of business. That being said, I'm not sure what kind of response we'd get if we fully moved into upper end pricing.
     
  12. dawssvt

    dawssvt TPF Noob!

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    So, do you teach that all of your prices should be listed on your site? Or just where they start? Can you expand on what you've learned. :D

    Can you expand more on this?
     

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