Proofing Carts

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Pea-Pod, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Pea-Pod

    Pea-Pod TPF Noob!

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    I know there are all kinds of proofing carts out there. Some where the company will host your images. Some where you pay 200$ + for the program etc. I have seen all kinds Picpic, Photocart from picturespro, REd Cart, smug mug, etc etc.

    What I am wondering is what everyone uses, And if anyone has any suggestions. I found Imagequix which looks like it would work out for what I need it to, As I do everything on the side and dont use it often, I cant see paying 200+ a year or monthly fees. Some months I dont even have any customers. I do want to atleast look profesional in my proofing cart. but am not finding to many options that dont cost alot. Imagequix is a pay as you go. But some of the options they have dont meet my needs. Granted going for the cheaper end I know this will be a problem and am sure I can work around it. but figured I could still ask for any recommendations. I am fairly computer savvy and have built my own site already and can deal with scripting so thats not a problem.

    Im ok with just taking a percentage off the sales.
    Why I really want is the ability to upload product images, IE: greeting Cards, Senior Templates etc.

    any suggestions?:confused:
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I use Photocart and have been quite impressed by it. It wasn't all that cheap to purchase, but it was a one time cost.
     
  3. newimage

    newimage TPF Noob!

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    If you want to look professional then don't offer online shopping carts at all. Do either projector or get a 42-50" Flat screen .. slideshow your clients. If your dealing with parents with children of any age or brides then use an appropriate soundtrack that gets them over emotional (harder they cry the more they spend) .. far as business goes this step is more important than the images themselves. Make sure you have samples laid out in front of them .. people are far more likely to buy what they can see and touch. This will lead to more wall print sales and a higher volume of more expensive package sales.
    If you don't have a studio to do this in .. offer it as a special service where you will travel to their own home for the sales appointments at no extra charge.
    Average sales will double-triple compared to using an online cart.
     
  4. Pea-Pod

    Pea-Pod TPF Noob!

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    Found one that seems to be alot of what I was looking for. Figured Id Share.
    Instaproofs.com has great options for customizing, No monthly fees no 1 time large fee. Just a sliding scale percentage commission on sales. You can add your own products, theres no charges for uploading files.

    negatives?
    They ONLY handle CC or Debit card payments.
    Havent found much else yet. LOL but I am still working on getting everything set up on mine.
     
  5. TundraFlyer

    TundraFlyer TPF Noob!

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    Most of the above is good advice. Except for the "don't offer online shopping carts at all". The reason I say this is the "Y" generation would prefer to deal on-line, where as the older generation would prefer, as you posted, a more personal touch. Of course, this is just my humble opinion (and my first post) so you can take this with a grain of salt.

    I went to a seminar recently on how to sell to the "Y" generation. They are very "show me now" and don't want to wait to see things. They are not as comfortable with one-on-one situations with salespeople as they have had the internet since birth. (I remember my first son - 17 now - sitting on my lap when he couldn't even walk yet. First thing he did was grab the mouse, look at the screen and started moving and clicking the mouse.)

    - Jeff
     
  6. newimage

    newimage TPF Noob!

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    I find the younger generation to actually be becoming more mature in terms of dealing with things like this. I think one of the main things that would make a difference in that seminars flow is if you were talking about upscale studios or home & boring retail styled studios. Making an appointment for a viewing in an upscale studio taps into the prestige ego. Our clients tend to make a bigger deal out of their sales viewing with a type of bragging attitude .. they post on their FB's that they are headed for a private viewing at the studio so not to call them .. rather than just turning off their phone .. then when somebody does call them they answer it just to tell them they can't talk because "I'm in the middle of a private viewing at my photographers studio." .. They dont say yeah I'm picking out pics to buy. They make it sound superior and elegant.
    Now if the studio looked blah .. plain office carpet instead of a rich hardwood floor .. cheap furniture .. maybe they just sit down in a chair in front of a desk to pick out pics .. like if you were sitting at a bank setting up a checking account .. a boring cheap atmosphere .. then yeah I can see them definitely think "Why couldn't I just do this online in my underwear?"
    If you feel the client is uncomfortable viewing in the studio then it is because you are making them feel uncomfortable .. a photographer needs to step it up a notch .. designer couches, big screens, pleasant aromas, an atmosphere of elegant richness.

    I also live in a major city too so that might have some to do with it. Y Gen here is use to experiencing a richer mature lifestyle on a regular basis .. 16 yr olds sitting at starbucks in the plaza doing homework on their laptops, shopping on their own at Abercrombie & Fitch, etc.
     
  7. ShootProof

    ShootProof TPF Noob!

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    For photo proofing, it's true that some people will be moved to purchase more photos when you set up a sales appointment; however, to reach a broader market than just the client who hired you, online photo proofing can really be a great option. Think about the family members who may purchase kids portraits for themselves, the guest from a wedding who may want a shot or two, etc. You're not going to have a sales appointment with all of these potential buyers, so you should have the option for them to view and purchase photos online.

    There are lots of online photo proofing services out there, you just have to find the correct one for your needs. Things to consider are the cost - upfront vs. monthly subscription cost, whether they keep a percentage of your sales (some services try to charge more than one of these types of fees, be wary of being overcharged and take the time to do the math, it can be quite significant for your business), if you get to choose the print lab that you're most comfortable with, if the client side of the photo galleries are easy to use, etc.
     

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