Do Your Customers Prefer Price Or Quality?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by LarissaPhotography, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. bellacat

    bellacat TPF Noob!

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    well said and I totally agree. I have found that even though I am not getting a ton of customers at this point I am getting as much as I can handle and the huge bonus is that they chose me because they liked my work more than my price. I am in the process of trying to step things up by offering more "special items" for my business like Keep Sake Photo Boxes, custom laser etched photo items, photo packages and gifts with every session (photo key chain at the moment) I want to step it up and be able to do more for my clients than i did last year which mean meeting with them to review the proofs in person while also showing them samples of the products they can purchase. I am an impulse buyer so I am hoping my clients will be too and buy something because they think its cool when we sit down together to place their order.

    I did start of inexpensive though so that i could build my portfolio but just worked my way up. Now if there is something special I wanna try then I have a casting call which seems to work out pretty good :)


     
  2. bellacat

    bellacat TPF Noob!

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    I couldn't agree more. In a very small circle I am in there are two other photographers. I have raised my prices so that I am just a step above which has turned out to be a great move. I find that those who come to me are strictly for my work and not my price which is an awesome feeling IMHO
     
  3. Lynnzora

    Lynnzora TPF Noob!

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    I was reading this and it can be tough sometimes... I don't agree with the fact that keeping the prices up will completely weed out people only looking for a bargain... looking to get something for nothing.

    For example one of the reasons I decided to start my photography business is after dealing with a local photographer. I'm also an actress, dancer, and have done some modeling work. I was in college, didn't have a whole lot of money and desperately looking to get my headshots and modeling portfolio together. A guy who went to the same college as me did photography in his spare time and was phenominal at it! I got my first portfolio from him. He gave me a discount because I really needed it. In return I recommended him to EVERYONE I knew. My sorority sisters in turn got pictures taken by him, fellow dancers and actors, etc... So he may have given me a discount but I appreciated his talent enough to at least give referrals.

    I guess what I'm saying is (photographers) don't automatically think of someone looking for a discount as being up to no good and just wanting to take advantage of you. Depending on the person you're doing the favor for, you can really be doing yourself a favor in the process. I got him tons of referrals. By keeping prices high you may weed out the people who can't afford pricey packages... But you may also weed the people who could really put your name out there. I guess for larger photography businesses who don't need the publicity... this doesn't apply to you. However, it does feel good to do something like that for someone every now and then. Or even just creating a cheaper package...

    Anyway, with this photographer one thing led to another and now he mostly does celebrity photography and wouldn't think of doing a photo shoot for less than $2000... lol hummm... Oh well, times change.
     
  4. Lynnzora

    Lynnzora TPF Noob!

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    But by All means, I do believe that it's important not sale yourself short... Charge whatever you feel your services a worth. However, I also say that there are times and circumstances when I think it's cool to bring them down a little.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    I think you are looking at it backwards. Sure, 'bargain hunting' clients can be great...and even lead to a lot of work and be a great thing for you....as pointed out in your example.

    But it's also likely that with bargain prices, you will attract the type of people who are not good clients....probably a lot more likely than if you had much higher prices.

    Of course, high prices won't completely weed out bad customers...but there is a big difference between having one or two bad customers a year and having to deal with a bad one every other week.

    I agree with that :thumbsup:
     
  6. CrimsonFoxPhotography

    CrimsonFoxPhotography TPF Noob!

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    The key word there is that there are "circumstances" where dropping is okay, but one should be very careful. One other person on here pointed out quite clearly that some of the very people that negotiate to get that price down somehow then have this false mentatility that you'll still give them the moon. I think part of this is because [with some of these people, not all] in the back of their mind they still think that lower negotiated price is expensive, so they show up with a rather "why aren't you exceeding my expectations" attitude with any little hiccup that might occur. Bottom line is that you simply have to read people well enough to understand that they are clear on what to expect for the money, I think.

    The other potential backfire is that while word of mouth about how good you are might spread, some of those referrals may take offense to the fact that you're charging them regular price compared to the other person...especially if you had dropped the price significantly.

    I say if you charge less, offer less..under no circumstances should you ever drop to the point where you lose money unless you turn it into a marketing opportunity, and even then, you should always have a minimum price in mind. For instance, even if I'm making money by charging $300 for a big wedding, what kind of message does that send down the grapevine about your brand?
     
  7. Lynnzora

    Lynnzora TPF Noob!

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    You are both absolutely right. You don't want to sell yourself short and DEFINITELY don't want to loose money. I'm just talking about those few instances where you run into someone motivated, humble, and sincere. I don't think anyone in their right mind would expect a $300 wedding lol... Hummm maybe creating that one affordable package that doesn't take too much time and energy for the photographer to execute but in turn it also enables the "average joe" to obtain something quality and nice... Affordable package? Maybe something like 30 minutes, 1 look... includes 1 8X10 and 2 5X7s... This way you're not loosing much time or resources in doing that person a favor. If people know what to expect up front they can't act crazy when you don't go above and beyond... In fact we reserve the right deny services to anyone we want right.
     
  8. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Walmart prices are always something like $9.97, or $ 197.47

    Applebees, TGI fridays, other chains, price; $12.99, $8.99 etc "pick 2" deals and "limited time specials"

    Fine dining establishments do not use the "$" symbol or decimal points in their prices, just whole dollar amounts; 15, 18, 24 etc

    Now consider the type of customer that patronizes each establishment, and think about what their priorities are when selecting a product.
    The same goes for photography.
     
  9. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    That's good insight on pricing strategy. Show pennies if you're marketing to penny pinchers. Thanks for sharing that.
     

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