Payments for print orders


TPF Noob!
Feb 20, 2013
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Hi photo folks! I have combed through the forum hoping to find a few opinions out there already posted for my question, maybe I just missed them but I didn't seem to find anything concrete.

I'm in the process of revamping some things, and I'm wondering how some of you go about charging clients for prints they purchase from you? I'm not a big fan of online galleries and ordering prints from my website, so that option will be turned off. So, do you hold the in-person viewing session (this is my preference for the clients to see the images), and require a retainer fee for the total cost of their order, then place the order and have them pay the remainder upon delivery? Do you have them pay a certain percentage of the total before even placing the order, then the remainder is due upon delivery? Or is there some other better method? I can't place the order with no prior payment from the client, as I'm sure most wouldn't, so I'd love some thoughts on how much some of you require down before the order is placed.

Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thank you so much! :)
I always have them pay in full before I order anything. However, I think a fair percentage would be one that would at least cover all the expenses for the photographic prints, shipping and taxes. You make no profit but at least you covered the expenses, therefore, you don't lose any hard earned money in case you have client problems.
For retail work and by contract, payment in full was required before the print order was placed.

In many instances I accepted installment payments on print orders, but the print order was not placed until payment was in full, per a contract rider.
The first installment payment had to cover the session fee and any minimum purchase requirement. The session and minimum purchase amount were not refundable and the customer was guaranteed the product(s) included in the minimum purchase amount.

Payment for commercial work is handled differently.

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