Print mark-up/profit

jowensphoto

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Just a quick question for those currently charging for their work:

I suppose it doesn't matter if you use a third party printer or print yourself, but how much do you mark up the price of prints? Is there a certain percentage you apply to the printers price/cost of printing @ home?
 

CCericola

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I assume you are talking about retail photography (portraits, weddings, etc...) General MSRP is usually around 40% profit margin. But you will have to calculate your CODB and if you are looking to make more profit off of prints or sitting fees. I find that only large chain stores can profit from low or no sitting fees and expensive prints because they can handle large volume.

For me I charge a fee that includes a print credit. After that, additional prints and products are, of course wanted, but I am not relying on them for my business to survive. Does that make sense? I think my business manager could explain it better then I can.
 
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jowensphoto

jowensphoto

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Yes, portraits and weddings are what I was referring to, sorry if I was a bit vague.

So, just to make sure I understand: Your base/sitting fee includes a credit for $x to be put toward prints? Then additional a la carte prints are $x/image or sheet?

I am FAAAAR away from charging for services, but it is definitely in my 3-5 year plan. At this point I am trying to make sense of the whole business side of things.

Thanks SO much for your detailed response.
 

Big Mike

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I do take the cost of prints (Cost of goods sold) into account, but there is a lot more than that to figure out the price to charge. For example, an 8x10 from my lab is less than $3...but I charge a lot more than that.
 

MReid

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8x10 and below I tell them to do their own.
For the larger prints I add 25% to my cost.
Prints are not a profit center for me. I only do them if requested.

The VAST majority of photos are never printed.
 
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jowensphoto

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I do take the cost of prints (Cost of goods sold) into account, but there is a lot more than that to figure out the price to charge. For example, an 8x10 from my lab is less than $3...but I charge a lot more than that.

I think you gave an answer that I forgot to ask for :)

I'll take a look at some businesses close to me and see what the going rate is.
 

Rephargotohp

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The problem for most people is that they don't know how to correctly figure COGS (Costs of good sold)
The standard is to mark up 3 X cost or 33% profit. So you have 33% of your cost to cover COGS, 33% cover CODB and 33% Profit.

But because people really don't know how to correctly figure COGS, they get it all wrong and they think $30 for an 8 x10 is surely too much andd ripping off thier client.

Afterall from your profesional lab a 8 x 10 runs $1.99 so x 3 = $6. right? wrong...very wrong

COGS includes the Price of materials, shipping, LABOR (your labor) Packaging (Those cute boxes and ribbons you buy) and when real cost analysis is done in large companies a few things that are part of CODB can be included into COGS. BUTt even if we don't get that fancy and complicated, the biggest mistake people make is not including labor into the COGS.

Now this is not your shooting time. That should be a separate fee. But if it is not and you only charge for prints then even that is included in COGS.

People think since they don't pay anybody to do the labor there is no cost but there is. and when you really figure the time spent, Sorting and culling images, Editing images, Ordering images etc. That time is much more than the actual shoot time. So you need to figure in an amount of time spent doing that and how much per ordered image(File/pose) that would be. Now as far as labor rate, you don't use what you want to make as a business owner because hopefully that would e a LOT. But you use what a standard labor rate may be to have someone do that job.

When you really figure this all out, you actually end up with about $2 for raw goods, $2 for shipping and packaging and $6 for labor for that 8 x 10 = $10 COGS

$10 x 3 = $30
and there ya go
 

MReid

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....or they can get it for $2.00 if they order it themselves...hard to justify.
....I know the arguments....just putting it out there.
 

Rephargotohp

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....or they can get it for $2.00 if they order it themselves...hard to justify.
....I know the arguments....just putting it out there.

I don't think you do, Soup Cost $1.50 is that what a fine restaurant charges?

You are not selling them printing services.

Even if you do then only charge themn cost... or you sell them a digital file for them to print themselves for that $2, You either charge a creation fee OR for those Digital Files COGS are still considered. Your COGS are not 50 cents for that DVD you burned.

Until people understandin what it is they are actually selling and the associated real costs, You have people shooting and images on disk for $50...and then...It's all over
 

MReid

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....then I guess it's all over.

Of course there are customers who appreciate quality and want to work with true professionals and will pay for it....but the middle seems to have dropped out of the market for the most part.
 

Rephargotohp

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I should add, there are MANY reason why the "Businesss"s in the state it is. But one of the biggest problems is people do not know how to price correctly and just pull numbers out of the air. There is a reason to everything in business and there are things you need to know in order to be profitable and people don't take the time to find out how to make these calculations and projections..and then it's $50 shoot and burns
 

MLeeK

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....or they can get it for $2.00 if they order it themselves...hard to justify.
....I know the arguments....just putting it out there.

And then your hard work is out there printed at a wal-mart Kiosk looking like a bag of sh1t compared to the beautiful image they would be getting from a professional lab. OH HELL NO! And believe me it's bad.

A couple of years back the average price of an 8x10 in the US was $25-and most photographers were losing money.

....then I guess it's all over.

Of course there are customers who appreciate quality and want to work with true professionals and will pay for it....but the middle seems to have dropped out of the market for the most part.

This is totally not true-it's a result you are seeing from lack of marketing and not creating the NEED. You aren't marketing to the right people and you aren't making them NEED your services. It is definitely there.
 

MReid

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Not talking about me...I work as much as I want to work.

If you think the industry is strong you have your head in the sand.
If your business is strong then good for you, but as I said for the most part the middle is dropping out, and the decline is accelerating.
 

KmH

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....or they can get it for $2.00 if they order it themselves...hard to justify.
....I know the arguments....just putting it out there.
What they buy for $2 is a piece of paper that has some ink on it. For $2 they have to provide the actual image that gets put on the paper with the ink.
 

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