Selling prints at a local buisness

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by Epiphany, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Epiphany

    Epiphany TPF Noob!

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    So, I have a couple photos that I would like to display and sell at a newly opened coffee shop in town.

    I was thinking of having some canvases printed and asking if I could display/sell them at the coffee shop. I feel the right way to approach this would be to give the coffee shop some kind of commission if and when the prints are sold. What is an appropriate commission rate?

    I was thinking of just leaving my business cards. If people would like to purchase a print they could contact me directly. Then the coffee shop wouldn't have to worry about the money exchange and selling portion of it. Or is it better to have them available for immediate purchase? Less hassle for the customer, more likely to sell.

    Pricing the prints- What to charge? Obviously the price would include the printing price and commission rate but what is a starting price for the image it's self? Does $100 seem right to start and build off of? That would be for the time I took to capture the image and edit it. What kind of profit margin do you build in? Add another $100?

    Struggling because I want to keep my pricing reasonable.

    Thanks!


     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would say print up some copies and then contact the shop owner and arrange a date to come down and show them. You want to be able to show them the product in person so that they can get a feel for how big and what quality it is - since they will have to hang it and display it.

    A commission for them would be expected, what % you can haggle out with them, though in general most would expect to profit from your sale; though unless they are lucky enough to have a lot of photographers/artists wanting to display, I would not expect them to charge a display fee or rental agreement (in general you are decorating their premises for free with the offer of a commission sale that benefits both you and them).

    By all means leave your card, but honestly you want a price on the photo and if someone buys it then it goes off the wall and home in their car. Don't risk delaying the sale by letting them go home and "think about it" (most people will forget about it). You're basically relying totally on an impulse purchase so you want it as stress free, simple and fast as possible. So yes I'd expect the store to handle the transaction and then either sell the one right off the wall or have a second copy behind the desk to be handed over.
    If you get talked into the customer having to contact you in their own time I honestly feel you won't make many sales; they'll head home and the card will more likely be forgotten about. Also in the shops view it would also mean that they might not get their commission since they'd have no proof of an actual sale. So keep it simple, you'll know if the shop has sold it (the photo vanishes from the wall) so you can't be cheated out of your part of the sale.
     
  3. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What I'm familiar with in my area is that a coffee shop will have wall space available for local artists to display. That provides the coffee shop with art for their walls in exchange for an artist being able to show their work.

    The coffee shop would need to see and accept/approve the artwork (or not, and decline). Some have artists email photos first. What I've seen is the shop may sell some 8x10 matted prints that are available where they sell coffee, pastries, etc. (near the counter/cash register). Other than that, the artist's card/info. is displayed with the artwork and the sales are up to the artist to handle.

    I don't know if a coffee shop would accept the work on consignment where the artist gets a percentage and the shop gets a percentage for handling the sales. That usually is done in galleries or with displays at art centers, etc. where that's their primary purpose (being an art center/gallery) and they have staff to run the gallery or center, etc.

    Get on American Society of Media Photographers - Homepage or PPA and learn about pricing. You're not just charging for the paper, ink, and amount of time it took to take one photograph. You're charging for your talent, the time you spent learning and practicing and becoming a good photographer, the time you spent (or should be spending) on learning business aspects of it. I think that's why it's challenging to price for creative work.
     
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  4. Scoody

    Scoody No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I had some prints hanging inside a local bank. One of them was of an old abandoned church. I had taken the photo at night using a long exposure and light painting techniques. I get a call from the bank that they had sold it. My wife had made a mistake and had written down $3000 on the price card instead of $300. I did not know this had happened until I went and collected my money from the bank minus their share. I wondered why they had not noticed the disparity in the prices between this print and the others which were priced at $250-$500.

    When I learned who had bought it, I understood. They had not even looked at the other photos. The head of an investment group who was buying the church and surrounding property was who had purchased it. An office building is being built on the property and the church itself is being remodeled. My print is going to hang in one of the lobbies. The man who bought my print has already contacted me about purchasing more of my images when the building is finished and the church fully remodeled. Seeing how much they were willing to pay for the last one this should be pretty lucrative.
     
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  5. espresso2x

    espresso2x No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Appropriate commission rate depends on the amount of footfall, and the perceived spending power of that footfall. And whether the coffeeshop has to act as point of sale or just a viewing space. A print sale could be an impulse purchase of a print or two, or it could be a larger purchase as a result of viewing your prints, communicating with you afterwards. Pricing is your costs plus whatever you feel the pictures can be sold for. 'Reasonable' price is subjective. Can the imagery be easily replicated? I've seen small, b&w prints made in Cuba in the late 1950s sell for a couple of thousand, poster size prints of a vase of flowers offered for 20.
     
  6. espresso2x

    espresso2x No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To add: I think for something artistic or exotic, people may pay 50-200 range based solely on visual appeal. Higher than that, they may want to know that the artist seriously pursues further work as a career, or the images are already significant in a historic sense; in both cases have probable future value. It's a tough market at the low end, and needs serious 'representation' to make money at a higher level. This is why people get into commissioned work/work for hire (e.g portraits).
     

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