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Author Topic: Maybe it's worth the effort after all  (Read 6660 times)

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« on: January 05, 2008, 00:15 »
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After following the threads on Featurepics I spent some time on there and cleaned out my portfolio of some of my earlier, poorer images.  I then did some sweeping price changes.  Images that have sold poorly or only at subscription sites I have left at $2.00, images that have sold fair at IS,Dt or StockXpert I set at $5.00 and my best sellers are now priced at $10.00.  I then started pushing FP with a link from my website.
Today I sold a $5.00 image and earned $3.50 from it.  If this becomes a trend I'll be uploading more there
rosta


« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2008, 01:29 »
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Umm... if I understand what you are saying, it seems that you have gone to Featurepics, an agency that lets you set your own prices, then you've priced your images BELOW the usual prices at the other agencies.  Surely that defeats the entire object.

« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2008, 01:54 »
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I don't understand how my pricing between $2.00 and $10.00 is pricing below the usual prices.  at IS i have never gotten above $1.50 commmision on an image.  My usual is .60, at 20% that means my average IS image sold went for $3.00 of which I was paid 60 cents.  Now I have had an image sell for $5.00 of which I received $3.50. 
On the other sites my  $2.00 images have never sold beyond small sizes or have sold only at 123RF. on the other sites.
As things progress I may be raising the prices higher.
r

« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2008, 04:46 »
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Umm... if I understand what you are saying, it seems that you have gone to Featurepics, an agency that lets you set your own prices, then you've priced your images BELOW the usual prices at the other agencies.  Surely that defeats the entire object.

How often do you get $3.50 for an ordinary sale on any other site?  I have only had that happen on StockXpert.  I think we should undercut our prices on FP, as they pay us a good commission and if they grow, the other sites might not get away with given us a bad deal.

« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2008, 05:25 »
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I think we should just support Featurepics regardless of how good or bad sales is....if we put it there, it will sell right???

They are the only decent people around who give us 70% of the sale...really....i will continue to support them even if sales is poor, if nothing but for their honest, integrity and treating the photographers welll...

« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2008, 06:11 »
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I think we should just support Featurepics regardless of how good or bad sales is....if we put it there, it will sell right???

They are the only decent people around who give us 70% of the sale...really....i will continue to support them even if sales is poor, if nothing but for their honest, integrity and treating the photographers welll...


I agree, but there is also Photoshelter which pays 70% on pictures sold for a minimum of 50$...

http://mp.photoshelter.com/

I think photographer who are keen on improving their revenues and their situation should help these site which try to sell quality for a good price. Everybody should win in the long term, as microstock would be obliged to raise their percentage if they want to keep the good photographs.

But of course I am just a newcomer here and perhaps I am dead wrong ?

« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2008, 08:10 »
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"I agree, but there is also Photoshelter which pays 70% on pictures sold for a minimum of 50$..."

I have images on there as well, but I am trying to build a portfolio there that is different from those on the microsites.  Granted I do have some overlap right now but hope to change that in 2008.

« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2008, 08:55 »
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I have images on there as well, but I am trying to build a portfolio there that is different from those on the microsites.  Granted I do have some overlap right now but hope to change that in 2008.

I think photographer should propose different pictures to these sites. If a customer see the same picture in microstock and in midstock, he will feel cheated by midstock ("why are they asking me 50$ when the other guy propose the same thing for 1$ ?") and in the long run it will undermine midstock weight, as customers will go directly to microstock in hope to find the same thing for far less.

« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2008, 09:07 »
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Get the prices up! The whole point with an agency like FP, is that we have the possibility to earn more. If we set the prices there at 1 or 2 dollars, we're just pushing the price barrier further down. No point in doing that. They are fully competitive at 5-10 dollars, and smaller sizes will sell for a lower price still.

« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2008, 09:16 »
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I totally agree. For a corporate, 1$ 10$ or 100$ are exactly the same and a company which wants a large print will pay what it has to pay. Of course, if we sell at 1$ they'll pay 1$ but in a project that will cost a few thousand (or tens of thousand) $, 1 or 100 is exactly the same.

« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2008, 15:40 »
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Well everyone has their own opinion, and that's fine.

My opinion, FWIW, is that undercutting prices and then taking 70% isn't 'supporting' Featurepics at all; what it's doing, if anything, is screwing them into the ground.

If people genuinely want to see Featurepics succeed, the only way of doing so is to charge higher prices so that FP gets at least some sort of decent income from each sale.  At lower prices, FP is left with 30% of 'not a lot' and after the costs of web site, technology, servers, wages etc, there is probably nothing left for 'marketing and development'.


« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2008, 16:51 »
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What Hatman said.

« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2008, 17:22 »
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But why would a buyer go to featurespics if their prices for microstock images are the same or higher than the other sites?

I sell my microstock photos at a lower price there than at some of the sites in the hope that people will buy from there.  I still make more per sale there than any other site.  They can make money on higher priced RM and RF images that are not sold on the micros.

If it is true that some of the other sites are making large profits, as is stated many times in forums, FP should be able to make something on 30% commission.  They don't spend as much on advertising as the other sites, so the running costs should be lower.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 17:24 by sharpshot »

« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2008, 17:23 »
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.

« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2008, 18:05 »
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For the same reason, sharpshot, that you might occasionally buy a tin of paint from a corner DIY shop in Honiton (or wherever is closest).  You know you are paying a couple of Pounds more, but you buy it there anyway because it happens to be convenient and you haven't got time to go on a long trek to Homebase.

The problem is that Dulux won't allow that corner shop to buy its supplies at the same discount bulk prices gotten by Homebase, so the shop has to charge higher prices to try to get a profit margin.  That, and the fact that it cannot sell in volume.

The corner shop will always be a corner shop because if it tries to reduce prices to compete it will go bust.  So it cannot grow because customers never shop there in volume.

Dulux probably supplies its paints to Homebase at a significantly reduced price and at much lower sales margins, but it does so because it knows that VOLUME is more important than PRICE.

All that will happen is that more and more corner shops go bust and more and more of the market is captured by Homebase.

This of course is why England now lacks many local village Butchers and Fishmongers.

We can try to stop the rot by buying more stuff at local shops and paying higher prices.  But sadly most customers won't do that.  And the local shops can't reduce prices because they don't have the volume.  And if their suppliers demand a high percentage of sales margin and encourage lower prices, they will go bust anyway.

I'm afraid that as a SUPPLIER, I want as many of my products on the shelves at Homebase and Marks and Spencer.  Yes, I know they will screw me on price, but they have millions of customers whereas the corner shop does not.

DanP68

« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2008, 20:38 »
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I'm pricing mine commensurate with what buyers would pay at a place like Stockxpert or iStock.  There is no reason to undercut price-wise.  Buyers won't show up because they hear a rumor that prices are a buck cheaper at this unheard of site. 

If Featurepics becomes a player, it will be because they can afford just enough advertising to get the word out.  Given how slick the website is, and how feature friendly it is to buyers as well as contributors, I believe they will have a high customer retention rate.  The question is whether or not they can get the initial crowds through the turnstiles...

« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2008, 22:35 »
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Going for the lowest price is the most dangerous strategy in the world. Those who buy because you are cheap, will only do so until they find some place cheaper. Then they'll move on, and you have no customers.

There are many good reasons to buy from FP. A user-friendly web-site is one. The fact that they have photos that can't be found elsewhere is another. But most important of all: we have to ensure that they as well as we make a profit, so  that it's a viable, long-term alternative.

I link to my FP portfolio from any forum and any web-site that I can think of, including the signature of my e-mail. Even my mother has asked me now what that Featurpics thing at the bottom of my e-mail is. She won't buy any photos, but it does show that it works, doesn't it?

« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2008, 00:22 »
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istock started out giving away images for free.  Then they started charging 10 cents.  The buyers are still there, despite other sites being cheaper.

We are the suppliers to the micro sites, so I don't get the corner shop analogy.  If corner shops could sell their goods at lower prices than the big stores, could pay their suppliers at a better rate and had the same stock, the big stores would be in trouble.  They would probably fight back by giving the suppliers a better deal.

« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2008, 00:54 »
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If corner shops could sell their goods at lower prices than the big stores, could pay their suppliers at a better rate and had the same stock, the big stores would be in trouble.

This is microeconomy 101, a small shop (or stock site) can sell at lower prices and pay suppliers at higher rates but accepting very small to negative profit with the goal to carve out a larger share of the market. But this can be sustained for a limited amount of time, at least until you hook the customers with some other things your competitors don't have, usually service or exclusivity.

The small shops I see survive here in Italy are only the ones that can supply these two things and I guess stock images aren't at all different. You can have customers accepting to pay more if you offer them a better and personalized service or if they can find better quality.

Unfortunately it's very hard for a newcomer to gain exclusivity on quality items, in stock imagery it would need that some of the best talented shooters accept the risk to going exclusive with this newcoming site, or at least supply it with exclusive images.

None buy junk food in a small grocery except if late at night (service) but some people buy delicatessen when they know they can't find them easily elsewhere (quality).
« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 00:59 by ale1969 »

« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2008, 02:06 »
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Just upload your picture in featurepics no matter price you will be set, if they has 4million pictures or more than other site, buyer will be interesting....

« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2008, 11:25 »
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I don't know what are the marketing strategies in FP, but once they emailed me saying that a buyer wanted one of my illustrations in another color.  I made the change, uploaded it, alerted them so they would review the image and inform the buyer, and a couple of days later I had an EL on that image. 

I'm not sure other sites would be so responsive to a buyer "customizing" his need.  Some have a request forum, which is normally a very slow response (there is no speed review for images submitted to a request).

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2008, 16:58 »
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With FPs very high acceptance rate, at least upon occasion, they will have material from a particular contributor that has not been accepted elsewhere. This type of image should definitely command a fair price that is set upon it.

Additionally, I plan to submit to FP first. I even plan some lead time before submitting those images to other sites for the outside chance of getting a premium before it is is "marked down" by submitting it to other micros.

Lastly, there will be the random people that you direct to FP from your own promotion of it (this will be where FP shines) that don't have an account elsewhere or are just satisfied to shop at the first place they've stopped for convenience sake (how many people have bought a car at the first place they've stopped?)

Mark


 

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