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Author Topic: Does anyone use PhotoShelter to sell direct to buyers?  (Read 15769 times)

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« on: February 16, 2009, 19:28 »
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I was wondering if anyone had success using PhotoShelter as their ecommerce site for direct sales?

I have an idea I believe I can market direct to buyers but it is unsuitable for micro, in fact most of the agencies reject these images. All I want is an ecommerce site to sell from.

Tell me your stories please.


« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 20:14 »
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Photoshelter is expensive.  I don't trust that Photoshelter is going to stay in business.  Smugmug is excellent.  Been with them for a couple years.  No complaints. $150/year.  I made a few great editorial sales there.   They keep getting better.  Very well run.  Soon they will be launching a stock photo collection. 

« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 00:26 »
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I used PS for awhile back when they still were selling stock through their collection.  I've since moved to Zenfolio and bought the premium account which is far nicer and more intuitive than PS ever was.  Zenfolio offers digital downloads through four different licensing options now.

« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 07:25 »
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If I get specific individual requests I just email photos directly, accepting payment through Paypal or bank transfer. That way I can keep almost all the revenue.

« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 13:00 »
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If you are interested in selling images Image Stream looks pretty good, take a look at www.imagespan.com.  I think they wind up less expensive than PSA, and for me I want to move as far away from PhotoShelter as possible as I was one of those that invesed much time and effort only an organization that was not really ready to move forward.

Scott
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 13:19 by NikonScott »

« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 16:46 »
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I did that as well Nikon. But I just wondered if there was any benefit in them having a small customer base themselves.

« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 18:59 »
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I use the personal archive to enable me to upload my files there, and then FTP directly to every other site (except IS f course). Works well for that, though I'm not sure about selling directly.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2009, 21:07 »
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Photoshelter is expensive.  I don't trust that Photoshelter is going to stay in business.  Smugmug is excellent.  Been with them for a couple years.  No complaints. $150/year.  I made a few great editorial sales there.   They keep getting better.  Very well run.  Soon they will be launching a stock photo collection. 

Cappi,
Does smugmug do the licensing and collecting?  I was never able to figure a way to use them other than direct sales of event pictures ... selling to individuals as prints.  What am I missing here?

Thanks in advance,
Warren


« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2009, 21:26 »
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Does smugmug do the licensing and collecting?  I was never able to figure a way to use them other than direct sales of event pictures ... selling to individuals as prints.  What am I missing here?

I had a thorough look at the site yesterday. Yes they sell individuals but only for a parking fee of 150$ per year. It's like Mostphotos then, primarily photo sharing and commenting, but you can set your own prices. I don't have the faintest idea if you can make up for that 150$ by sales. They are quite high on Alexa, but remember, they basically are about photo sharing. The only advantage over having your own site with Coppermine plus a cart is that you will turn up in their search engine. But like Mostphotos, that engine isn't driven by sales but by community ratings, which are crap.

I still don't know what to do. If somebody is interested and confident he can make up for the 150$, we should make a group like 'premium stockers' or something and crosslinks accounts.

« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2009, 21:33 »
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Why don't you just use your own website and use a paypal checkout system? You can use it like a shopping cart and you just pay the paypal transaction fee..

« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2009, 21:46 »
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Why don't you just use your own website and use a paypal checkout system? You can use it like a shopping cart and you just pay the paypal transaction fee..

Been there, done that. You need to attract traffic. It's better when a central entry point does that. As an individual you can't just do photos to achieve that. You need to have a meaningful blog for that. Ask Lee Torrens how much time he puts in his blog and his port...

« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2009, 22:08 »
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I was wondering if anyone had success using PhotoShelter as their ecommerce site for direct sales?

I have an idea I believe I can market direct to buyers but it is unsuitable for micro, in fact most of the agencies reject these images. All I want is an ecommerce site to sell from.

Tell me your stories please.

 From the way Litifeta is talking here he wants a ecommerce site that he can market direct to.. Am I wrong? Hence he doesn't need a site that already has traffic, just the ability to sell.. Unless I am reading the above statement wrong..

« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2009, 00:44 »
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From the way Litifeta is talking here he wants a ecommerce site that he can market direct to.. Am I wrong? Hence he doesn't need a site that already has traffic, just the ability to sell.. Unless I am reading the above statement wrong..

Why not just email the shots then? If he has enough volume, he can set up his own domain and install Coppermine Gallery with a cart. That's cheaper than an 150$ SmugMug account and you don't need to pay Smugmug an extra 20% on sales.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2009, 01:06 »
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From the way Litifeta is talking here he wants a ecommerce site that he can market direct to.. Am I wrong? Hence he doesn't need a site that already has traffic, just the ability to sell.. Unless I am reading the above statement wrong..

Why not just email the shots then? If he has enough volume, he can set up his own domain and install Coppermine Gallery with a cart. That's cheaper than an 150$ SmugMug account and you don't need to pay Smugmug an extra 20% on sales.

The $150 should not be a big deal.  I can sell more than that in individual prints from a single event -- races, parties, dog shows, high school sports.  People love pictures of themselves and their family (or pets).  My problem is more about the legal stuff, like licensing.  Plus, I don't want to do a bunch of "hands on" stuff.  That's why I sought out an agent in the first place. 


« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2009, 01:38 »
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The $150 should not be a big deal.  I can sell more than that in individual prints from a single event -- races, parties, dog shows, high school sports.  People love pictures of themselves and their family (or pets).  My problem is more about the legal stuff, like licensing.

Well no site will cover you legally. Those are editorial, right? You can set galleries private or password-protected an just give your customers the password. But I think for print Smugmug takes huge commissions on print. If your customers are in one place, you can as well make an arrangement with a local printer in a mall or so. If your audience is nationwide, Smugmug is a solution. Just have to read their fine print and commissions carefully.

« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2009, 01:51 »
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From the way Litifeta is talking here he wants a ecommerce site that he can market direct to.. Am I wrong? Hence he doesn't need a site that already has traffic, just the ability to sell.. Unless I am reading the above statement wrong..

Why not just email the shots then? If he has enough volume, he can set up his own domain and install Coppermine Gallery with a cart. That's cheaper than an 150$ SmugMug account and you don't need to pay Smugmug an extra 20% on sales.

 Isn't that what I suggested? Use his own website and use paypal checkout? No fees other than a transaction fee..


 

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