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Author Topic: Any success with online print sales?  (Read 980 times)

chex

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Any success with online print sales?
« on: May 23, 2018, 03:48:13 AM »

I'm based in Africa and the domestic market for prints is very limited.

As a result I've been looking into the possibility of online sales via services which will locally produce a print and send it out to the customer.

Has anyone tried the same and had success with it? Is there any reliable online print shop that produces high quality prints?

(Before anyone mentions - I expect to order prints a few times as I set up my files to print correctly with whichever shop I go with so I won't be printing blind)
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danielc

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Re: Any success with online print sales?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 03:08:20 AM »

Honestly, you will get lost in the noise unless you are an amazing marketer. And if you are an amazing marketer you may as well do it with something more profitable!
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patjoja

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Re: Any success with online print sales?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 01:40:03 PM »

I'm based in Africa and the domestic market for prints is very limited.

As a result I've been looking into the possibility of online sales via services which will locally produce a print and send it out to the customer.

Has anyone tried the same and had success with it? Is there any reliable online print shop that produces high quality prints?

(Before anyone mentions - I expect to order prints a few times as I set up my files to print correctly with whichever shop I go with so I won't be printing blind)

I have not had much success with online sales.  I think the main benefit of an online presence is simply to lend credibility to yourself and your work.  I wouldn't count on it for sales.

Patrick
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BobShaw

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Re: Any success with online print sales?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 07:44:32 PM »

I have not had much success with online sales.  I think the main benefit of an online presence is simply to lend credibility to yourself and your work.  I wouldn't count on it for sales.

Patrick
+1
People expect you to have an online presence, but not many buy art unseen in real life.
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stevenfr

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Re: Any success with online print sales?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 07:53:37 PM »

I have sold work through my website, mostly designers and art consultants. At the price point of my prints people generally need to see the large prints in one of the galleries that represent my work. Generally, I prefer clients to buy from the galleries. I do not want to steal sales from them.

Steven

pcgpcg

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Re: Any success with online print sales?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2018, 11:53:46 AM »

When I set up my website I naively hoped it would produce sales. It has not. Less than 10% of my sales are online prints and those sales have all come from repeat customers, or folks who first saw a framed print in someone’s home or at a show, or saw the image in a publication. You need to get a framed photo in front of someone’s face in order to generate sales. As others have said, though, people expect an online presence. IMO, shows are the best way to generate interest. In my case, I rely on wineries and vacation lodges, which are often eager to display local art.

In your case, if local shows are not an option, I would do my best to get published. Enter photo contests, submit photos to National Geographic Your Shot. Look for different angles to pitch your work. For example, I have had two non-photo magazines publish some of my photos of whitebark pine, principally because it is endangered and they are conservation oriented, not because they were looking for pretty photos for their magazine. This generated a few online sales for me. You HAVE to get your stuff in front of people somehow, to draw them to your website.

Marketing is not fun. I detest it, but I’m very fortunate to have a wife that does all this on my behalf.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 12:14:53 PM by pcgpcg »
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fredjeang2

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Re: Any success with online print sales?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2018, 02:29:18 PM »

It is extremely difficult to generate incomes from photo prints on a regular basis.
Even the top end photographers sell at much lower prices than an average painter almost unknown.
Bear in mind that a photographer of a caliber of Bruce Guilden sells online prints not more
Expensive than a local painter does.
Even in what big sizes are concerned, you can adquire prints (without framing) from high-end fashion
Photographers for less than the cost of a middle-end lens.
Photo print is cheap.

There are variables though.
Big formats for museums/art galleries/companies, at certain conditions (duplicata)
And that means very good connections (collectors, ambassies, politics, wealphy milieu etc...)
But then you don't sell online copies. Uniqueness is key. Everything that can be duplicated
Is cheap, and if your name is not Brassaï, your (my, their) signature has zero value.

Nobody needs you (me, us, them...), It is an overloaded market.

The other variable is the singularity of the work, and possibly, photography
As part of a more complex approach where print is only a step, I think in english you'd use the term
Photography based artwork. That means your work is really unique and goes beyond the print itself
or there is a concept and procedure(s) behind really solid.
Epson and profiles on their own have monetary value close to the absolute zero.
There must be something else in the equation.

Or, a special and expensive technique is being used, but then your margen is also smaller.

All that said, the only case where I think you could sell prints well is when you cover / specialised yourself a topic
Which has a strong hard core fanboys, for example bikers, aviation etc...
And it means that you are also one of them and know in depth the subject.
The more specialised you are, the better.
Some members of this forum have what I'd consider an audience
That is looking for just what they do and not something else because their imagery is very focussed and not that common.
The world is absolutly packed with good landscapes and pretty girls with clinical details.

Other than that, photo prints is not a profitable business.



« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 05:34:35 PM by fredjeang2 »
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