How to Maximise your Profits
A large number of photographers, who take and sell photos at an event, use a laptop to display the images to the customer before printing. This has several disadvantages:
You can only serve one customer at a time. People don't like queuing, especially at the end of the night when there is a taxi waiting outside!
The customer can't "touch" the product - it doesn't exist until printed when they are more committed to purchase. This often puts people off, the result being, that they either don't purchase at all, or purchase fewer prints than they would otherwise.
They are unable to see other photos of friends or relatives unless they specifically ask to see them, and often won't ask for fear of commiting to purchase.
The answer is simple, print all the pictures and display them all in folders or mounts on a table. The following will happen:
People can browse the images of themselves or friends. They may even call over friends to look at images.
People will buy more: In an unhurried, unpressured setting you will sell more.
They can view the images when and as they want to, without queuing or hassle.
They can hold the image, which pyschologically helps them purchase.
It cuts down on the amount of work you have to do: You could still be taking pictures, networking or discussing the next event with the event organiser!
You have the opportunity to show off your work to larger number of people, which would not be possible by just using a laptop.
From the experience of our customers, photographers who print on demand from a laptop sell on average between 10-20% of the prints they take. On-the-other-hand, photographers that print all their images, sell on average 50-60% of their prints.
For the example below, we are using a HiTi 730 series printer and 7 x 5 consumables @50p per print (ex VAT).
We are using a typical charge for a 7x5 print of £10 inclusive of VAT (£8.51 + 1.49 VAT).
Let's look at the figures...
(The example figures below are ex-vat and don't account for cost of frames or mounts which would be the same for each method as they are only used on prints that are sold).
If a Photographer takes 200 images and only prints the ones that people choose, say 40 prints (20%);
40 x £8.51 results in sales of £340.40 with overhead costs of £20.00.
Profit is therefore £320.40.
Printing ALL the images:
If a Photographers takes 200 images and prints ALL of them, he will usually sell 50% or more prints because as previously stated, customers are more likely to purchase when they can simultaneously view and handle the photos before they leave the event. This time his sales will be in the order of 100 x £8.51 = £851.
The overhead costs are indeed higher because more images are printed; in this case 200 x 50p = £100.00. On the face of it, discarding prints would not seem to make good business sense, but by analysing the facts and probing deeper we see the true perspective. The profit however is a staggering £751.00.
If sales had been 60%, then the profit would have been 120 x £8.51 = £1021.20 - £100 £921.20!
So, why make £320.40 when you could make over £900 from the same venue!
I was initially sceptical about printing all the images at a Black Tie event. So I tried both methods. I sold 18% of what I took using the laptop compared with 60% when printing all the images!
Now, I always print all the images, it's easier, less hassle and I make more money from the same venue!
I'd like to thanks the guys at System Insight for the help and advice given!