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Topic: Selling my pictures, how to?  (Read 1323 times)
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Lilibet
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« on: June 08, 2011 06:57:45 AM »

Hello everyone... I would love to get your advice. This might belong in the Etsy board as well, so mods, feel free to move if I step the boundaries Wink.

I love photography, always have. Ever since my secondary school, I had some kind of camera. Yupz, I'm 24 now, so I grew up with the simple analog photography. My father's ancestors had access to a camera from the beginning, so I have a lot of old pictures as well. Last year, around november, I bought my first digital camera, a Canon D1000, SLR. Body, two lenses, ready to go... My camera is always by my side, and so far, I have managed to make some great pictures. Mmm, I should rephrase that, I made some pictures that I really really love, and that are genuinly appreciated by other people. Yep, muuuuch better.

I am an Irish dancer, and I love to photograph the feet of our dancers. Browsing Etsy and other websites, I came across nothing similar, and the idea grew to start my own 'shop'. *I think that's too much of a name for what I want, but hey* I have figured out how Etsy works and I know what online service I am going to use to print my material (Pixum, for those who are interested). I'm still waiting to purchase Photoshop, so I can 'clean' my images and change certain things.

But I'm entirely lost as to how I'm going to order and stock them. So, I guess I'll offer a certain array of sizes people can chose from, right? Do I have them at home, all the time, or do I wait for someone to order, then upload on Pixum, and then ship them off? I guess that a bit cumbersome and time consuming, bot for me and the customer. But what about having all those pictures in all different sizes in stock? Do I keep them in tubes? Or flat? And heck, Pixum offers canvas service as well, should I include in my shop as well, or just on demand? I'm just a bit lost as to what sizes people prefer and what I should offer. There is so much! *even mugs, shirts, you name it*

Any ideas?
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011 10:09:31 AM »

So this is a printing service you're using? Would they ship directly to the buyer? Or ship to you and you ship to them?  How long will it take? If the item isn't coming directly from you, you should probably be clear about that in your listings.  If you can swing it, the best thing to do would be to either get a printer yourself and print on demand or find somewhere local. It would cut down on the time (I assume) and come across as a little more professional if there wasn't a 3rd party sending to the buyer.
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011 11:18:27 AM »

Mmmm, I do think Pixum has that kind of service, but I would never do that. It's indeed unprofessional and it might confuse buyers, I understand. Bigger pictures (I ordered one last week, 40x60 cm) take up to 5 workdays. Which isn't bad, but too long to get an order from, say, Etsy, order on Pixum, receive it myself, and re-send it to the customer.

I have a printer myself, but not for bigger sizes. And I'd love to sell my pictures as posters... I wish I could show them, but I still haven't got access to anything like Photoshop, so I cannot yet put a watermark on them... Local, good idea, but no so easy here. I'd have to travel back and forth bigger cities each time I get an order... Isn't that also time consuming. Actually, to be honest, I have no idea where I could get it done. Should research that, for sure! Thank you for that idea.

So, I guess I can always go with my original idea (and drive my parents insane) of ordering every picture, of every size that I want to offer, and store them. That way, I have some kind of stock, and I can start? Or is that plain silly, too much work or even dangerous for my money?
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011 02:05:38 PM »

I think it might be too much work/money, personally. Why not test out some of the sizes you can print on your own and offer up a custom listing for the bigger sizes stating up front that it takes x amount longer?
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2011 02:48:10 PM »

Why even bother offering to do all this ordering stuff? Yuck! Sign up at Zazzle - you get your own store with NO LISTING FEES and you get to decide what commission you make and you have to perform ZERO customer service.
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011 05:49:57 AM »

Checking it out right now, thank you! I do have a feeling though that they focus less on 'arty' posters. Oh well, in the Dutch site anyway, because that's the one Google always directs me to.
But I have never heard of Zazzle, is it well-known enough to make sales?
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011 06:27:32 PM »

http://www.etsy.com/teams/7722/business-topics/discuss/6734648/

There's a thread in the Etsy forums for photography. It's pretty much people selling photography just check in and offer up tips or ask questions. You'll probably find that useful. I'm thinking of offering photography some day (mainly want to sell clothing on there) and have found that thread to be useful.

PS Most people order their prints from somewhere, get them shipped to themselves (you can't get the company to ship directly to the customer. Against Etsy policies or something) and then ship to customer and they usually just warn the customers that it will take a bit of extra time.
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2011 06:28:47 AM »

Thank you! I'm still leaving all my options open, whilst waiting for Photoshop (or something similar). Just curious in that thread... They talk about sizes. Are those sizes in inches? Because 4x6 and all that seems so small!
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2011 10:09:47 AM »

Throwing in my 2 cents...  I'm thinking of making my photographs into postcards/notecards and offering those.  I expect that I'll use Vistaprint where I can get postcards in sets of 100.  Though as I type this, I think I could take the postcards and make them into notecards myself...
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CeeJayRose
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2011 02:23:43 PM »

Thank you! I'm still leaving all my options open, whilst waiting for Photoshop (or something similar). Just curious in that thread... They talk about sizes. Are those sizes in inches? Because 4x6 and all that seems so small!

Yup, that's inches. 4x6 is the standard, regular size picture.  Some find that the smaller pictures sell better than poster sized pictures. That's one thing I would suggest you can play around with. Offer a wide range of sizes and see which people buy more of.
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Maggiedoll
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2011 07:16:51 PM »

What about DeviantArt?
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2011 01:45:00 AM »

Oh, I didn't know you can sell there as well... Should be interesting. Although I'm not so sure if my pictures are that crafty. I mean, I always associated DevianArt with 'real' art, like paintings, drawings, and that sort of stuff. But that might be my old interpretation of the website... The website that wasn't for me, because I couldn't (and still can't) paint or draw.

I checked Zazzle, but as I already said, I can get unto the Dutch one. Which was a big let-down, because the pictures that are being sold there are, well, *ahum* awkward, to say the least. A whole lot of the pictures on sale, are Paint art. I have no other name for it... People that have smashed around some colours on a computer, give it a name, and put it up for sale. But who knows, my pics might stand out big time...

Hey, a girl can dream, right Wink
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Maggiedoll
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2011 06:48:18 AM »

You can put up anything you want on DeviantArt.  Literally, almost everything..  from Gimp and/or Photoshop brushes to photographs, pictures of costumes, digital art, stock images, backgrounds you don't mind other people using, poetry..  hence all the categories.  Wink  You can upload pretty much whatever size you want, define a license, watermark the full size version.  That's just the stuff that I can think of.. and I've never even used a paid account there. 

I put up some digital stuff way back when I was doing lots of GIMPing, and have put up some pictures of things more recently that I've sewn.  (I don't really use it a lot..  mostly I just stick pictures of sewn stuff up on my blog.  But DeviantArt is a pretty good place to share that kind of stuff too.  I always have to wait for my mother to visit to get decent pictures of anything!)

I'm not sure if it's necessarily a great forum for selling, but they do have the option to sell things that you put up in a big variety of different prints.  I don't know to what extent it's for painting and drawing, because those aren't really the sections I look in.  There's a lot of photo stuff, and a lot of photo manipulation stuff.  And a lot of photo manipulation aids like brushes and patterns.  So if you're needing to learn Photoshop it could be helpful with that too.  (Have you tried GIMP?  It may have a more of a learning curve than Photoshop, but it's really a great program, and free!  Although I stick to GIMP, so I can't really compare it to Photoshop.)

I haven't been looking at the artsy photography much lately because I'm usually on there to look at photographs of corsets and costumes.  It's certainly a great way of exposing your work to more people and seeing what other people are doing and all that jazz.  And then there are various groups with all different topics. 

I think it's meant for pretty much anything creative.  It definitely doesn't have an emphasis on sales, but it's definitely an online gathering place for all things artsy. 

It definitely isn't exclusive to painting and drawing. 
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011 05:31:16 PM »

Zazzle has been around for a while. I used to sell stuff off Cafepress until Cafepress decided artists could only make a lousy 10% off a sale. I moved to Zazzle about 2 years ago and my sales are 1/2 my income now. Most of my sales come from inside their website.
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