Print Pricing: Promoting the Bread Winner and Multiples for Multiplied Profits

Pricing inkjet prints by promoting the breadwinner

In yesterday’s blog post I discussed a couple of easy ways to adjust your pricing so that your customer orders the sizes that are the easiest for you to produce. In the second part of this series, I’ll go over two easy ways to adjust your pricing to make more money.

The first step is to identify your major bread winner, and promote it heavily. The second is to give a discount on multiples.

Promote the Bread Winner
Take the time to look at your current product offering. Is there one particular type of print you make a lot more money on than usual? Identify this offering and promote it. Many photographers and print producers have realized that they can make huge profits from canvas and fabric prints. If you have a wide-format printer and don’t offer these solutions to your customers, you may want to reevaluate this opportunity.

Let’s say you charge $200 for a 16 in. x 20 in. stretched and framed canvas print. Your ink and material costs are $4.20 for canvas and ink, $1 for Sunset Gloss Coating and $27 for a Sunset Pro Stretcher Kit. You pay yourself $50 per hour, and spend 15 minutes color correcting the file, and 30 minutes finishing the print:

Price                                                      $200
Material Cost                                     -$32.20 (ink, canvas, bars, and coating)
Labor                                                     -$37.50 ($50 per hour x .75 hours)
Profit                                                     $130.30

(Note: these figures may not reflect the normal pricing in your area.)

That’s a lot of profit, especially when you consider that you paid yourself $50 per hour to make the canvas print. Since you have so much profit, you have room to play. Try running promotions at different percentage discounts and take notes on the results.

Eventually you will learn what discount rate works best in your area to increase your profit. I’ve heard photographers say that they do make more money than usual when they sell a canvas print, but they don’t sell that many. So, if dropping the price of this size and type of print by 20 percent (down to $160) enables you to sell 30 in a month as opposed to 15, then that would be worth it according to the math below…

Month 1 – 15 x $130.80 = $1,962.00
Month 2 – 30 x $117.45 = $3,523.50

That’s a big increase in profit month over a month. You should be aware that this increase in volume took up an extra 11 hours and 15 minutes of your time, but you did get paid for that extra time at a rate of $50 per hour. Do some research to find out which works best for you, put that discount plan into action, and collect the extra money!

Discounts on Multiples
This is a quick and easy pricing idea. The initial cost of producing a print is the highest. You have to shoot the shot, color correct it, crop it to size, and then print. However, in order to make another reproduction you will usually just have to change the number of copies in the OEM driver or RIP you are running from one to two.

Since there is really no additional labor involved, especially if you are making a print that the printer cuts to bleed (see Part 1 from yesterday), then you should encourage your customer to purchase more by offering multiples at a discount.

They probably wouldn’t buy more than one if there was not a discount, so this is a great way to get more money from an existing customer. It is far less expensive to get an order from an existing client than it is to find a new client.

Pricing Your Photo Printing so the Printer Does all the Work

How to print borderless and price your workAs I examine the pricing that photographers charge, I find a serious lack of consistency across the board.  That is why I have decided to do a quick two-part series on pricing. The next part will appear tomorrow morning here at the LexJet Blog.

Many photographers and fine-art producers base their pricing on the square foot cost of the material and ink. It is an easily measureable cost, so I understand why this is the trend. But there are many other factors that should be considered when setting up your pricing structure.

For example, labor should also be considered, as I will illustrate in the first part of this two-part series.  The next installment will provide two other methods of tweaking the pricing structure in order to make more money.

Epson and Canon large format professional printers have the ability to print borderless left to right, and cut top to bottom to bleed. To find out more about how to print borderless, go to the following posts at the LexJet Blog:

Borderless Printing through Photoshop and the Epson Driver

Borderless Printing through Photoshop and the Canon Driver

Borderless Printing through the Canon Plug-In

Check your Tech Data Sheet to see which sizes your printer can print borderless, and purchase rolls in these widths. For example, if you are printing on a 10-in. roll on an Epson Stylus Pro 7900, the printer can drop perfectly trimmed 8x10s in the basket for you. There is no trimming labor involved with frame sizes that have one dimension the same length as a roll you have loaded, like in the previous example. 

Also, it is very simple to make one cut in between to frame sizes that are half the width of the roll. For example, if you print two 5x7s on a 10-in. roll with double cut on, then you will only need to make one cut in between the two for perfect 5x7s. Therefore these sizes should be promoted to your market.

The frame sizes that don’t fit these parameters should be priced significantly higher for two reasons: 1) To cover the additional cost of labor involved with trimming, and 2) To discourage the customer from ordering these sizes. Here is a quick example of how a pricing structure should look to encourage customers to use the sizes that are most profitable for you:

2 – 4x6s = $10.50 ($31.50 per sq. ft.)
2 – 5x7s = $10.00 ($20.57 per sq. ft.)
1 – 8×10 = $11.31 ($20.57 per sq. ft.)

By making the 4×6 more expensive than the larger 5×7 and barely cheaper than the 8×10, the customer is sure to pick the 5x7s or the 8×10. If they really need the 4×6 size, it is still offered, but at a price that covers the additional labor involved.

Your customer may ask why the pricing seems out of line. I would respond to them with honesty, but in a manner that does not reveal your exact methods. A good example of a response would be, “Unfortunately, a 4×6 is an odd size in my photographic process, so it costs more to produce that particular size.” This is a simple response with which your customer can relate.

By adjusting your pricing slightly you can encourage your customers to purchase the products that are the easiest for you to produce. This should decrease your labor costs and increase your profit per print, which will have an immediate impact on your bottom line!