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DDoug

Best way to offer prints?

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A couple years ago, my daughter said she'd like to use one of my images for a print on her office wall. Of course, if it had been for her house I would have just given it to her. Since it was for the office and her employer was paying the bill, I suggested she go through Alamy with their connection to Art.com. Part of my motivation was to see how the process worked. It was a big disappointment.

She worked with a person in Alamy's New York office who previously negotiated a great license fee for one of my images and about whom I have nothing but good things to say. In this case, however, he said that Alamy and the photographer would be commissioned on a print of up to 10x13 inches. For anything larger (roughly 2x3 feet in her case, framed) she should just buy a personal use license and deal directly with Art.com. So I got a few bucks on what turned out to be a sale of several hundred.

Now, from my location in Europe, I go online to Art.com and see this message:

 http://dondouglas.com/art.jpg

So not only do we make next to nothing on a print sale, we only can make that on sales to American buyers.

An old friend and sometime professional cohort of mine is spending his later years running an art gallery in which he does digital printing and framing. His opinion of FAA, Art.com, and similar POD outfits is that, for quality, "you might as well go to Walmart."

That leaves me in a quandary as to where to turn for offering prints. I'm not ready to buy a printer and try it myself. Plus, I like the set-and-forget aspect that POD clearinghouses offer. This post is already too long, so I won't get into my experience with FAA and why I'd rather not deal with them.

Anyone have suggestions as to the best way to offer prints?

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It's possible to set up your own site with someone like Zenfolio or Photoshelter who I think both have relationships with printing houses for order fulfilment. Not a cheap option though and not at all straightforward to get the site set up and looking good. 

 

Here in the UK you used to be able to have a 'Pro' account with a company called Photobox so that you could upload your images and clients could order from whatever options you chose to give them, and at whatever prices. Then Zenfolio bought Photobox and that was swallowed up inside Zenfolio. Perhaps there are other print labs in Germany that offer something similar.

 

Of course these options depend upon you directing potential customers to them in some way, they are not going to come across your pictures by chance as they would at FAA.

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I think you might be able to go through Whitewall. A german company as I am sure you know.

 

There are pro photo printers in the UK who you can set up an association with to print your images you sell from your website.

 

Allan

 

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It would seem that Alamy needs to have a look at this and sort out the option of print sales.

 

I don't see that a casual site visitor would have any idea that it is possible to purchase prints through Alamy. 

 

Surely, this is a potentially huge market that Alamy could develop with partners. 

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Thanks for replies. It would be great if "order prints" took the place of "personal use" — with a serious printer as a partner, maybe several of them on different continents.
I didn't know about Whitewall, Allan, so thanks for that. Recently I did order a print for my own wall from www.werkladen.de .

It appears that marketing my own prints from dondouglas.com might be the best option, although it would involve a lot of getting my act together compared to the pod sites.

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