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KateR

Sale prices - is there any logic, and can I control it?!

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I've just had two sales drop in for the end of last month, with usage as follows:

First one: Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial
Media: Newspaper - national
Print run: up to 2 million
Placement: Inside and online
Image Size: 1/4 page
Start: 01 May 2018
End: 02 May 2018
Any placement in paper and online. One use in a single editorial article used within the print and digital versions of a single publication. Digital usage includes archive rights for the lifetime of the article.

 

Second one: Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial
Media: Newspaper - national
Print run: up to 2 million
Placement: Inside and online
Image Size: 1/4 page
Start: 01 May 2018
End: 02 May 2018
Any placement in paper and online. One use in a single editorial article used within the print and digital versions of a single publication. Digital usage includes archive rights for the lifetime of the article.

 

Sale value (before comms!!) is a very small number indeed.   I have all my images set as rights managed and exclude personal use, so as to try and avoid the "peanuts" sales, and apart from a couple of online only sales this is by far the lowest number i've seen come up. Another sale for what looks like the same purposes, but for Switzerland, came through at approximately ten times the amount last month.

 

So first question: is there any logic to these prices., or do Alamy just generate random numbers on the fly?! And second question, is there any way of setting a minimum price for each image?

Edited by KateR
removing specific prices as requested

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Please don't publish the low prices. This is a public forum. Refer to them by all means, but buyers can see them.

You can't set our own prices- see your contract.

Edited by spacecadet
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27 minutes ago, LawrensonPhoto said:

These are for The Sun or The Times, you can opt out of Newspapers I believe.

I wouldn't though.

Every little helps as the jingle goes.

 

You can opt out of the Alamy 'UK Newspaper scheme', but you can't opt out of sales to UK newspapers. 

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As I mentioned in my 'how was your June' comment, there's many times when you'll take a hit to the stomach with lowering prices but all you can do is hope that they add up to something reasonable at the end of the month. Opting out makes no sense to me, though I'd love to sell some for the correct values for a change.

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The one that bugs me is the 'bulk' sale of a single image. It's Alamy that benefit from the economy of scale that bulk sales bring, so the reduction should come from their 'cut' rather than the photographer's.

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I am opted out of the Newspaper scheme, I am not interested in Subsidising these international publishing groups. They can still use them at the out of pool rate (slightly better prices, but still low).

I'm with Geogphotos
 

What we can do as photographers is to make sure that we don't supply those companies and business models that are the CAUSE or these extremely low prices.

 

Unfortunately there are always people who will sell below cost, in the naive hope that they can make up for the low prices with volume. 

 

I am also out of Distribution for the same reason.

 

I won't subsidise the race to the bottom.

A few extra pennies at the end of the month won't make any difference to my life,. As far as I am concerned they can buy something cheaper, it won't be what they want, but it'll be cheaper!

 

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7 hours ago, geogphotos said:

I have stopped supplying my RM images to the world's largest agency ( via a third party agency) because of average ( mean) net fees of around $2 and a some as low as $00.01.

 

 

 

I went step further, six months ago I actually closed my direct account with them - I am not saying anyone else should but for me I just wanted to do it on principle. I recalled the contract had something in it about them keeping the images for a couple of years after closure but they deleted everything within a month of my request. It was a nice feeling to get back my exclusives again - they felt like mine again instead of the monsters.

Edited by Panthera tigris

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4 hours ago, York Photographer said:

I am opted out of the Newspaper scheme, I am not interested in Subsidising these international publishing groups. They can still use them at the out of pool rate (slightly better prices, but still low).

I'm with Geogphotos
 

What we can do as photographers is to make sure that we don't supply those companies and business models that are the CAUSE or these extremely low prices.

 

Unfortunately there are always people who will sell below cost, in the naive hope that they can make up for the low prices with volume. 

 

I am also out of Distribution for the same reason.

 

I won't subsidise the race to the bottom.

A few extra pennies at the end of the month won't make any difference to my life,. As far as I am concerned they can buy something cheaper, it won't be what they want, but it'll be cheaper!

 

 

If I was making sales at higher prices I'd opt out of the newspaper scheme but as they make up the bulk of what I sell here I feel compelled to remain in or there'd be no point. I don't however feel the need to give two salesmen a cut through the distributor scheme so I opted out of that. Everyone has their own line in the sand.

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 Unfortunately our images don't wear out!

My former professional association (BIPP) used to publish a fees guide, but was advised by the government to withdraw it, and that was 35 years ago. It could have offended against competition law, and that's much stronger now.

Of course if all your union members simply agree not to supply below a certain price, that's different.

Edited by spacecadet

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My first sale in July was for use in an exhibition, up to full area, and was rather well paid. I would probably not have achieved this sale if the image file wasn't around the 60 Mb in size. 

Edited by Niels Quist

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15 hours ago, York Photographer said:

I am opted out of the Newspaper scheme, I am not interested in Subsidising these international publishing groups. They can still use them at the out of pool rate (slightly better prices, but still low).

I'm with Geogphotos
 

What we can do as photographers is to make sure that we don't supply those companies and business models that are the CAUSE or these extremely low prices.

 

Unfortunately there are always people who will sell below cost, in the naive hope that they can make up for the low prices with volume. 

 

I am also out of Distribution for the same reason.

 

I won't subsidise the race to the bottom.

A few extra pennies at the end of the month won't make any difference to my life,. As far as I am concerned they can buy something cheaper, it won't be what they want, but it'll be cheaper!

 

 

Yes this is exactly what i was getting at, really. I also don't subscribe to "every little helps" - it doesn't, quite honestly, in the face of current living expenses, it helps the buyer a very great deal more than it helps us! Especially when the image in question is actually unique on Alamy (it is - i went out and shot it specifically to fill a stock gap)  and wouldn't be likely to even be accepted on those "other" cheapo sites because it's not in their style. I also won't put my images with the s***stocks of this world for the same reason. I only have a small portfolio and i'd be the first to admit they're not worldbeatingly good, but that isn't the point - I don't want to feed the race to the bottom.

 

OK so opting out of the "newspaper scheme" and "distributor sales" is the best way to knock this on the head - that's fine by me.

 

I've edited the original post to take the prices out, although i don't really understand what the issue is since the buyers seem to have all the clout anyway - is the problem that Buyer B sees the stupidly low numbers that Buyer A got and insists on it also?

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Right, i've opted out of the newspaper scheme, but apparently can't deal with the Distribution bit until next April. Annoying - arguably i should have read some small print more carefully, but it doesn't mean much until you see the numbers in practise....

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10 minutes ago, KateR said:

 

I've edited the original post to take the prices out, although i don't really understand what the issue is since the buyers seem to have all the clout anyway - is the problem that Buyer B sees the stupidly low numbers that Buyer A got and insists on it also?

Good of you to do that. We have an informal policy only to quote three-figure prices!

Seriously, potentially buyers could get wind of low prices here and do as you suggest, no point giving them any more clout. Or maybe we're just embarrassed about accepting peanuts.

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16 minutes ago, KateR said:

 

Yes this is exactly what i was getting at, really. I also don't subscribe to "every little helps" - it doesn't, quite honestly, in the face of current living expenses, it helps the buyer a very great deal more than it helps us! Especially when the image in question is actually unique on Alamy (it is - i went out and shot it specifically to fill a stock gap)  and wouldn't be likely to even be accepted on those "other" cheapo sites because it's not in their style. I also won't put my images with the s***stocks of this world for the same reason. I only have a small portfolio and i'd be the first to admit they're not worldbeatingly good, but that isn't the point - I don't want to feed the race to the bottom.

 

OK so opting out of the "newspaper scheme" and "distributor sales" is the best way to knock this on the head - that's fine by me.

 

I've edited the original post to take the prices out, although i don't really understand what the issue is since the buyers seem to have all the clout anyway - is the problem that Buyer B sees the stupidly low numbers that Buyer A got and insists on it also?

 

That's the long and short of it.

 

John.

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21 minutes ago, KateR said:

 

I've edited the original post to take the prices out, although i don't really understand what the issue is since the buyers seem to have all the clout anyway - is the problem that Buyer B sees the stupidly low numbers that Buyer A got and insists on it also?

 

That is indeed the school of thought, not that I personally subscribe to it.

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45 minutes ago, KateR said:

Right, i've opted out of the newspaper scheme, but apparently can't deal with the Distribution bit until next April.

It is possible to opt out of distribution by restricting a particular usage such as Personal prints, cards and gifts, although this point has been disputed by some.

 

Edited by DDoug
grammar

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Unfortunately people involved with the purchasing of imagery for big organisations, move around with in those industries, and will tell their new employers what their old employer was paying. Further driving the race to the bottom.

Once you have reputation for being cheap, you are cheap forever more. No Shaking that stigma off!

Single digit sales make no sense. Regardless of where or how an image was taken, there are significant time and costs involved (Equipment, Travel, and not least the costs and time of gaining the experience as a Photographer). 

Have a read of this

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44701193 

They still made 13 million!

Don't be a farmer, selling product below cost, just so the supermarkets can boast about being cheapest. It's the farmer that bares the costs not the retailer.

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3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

I agree and that is why even though I speak up for Alamy I do think that they could do more to help contributors. I'll be accused of being elitist I suppose but what about doing something more to reward those who have helped build up Alamy over the years?  Just as other businesses don't treat all suppliers equally but offer incentives, rewards, and support to some more than others. 

Remember in the ‘good old days’ when Alamy blue and Alamy green existed? 

 

Looking back at our first sales in 2001 Alamy commission was about 15%

 

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A little extra for images exclusive to Alamy would help. 

 

A. rewarding loyalty.

B. knowing the image is not available elsewhere would help achieve a higher price.

 

 

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2 hours ago, BobD said:

A little extra for images exclusive to Alamy would help. 

 

A. rewarding loyalty.

B. knowing the image is not available elsewhere would help achieve a higher price.

 

 

Firmly agree with this!  The vast majority of what I put on Alamy is exclusive, because I think they are the agency coming closest to protecting reasonable prices - moreso with the optouts of the cheapie schemes. More revenue for us is also more revenue for Alamy, and if a client wants a particular image and it's not available elsewhere, I'm quite sure they'll be able to find the additional few quid ;)

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2 hours ago, BobD said:

A little extra for images exclusive to Alamy would help. 

 

A. rewarding loyalty.

B. knowing the image is not available elsewhere would help achieve a higher price.

 

 

 

I agree with BobD's comments above.

 

All my images with Alamy are exclusive to Alamy. I know it is not an exclusive contract and I can place those images elsewhere, if I want, but I don't want.

 

How about it Alamy?

 

Allan

 

 

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I agree with that also, as mentioned in the thread that Ian started on making Alamy number one. Actually, though, I find the low prices liberating. I mean, really, if customers are going to drive the prices down to near zero, then there's no point in trying to research, shoot and process images that satisfy their needs. Might as well just shoot for personal enjoyment, which, in my case at least, is often a different kind of image altogether.

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

I would go along with exclusivity if Alamy offered some incentives. I have always found it strange that Alamy has cared so little about their contributors sending the same images to competitors even those competitors with completely different business models that end up undercutting Alamy. Indeed, in the early days James West actively encouraged contributors not to be exclusive.

 

I think it would be a real advantage to credit a sort of Alamy identity with its own team of photographers rather than it being a sort of hoover piling up all the world's images from anybody and everywhere. 

 

However, I don't suppose anything like this will happen because the idea of sourcing from the crowd rather than the team still remains far too attractive and convenient. After all you don't have to care a jot about the crowd and it expects nothing much back. Acting as an actual real agency would involve responsibilities and mutual commitments. 

 

And then of course with exclusivity there would be photographers who would...er.... cheat! 

 

I'd say that Alamy is now more of a "portal" (or a "clearing house") than an "agency" in the traditional sense. This seems to be the way of the world.

 

It's probably a bit late to turn back now...

 

 

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1 hour ago, Allan Bell said:

 

I agree with BobD's comments above.

 

All my images with Alamy are exclusive to Alamy. I know it is not an exclusive contract and I can place those images elsewhere, if I want, but I don't want.

 

How about it Alamy?

 

Allan

 

 

Me too. Mine are all just Alamy and I don’t - at the moment - want to go elsewhere. However I may start selling through my own website. An incentive would certainly stop me from doing that.

Edited by Sally

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16 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

If you have them priced for sale on your own website ( even if they never sell!) Alamy advise me that the images are non-exclusive. 

I don’t. But I could easily make them available for sale by changing the format of my website.

Edited by Sally

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