Setting your pricing

By: Steev Stamford

One of the common questions that crops up on the Photo 4 Me forum is "What do I set my pricing at?"


When you join P4M you can set your default prices and that's what most people do. However each time you upload an image you can adjust the pricing of that one image without affecting your default.


P4M has three sliders that affect your pricing and has taken steps to try and stop you from receiving nothing and demanding too much. So we have the 'Min Profit', the 'Max Profit' and the 'Mark up %'. These interact to allow you, the artist to decide to some extent your worth.


I'm going to start with the 'Mark up%' first as this can be affected by the other two. The site has costs - production costs, shipping costs, staff overheads, IT overheads - you get the idea. Without going into any politics the site has determined what it wants from each sale in order to keep it (and thus us) in business. On top of that we add our desired mark up percentage. We can add anything between 1% and 100% and at time of writing the site member average is 43%


Now there is nothing to stop you setting your mark up at 1% and nothing to stop you setting it at 100% or of course anything in-between - it is a question of what you want. However larger canvas products cost more - so by the time you add a say 95% mark up to a large canvas you could make a lot of money - but the danger is it could become so high you're likely to kill the sale. On the other hand small canvas products return a smaller profit so if you've set your mark up percentage low you would get very little.


This is where the other sliders come into play. You can decide, irrespective of the percentage - the minimum and maximum £££ values you want to work within. That way if you sell the smallest possible product you know you are still going to get at least £10. If you sell the largest possible you know the most will be £250 (these are site set) - values between that are up to you, though clearly your maximum must be above your minimum and the site slider gizmo checks that as you adjust it.


Back then to the 'How much?' question. Only you can answer that. If you have a relatively unique shot - an unusual bird, plane, train then people interested in that particular subject are likely to be willing to pay for it. If on the other hand images of the purple giant snuffle wort are as common as they get then the customer will be faced with a much wider choice - many of which will be keenly priced.


Confession time:- I set all mine the same. My head in the sand approach is that if I've got those all important titles, description and keywords right and someone likes my image they'll buy it so my percentage is high - over 90%. Whether that costs me sales because a buyer opts for a cheaper similar image I'll never know. Mentally you have to decide if in theory at least you'd rather have quite a few less profitable sales or one or two big chunky ones.