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Lets say you have been approached by someone, who offers to sell one of your images as prints. Now because they do not know how well the print will sell, they are suggesting that instead of one off fee, they would pay you as and when print sells (lets say at the end of every month I would get a cheque. Or not). Without looking paranoid and greedy, how would you make it transparent? Or would you not go down this route?
I have had once a bad experience with this, so I would not be too keen on this again. And once you give out hi-res image, thats it: for the rest of their life they have it. Would love to hear your take on it. To prevent any future frustrations.
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Firstly, I would not give someone a high res image to sell as they wish. As you have already had a bad experience then consider this very carefully. Once they have it what guarantees have they given you and how are you able to monitor the sales of the image?
Making this transparent sounds like it will be something of a nightmare.
Is this an online company?
Thanks for your reply. This is a different person to the previous one. I have been contacted via my website, but they have an actual gallery, and they sell online as well.
You could agree with them that you can make random test purchases through a third party. If that's unworkable you could estimate sales and licence the image to them on an annual basis. You could check if they were still selling it once the agreement had ended with a test purchase. They could advertise the work but you would fulfil the orders, they'd only have access to a small watermarked image.
In the end though there isn't an easy solution.
There's nearly always an element of trust involved when you sell or license photos through a third party, but I'd certainly be reluctant to get involved in anything where a sum of money didn't initially change hands. I might be tempted if there was a traceable and contactable list of photographers taking part - the internet is useful for comparing notes on such enterprises.
....the real problem obviously lies in the fact that you're selling prints. I did that through a third party once (i.e. gallery owner), and was paid a sum up front, but with the business being on the other side of the world I had no way of knowing whether or not they were sticking to the agreed print run. At least an online business is a little more open - are you really taking a bigger risk than users of Redbubble or Fine Art America? The advantage with those is that you can research their performance online.
Thank you very much for all your help and advice. Looks like there is lot more to consider/do than I thought. I will probably leave it, as it is not worth the hassle. Plus it's one of my favourite images. If it was something I took years ago I would take a gamble. Once again, thank you.
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