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Selling to local restaurants - framing options

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michaelcombe
26 May 2010 - 5:56 PM

I have just recenly had some of my images printed onto A3 and framed at a local framers. I got 4 framed at £25 each which is for a 2.5" white mount and a nice 3/4" black frame with glass.

I kinda thought that's around what I'd pay seeing as they are properly done and have the proper hanging string etc on the back.

I am thinking of approaching a handful of local eateries to see if they would display some of my local images with a view to selling.

My problem is what sort of money should I charge / sizes / commission to restaurant. I'm guessing most people would probably pay no more than £35 for a framed photo which might cost me around £18 printed / framed (12x16?) - giving half the commision to the seller would mean me breaking even....?

Anyone got any experience in this field? Am I way off with my estimations / pricing?

Mnay thanks,

Michael

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26 May 2010 - 5:56 PM

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User_Removed
26 May 2010 - 6:01 PM

Ultimately it depends on how good they Wink but a few points worth bearing in mind.

People go to restaurants to eat, not buy art.
Most restauranteurs will bite your hand off to decorate their walls with good art for free.
Your markup should be at least 100%, including whatever commission is agreed, (IMO) to make it worth your while.

Agree a trial period after which the work will be returned otherwise they're laughing and you're out of pocket. Deliver the pics along with a delivery note stating exactly what they've been given and the agreed terms, including wall price and the commission. Go through the delivery note with them so that they can't say they've not read it properly.

Tom_H
Tom_H  948 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
27 May 2010 - 2:56 PM

I have pictures in a local restaurant and in a local cafe, but I don't sell through them. The pictures all have my contact details on: both my shop and website; and if people are interested in purchasing them then they can contact me.

The way it works out is that the cafe/restaurant owners get some nice pictures and I get some free advertising.

As to costing one of my A3 prints would retail at £48 framed and ready to hang.

michaelcombe
3 Jun 2010 - 11:48 PM

Thanks guys, will let you know how it goes.

Michael

LensYews
LensYews  51300 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jun 2010 - 12:38 AM

You will probably get greater success if you can match the pictures to the type of eateries and the types of people who will eat there, as they will have selected that venue for a lifestyle reason and will have more interest in images linked to that lifestyle. Such as marine or coastal images for a fish restuarant, objects of desire for mitchelin starred restaurants, string lambs/free range chickens for the organic farm shop, immediate area for the local pub, etc

User_Removed
4 Jun 2010 - 7:45 AM

I was talking to a painter yesterday about this. He has put his work into a local cafe 3 times and sold pretty well. It will depend on the cafe and who goes in on whether you sell and how much you can sell for.

I have my prints done by a really good printing lab and framed, they never go on the wall for less then £90 - 16x11 print. The thing that really pisses most people who sell in this way are people who under value their work. It brings the whole value of photography down.

Its true that people go to cafes and restaurants to eat, but they will buy too. But it's not a quick way to sell. You shouldn't pay commission to a cafe or restaurant, they are getting free decoration, I don't know any that charge it. You should have an opening though, they will make money on wine and nibbles and you will sell your work. Most work sells on the opening night.

User_Removed
4 Jun 2010 - 9:35 AM


Quote: I was talking to a painter yesterday about this. He has put his work into a local cafe 3 times and sold pretty well.

I really think that's a different market. Good art does sell because each piece is unique. Photography also sells but you have to be sure that your work has something about that sets it apart and there's an awful lot of people out there putting thier photography on walls for sale.

User_Removed
4 Jun 2010 - 9:55 AM


Quote: Good art does sell because each piece is unique

As does good photography. But not all good art is unique, this painter sells originals but also prints of originals. What I have found to be important when selling photos is to make sure that the buyers know you are not going to print hundreds and sell the same image over and over again. I number mine and limit them to a maximum of 10 prints. Some I will only print once, I have even deleted the digital file to make sure of that.


Quote: there's an awful lot of people out there putting thier photography on walls for sale

True, and a lot of it should never have made to to the printer let alone the wall. Photography is harder to sell, mostly because I think the person looking at it will like it, but think, "I could take that myself." Whereas, not many people look at paintings and think they could go home and do a painting. For me selling has four basic components; the image, the printing, the framing and the venue it's on the wall at. There are other components to selling of course, being there to talk to the viewers is important, but those four, if they all come together, will produce sales. High price is not an issue, in fact, a low price undervalues the work in the minds of the buyer.

Tom_H
Tom_H  948 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jun 2010 - 9:58 AM


Quote: The thing that really pisses most people who sell in this way are people who under value their work. It brings the whole value of photography down.

Whilst I understand what you are saying, the reality is that most people are unwilling to spend that sort of money on a photograph - especially where I live. As someone who makes their living from selling photographs - and photography in general - I would rather sell two or three at £48 and still make a healthy profit than none at £90 and not eat.

I do have the advantage of a tame framer who charges very reasonable rates - and works from my shop!

Last Modified By Tom_H at 4 Jun 2010 - 9:59 AM
User_Removed
4 Jun 2010 - 10:10 AM

A tame framer, have him stuffed!

I know what you are saying. And different markets different prices I guess. I don't know any photographers that sell work I only really know artists, painters etc. I tend to show with them and my work is cheap compared to the £200+ work next to it. I price to fit in with the other exhibitors in many ways, they wouldn't want cheap work on the walls next to theirs. Also, people viewing paintings and sculptures expect a price tag that has at least 3 figures in it and not 1.99!

User_Removed
4 Jun 2010 - 10:13 AM


Quote: What I have found to be important when selling photos is to make sure that the buyers know you are not going to print hundreds and sell the same image over and over again


And what I have found is that what I must ensure is that my work is high quality and has a distinct look. I've only met a very small number of people to whom limited edition matters and I would say that they are in the same market segment as the art buyers. IME most photograph buyers just want something nice to hang on thier walls.

Going back to the original point, yes you will get the art buying crowd patronising the restaurants and cafes but purely in terms of populations they will represent only a small fraction of the total audience.


Quote:
Photography is harder to sell, mostly because I think the person looking at it will like it, but think, "I could take that myself."


Agreed. It must have an apparent unattainable-by-any-other-means quality to it, which is why art sells better than photography.


Quote:
a low price undervalues the work in the minds of the buyer.


In the art-buying market this is true. Perceived value counts for a great deal, but in terms of shifting product and ensuring cashflow it's far more important to pitch the price to the market. If Michael is keen to sell his work in this way then it would pay him to have a look around the vicinity and see what other stuff is currently for sale and at what price, bearing in mind that anything he sees actually hanging on the wall with a price on it hasn't actually been bought. It's better to have products to suit all pockets than to wait for the buyer that only comes along twice a year and then probably only kicks the tyres.

User_Removed
4 Jun 2010 - 10:17 AM

Maybe this is starting to answer the question of is photography art!

I agree totally with the above. I suppose I am aiming at the art market.

User_Removed
4 Jun 2010 - 10:23 AM


Quote: Maybe this is starting to answer the question of is photography art!


He he Grin Is that a can of worms I see you opening ? Wink

User_Removed
4 Jun 2010 - 10:32 AM


Quote: He he Grin Is that a can of worms I see you opening ? Wink

Just bending the lid a little maybe!

jon gibbs
jon gibbs  10147 forum posts2 Constructive Critique Points
13 Jun 2010 - 10:23 AM

Michael, you take some lovely shots, they are worth more than £35 framed, believe me.
As mentioned you must double costs in your pricing at least and if the restaurant/venue is taking its cut and you're merely breaking even then I don't see the point, you've got to get some return from them.From my experience cheap prices reflect a cheap product, ok so not everyone can afford that £70-90 bracket BUT if that image is carefully chosen and relevant to the area being displayed I am sure you will have buyers, though be patient.You may also want to consider selling smaller mounted only images if the venue will allow you.
For god sake make sure if you are putting any in restaurants the images are properly mounted, by that I mean bonded, the amount of change in temperature within a restaurant will make the images bend and then no one will even consider them.They will also get mucky so can you rely on the restaurant owners to clean them to make them look their best?
I don't believe in going the limited edition way either, for very big prints maybe but not at a3 ish size.In my experience there are three criteria for selling photographs, 'wow! love that, got to have that', 'it will go great in our lounge, just the right colour', 'oh look that's where we went' - pricing can be a sticking point but offer smaller images on site.
Make sure you have website details on any pricing, people may like the pic but not the frames and may want to contact you to get a print only.

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