Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Photos For Profit
Ways to make income with your best images
Labels: Sharing and Websites
|Full-Service Vs. Self-Fulfillment|
|Should you print and deliver your own products or let a lab do it for you?|
If you're selling physical prints to customers, you have a fundamental choice to make when setting up shop: Do you want to print and ship your products yourself, or would you rather let a lab handle everything for you?
Partnering with a professional photo lab can do more than help you turn out high-quality prints. It also can take some of the business burden off your back. Working with a full-service lab like Bay Photo or Mpix, or using a service like PhotoShelter that offers its own full-service lab partners, not only can you order prints, but you can allow the lab to label, package and drop-ship products directly to customers. It's faster and more cost-effective, saving the time and expense of another shipping step.
Most services offer the option of removing lab-specific information from the order, and some even allow you to upscale the packaging with custom wrappings, papers and boxes that ensure your high-quality presentation comes through even in delivery.
The downside, though, is that you're not hands-on with your prints every step of the way. You're trusting that the print quality is up to par (since you're not seeing it for yourself prior to delivery) and that the packaging and overall product meets your expectations. Working with a reliable partner, this isn't as great a risk. Still, photographers are known for being perfectionists when it comes to their work, so it's understandable if you'd rather print your products and deliver them yourself.
On the other hand, an additional benefit of working with a professional lab is that you'll be able to offer a wider variety of products than you'd likely be able to offer from your own studio.
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