This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923.
During a conversation between two photographers at a recent convention, the matter of prices came up. Usually one doesn't get very far in such a discussion as every man must determine for himself what his work is worth.
However this particular discussion finally turned to price lists and the proportionate prices of quantities less than one dozen, and it struck me that one of these photographers had a very good plan of proportioning his prices for 3, 6, or 9 photographs. A note on his printed price list ran something like this: "On all orders for less than one dozen photographs the following rates will be charged: For nine photographs, 90% of the dozen price; for six, 70%, of the dozen price, and for three, 50% of the dozen price."And this is the way it worked out. For photographs which are sold at $36.00 per dozen the price per print would be $.'5.00. For nine prints the price would be $32.40 or $3.60each. For six prints the price would be $25.20 or $4.20 each, and for three prints the price would be $18.00 or $6.00 each.
This photographer frankly stated that he would not make less than three pictures on any order and that with this plan he did not care whether a customer ordered three or a dozen prints, he was always sure of being well paid for his work and always had a good chance of a profit on duplicate orders.
"But on what do you base your charges for duplicate prints?" the other photographer asked.
"That depends entirely upon the original order which is re-corded on the file card.If the customer has ordered three prints at $6.00 each and wishes one or two duplicate prints, we furnish them at $0.00 each, but if three duplicate prints are wanted they are furnished at $4.20 each, which is the price per print for an original order of six. If six duplicate prints are ordered the price is $3.00 each because the original order of three prints at $18.00 and six duplicates at $3.00 each brings the order up to $36.00, which is the original price of a dozen prints.
"We have only made nine prints for the customer's $36.00 so we are better off than if a dozen prints had been made in the first place. We still have a reasonable prospect of furnishing three more prints and these we make at 10% less than the dozen price, provided the duplicate order is for three or more prints. One or two prints are $3.00 each, while three or more prints are $-2.70 each.
"We have found this to be the best plan we have ever had for making a fair and equitable charge both for the original order and for duplicates, and as our prices are in a printed price list and we do not deviate from them, our cards are always on the table, face up, and we have and keep the confidence of our customers.
"This rule holds just as good for portraits at $18.00 a dozen or $60.00 a dozen, and if you have but one price and that in the form of a printed price list you need never have any misunderstandings.
"Our price list is small and very nicely printed, and when an order is given we always check the style and price on one of these lists and give it to the customer."
This plan appealed to me as a very practical one and I am merely passing it along, for what it may be worth, to any photographer who may feel he is able to use it. It is not possible or desirable for studios to have uniform prices, but it is possible for any number of studios to have a uniform method of proportioning their prices for different quantities of prints, providing a plan seems fair and reasonable, and properly covers costs and allows a profit.
The price for the smallest number of prints, however, necessarily always seems high because it must cover the cost of making the sale and the entire cost of the sitting, and these are just as great for one print as for a dozen. This can readily be explained to a customer and will usually result in increasing the order or in securing an early duplicate order.
Feature the Old Master surface of Vitava in your advertising and displays and you will create new interest in your portraits.
PORTRAIT FILM NEGATIVE, ARTURA PRINT
By O. H.Boye
San Francisco, Cal.