Saturday, September 13, 2008

So my idea...

That's CK, one of my favorite models.

So in my post shoot notes for Tavia Spizer I said I was going to try something a bit different with how I handle the initial release of new shots. The problem I'm trying to solve is that after I bring out a new set a lot of regulars spend a lot of time basically seeing what I do and don't list on eBay before putting in an order for anything else they like, because they're trying to get them at auction price instead of store prices. And by the time they finish this there are some new pictures up and they don't always get as many as they originally intended. Plus that way I'm paying eBay fees which are relatively high and I'm always trying to gently shift business over to this website.

There's also this notion that it's easier to sell stuff if there's a sense of urgency or at least some kind of deadline is involved. That's one nice thing about auctions - they know that once it's done they know they have to pay the higher price, so people will just go for it instead of waiting. And if you start doing things like running a lot of sales it's a problem, because collectors want the prices to go up, not down, and if you do it often enough people will just wait for the next sale before buying anything.

One solution people use is they do limited editions and they set the pricing by quartiles. So if it's an edition of, say, 20 then prints 1-5 are at one price, and 6-10 are higher and so forth. It sounds great on paper, but most of the people doing it never really sell out of the first tranche, let alone the whole edition, and I think editions on lab made prints are stupid anyway, and I'd rather not track it for every print I sell.

I do get some benefit now when I'm about to raise prices - since I warn people I'll get a little boost before then. More all the time, actually, since people know I'm serious about it and that the prices never go back down.

But I thought of something simple that might work nicely. What if when I first list a new shoot I set the price for the whole set at the eBay auction price? That's my floor, so I'm not going under that. And I'll only have it at that price for, say, 24 hours. So the regulars have time to buy up what they want without screwing around with eBay, I don't pay the fees, and it gives an incentive to do it now instead of waiting. And if you miss it you were no worse off than otherwise. It's not much work for me, I don't have to track anything. It provides a benefit for people who keep on on the blog and know when the pictures will be listed.

So is it just me or does that work well for everybody? (Well, except eBay, but they can take care of themselves). I won't know until I try it, of course, and I'll probably fiddle around a bit with exactly how long it should be (24 hours? 72 hours?) and how much I'll advertise it (just on the blog or something on the main page?). But worse case if there's no uptick in sales I'll just stop after doing it a couple of times and I'll have learned something.

Anyway, when Tavia's set gets a little further along I'll post some more details, but that's the rough outline.

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