Folksy Ltd

Additional way of selling my prints

(Heidi Meier) #1

Hi there - I’ve read in the past the posts about whether to offer prints framed or not, and I have decided to try something new in my (old) shop by offering some of my prints unmounted as well as unframed. I’m also intending to rationalise the number of different designs so I am including a discount in the price although I won’t be promoting it as such.

So these two decisions mean I can shave a big amount off the price (from £35 mounted to £15 unmounted) so hopefully they will appeal to a wider audience.

Have you changed how you sell your products to appeal to new audiences?? (e.g. offering things in higher quantities) I’d love to know what other people are trying. :smile:

(Cheekymonkeystudio) #2

Hi Hedi,
I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing with some of my prints as i current offer mounted & framed versions and i see alot of people offering without. I’ll be interested to know how you get on with it.

I worked out my large A3 “Furry Frolic’s” squirrel tree drops from £47 framed/ £37 mounted to £31 without anything, i’ve still to work out the postage cost.

I’ve been worrying that people might not realise that my prints come framed & mounted and think they just are expensive prints especially as some sellers show their prints framed in their promotional photo’s but are selling the prints on their own so customers might be comparing my price to theirs without looking closely at the description. I also worried the cost of posting framed & mounted prints was also putting people off.

My prints are scanned & printed by a professional certificated Fine Art Trade Guild print company for me so that they reproduction looks exactly like my originals that even i can’t tell the difference and it means they are also properly archival on the best quality specialist paper. With showcase prints online I’m not sure customers can properly appreciate the quality they are paying for in this process until the see them in real life. With my customers who buy direct from me at the studio they instantly fall in love with them and buy.

I’m trying to re-address my product photography’s (not my strongest area) at the mo to try and show the fabulous quality and how beautiful they really are.

I’m also thinking about selling some as sets or special discount for buying multiple frames/mounted prints. Really interested to know what else people do to appeal to new audience’s. It’s all a learning curve and getting it right for the customer :smile:

Good luck

(Heidi Meier) #3

Hi there - yes I’ll definitely keep you updated.

The comparable cost thing is a big issue for me too. Like you, I get mine professionally printed on heavyweight paper with archival inks, and they (historically) were sold already mounted with a nice thick conservation acid-free mount. They then take quite a decent size frame, and I felt that it was hard for people to compare them with other prints that were being offered in smaller sizes.

I’ve listed one set of jungle animals as a multiple deal but have had no takers yet (!) but maybe I should make it more of a ‘choose any 3’ type deal, which might appeal. I guess the only thing to do is test and learn!! :slight_smile:

(Sasha Garrett) #4

As the point of view of a potential buyer I much prefer to buy my art without frame or mount - I have a tame framer who does a very good job of it, knows what I like and doesn’t bat an eyelid at what I take him (batiks, 3D papercuts, wax rubbings on hand made paper, screen prints, the works). Looking at Cheeky monkey’s shop it is easy for me to tell which of the pieces come framed and which don’t (although there is something of a colour cast on some of the photos) as there are clearly collections titled prints and framed prints. Then to reinforce it the framed prints are shown in a frame and the unframed prints are shown witout a frame. Its much harder to tell in Textile treasure’s shop which are the unframed and unmounted pieces. I’ve found an unmounted owl print but I can’t find this set of unmounted jungle animals that you mentioned (I would consider an owl a woodland bird rather than a jungle bird so maybe that is my problem). I think it would be easier for me to tell if the main image of the unframed pieces actually showed the item without the frame.
Sorry to be so critical but hopefully there is something helpful in my comments.

(Heidi Meier) #5

Hi @SashaGarrett - that’s good feedback and very welcome thank you! (The owl isn’t included in a jungle set, I was just referring to a different listing that I had tried which comprised the usual lions, tigers etc!!)

I need to have a look again at people who sell unframed prints and see how they are photographed and presented - to date most have been shown with a frame and then the description states it excludes the frame.

To be honest, my thoughts when I first started selling online was to simply provide a picture of the artwork itself but then because the slots on Folksy were square and the advice to get in gift guides recommended presentation in a certain way, I’ve veered towards showing everything in a frame, and then simply provide different listing for different options. I also began to offer the prints in a mount, as then most people could buy an off the shelf frame and it was ready to go.

Just shows you there is no one solution that fits all and there are always new considerations to be thinking about! :smile:

(Sasha Garrett) #6

Please take this as a compliment to the quality of your photography and prints but I find it difficult to tell which are the original pieces of textile work and which are the prints when I look in your shop (the prints have really picked up on the detail and texture of the orginals). It doesn’t help that titles get abbreviated on shop fronts and, unlike on a certain other site, the missing bit of the title doesn’t show up when you hover over it. As you say you might just have to try a few things and see what effect it has on views/ sales.

(Heidi Meier) #7

Thanks @SashaGarrett - the prints are indeed hard to tell from the original but that’s very difficult to communicate in the descriptions (unless I just blatantly say it I guess!!).

I think what I will do (and I’ve made a start already!) is to ensure anything which is being sold unmounted and unframed is shown as an image of the print itself only.

And anything that is sold mounted, can be photographed with a frame. I’m also going to try and group framed and unframed versions separately using Shopkeeping.

Hopefully, in this way it’ll be easier to see at a glance what is the difference between each.

Thanks for your comments as you’ve articulated why my shop is looking a bit disjointed and having known this for some time, now I think I see a way to improve it! :slight_smile:

(Cheekymonkeystudio) #8

@Textiletreasure thank you so much Heidi :slight_smile:

Yep i agree with you test and learn, that’s what i’m trying to do too… i’m doing a pick and mix offer with my greetings cards and hopefully as i get more greeting card designs in this offer will be come more valuable to customers. I need to re do the offer image though, when resized for the thumbnail i lose some of the wording…opps i only just noticed that! :flushed:

I saw an advice guide recommending presenting the main picture as always in a frame but i actually disagreed with it and thought it would mislead the customer about what they were getting so i went with the showing them as they would receive them…mounted or framed. I had seen sellers following that guide and was beginning to second guess myself but seeing Sasha reply from the view point of a potential buyer i’m glad i’ve done it the way i have as i had thought it was clearer to the customer what they were receiving. Like you say though no one solution fits all and always lots of new considerations to be thinking about.

With unmounted/unframed prints i have seen lots of different styling idea…prints pegged on pretty string/ribbon aka washing line, or hanging from branches, or laying flat on surface…some work really well. I think i will look further into offering unmounted too after Sasha feedback.

Good luck
Jac x

(Cheekymonkeystudio) #9

Thank you so much @SashaGarrett your feedback is most welcome and extremely helpful.

Feedback from the view point of a potential buyer is really good, knowing what a customer looks for when considering a purchase is invaluable advice.I try to do it myself as much as possible but working so closely with the product sometime it can be difficult to be completely subjective. All feedback is always a valuable learning curve and something to evolve and grow the business on to offer the best possible product to the customer in the best possible way.

Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my shop, i really appreciate it. May i ask is the colour cast on some of the photo’s is that ones with the bright pink background in or the ones with the taupe background? The pink ones are my older pictures that i’m in the process of changing, i felt although i was trying to get a cohesive background colour to re-inforce the brand the pink was over powering. The taupe are some of the new ones but i think they still need work and certain ones i really need to look at squaring off so they show better in the thumbnails.

I’ve struggled with my product photographs and have been trying to learn using different techniques from backgrounds, outdoors, styling, photoshop and camera set up etc. I’ve just purchased a light reflector, studio light & diffuser which has just turned up today in hopes to improve the picture quality…it’s a good learning curve and teaching me new things, lots to still learn :smile:

Thanks you once again for your feedback Sasha, i’m gonna look further into offer the prints without mounts too
Jac x

(Sasha Garrett) #10

The pink background photos don’t have a colour cast its the more recent ones with the squirrels or mice - they have an overall creamy look to them with no crisp whites. I’m assuming that there should be a crisp white background to the print and the listing does say that the frame is white but on my computer they look creamy. I like the styling of these ones though - its consistent (even though its not the same with the squirrels and the mice) and looks appropriate for the style of the art. If you use software like picasa it is possible to get a perfect square crop (cd cover option in the drop down menu) and you can use the ‘neutral colour picker’ to correct any colour casts.
Photography is still the bane of my life so good luck and have fun with your new kit.

(Susannah Ayre) #11

I originally sold everything unmounted. Then I decided to sell things mounted as I thought it looked more professional. But I didn’t add a price on for the mounts as I use a professional framer so the mounts cost no more than £1 each so I don’t bother adding that on.
I have also sold framed prints online in the past, though not too many as postage is incredibly expensive and I’ve discovered that people don’t seem too bothered. Some people specifically ask if I can get them framed which is fine. But I do sell framed prints in a few B&M shops. Again they’re framed by a professional framer so the cost I add on for the frame is literally the cost price so it’s usually either an additional £15- £20.

I have now gone back to selling unmounted prints online. I’m able to then send them in a tube and can therefore guarantee that they’re protected in the post. I couldn’t always guarantee that with posting mounted prints as some of my prints are quite big so it was taking a lot of packaging that I just couldn’t sustain for the price I wanted to post them for. This way I can just have set postage at £5 which covered the £4.40 for posting the tube plus a little for the cost of the tube.

All of my prints are original and numbered, and I rarely do print runs larger than 20, so knowing they’re protected in the post is really important to me as it’s not something I could necessarily replace if something went wrong.

If anyone local buys one of my prints (not framed) I automatically deliver it mounted and cellophane wrapped. If I do craft fairs I sell them like that as well.

It’s been a lot of playing around/working out the best combination for my work and my customers. But I think I’ve sussed it for now.

It’s interesting to see how people have to change/develop how they sell. Also interesting to see if people have stumbled across the right combination for them and how.

(Heidi Meier) #12

Wow @curiousseagull £1 for a mount! Mine cost just under £5 so I think I need to do some more research to get costs down! I’ve gone for conservation grade mount board and I can’t find that many sources online but it’s clearly worth spending some time on.

Posting in a tube is good as I’ve received prints in those and they are pretty indestructible. I suppose that then gets rid of the packaging necessity, as you point out, and makes the whole packing task far easier.

It took me an age to change to hard backed envelopes for my cards as previously I was using recycled cardboard, cutting to size and then after enclosing the receipt and a thanks letter, wrapping the whole thing in brown paper. It didn’t cost me much in terms of £s but took an age, and to be honest I hated it. Then I bit the bullet and bought a few boxes of decent hard backed envelopes, changed what I do for the thanks and receipt and now it’s dead easy and so quick, and actually far more professional.

I have found that when I started out, I was so fixed on £s costs I forgot that sometimes just doing something differently even if it is a bit more in terms of initial cost, can save so much time and also really does look far more professional in the long run.

I’m trying to offer more things post free so if I can get a more efficient way of sending prints at a low cost, then that can only be good! (Off to research cardboard tubes… :slight_smile: )

(Sasha Garrett) #13

Having schlepped artwork around the world in those cardboard tubes (why do we buy awkward shaped souvenirs at the beginning of a trip…) I can attest to their hardiness - if baggage handlers can’t damage them then posties are going to struggle. We have also had artwork packaged in plastic rather than cardboard tubing (we watched them cut down a length from a builders merchant with a hacksaw!) which was very useful as it was in a country known for torrential downpours and by the time they had taped it up it was pretty much water proof. Possibly something to consider when posting during the winter months.

(Cheekymonkeystudio) #14

Hiya Sasha,
Thanks ever so for looking and your feedback, I’ll have another look at them and play around with them with my new kit. :smile:

The backgrounds are actually a soft white as are the frames. The older ones were photographed outside in very bright sunlight which was a bit harsh making them look a tad stark with a slight grey cast to them where as the later ones indoors next to a window in natural light, the colours of the illustration come out more naturally but the frames as you say look slight creamy. Getting the perfect light is a learning curve and with different monitor’s it all adds to the mix but hopefully the new kit will help.

I’m fine using photoshop the software does the same with squaring off in square ratio mode but i just cropped into much as i didn’t like so much wall showing so i do need to re-address that.

I love photographing animals & landscapes but product photography a whole different kettle of fish! Tis good learning a new skill though. Good luck with yours and thanks ever so much for all your feedback

Jac x

(Cheekymonkeystudio) #15

Hiya Heidi,

I got some Postal tubes a while back from ebay here’s the link if any good.

Good luck

(Susannah Ayre) #17

It’s not what you know- it’s who you know as the saying goes!
About 10 years ago I went travelling for a year and randomly posted artwork back to my parents from everywhere I went (in tubes of course!) by the time I got home I’d accumulated a lot! And so took a few at a time to a local framer. 10 years on I now drop in on him just for a random chat, and he’s now framed everything in my house (my walls are covered) as well as all my own artwork now for the shops they sell in. I wouldn’t think to go to anywhere else and as we’re now friends he definitely gives me a discount- quite a substantial one at that. Though if I sell anything locally I always direct people to him.
So he does all my mounts, I can pick 20 up from him at a time- even around A3 in size and I won’t pay more than £20 for them.

Make friends with a framer! Haha

(Heidi Meier) #18

Have added that to the to do’ list!!! Thnaks @curiousseagull :slight_smile: :slight_smile: