November 9, 2012
On Facebook I’ve been engaged in a group discussion about the selling of RAW images.
As you may or may not have known, I’ve moved back to the Midwest after eight wonderful years out West. With me comes everything I’ve learned from working out West and West Coast. One of the things that was a hotly debated subject about five years ago was the RAW images and allowing clients to purchase them. At first I was very much the “NO” and “NEVER” member, but over time I learned that if it’s the right price, the price will only get serious buyers. In this facebook group, I am one of very few posters that agrees with selling RAWS. Let’s look over the pros and cons of it:
CON: Client will have every image.
PRO: The client will have every image I agree to put on the cd.
CON: Client will photoshop the image and make them look bad.
PRO: Most clients that reach the RAW purchase price point aren’t going to look at them right away, maybe in a few years.
CON: I will lose the resale.
PRO: Most clients that purchase the RAWs (and most clients in general) never come back for reprints, so after losing the initial sale, I’ve lost future sales anyway.
Lots of pros and cons to evaluate but the bottom line is for the 10 years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve had VERY little resales in it. So if I can have a “Digital Negative” price of 1500.00 studio order and an additional 2,600.00 Digital Negative add on price, I would have made a total of 4,100.00 on a client who normally would have only spent about 800.00. By selling them the negatives, they now know that they can always purchase the negatives and as a result when they come in for future sessions, I can pretty much bank on a 4100.00 sale that month. The trick to it all? Price your digital negatives at a price you can sleep at night knowing you sold them for. I want my price up there and unobtainable for the fact that they do come back, but I end up calling them at the end of five years and selling the negs for a much reduced price.
What is your philosophy on selling the digital negatives?