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[OM] Re: Selling photos - getting a start ::offline!

Subject: [OM] Re: Selling photos - getting a start ::offline!
From: Gary Schloss <schloss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 01:24:19 -0800
========= offline!! =========
Shawn, you wrote:

>I have no expectations of making money at it, just hoping to cover
>some of the additional costs of doing things the way I'd like to,
>which mostly means covering the cost of working with a pro lab
>rather than the local drug store chain.

Well, in that case maybe you ought to consider getting a tighter
control over your expenses.  I know you live in Canada, and there
are certain differences, in price and otherwise, between the US
and the rest of the world.  However, you live close enough to the
US to take advantage of many perks you neighbors to the south
enjoy. Moreover, many US-based retailers have a presence in BC.

Here are a few useful tips:

(a) Buy film in sizeable quantities -- mail order.  Watch for
monthly specials, clearance sales, etc.  High sales volume
guarantees film freshness.  Many modern consumer-grade
emulsions seem close enough to professional film, esp. when
you must pay for them out of your own pocket :-).  Of course,
if you work on a retainer, and the customer pays for materials,
you can splurge.

(b) Join your local Price-Costco (there's one in Vancouver by
the airport; how about Victoria?).  In addition to better and
cheaper prints, they also offer pro-lab services.  Get to know
employees in the photo dept., and they'll teach you how to get
best results.  You can easily do 80-95 percent of your pro-lab
work with Costco, leaving the remaining 5-20 percent that may
need more personal attention to the higher-end labs.  Costco
quality on pro-lab jobs is very good, but find out where is
your stuff sent out (my local Costco works with labs in Long
Beach and Phoenix, AZ).

(c) Search the net for mail-order oriented pro labs.  By
eliminating store fronts and minimizing advertising, these
labs cut costs and offer extremely attractive prices.  Beware
that shipping costs may be prohibitively high on small orders
or express deliveries, so plan in advance and save. Quality
should be superb, but you must communicate with these places

Sometimes, simply researching the above avenues and bringing
the info. to the attention of your friendly local pro lab will
do wonders to their price elasticity: you may be offered better
deals, elevated to a more priviledged customer category, etc.

Good luck, and my sincere apologies for boring you with this
"housewife economics" stuff.



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