Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Why Hiding Pricing Only Hurts You

What was the last major purchase you made in which you couldn't easily find a price before talking to a sales person about the product?

A home?  Real estate listings online generally list home value before you attend an open house.

A car?  Sales prices are generally listed online before you need to walk into a store.

A painting?  Art sales prices are generally listed on a sales sheet in the gallery which you can pick up before viewing the work.

A TV?  Airfare?  Vacation Package?  Rug?  Furniture?  Pair of shoes?  Phone?  Jeans?  Haircut?

…. yeah, I can't think of anything either…. so why do photographers and some other creatives hide their pricing information?

Hiding pricing hurts you in several ways:
  • clients may assume a price above their budget based on not seeing a price at all and just not contact you about their project
  • clients may assume a price in their budget based on other pricing they've seen elsewhere and assume you're a budget service only to contact you and find out that you aren't in their budget at all, which wastes both your time and the client's time
  • clients and event planners may just be doing online research and not know how to value your work against other work they're considering, and thus they throw you out of their pool entirely because they don't have enough info
  • by not providing a value for your work up front, you don't give clients advance notice about what they should plan to spend with you, which would help them prepare their finances up front and be more ready to book you on the spot before getting in touch
You don't need to give out your entire price list, but you should at least give a starting price or a price range and inform clients if you expect to prepare a custom collection for them based on their needs.  Not only will it save you and your clients a lot of headache and heartache, it will also present your business as honest, straightforward, and trustworthy - which are all desired traits for anyone looking making an investment in a quality service.

Check out Christine's previous post on this same topic for more thoughts on providing pricing: http://photolovecat.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/on-sharing-pricing-up-front.html

Anne Ruthmann is an editorial & event photographer in New York City. She spent 10 years practicing marketing & management in corporate and non-profit businesses before pursuing her passion for photography in 2004 as an independent small business.  She loves helping others find creative and smart solutions to business problems.  Stay in touch on Twitter or Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Ann, wouldn't you agree that this is good advice for let's say a wedding or family photographer, but not really for a commercial, fashion or advertising photographer? These prices fluctuate based on the individual project so much and there are too many factors to give a set price.

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