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SV Portfolio Pricing Guide August 18, 2008

Posted by Team SnapVillage in snapvillage.
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While pricing at most microstock sites is based on file size or file popularity, here at SnapVillage our contributors are in control of their own image pricing. We think this is a really cool feature, and we’ve heard from many contributors who are also enthusiastic about PYOP. Cool as it is, we do realize that pricing presents a unique challenge, especially for those who are new to stock photography.

Recently, some of you have asked for a little help with figuring out the best price for your images. While we can’t decide your pricing for you, we can give you some guidance.

Pricing can be a tricky thing. It takes time, research, and an objective approach to your work to determine the right price for your images.

Here at SV, we’ve found these three points key when it comes to pricing:
1) Be honest
2) Be realistic
3) Be vigilant (do your homework)

1. Be honest with yourself when determining your image prices. As photographers and illustrators, we should naturally be proud of our work, but we have to keep in mind that these images need to be appealing to a broad audience. Buyers will probably be looking at many images before making the decision to license one – how does your work stack up?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

• How does the quality of my content compare to the rest of the collection?
• Is my content of desirable subject matter?
• Would I buy my own content at this price?

2. Be realistic when determining the market value for your images, especially for images of common subjects like clouds, pets, flowers, sunsets and the like. Consider pricing this kind of content towards the lower end of the scale. Due to the sheer volume of these kinds of images, buyers have plenty of similar shots to choose from. So unless your image has the exceptional technical quality and unusual attributes to really stand out, a $50 image of a common subject is not very likely to see much action.

Consider the content:

• Unusual content or a different take on the usual content is potentially worth more to a buyer.
• Professional quality portraits of people in business and lifestyle settings are in high demand and inherently worth more.

3. Be vigilant and do your homework, both before and after your images are live on the site. Effective pricing takes research and may require fine-tuning now and then.

Before you upload and set your prices:

• Compare your images to other similar images in the collection: Are your images better? worse?
• Check out the Editor’s Picks. These are some of our favorite images – hand picked by our team. There’s a reason we like them. 😉
• Consider your subject matter: how much commercial appeal does your content have? Can you picture it being used in an ad? A brochure? On a website?

Based on the answers to those questions, pick your basic pricing strategy:

• Set low prices and count on increased volume
• Set higher prices and expect fewer sales with more revenue per sale

After your images are live:

• Regularly check up on your portfolio – how many views are you getting on each image? How many sales have you had?
• Do you have images with steady amounts of views but no sales? Looks like buyers like your photo but aren’t choosing to buy it. This could be an indication that your price is too high. Try lowering it for a while and see if sales pick up.
• Do you have images with low ratio of view to sales? Congratulations, you’ve got some gold! If that trend continues, you might consider raising the price to see if your winning combination continues!

How to Change Your Price

Now that we’ve covered some basic strategies, let’s briefly go over the specifics of how to price images on SnapVillage:
1. Before upload: Set your default price and default subscription choice in your “My Account”. Note: this will be your default for pricing for all future uploads. Changing this setting does NOT change pricing on images in your portfolio that have already been published.


2. During upload: While uploading images and illustrations, the default price and subscription option will appear on Step 2. If needed, you can change these by selecting the desired price from the image price drop-down.



3. After upload: Go to “My Account”, and then click on the “My Portfolio”, and then “Published”. Here you can change pricing individually by clicking the “change pricing” button on any image. Make your change and then clic¬k “save changes”.


Some of you have mentioned that changing prices individually can be a pain with a large portfolio, so we’re investigating ways of adding bulk pricing change functionality. While we’re working on this, let us know if you need your entire portfolio changed. We can definitely help you out with that.

Just remember – pricing is both an art and a science. It takes time to find the best pricing strategy for your images.

As always, if you have questions or more thoughts on pricing strategy, leave a comment on this post or send us an email.

Good luck, Villagers!

– Brian



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