By Martin Hurley
If you’ve ever tried selling your photos in the form of a photo product such as an original framed print, a limited edition signed poster, or a canvas photo print, you’d know that it takes LOTS of effort to do.
In fact the whole process can end up being downright tedious. After all, just consider the work and time involved… you have to figure out how to print the photograph up, find the right frame (if framing it), package it securely, find a good courier that’ll transport it safely and cheaply, and so on.
In fact, the time and effort it takes to do all this is likely the one key factor that stops many photographers from actually going ahead and doing it! You’d be right to think that there must be a better way…
There is of course, and that’s what this article is about. Actually it just involves tapping into many of the numerous online resources that are more than happy to do all the printing, framing, packing and shipping for you! Of course, you’ll need to pay for it to be done, but the costs can be quite minimal overall. And the end result can be brilliant!
The process involves uploading your chosen photograph/s to one of the many ‘print on demand’ websites. (We’ll use CafePress as an example). CafePress basically hand you a blank canvas… you (upload your photo) and then design and create your own custom photo product… They then print this on your choice of greeting cards, home decor, ceramics, clothing, stickers, calendars, framed photo prints and more…
If you know how to do it, that part is easy enough. You need to get the photo sizing right, and there’s certain requirements for the images you upload, such as the particular image format and the resolution. CafePress does explain a lot of this at its website, but the ‘sellable’ factor of the photo you choose is something you’ll have to mull over yourself, and perhaps get feedback from trusted friends.
The next part is selling your photo product. For this you’ll use eBay.com as they are a good testing ground for you to ‘experience’ selling your new photo product. eBay is relatively inexpensive and a heavily ‘traveled’ web site (over 100 million members) – many of these people are going to eBay to buy and sell goods, so it makes sense to ‘go where the people are!’
After all, you do want them to see (and buy) your custom photo product, right? The best way to learn how to do this part is actually to get in there and do it. Get familiar with how eBay works, what sells best, how to present your listing, how it all runs and flows…
In a nutshell that’s almost all there is to this simple sell photos online formula. Create an attractive photo product using CafePress, and then sell it using eBay. However if you jump into doing this it’s quite likely that quite a few questions would pop up at you…
For example you might be thinking how can I make sure my framed print (or the product you decide on) sells? How do I run a successful eBay listing (auction)? Or how do I know what will sell? eBay will be able to answer some of these questions for you. Plus they have a pretty helpful sellers forum and ‘live help desk’ that I encourage you to use to get knowledgeable quickly.
There’s also another seldom used CafePress technique that takes this formula one step further. It’s not really an ‘advanced’ technique as such, although it’s quite difficult to explain clearly! You do what we’ve already mentioned… create your unique photo product and let CafePress send this to your (eBay) buyer.
Except this time around you ‘turn the technique on’ and stand back and watch impressively as your new customer (your buyer) receives your one-of-a-kind framed photographic print (or custom product) directly from you!
Read those words again… and then let them sink in. Your new customer receives it ‘from you!’ Shouldn’t they be receiving the unique photo product that you created ‘directly’ from CafePress? Well, actually they do, but they won’t know this! That’s the beauty of this ‘sneaky’ technique.
And, as I mentioned, it’s a little difficult to explain fully here. But suffice to say, the technique works quite well and can be used repeatedly to sell your own photography products, no matter what. You just need to tweak it a little to fit your style…
So, hopefully, the (relatively!) simple sell photos online formula here has given you some creative food for thought… Now you just need to go and experience it for yourself, and use it to get your own amazing photo products out there!
© Copyright Martin Hurley 2008
Martin Hurley, the Sell Photos Online dude is a photo-preneur who guides photographers towards becoming online entrepreneurs, uncovering their genius, and selling more photos. Learn how to use this ‘sneaky’ CafePress technique and other sell photos online photography techniques to your advantage!
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