Selling Prints- HUGE MISTAKES I Wish I Didn't Make!







YouTube was good so I decided to be a

little extra with that introduction

today if you enjoyed it hit that thumbs

up button it helps out the video a lot

but today we are talking about selling

prints so I posted some new prints to my

site which inspired me to make this

video because I know a lot of y'all are

interested in selling prints for

yourself and I think I sold my first

print in 2014 and I've made a lot of

mistakes since then I've learned a lot

so today I want to take that learning

curve out of the picture for y'all so

you don't have to make 4 to 5 years of

mistakes like I did so before we get

going today I want to thank our sponsor

Squarespace head over

slash heaven rants to start a free trial

today or use code and rant to get 10%

off your first purchase now last month I

did the video with Squarespace where I

broke down exactly how I built my

website admin ramp coms so if you're

watching this video thinking how do I

sell prints online that video is a link

in the description on this video so you

can go check it out and you can see

exactly how I built my site and here's

the thing you don't necessarily have to

be selling prints to get started with a

website it's one of the most valuable

things you can do as a photographer for

your business think of how many times

you've been out with your camera

photographing something and someone asks

are you a photographer the answer should

be yes and you should have a website to

direct them to in that video I just

mentioned that's linked in the

description on this video I show you how

to set up a home page on your site that

has a contact me button so people who

are interested in booking you can click

that button and basically contact you

for booking immediately it's that easy

it's quick and simple Squarespace is

known for their award-winning customer

service as well as these easily

customizable templates that basically

take all the excuses out of why you

can't have a website so head over to slash and ramp to start

a free trial today and use code and ramp

to get 10% off your first purchase thank

you Squarespace for sponsoring the video

now the first mistake we got to talk

about which is damaging your prints now

there is nothing worse than getting a

print in the mail getting ready to send

it to a client to a person who bought it

and doing something to ruin it now over

the last few years there's a few things

I've learned to basically limit the

amount of damage you can do one is wear

gloves in the intro video you saw me put

some gloves on my hands this is to

basically remove any accidents your

hands have natural oils you touch things

all day all it takes is one weird thing

to be on your hands that makes its way

to the print and it's ruined it's

me before and another thing that I left

out on that intro on purpose is a little

learning example you notice how I put

the print on a piece of cardboard you do

not want to do this what you want to do

is lay out a sheet or something clean

that you can put the print on to side so

nothing gets transferred over to the

print and nothing ruins it it's pretty

simple straightforward you just want to

be clinical about it be clean and make

sure nothing can touch the print to

cause any issues now one other thing

that I like to do is I like to print my

prints on some type of mount now one

drawback to doing this yes it's mounted

yes you're not as worried about damage

but it's more expensive to print which

means you have to charge more and it can

also be a little bit more expensive to

ship so here's what I like to do to

avoid damage when I'm shipping a print

what I do is I buy these bags on Uline

or Amazon any type of shipping website I

put my print in the bag fold it up tape

it and then I take two pieces of

cardboard just like this and I sandwich

the print in between the pieces of

cardboard if I can actually get this

open put it in there like so you saw

that in an introduction and what I'll do

is I'll tape down that print usually on

one side to make sure it stays flat I

don't want to tape all four sides

because they can get damaged when

someone's actually taking it out of the

packaging but I tape it down to make

sure it's flat close this off tape the

ends and then I go ahead and slide it

into this box just like on the

introduction video and it's as simple as

that now the print is protected it's

safe inside that box the only thing that

can really damage it is if like

something punctures through the box or

it gets completely crushed but those are

the main things I do to make sure damage

is limited when I actually have the

print in my possession and also I signed

that print with a sharpie in the video

typically I like to use a metallic

sharpie on something like this that's

mounted I'll sign the back on paper

prints like that I don't always

recommend sharpie because it can bleed

through sharpie on that type of paper

might not be the move now number two is

lowering the price of your prints

because you want to increase sales it's

this weird mental game we play with

ourselves or we think okay if I price

the print at this amount I'll sell this

many and I'll feel successful when in

reality all you're doing is cutting out

your profits and essentially giving your

work away for close to nothing so let's

do an example here let's

your print costs $100 to make and you

decide to sell that print for a hundred

and twenty dollars to make a thousand

dollar profit you are going to need to

sell 50 of those prints because your

profit is only twenty dollars so for us

our price is a hundred dollars we want

to mark this up to 300 dollars

what this does is it allows room for

discrepancies let's say you want to run

a sale on your site where you do 25% off

over the weekend now that print selling

at 300 dollars at 25% off your profit is

still going to be a hundred and

twenty-five dollars which means to reach

that thousand dollars in profit you only

need to sell eight prints eight prints

as opposed to 50 prints it seems a lot

easier right I think you can find eight

people who can pay that two hundred and

twenty-five dollars on sale versus fifty

people who want to pay $400 or $120

whatever it was you see it's just like a

game you play with yourself where you

think I'm gonna price this lower so more

people can get it but what happens is

when certain costs come up things like

the price of your website membership

things like extra shipping cost things

like maybe a weird address that cost

more to ship it eats into that small

profit you already have to where you're

basically making no money which leads us

into the third thing I want to talk

about today which is estimating shipping

costs properly your boy has messed this

up before bad so years ago the first

time I ever did a large print run it was

in 2015 I sold 45 copies of a print I

priced them low because I wanted to sell

more of that this is the scenario that

actually inspired the second thing on

this list but I priced him low I sold

out of them but I didn't take into

account how I was going to ship these

prints beforehand I just thought I'll go

to UPS I'll be good to go I charge like

ten dollars for shipping didn't seem

like a big deal well I ran out of boxes

I thought I had enough last minute I had

to go to Staples or something like that

because I was scrambling to ship out the

prints that cost me way more money than

it should I recommend you line or Amazon

for shipping supplies so that cost extra

money taking care of that then on top of

that when you ship with UPS shipping

with UPS there's a variation depending

on like the truck is going to be on the

weight the size of it where exactly it's

going the distance travel so there can

be a big discrepancy in the price

printing every single print that I sold

cost more to ship than what I charged

people for shipping so all that extra

cost came out of pocket basically at the

end of selling those 45 prints I think I

made like $30 total it was a disaster it

was horrible and because of all these

extra costs and because I was unprepared

and didn't know how much it was gonna

cost the ship I essentially gave all my

artwork away for free which I mean it's

cool I'm glad these people have it but

that's not really the point of selling

something and having a business you

don't want to just give your stuff away

for free so here's what I do to

counterbalance that now every print that

I sell I know exactly what its gonna be

shipping in beforehand so let's say we

have this square print right here I know

this square print is gonna be shipped in

that bag which is gonna be shipped

between these two pieces of cardboard

which is gonna be shipped in that box so

I order 40 pieces of cardboard 20 bags

20 boxes and I know everything is gonna

weigh the exact same amount meaning I

can get a better estimate of exactly how

much it's gonna cost to ship these

things now I use a shipping software now

which makes everything a lot easier for

me but what I would recommend to anyone

starting out is 1 if you really want to

make it easy start with a print that

fits into a priority mail box by USPS

these costs I think 15 dollars to ship

typically in a medium size so maybe make

your print I don't know like an 8 by 10

I think should be able to fit in there

start with that do the same method of

between 2 pieces of cardboard get it in


send it out and now you know to charge

everyone the exact same amount in the US

but let's say you want to use a box

that's more like this size of what you

can do is make sure every box is the

exact same size figure out the weight

once it is packed so pack one of these

figure out the dimensions of it and then

take it to your post office and ask them

hey if I ship this in town how much will

it cost and if I ship this to Washington

or somewhere really far away what would

it cost and they'll be able to give you

some insight and help you out so you can

figure out a range of how much it's

gonna cost the ship typically prints

will ship us Priority Mail typically

they weigh too much to ship with

first-class mail so priority is what I

end up using but honestly if I have the

option to ship something in a priority

mail flat rate box I'll go for it every

time because it makes your life so much

easier so the point of number 3 is make

sure you get an idea of what it's gonna


how much the shipping supplies are gonna

cost and just don't be underprepared

with shipping cuz it can really cut into

your profits if you're not careful so

I'm working on this edit right now and

there's something I want to make clear

on this the next part I'm talking about

more art related prints if you're

someone who makes prints of events or

portraits or something like that you

don't have to worry about this I

actually recommend a drop shipping I'm

talking more about art related prints

like if you're a street photographer a

landscape photographer basically

creating any type of art and people are

buying it you're gonna want to apply

this mistake but if you're not in that

category feel free to drop ship and

ignore the next thing I'm talking about

number four is not signing your work now

I understand that in today's internet

e-commerce world drop shipping is the

way to go it's so easy it's so simple

someone buy something on your site

another service prints it sends it right

to them this is great for basically

everything unless you're making art in

my personal opinion one of the big

things when it comes to selling prints

is the fact that someone is purchasing a

piece of work from an artist from a

photographer from a person that they

like they like this thing they want to

feel this connection and if you don't

sign the piece of work that you're

selling them there is no connection you

never even touched it it doesn't feel

real this is the biggest question I get

from people when they ask do you do

prints I say yes they say I want to buy

one and they always say will you sign it

this is a huge thing it creates a real

connection between people and it makes

art feel like art when someone shows off

a piece of artwork that they purchase

they have it hanging in their home they

want that signature to be on there they

want it to feel authentic

so while dropshipping yes can be easy

and convenient it's just not as

connecting as signing a print is so take

that extra step have the print delivered

to you take it out of box take it on the

bag sign it put it back in the box

ship it out alright one more thing the

next part of this video I'm talking a

lot about social media promotion that's

not the only way you can promote

yourself you can promote yourself in

person face to face with your friends

with your family with people in your

community at your church at your school

or if you have like a church newsletter

or you have a school newsletter or any

type of promotion in general I'm talking

a lot about social media because that's

where I have my experience but you can

apply this to any type of promotion

across the board so number five on this

list the last thing we're talking about

today is under promotion I don't know

what it is about me it's this weird

thing I do in my head where I put

something out on social media let's say

the prints that I just did they're on my

site now I put those out on social media

and I say new prints available and in

the past that would be it I do the one

post I might do an Instagram story I

might do a Twitter post and then I just

leave it alone because in my head I've

already talked about I don't want to

over promote it I don't want to be

annoying and yes there is a fine line

between over promotion and being

annoying but you also need to make sure

people know the thing you're trying to

sell is out there and available today's

social media world is so controlled by

algorithms people don't see everything

you post it's also this weird

self-sabotage defense mechanism game we

play with ourselves where I think most

of us are scared to put our work out

there online and sell it because we face

the risk of someone not buying it if no

one buys the print that we made it's

embarrassing it feels not good it makes

you question are you good as an artist

so by under promoting the thing that

you're selling you kind of give yourself

a way out mentally off I mean I only

post it a little bit it's not a big deal

that they didn't sell you see I mean

it's like this defense mechanism we do

with ourselves so try to avoid that get

out there promote what you're doing

don't be annoying don't be over-the-top

but also don't under prime oh don't

think that just because you talk about

something once means everyone who wants

to know about it knows about it so there

we go that is five huge mistakes that

I've made with printing my work over the

last few years I made all these mistakes

so you don't have to hopefully learn

something in today's video thank you

guys so much for watching today and

remember if you want a video on how I

built my website to sell prints I have a

video showing literally step-by-step

exactly how I did that it's linked in

the description on today's video er the

truth I'll see you next