(Closed) Why can't prices be transparent?

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 47
Member
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@lovecacti:  LOLOLOLOL love the image. I also moved right past their website if there wasn’t a price list. I’ve done the same for catering as well. I’m an online shopper. I like to see the product and prices without having to contact anybody.

Post # 48
Member
6291 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

@pinkrose23:  This drove me crazy, and not just with photographers, but anyone else who had fixed prices (eg venues that, when contacted, simply got back to you with a package price list; urgh).

I just do not get why they can’t post them. It would save everyone a lot of time; not just prospective clients, but the vendors themselves.

Post # 49
Member
6291 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Jas00:  I’ve seen this reasoning before, and don’t get it.

Most people have a budget that they have to stick to. At the end of the day, if someone has $1500 to spend, they have $1500 to spend, and that’s that. Knowing up-front what someone charges won’t scare them away, they’ll just know not to waste their time contacting them. 

Post # 50
Member
919 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

If a photographer didn’t have prices listed on their site, I didn’t contact them. I was trying to work within an $800 budget, so pricing was very important to me. In the end, I chose a $1200 package, but I felt that what we got was worth the extra money (2 shooters, engagement session, 6 hours). But I did start talking to my photographer about her lowest package, which was $700.

Post # 51
Member
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

@barbie86:  what you said to Jas00…

If I tell you prices start at $3000, well that may scare you because you only have $1500 to spend. But if you say my budget is $1500, and I only need 3 or 4 hours of coverage. Well that’s different. Usually “prices starting at” means coverage for 6-8 hours, so contacting them with your budget and what you need is the best way to go.

Post # 52
Member
370 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@zarethacosta:  I totally understand! Its pretty annoying!

Post # 53
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@barbie86: YASSS!  This!!  I didn’t have a hard time with photog pricing because we went with someone refered by a friend who had used her and they shared her price list with me.  It was awesome!  But with EVERY OTHER VENDOR it’s like driving the Mystery Machine into the miasma.  On one hand, I get that they don’t want their competitors to know their pricing, but couldn’t your competitor create a hotmail account, email you for a price list and you’d send it thinking they were a prospective client?  I’ve had the most difficult time finding clear pricing for makeup and hair!  

I remember when we were searching for a venue, NO ONE listed their prices and you had to do tango with every event coordinator to get the pricing.  Sometimes you just want to know the starting point so you can elliminate vendors without feeling ashamed of your non-Kardashian budget, ya know?

@lovecacti: AMAZE! Love! Cool

Post # 54
Member
2514 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

@pinkrose23:  I agree 100%.  I refused to use anyone who wasn’t upfront with their pricing. I don’t want to waste my time or theirs trying to figure out if they work within our budget and I have zero intention of going above my budget.  In the end, we said no to our photographer, originally, we loved his work but he was 600 bucks over the top end of our already too high photography budget.  We had a 2nd choice well within the budget at nearly half the cost of the #1 choice. 

In the end, being off season and a Sunday worked in our favour.  He emailed us back and dropped his price by a grand.  So we booked with him.  He kept telling us that another couple was interested in that date (really?  REALLY?  That SUNDAY in FEBRUARY?) I think he just wanted to book it to secure income in a slow month.  Works for me. 

Post # 55
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

I list a starting range and an average spent. I dont understand why they dont list a starting point. As a photographer there is not one reason why you cant state starts at, I dont care what the business model is. IMO. The having to meet to even get a range at all is a crock. You should have already sold yourself on your website. Thats exactly what its for, to sell the sizzle and you have to Have it! The ‘selling it’ in person is a bonus so to speak.

I have 3 very simple packages as a base I send for inquires. PDF all set up with info, prices, and al a carte prices/options. I send it with any inquiry. Add and subtract from the base packages. A thumb drive with print copies comes with all my coverage. I have a minimum of hours for peak season. Gets more flexible late in the game or off season.

I shoot alone most weddings. A second is just not needed 90% of the time, people think they need it but you dont with a quality solo. I also dont sell you what I want, I sell you the best bang for your budget.

I also state on my site info about how many photos you receive, how you receive them, about retouching, and delivery times are in my terms and conditions. This info is not a secret so I put it out there. Many photographers have very limited info on what comes with Any of their services. Whats the secret if you are doing industry standards?

I personally dont fear my completion one bit seeing my info. What I offer is industry standard. If I lose out to an undercut price they were never my client to begin with. My couples are budget conscious but, want quality even if its a bit shorter coverage with no bells and whistles. And Me. I want couples to want Me. Thats the bottom line, they love what I offer.

Post # 56
Member
1092 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I think the issue is that there is sooo much flexibility with the pricing. My photographer came highly recommended by our venue but doesn’t have prices listed on his website. I think he sent over a price list after we contacted him, but even that was flexible. We ended up switching things around within a package because we didn’t want/need an engagement shoot. We also increased our budget by quite a bit once we met with him because we felt it was worth it.

Also the quality can differ so much between photographers and what they offer. If photographers listed their prices then you might just jump right to that without looking at the quality of pictures, what else is included, how many pictures you get, hours included, etc. It’s not that easy to put together a complete price package that is both generic enough to be on the website and also demonstrates the flexibility that is often included.

I also found that the people who did post prices were often posting just to suck you in. Like, packages start at $200 but that is 3 hours of time, one shooter, and you have to buy all the pictures afterwards. 

Post # 57
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@mariematt:  this makes complete sense to me. I have always told them the date and location and asked for the price list if they’re available. I either get the I’m booked but congratulations or a pdf in response.

 

Post # 58
Member
1430 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I’ve gotten to the point where if they don’t say “prices start at X amount” on their website, I don’t even bother with an email. Our wedding is a Destination Wedding and I don’t have the time or patience to go through countless email exchanges only to find we are wasting each other’s time because they are out of our budget. Luckily I may have found my photographer though.

Post # 59
Member
1200 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015 - Malibou Lake Mountain Club

@pinkrose23:  you know what site i just found that you can place your price: thumbtack.com

we were searching photographers, budget 300, and we found some people 🙂

Post # 60
Member
1866 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@jenilynevette:  Wow, that is crazy. Fortunately I didn’t have any ask that. Some nerve. 

@pinkrose23:  Ahhhh photography research… Blahhh. Took us forever but so happy with our pick. Just remember in the end when you find the right fit, all this researching and frustration will be worth it!

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