Monday, 29 November 2010

Is Free Always Better?

Quick answer...No!

I've been having a bit of a dilemma recently about pricing.  There are a lot of photographers around and competition is quite fierce.  Especially around this time of year.  Many of them are offering free shoots and heavily discounted photo packages.  I wondered how I could compete with this and still make enough money to keep the lights on in my house.  Or even if I should.

I decided not to.  That might sound silly in the current economic climate.  Why would I not want to attract business from the opposition?  Well obviously I do.  So why not wade in with my own free offer?

I did a bit of research and asked a lot of people what their thoughts were on the subject.  It basically boils down to value and the old saying 'you get what you pay for'.  I provide a personal service giving all of my customers exactly what they want.  My sessions are good fun and all of the pictures I show are of a very high quality.  What the customer receives is always excellent and everyone goes away happy.  Including me.

If I went in with a free shoot and a £19.99 photo package, first of all I would never earn anything.  But also my customers and potential customers would expect a certain level of service.  I aim (and deliver) higher than that.  My prices are already very reasonable while still giving me the margins I need to live off.  Reducing the price also reduces the perceived value.

I have discounted Christmas shoots to £15, which still retains the level of expected value while at the same time giving people a bit of a break in difficult times.

In short - if you want something that's worth nothing, go get it for free.  If you want something that's worth its cost that you will love and keep forever, come to me!


Anonymous said...

Definately true chris..... although it seems alot to spend £120 on 8 photos, they are bloody good photos especially the very good quality one of us both on the sofa that is now displayed as my desktop background on a 42" lcd looking rather stunning

Chris said...

Thanks for saying so! I try to give very high quality pictures, but it's really my time that is reflected in the costs. It's something a lot of people don't consider...