Ebay print economics - statistics
My main computer at work here is tied up for 30 minutes doing some number crunching, so I decided to do a little statistical research myself.
I looked at completed ebay listings for platinum and/or palladium prints over the latest three week period. Here are the results:
Total offered: 76 prints
# of vintage and/or secondary market prints 7
Total vintage prints sold: 5
% sold of vintage prints offered: ~70%
Highest price for vintage print: $1100
Lowest price for vintage print: $20.99
Total 'new' prints offered: 69
Total 'new' prints sold: 12
% sold of new prints offered: ~17%
Highest new print price: $96
Lowest new print price: $29.99
Average new print price: $63.62
Landscapes sold: 5
Nudes sold: 3
Still life florals sold: 4
Annualized 'new' print sales (assuming that this three week period is somewhat representative) $13,250 for 208 prints
Assuming the average sales rate is about 17% (change to 16-2/3% for some easy math), that means that one out of every 6 listings sells. So each sale has to carry the ebay fees for 5 unsold prints. Again, assuming you list a starting price of 10.00, that means each successful sale will have 6 x $0.60 in listing fees for a total of $3.60, plus the completed sales fee of 5.25% on the average 'sold' print price of 63.63, or and additional $3.34. IOW, on average ebay will get $6.94 of your sale. So your gross income (after ebay fees) per print sold will be $56.69.
Now for a gross simplification: assume you don't relist unsold prints but every print listed is a new one. That means that each sold print has 5 unsold siblings in your print drawers. So the breakeven point on a print would mean that to make ONE CENT, you would need to have your per print material and time content no more than $56.68/6 or $9.44.
I'm glad I have fun doing this.
OK, now my head hurts......
Searching my way to perplexion
I have never understood people like you Clay. I was at a meeting yesterday with a Math teacher who is salivating at the opportunity to crunch testing data for the school I work at. Nice lady, but in my opinion a bit unbalanced.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
I'm temporarily bored and just curious. Not to mention a little bit of a propeller-head. Now I know, though. Sort of ugly economics, don't you think?
Originally Posted by mark
Very interesting stats Clay.
$9.44 for a print is pretty low for material costs and printing time. Downright frightening if you looked honestly at depreciation on equipment and photographing time.
On the other hand; given the nature of buyers to browse and peruse on ebay, and accounting for varying tastes, would you consider relisting unsold prints? If they then sold, this would give a very different model. Bit harder to forecast though ...
[Don't forget the number z with probability p lying under the standard normal density curve is called the upper p critical value of the std normal distribution.]
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Clay, you've got your propellar in overdrive!! I can just picture papers flying all around your office. Interesting analysis. eBay is definitely a BUYER's market when it comes to photographs.
2014 Workshop Schedule Online
Well, yeah, sure. I only had a few minutes here. But if you REALLY want to get nerdy, you might want to model the decreasing probability of a particular print selling after an initial no-bid. It seems reasonable to expect the probability of any particular print selling would diminish as the number of selling attempts increased. Probably would asymptotically approach that Guinness Stout I'm getting ready to go home and drink.
Originally Posted by John McCallum
The fact I understood most of this is a testament to my Business Studies teacher. And I didn't think anyone sold that much art on eBay, quite interesting numbers you have going...with photography I think a more direct selling approach is needed so people appreciate the quality of the print as well as your intentions as the person who made it.
That, and eBay fees are a real pain.
I sold a ton of prints on ebay at walmart prices. My sell through was better than 50% @ an average sale price of ~14.00. My costs were around .80 per print plus ebay fees. I couldn't make a living at it, but it was fun and helped finance my darkroom activities.
I've crunched all the numbers just like you have here. As a print seller on Ebay, I understand the final percentage that they take, and agree that it's too much.
I think Ebay would be much better if they took a higher final value fee from people, rather than taking money just to list something.
That is really where Ebay is making all their money, from stupid people that make high priced auctions that will never sell.
I used to sell my prints for 50-75 dollars on Ebay, now I sell them for 175 and will soon be raising that to 250. My prints are selling just as well at the higher price as they were when they were lower.
I think all the other self representing photographers on Ebay need to raise their 40-75 dollar print price, as it's only hurting the photography market. There is no reason to be selling work for that cheep.