Ok, these are a couple blunt question designed to see if a warrantee makes sense from a business point of view,
Originally Posted by hec
I might appreciate a warrantee too but warrantees are really only typical on "generic" items that compete with similar items.
So, first question;
Is the product you are offering generic and competing with other "off the shelf" items?
If not you don't need a warrantee.
Another version of this question is
Are you selling the paper or the picture?
This is mostly a question about volume, in the generic market 1000s are printed, the value of 1 of these prints is really small, it is easily warranteed.
If you plan only to be making 5 prints of that one shot in your lifetime, the rarity and how it ages is part of the value. If you print more you actually lower the value of the original 5.
Second; Will you make more money because you offer a warrantee?
If not, from a business point of view the warrantee is a problem.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
When selling at the local arts & crafts fair, I usually post an offer to buy back or exchange any of my photographs in saleable condition for any reason. So far no one has chosen to to this. Also, on the back of framed prints is a lable that says something like:
Printed on an Epson 3800 with Ultrachrome
K3 ink on Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper.
Print life displayed under glass is estimated
by www.wilhelm-research.com to be 90 years
before noticeable fading occurs.
In a small market where most people know me, this kind of customer service seems reasonable.
Also be aware that large businesses that have warranty issues, like Ford Motors or Electrolux, factor expected warranty costs into the cost of the goods and then rat hole funds into an account for this. (Yes, I know that the account is just a line a a ledger so it's isn't like a separate savings account in the bank. It's the same way Social Security is kept in Washington so it must be safe, right.)
Originally Posted by markbarendt
If you're going to open this door, then you'd better not only sequester funds for it, because some fool is going to come back asking for it. But you'd better make sure you have the details about consequential damages disclaimed in a way that's accurate for your jurisdiction. Otherwise I'll go claim that your pictured turned brown on my wall, and I missed an important job promotion because my boss thought it looked bad, so you owe me lost wages. Just sayin'.
My occasional sales are are matted and framed. I always put a sticker on the back that says something about being printed and mounted with archival quality materials and also states that it should not be hung in direct sunlight and the UV acrylic should not be cleaned with anything abrasive.
Offering a warranty just invites a purchase by some wise ass lawyer.
I guess you don't want to sell a print to me .
Originally Posted by PeterAM
A warranty is simply a promise. If a seller wants to promise anything about their print, they can. It's best though to make sure that if you make such a promise, that you can fulfil it, if necessary.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
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If you adopt a para-legal stance on warranty, that is to say if you give a warranty and a client/purchaser accepts it, if something goes wrong, you will be answerable for repatriation.
In traditional photographic prints, you must be absolutely certain from the start you can guarantee the quality and perpetual wellbeing of the print. This is very difficult to do if you sell just raw prints, rather than matted and/or framed. The latter two options discourage the possibility of the print coming to harm in unskilled hands e.g. the purchaser likes you work but no doubt may have little idea what constitutes proper handling until it is framed.
To my knowledge over the years, only Ilfochrome prints have been warranted by photographers (here in Australia) because the process is proven in terms of quality and stability, and selling of raw prints is generally not the norm (for the reasons outlined above), more commonly framed ready to hang.
I am not convinced that B&W traditional darkroom prints can be warranted on whatever premise, nor for that matter can archivally stable (over whatever time) giclée prints. Both products are subject to adverse reaction in unfavourable storage and handling.
You might wish to give very serious and deep thought to any warranty offered and your capacity to redress any difficulties that arise. It can potentially put you in the legal hot-seat.
“The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see." ~Edward Weston, 1922.
Originally Posted by jeffreyg
These climate stains you mentioned, are they originating from the dry mount adhesive, the rag board, or the envirnoment? I dry mount my prints because the adhesive was supposed to provide a protective barrier, but your experience has me getting second thoughts. I haven't had a problem, but I'm not that experienced and my prints haven't been around very long.
The fix is in!
I'm proud of what I do and I want happy customers. For those reasons, and because I expect the same from others, I warrant my prints and will replace what is obviously bad craftsmanship on my part. So far, I never had such a case.
To be both practical and a little mercenary in the matter, as one gets older this question becomes increasingly less of an issue.
Any prints I sell now should easily last twenty years and much beyond that the customer would probably have to complain to me via a seance or via my care home manager!
Thank you all for your comments.
I've read a few good arguments against issuing a warranty in this thread and I can see your point, but I will go ahead with it.
The main reasons for me to do it is:
1) Provide the buyer with a do/don't recommendation list and
2) (as Mr. Lambrecht clearly stated) "replace what is obviously bad craftsmanship on my part".
By this I mean that I'm pretty sure I am doing the best I can regarding archival longevity, but if not I need to know in order to improve my process and have my photographs live as long as possible.