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  1. #11
    softshock's Avatar
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    Hmm... What would be suggested then? I wanted to price it so that I would be able to cover my costs while also being competitive with local labs or mail in labs.

  2. #12

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    how many rolls can you process at once? i would look at that and then determine an hourly rate + overhead costs. if someone drops 20+ rolls in your lap can you process it next day?
    f3hp, passport polaroid, holga, 600, 67
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  3. #13
    softshock's Avatar
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    I currently have a two reel tank and can usually develop TriX or PlusX in 15 minutes from soak to photoflo and hanging. In terms of the twenty rolls, if they're twenty rolls of the same film, same EI, I definitely could. If it's P3200 push processing, I likely could, but that does of course entail a longer soak to photoflo time.

  4. #14
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Wow, 20 rolls with a two reel tank--do you have more than one? If not you would find out in short order that the second load will give you a serious headache, unless you can get the reels bone dry quickly. You are still putting far to much info out, just list the fact you can develope any B&W film and have the customer call to get the rest of the info. Have your price list printed out for hand outs when customers deliver their film for processing for future reference. BTW, dont forget to have the "prices subject to change without notice" disclaimer on there. Paper and chem supplies are only going to rise in the near future. Dont forget to have liability insurance, and figure out what to do if you ruin a customers film. There are lots of other things to think about for running a business that need to be addressed. Good luck. Oh, did you get a zoning varience for running a business out of your home, or are you in a commercial setting, and have a business license.
    Rick A
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    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  5. #15
    fotch's Avatar
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    I would keep your prices where they are at until you reach enough volume that you raise prices to keep the volume at the level you want to work at. This also will help you get established and build a following that will want to continue at a higher price. Think of it as a Grand Opening Special.

    Good Luck
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  6. #16
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Better to have two different ads. One for bw film developing, other for shooting. Also I think it is better to use your real name.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  7. #17

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    go to a pro lab and match their prices.
    at least near me, you are less than 1/2 of the price of a lab.
    the usual mark-up for retail is 3x cost ...
    minimum wage is about $8 / hour so you have to add that in

    if someone drops off 20 rolls of film and says they need it "overnight"
    most labs will charge 300% more, some labs would say minimum 2 day turnaround ...

    having a menu of different proccessing ( push .. different developers &C )
    will confuse the average person .. and if you are marketing
    to professionals or high-end ... they may have preconceived notions
    to what you will be delivering ...

    plain vanilla often works best
    good luck !
    john

  8. #18
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    I used to offer B&W processing when I managed a semi-pro photo lab. My USP was that I processed by hand - at the time, all B&W was sent to Kodak and I remember *many* first time users being disappointed with the results. (T-Max 100, Plus-X, Tri-X all came back with grain the size of golf balls and the prints were woeful!) The negs always looked waaay overdeveloped regardless of what speed film was used - even a test roll I sent and those exposures were spot on!

    As a guide, 15 years ago, B&W processing by Kodak was $6.50 a roll plus the prints themselves, which were nearly $1.00/print (all AUD). Check out the prices of local labs and price the same, if not more - you're doing everything by hand, matching speed to development etc.

    If you are going to do the "Opening Special", make sure your *Full* price is prominent, and then show that you're discounting by 5%, 10% or whatever. It is *very* difficult to raise your prices once people start to buy; think of how much you hate fuel rising a couple of cents or your favourite beer rising the same.

    If I was doing this today, I'd be charging more than my local labs, ensuring that the USP of "processing and printing done by hand" was pushed to the max. "Time=money" and hand processing takes time. This means you can't be doing the printing at the same time (a lot of labs machine process their prints: set and forget.)

    Offer contact sheets at a slightly reduced rate if ordered at the same time as the developing, more if requested later. That way, you garner (hopefully) more $$ at the processing stage. More often than not, most people won't bother asking for contact sheets at a later date. (out of sight, out of mind.) Think along the lines of a second set of prints for $5.50, rather than .35c each later - most times if a customer didn't get the extra set, they rarely got more than 2 reprints at a later date (if at all).

    Make the advertisement sound professional and knowledgeable. You want potential customers to choose you over the other labs, and professional courteous service will win every time.
    Last edited by ozphoto; 02-12-2011 at 12:25 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Typos

  9. #19
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Match a pro labs price, compete and don't give your work away, if your good you will prosper.

    good luck with your business venture.

  10. #20

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    At your price, I don't think you are going to make any profit after your supplies and time is paid unless you do HUGE volume.... Have you thought about how to deal with (and compensate) for inevitable errors in processing?

    Also, I wouldn't say this in advertisement:
    "My shooting style works a lot better with live/street/candid/documentary styles, so I am not the best choice for portraiture or ad work; though I would be willing to take on a project if I feel I would be able to meet or exceed the desired product."

    "works a lot better with..." says you are inexperienced and infers you aren't good at anything else. It doesn't exactly build confidence.... Once you say "not the best choice", saying "I will be willing to..." means nothing to someone considering you for the job.

    Instead, say what you excel in, then mention you are willing to discuss any project to ensure customer's satisfaction. After all, you can always so no afterwards, but if you say that at the beginning, you just cut off yourself from potential opportunity.
    Last edited by tkamiya; 02-12-2011 at 11:20 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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