Thanks for the response everyone!
I floated $8 for developing and $15 for develop and contact print. ~$30 for a 8X10 RC print. He seemed to think it was pretty fair, so I'll go from there. Apparently, there is nowhere in town that develops B&W. One camera shop sends out film, but they only do it every 2 weeks. None of the minilabs/CVS/Walgreens etc will develop B&W. They send it out, but I don't know turn time. So, even if it takes me a few days to process an order, I'm still faster than anyone in town.
Be sure you make an agreement up-front about what happens when (and it's inevitable that it will happen sooner or later) you make a mistake.
Yes, I was thinking about that last night when remembering an ill fated experience while loading a reel. Lets just say the film didn't survive.
Originally Posted by pdeeh
Also, just to be clear, this is not a full fledged business and probably will never really get to that point.
I roast coffee as a hobby. Occasionally I'll part out a batch in small jars to friends. At one point, several different people asked me to roast larger quantities for them, so I started charging with much the same goal as you: cover my own consumption.
Didn't work out . . . Roasting when I want to roast is fun. Roasting because I have to have a pound of this and two half-pounds of that in a couple days is a pain, and sucks the joy right out of it. I'd recommend against doing hobbies for pay unless your enjoyment is VERY resilient against deadlines.
Though, if you're curious, you can still see the "friends and family order page" I put up with my stock at the time here: http://sehrgut.co.uk/coffee/ .
No, I realise that - but when people give you money for a service they can have a habit of thinking of you as a business as well as (or instead of) a friend or acquaintance. Even more so if you start to do work for people you don't know!
Originally Posted by edcculus
On the other hand, you may be catching a wave and end up a wealthy entrepreneur ... :)
Back when my daughter was a gymnast I used to print 8x10 action shots of other girls on the team and give them to their parents. Lots of them wanted to pay me but I refused. If you take money for something you are selling them the right to complain. And I ain't takin' no complaints!
How does the IRS see this idea? It would be unfortunate to get a large fine for your hobby.
To figure out a charge you would best add up your costs, rather than look at others in the market. If your costs are too high in relation to the alternatives then best not to start. Don't forget depreciation on all the equipment used. Typically a residual value of zero after three years, or possibly five. Also, applicable health and safety rules (including documentation, if required) over chemical purchase, storage and disposal?
I'd suggest you should be charging a lot more, or zero. If you 'charge' zero make an accurate breakdown of costs (not including time, as this is not a business, right?), show it to the potential customers and suggest that the customers make a donation to cover your costs?
in the commercial world people usually mark things up 3x cost
in the case of photofinishing it might be a little more
because waste disposal is included in the overhead.
if you have a mini lab near you, or a school, or a household waste recovery center ... you might
see if you can bring your photo waste to them ( and figure out what to do
with your wash water ) ... and have everything recorded so if / when people
who aren't your clients / friends knock on your door and wonder what you are doing
with your "tailings" you can show them exactly what you are doing.
where i used to live people would be fined lots of $$ for not paying attention to this sort of thing.
good luck with your business!
Originally Posted by pbromaghin
You can always go buy all the cool stuff you want, start your business, and when it fails write it all off on Schedule C of your 1040. It makes a nice discount equal to your highest marginal tax rate and you get to keep the stuff.