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Flat out like a......


Liz
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Flat out like a lizard drinking!  Only Aussies will recognise how busy that really is.  I LOVE this time of year.  So busy.  Such a special time.  Can we do this....can we create that......YEP YEP YEP.  Right now I love this industry.  Like a crazy love affair that goes sour after about 3 months.      

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We are doing the photo gifts from Tudor in 1 hour (clocks, mouse mats, coasters, pen holders key rings etc). I did an 8x10 instant print on the kiosk, stuck it in the mouse mat and charged £12.99 to a delighted customer. I love Christmas!  Calendars, photo books and canvas wraps are going well. We are giving a 3 day service. On the camera and mobile side, I see that our main competitor, Amazon, are not promising to deliver before Christmas.

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just cashed up and i took £350.00 in just photo gifts ie, keyrings, mugs, clocks, pendants, tee shirts, mouse mats, coasters and place mats.

Generally people don`t mind paying the extra £2.99 per gift for the 1-2 hour service as long as you say you can do it

what annoys me is when you get customers asking for just one print ie .50p jobs

BUT ALWAYS TAKE FULL PAYMENT UP FRONT as people often change their minds

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Nup! Nup! Nup! As my Grandaughter says.  My Xmas spirit is now seriously thin.  As the only restorer, large printerer, special effects person in store I'm getting close to folding my arms and throwing a huge tantrum!  But that's only from the inside.  On the outside I'm still a professional saying YEP YEP YEP.  Does having 4-5 hours sleep per night do anything to your blood pressure ? or is the effect of customers thinking that their job is the ONLY one you have to do.  Just keep swimming........  

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The restorer in me now uses hollywoodphotofix.com to do that work. With the time difference to the US we are getting restoration orders back in 48 hours, and making really good margin on them.

The large printer in me is now learning to use an epson 7880 that was installed last wednesday, after our HP130nr died a death,  in the middle of our radio promo for canvas for christmas, but so far the change over has been pain free.

Our i1220 passed over to another world after we wore it out (520,000 scans) and we have just ordered a new one to keep that going.

Other than that, we only have several thousand slides to scan by Xmas and we are in front.

It's been a fantastic december so far, and does not look like subsiding. Where ever the recession is, it's not around us.

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We have had a great December too as customers are choosing phptps instead of plasmas! It's certainly our year! We are having a recession here (just look at all the empty shops in London), but luckily we have done OK. Perhaps that is also down to less places to get your pictures done? What has surprised me is the number of photo shops that were closed on the Sunday before Christmas. If you are serious about making money surely you would open on this vitally important day? We've done huge turnover today - and probably won spme customers from our competitors who stayed home.

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Monday has been biggest day of December so far. Orders through the roof , but lots of small ones taking the time to help customers through. I guess everyone else has been busy judging by the lack of postings lately. Fingers crossed for Tuesday and Christmas Eve. If we can do the same again in the next few days we'll be very pleased. :)

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We have been pleased with sales here in the Shetland Islands. Camera sales have been higher than expected, with the £100 Fuji and Nikon being the best. Canvas prints have gone through the roof but our best, and probably the most profitable, has been restorations. We use Photoserve for the normal work but they got very slow at the end so we used Photo Wonder, who we use for more difficult work that we can easily justify charging a lot more for. We had a problem getting canvas but managed to get Ilford canvas from Tudor at the last minute.

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Hi guys am new in this site and I actually stumbled upon it while looking for a dealer who could sell me a film carrier (AFCII 240/135) for QSS 3300 (NORITSU).

Seems like a real great site where we can all share ideas and help each other out. I love it.

I still havent found the carrier. Could anyone out there tell me where I can get one?

Merry Xmas To All! 8)

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Grief! feel like a bear coming out of hibernation!

Spent the fortnight before Christmas working 'till 11/12mnt, closed @ 5pm Christmas eve, slept 'till boxing day (I think!)

Just looked at the figures, managed to maintain good growth all year, ending up at around 16% for end of November, increasing to 25%(annual) at end of December.

All the frustration and sleep deprivation seems to have been worth it!

Bigest increases seem to have been in restoration (all in-house), canvases and Photogifts. Highest margins seem to be in the Photogifts. Didn't bother with digital frames at all, thank goodness, looking at the pallet loads that Tesco are trying to shift, it would seem the whole world and his wife jumped on that bandwagon hard (and broke it!).

Just like to wish all Indipendants (and contributors to this forum) out there a safe and prosperous New Year, and maybe meet a few of you at the Minilab conference in February.

   Heads down, On we go ! YEEHAA!

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Greetings from the colonies, glad to hear that there is still some positive news somewhere in the UK,  I haven't looked at this site too often this year because it is usually all doom and gloom, I find it depressing. A good friend and exceptional retailer in New Zealand does contribute, but he was born in the UK so feels he should. It's obvious when you read the postings that at least good business is possible, especially in Cornwall, one of my most frequented spots in the UK. We too found it a bit tough in the first half of the year but that didn't stop us from marketing hard, investing in small equipment and building our creative (gifting) product range. It has gone crazy in the last quarter with huge increases. The photo industry has been recession proof in the during the last four downturns but as one of our major suppliers says it is recession resistant in these digital times at least that is how we are seeing it.

We now have 240 templates on our Oblo powered, formerly Agfa, kiosks with these and our HP kiosks we offer over a 100 different ways to share memories and will add to these monthly.

http://fotofast.com.au/photo_creations_page_one.htm

What is your promo for next month and for all of other 11 months in 2009, if you haven't planned it is not too late but you must do something or you are so right indeed "things are really bad"

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Everyone I have spoken to in the industry has been happy this month so hopefully it is true and our market can ride this downturn. It's probably hard for others not here in the UK to understand the scale of what is happening to retailing with the demise of the likes of Woolworths, Klick, The Pier, Whittard, Rosebys, Adams, USC etc, etc. The High Street looks like a war zone and that is only predicted to get worse.

We did really well this Christmas with new products like larger frames, a greater range of canvas print sizes and aggressive promotion. We did a lot of couponing up till December and got many of these back before Christmas. We have done similar coupons for redemption in January so it will be interesting to see how that works. I am confident of a good start to 2009. Already got our promotion schedule in place and agree 'if you are failing to plan, you're planning to fail'.

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Agree with that quote Kioskguy,  they don't need to be 'grand', just in place, and in the present climate, flexible.

As for D&P, with the demise of film, has it not opened up other (sometimes more proffitable) lines? Everyone is now able to do far more with their digital printers than was ever possible with an analogue machine. Keeping up with the technology is a job all on its own, forward planning is essential.

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