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Minimum Service Charge?


noritsuvet
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I was reading about some of the wholesale labs considering a minimim service charge, like 75p, before the order even starts, because they also find a lot of small batches coming through. Like most minilabs we have our fair share of 1's, 5's etc. I know it all adds up but the idea of a service charge sounds appealing. Does anyone else out there do this?

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Hi,

We don't charge a minimum service charge as such but have set a minimum print count of 4.  From 1 to 4 prints costs the same on our lab with it slightly being more expensive in the print-now kiosk.  So a customer has to print 5 prints to get a price drop.  We bought this into our pricing because we have many structured travellers (back-packers) who would use our kiosks to review all their photos, then out of guilt, or our black looks, or something, would order 1 print.  Usually right on closing time :-(  As the locals rarely print under 5, it doesn't bother them.  Packaging costs are same for 1 print as 50 prints, and so is labour, so we have factored those costs in when we made the decision.  No dramas so far.  Plus, to continue, our competitor charges a $3.95 kiosk usage fee with very cheap print price.  So virtually, we are doing the same in a different form.

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Hmm, we have talked around this problem for a while. At the moment , no one else in our area is doing this, so we will stay as we are and just 'bite the bullet'.

  One thing we have noticed is the people who get drawn in by the 'prints from 4p' advert cons, and are shocked to find a single print will cost them 39p, tend to come to us because of our open pricing policy, and we end up with their bulk orders. Our single 6x4 is 50p, but it is adjusted and sympatheticaly cropped, something the big box boys will never do.

  I don't mind printing a single image for someone who knows which one they want (they get it in a clear faced bag rather than a wallet), its those that come in with full 2/4gb. cards and expect you to trawl through their collection to find just one, because they dont know how to use a computer, that begin to irritate me.

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  I don't mind printing a single image for someone who knows which one they want (they get it in a clear faced bag rather than a wallet), its those that come in with full 2/4gb. cards and expect you to trawl through their collection to find just one, because they dont know how to use a computer, that begin to irritate me.

well said that man.

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Take the small ones now and they will lead to big orders later on (we hope :)!) We have been experimenting having one of the staff as a kiosk concierge at busy times and this has really helped turn the tiddly orders into something more worthwhile. These days any order is better than nothing

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I think this question really revolves around what your competition is in town and in the nearest location, how big is your population, and how well you know your customers.  I have to confess that I resisted for a long time the minimum print charge.  But, really, it used to caused us much angst and hasn't made much difference to our steady customer trade.  In some ways where I live, you could call it price fixing as we have only one other competitor.  To get to the next competitor our customers have to travel some 100ks so I'm sure they factor that into their own costs.  They amazing thing to us is that price is not really a factor for the majority of peope.  They print, what they want to print, and at a time to suit them.  So traditionally the lab is slower by about 10 minutes, so people will pay the extra for "I want it now" kiosk print.  Totally beyond me for 100+ prints which cost them 1/3 as much for the sake of 15 minutes.  But, there you go.....  

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I would be reluctant to hit customers with a charge they weren't expecting.

I think the sliding scale pricing works well, more they print, cheaper it is per print.

I have seen people sit at a kiosk and go through over 500 prints just to get one or two, but usually they get more than they intended to, and I am finding lately most are happy with the price. And so they should be.

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Spectrum offer self service photocopying, - and while it is a dying trade we have an interesting analogy ......

a few years ago we introduced a 'minimum charge' of 50p - for 7 pages if self serve, - or 4 if we do it for them.

About 1 person an 200 had somthing to say about it, - but many people want 1 copy and happily pay 50p

back in the olden dayz of film we had a 'packet' price of about

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