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How is everyone finding summer so far? The un-seasonal weather is keeping customers away from the High Street and we're not seeing as many visitors and tourists as usual for the time of the year.

For us, print numbers are up but other retail sales are the same as last year. Lots of enquiries for photo gifting items and more awareness of larger prints and enlargements.

What are the rest of you finding?

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Whatever print prices we have people will always think they can get them cheaper and waste half their day looking. We're not afraid to remind them of that either.

Personally I feel the best way to land those big orders is to value add with enlargements, CD's or other margin items. That certainly takes the emphasis off the per-print pricing. Secondly you could get a comparison book to show people the difference between your lab and the kiosk prints from Boots etc. You may even be lucky enough to score some 'off' Asda or Tesco prints that could reinforce the argument. Tough times call for some bold moves and I know this works with our customers.

We are on the other side of the world and Winter has been Ok for business, although I hear your summer may be a bit like our winter this year. ;)

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Well it's winter here & it's been quite cold so it's quiet in my particular street, but better than last year. Lots of passport photos in the last couple of months, which is always good. I am really pleased with how well my passport photos are turning out now which helps. Everything else a bit quiet especially digital, which I really need to work on, but I have decided to be firm about the price.

For every person that thinks your'e too expensive there's someone else who doesn't even question the price. I just need more of the second type of person! ;D

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For every person that thinks your'e too expensive there's someone else who doesn't even question the price.
very wise words,,, and, as an example,, to make you think.... how much is a loaf of bread? or how much is a pint of milk?
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May was for us the first stable month for over a year!! June is our first up month for many months. Digital is still very slow to grow. Our growth is purely in non processing products. Those of you who try discounting digital printing are killing it for the future. We charge 15p for 50+ to charge less is foolhardy. It is very easy to lower your price and very difficult to raise it.

Digital, we believe, will still take another few years to become a replacement for tradistional processing.

If you want to compete with jessops, boots or asda best of luck, Dole que awaits!!

Wayne

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May was a record month, - lab volumes static, - we won't budge below 10p, but find more and more revenue from non-lab photo sales like wide format / big prints, and bulk scanning of shoe boxes of photos - shot with a digi cam on macro mode - easy !

T shirts through the roof - money for nothing !

Lab paid for, - in fact - everything paid for, - so nothing to grumble about at all, - EXCEPT - business has got more boring, - too easy, - we have got too good at our jobs, - and nearly made ourselves redundant, . - makes you laugh !

If you don't like doing cheap 4x6 prints - DON'T DO THEM !

Enjoy your summer

Phil

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Well there's a twist, Phil. I guesse it could take the hassle out of colour correcting! Why didn't I think of that?

As for price of prints, we are allready too cheap, 50p single 6x4, min. 10p.  More than twice the price than 'online', but no one seems to read the smallprint on the sites concerning colour correcting/cropping.

Similar to the guy that beats you up over camera prices, buys online cheaper by a couple of pounds, and pays

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Frames and mounts and canvas prints and acrylics and mugs and tshirts and bags and photbooks and montages and restoration and invites and thankyou cards and baby announcements and coasters and mouse mats and more mugs and text on stuff and more framing -------- prints ? well if someone brings in a print from somewhere else and it wont fit in the frame they want (50% of the time!) I will reprint it for free and sell them a frame.......... as this is useually an inkjet at home (A4! at some weird percentage - or a weird crop) or a diesub from boots - most of the time ours are better and we have a customer for life.

Then theres slide to dvd and all your old negs scanned in to dvd and old vidio/cini etc to dvd .......

Big prints - have a 44inch cannon 12 ink pigment printer that I am super happy with as we can print right up to Ao (and larger)

buisness cards and flyers and balloons and it goes on ...... if you find 4x6 prints boring theres a whole load of other things to get into if you want to....

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Great to see things either stabilising or becoming positive again. It is the extra products that are making the difference and lab business is no longer about 6x4 volume or D&P. There is so much more we can do with the labs though and I think maximising the services we offer through the kiosks is the answer. Products such as greeting cards, business cards, templates, collages etc are real money makers and help justify the investment we've made in this expensive gear.

I agree on what Phil says about things getting boring, but each time I think this I have a look at another on-line photo site and work out how I can add some of their services into our retail mix. Those challenges always keep me occupied long enough!

PS thanks for that tip on the Camera copies Phil, do you take them using natural light near a window or have a copy set-up?

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  and bulk scanning of shoe boxes of photos - shot with a digi cam on macro mode - easy !Phil

sorry this is off topic :

  Digi cam is one way, but it still takes a lot of time.

I always wanted a quick way. Last week I found the perfect tool, a superfast kodak i1210 document scanner. You can scan anything from 2x2,5 up to  8,5x34 inches with an optical resolution up to 600dpi.

OK, it

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Things have picked up over the last week too. Maybe summer won't be too bad after all  :)

Important point about all the other services we could be offering Photosave. I have looked at PhotoBox and BonusPrint who really have done well with the add-on products. I saw your web site which looks great - lots of stuff going on there. How do you make the collages?

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Been a funny old year- 3 months we were well up on last year  :) and 3 months well down :(.

The big surprise has been canvas wraps- we are getting more and more to do- in fact they've kept us going. I've just started a promotion for them so I'll be interested to see how they do. Passport photo's are up as well.

Film processing continues it's downward spiral whilst digital is still growing too slowly. I don't try to compete on price, service and quality is what we offer. As someone earlier said a lot of customers don't even ask the price.

Tony

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