what is the BEST ONLINE PROOFING & ORDERING SYSTEM?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by bebe_jacobs, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. I'm getting ready to set up an online proofing and ordering system. I've been hosting my own photos on my website using Lightroom Web.
    I'm looking at WHCC.com to order prints. They seem very professional. I'm getting my test prints from them this week. They work with PickPic $129 set up + $99 monty is very steep for me. They also work with LabPrints $29.99/month plus
    12% commission or $49.99/month plus 9% commision also high for me.
    So, I'm looking at options for Self Hosting or Affordable Hosting.
    I'm pulling comments and recommendations from previous post.
    Your Feed back would be much appreciated!

    SELF HOSTING
    http://www.proofbuddy.com/ has Lite version (free) or a Pro version ($100) with more features. You host it yourself on your site and the orders come to you. You then submit it to your lab yourself.

    www.picturespro.com it takes a bit more work to set up but it is worth the extra control you gain by hosting your galleries on your own site. one time fee

    -----------------------
    photoreflect.com Theres on here suggested it in other post and it looked great to me.. You can creat your site, upload picture with DarkRoom Web edition and its all FREE!

    instaproofs.com has no monthly fee.. only a % of what you sell.

    Zenfolio.com has been a great asset and is very user friendly. Small annual fee with unlimited hosting and keeps a small percentage of the order. There are several labs you can print through, including mpix.

    I use my bluedomain.com to place orders - everyone can pay via paypal credit card and then I have my lab drop ship to them - I keep all the profits. It's a tiny bit of extra work but not much... in that I have to place the order but that's it... my lab does great packaging and does not post any of they fees online which I like.

    Digilabs.com I have had no problems with them whatsoever! They offer a great option for people who don't make alot of money from prints. You pay a yearly fee (I can't remember what, but it's very reasonable) and then it's 17% of the profits of the sales you make. It's a great deal, because the online album hosting basically pays for itself after a few print orders. Good luck!

    www.momentshare . I just uploaded my first wedding yesterday, so I can't tell you first hand how their turn-around time and print quality is yet . BUT I can tell you that they have excellent customer service on the photographers end. They had my link up and running in less than 24 hours. It is seamless, they made my viewing site look exactly like the home page of my website and I did not even have to send them my logo. It is only $59.00 (one-time) fee plus 10% of the orders. You can set your own price list and state's taxes. So far, I am impressed. I got their information through this forum, so I will soon know if it is great all the way around!.com

    Nextproof or Smugmug Professional. We use use Nextproof's 10gig plan for $24/mo with only a 7% c/c processing fee. If you don't need 10gigs of space, they have a 3gig plan for only $9/mo with the same processing fee. Their canned sites look decent enough but if you can program or know someone who can, they will let you totally rock out your site. Smugmug Professional is ok, but you need to have $500 in sales before they will cut you a check so if your not wanting/planning for a ton of print sales, I might stay away from them. One last thing, Nextproof also has a free 1gig plan with 12% processing fee just to get your feet wet. No, I don't work for them or get any kind of kick back, just a happy customer.

    photocart vs. Print room but I think this is more beneficial. Plus is only a one time charge.
     
  2. I like Zenfolio. In addition, it has a plugin that makes it a breeze to upload from LR.
     
  3. I use SmugMug Pro and have been happy with their service.
     
  4. Smugmug.com for me. The pro account.
     
  5. BTW, i have about 200k images on my account with smugmug, so any limited hosting thing is out the window for me. I don't want to pay a monthly fee either. I would sooner have my own hosting setup and do my order fulfillment my self. These gallery sites are getting a bit above their station. Before long every possible service you could want as a photog will be out there, and if you pay your monthly dues, you won't even make a profit. I bet within a shortish time, there will be a help line which will charge an annual fee to give you help to do stuff on their gallery sites. Not long after that, the fee will become a must in order to just say hi to anyone who might help. Intuit does this already and I can't stand the practice. Sell me a service by all means, but don't keep asking for more and more all the time.
    ...rant over.
     
  6. I've been with Smugmug (professional level) for three years now and have been extremely happy with them. If you want seamless proofing and ordering, then this is the way to go. Not only that, but they're my extreme emergency backup solution. I upload the full res jpegs and they save them on three different servers in three different states. Should I have a catastrophic failure here, I can get every single image I've ever uploaded to them.
    Case in point, a 2005 client asked to buy a copy of their dvd. I had been using Printroom at the time and only uploaded the thumbnails to their site. Somehow their backup dvd got misplaced and their files were on a computer that died so I couldn't provide them.
    Their service continues to improve. Recently they launched coupons/discounts/print credits and just launched packages. There are two labs you can use for fulfillment too- Bay Photo for professional prints and EZ Prints for things that are less important. Both are very good.
    To be honest, I'm not even sure what their annual fee and commission are anymore, I don't even think about it. Whatever it is, it's worth it to me. I can upload photos and not worry about print fulfillment (although I do a proof delay that allows me to do any retouching before a print is made).
    Granted there are other services that do everything I just described, but I have been happy with SM.
    Sam
     
  7. I, too, have been using SmugMug Pro for several months. I don't know how these SM fees compare to other services, but SM doesn't charge a flat rate per item you sell: SM's profits rise proportionally with your mark-up. I find this irritating: SM's service to me does not improve if I increase the mark up on my photos, but their fee rises.

    From SM:
    Your profit is calculated as 85% of the difference between the price you set and SmugMug's default print prices. The 15% SmugMug retains includes credit card payment fees, customer service, and the costs of administering the program.
    Example: You sell a 5x7 for $10.79 and the SmugMug default price for it is $0.79. The markup is $10.00. You keep $8.50 as profit (85% of $10).​
    So any product you sell costs you a base amount (chiefly this would be the amount the lab charges for that product). On top of that, you can set your markup. Out of your markup, SM takes an additional 15%. SM doesn't say whether it applies its own mark-up to the default print prices of the two labs, but I'd be surprised to learn it doesn't.
    I would be less irritated by SM's pricing if revenue I generated for SM through product sales first offset my annual pro-membership fee. But SM gets you coming and going.
    The service is useful, and in fact I'm happy I signed up this year, but if I made most of my money on print and product sales (I don't), I certainly would have second thoughts about signing up again. As it is, I'm looking for other gallery-hosting options.
     
  8. Another one to look at is Photography Orders. It's a self hosted cart you install to your website
     
  9. RE: SmugMug -- I've been using SM Pro for more than 6 months. I am a full time pro, but with minimal print sales.
    1. Idea and rhetoric is great. Delivery on same is not good.
    2. When I have had a problem, it has taken 2-3 emails (no phone support, which they brag about) before someone understands the problem and/or provides a good solution. This could be 24-36 hours later.
    3. Quirky things happen, like prices set months ago all of sudden disappear and clients start purchasing at my cost. SM hadn't a clue as to how this happened.
    4. Galleries become inoperative.
    5. Images posted to galleries disappear. Had a bride say, "Why do you only have 5 photos in your wedding gallery?
    A lot of my problems would be acceptable for personal use. But it is not acceptable for Pro use. Maybe they need a separate group of Pro responders. Whatever it is, they need to step up to the plate if they are going to sell Pro level services.
     
  10. I have been using SmugMug for little more than a year. Everything was OK until recently my photos were stolen from my Pro account an put all over the Facebook. I am considering the switch. They say right upfront, that although the images in the galleries are right-click protected, they still can be stolen. That's exactly what happened with mine. People somehow downloaded some high resolution images and used them at their discretion. I wish they would provide more protection for paying customers.
     
  11. Serge--there is no 'more protection'. Anything posted online can be stolen. Sometimes it takes more effort, but you cannot prevent it entirely. So I wouldn't count that against SmugMug.
     
  12. Serge, nothing can protect photos. All anybody has to do to steal a photo is take a screenshot of it. The only effective way of adding protection is a watermark.
     
  13. Hi
    Is there any photoproofing sites with digital sales only plans and international transactions support (russian market)?
    The best option is instaproof.com but there are some problems with localization, especially in payments. Proofbuddy is interesting option but software actually do not functioning properly.
    Is there any ideal options for photography startup with no monthly fee at the beginning?
     
  14. Hi,
    If your near NY, Tricolor labs is great. I've been using them professionally for 20+ years. You can upload calibration software and do everything from home.
    http://tricolorimage.com/
     

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