5 ways to do price shopping with competition

 In For Photographers

Let’s face reality: if you want to know how to price yourself, you MUST know how much your competition charge and there is no better way that price shopping for it. Of course you will charge differently, and I am sure your photographs are going to be different, but knowing where to start is an advantage right? Of course it is.
In this blog post we will teach you how to spy on your competitors, as price shopping is an art. In some price shopping can be a more important art than your photography itself!
Without further ado, let’s explore the 5 best ways of price shopping to get your business a head start over your competitors!

1. Spy on their website

The first step in your price shopping exercise is to open your competitors’ websites and look for the link “prices” or “investment“. That is the first step in getting your head around the photographer around the corner, as well as the one in New York or Los Angeles. There are some tricky photographers like Faby and Carlo, who do not post their prices on their website. Apart from their stupidity for thinking that people value more their photos than their prices, it is annoying when it happens. You have to spend so much more time to get their price list.

2. Enquire via email

Let’s say that your competitor does not have a clear number and your first attempt to price shopping did not go well. Or let’s assume that the ball figure they place on the website is not clear enough to help you creating a concise pricing list your self. The next step is to write an email. Yes, I know, it is time consuming, but one has to do what one has to do!
Drop an email or contact them via the form of their site, asking blatantly to send you their price list. That should do the trick, right?

3. Enquire via a fake email

You may come to realise that sending an email from your business address while price shopping may not give you great results. Maybe your competitor has looked at the domain your email is referring to and they have sniffed that you are just price shopping. They may not have replied at this point, how rude! It is time to resort to even more ingenuous tricks. Opening a fake email account should do the trick! Now it is time to adopt a more subtle tactic. Instead of price shopping, just enquire as you were actually interested in your competitor’s photographs (as if…). That would should sort out everything!

4. Call

If even the fake email address and the fake attention to details did not do the trick, and you do not have had a reply, it is time to resort to an even more direct approach: pick up the phone and call them! At this point, you may have realise the resiliency to bullshit in your competitor, so hiding your phone number is a must. Use your most gentle voice and enquire about a boudoir session, slowly getting close to the juicy part: the price shopping. At this point, have yet another fake email ready (and make sure the name matches the fake name you are giving during your phone call). be careful, though, not to betray yourself with your knowledge of photography, if you have some of course.
There is the risk, that, even after a call, you may have not gotten what you really want, so there is the last resort!

5. Stop and Do The Right Thing

If you got here without realising the irony in my writing, let me make it crystal clear: I have been sarcastic so far.
Price shopping with your competitors is just plain wrong. It is wrong on so many level that you should really start considering your morals. You are a photographer, make your art to sell your photos, not someone else’s prices. You don’t know what goes behind another photographer’s price list, the experience, the offering and the art behind every single image.
Behind the prices of your photographs you should have a rationale. A number is valid only if there is a thought process behind it. If you don’t know how to get to that number, hire a business expert to help you out. You can even call us, with our business courses we also give out our prices while explaining why. We like to teach how to fish more than feed you with a fish.
Of course you would be a better person not price shopping with your competitors, it is not something nice to do.

We wish to send you a warm thank you to the photographers that, through one of these methods, asked us for our prices. They made it very easy to write this ironic how-to!

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Showing 2 comments
  • davejsander

    We photographed a wonderful client. She looked great but had a very bad complexion. We always fully retouch. Hair and make-up and 4 hours retouching. She came to the viewing and loved her images. Bought nothing. Nada! This is so rare, I did some investigating and discovered that she was sent by another studio to ‘check out our service’ Hah! Why didn’t they just ask us? It would’ve saved so much time.

    • Carlo Nicora

      Yes, that happened to us as well.
      That is the next step: it is not only about prices, it is about how you do things, how you prepare your images, how you sell them… sad :S

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