Unhappy With Image Pricing: Consider Picfair

Posted on 6/22/2015 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Tired of giving up 70% to 80% (and often more) of what a customer pays to use your image to a distributor? Consider Picfair. Unhappy with the prices distributors are charging for your images and want more? Consider PicFair.

Picfair is a relatively new site (2014) where photographers can offer their pictures for others to buy. A unique aspect of this site is that the photographer sets the price for the license and receives 100% of the price set.

In order to offer this service Picfair charges the customer an additional 20% commission on top of the photographer’s fee for the picture, plus a payment processing fee using the stripe service. Thus, the photographer effectively receives about 79% of what it costs the customer to use the picture.

Most of the pictures are offered at prices of less than £20 and a huge percentage are for prices between £1 and £10. The fact that these prices are all photographers are asking may be an indication of the state of the market. However, I found at least one image offered for £80 so you can really charge whatever you like.

They already have thousands of contributors from 109 countries (and counting). It seems likely that amateurs shot most of the images. There is a lot of street photography and no indication that any attention has been paid to model releases.

How Businesses Can Use The Images

“Businesses can use Picfair images for any promotional use – as a background of a website, company blogs, and all promotional materials. They can’t currently use Picfair images for paid-for advertising (billboards, pop-us adverts) or for incorporating into logs or merchandise. If you’ve ever have a query about this, please email us at uryyb@cvpsnve.pbz

“An Image may not be used in merchandising, retail product packaging, branding or corporate logos, trademarks or service marks, external advertising, or book publishing. Picfair images are permitted for use for promotional purposes – for example: accompanying paid products or services on a company website, or to illustrate promotional emails and brochures for a product or service. Images may not be used in external advertisements in paid-for space including banner or pop-up advertisements, commercial classified advertisements, advergames that feature in display advertisements, commercial classified advertisements.”

Attracting and Servicing Customers

The big question is how Picfair will make potential customers aware that this resource exists. The prices are in the ballpark of what customers seem willing to pay in the microstock and midstock environment, but the search is not anywhere near as smooth as Shutterstock or iStock. In an effort to be fair to image creators Picfair may have forgotten that customers need an efficient search that helps them find the best images quickly.
Picfair will probably need to spend a lot on technology to be competitive and the 20% share may not provide enough funds to do this.

They are also competing against Shutterstock that spent about $80 million on marketing last year, and now Adobe that has a strong position in the hearts of image buyers. Gaining traction in a competitive marketplace is not easy, or inexpensive.

Interested contributors should be sure to take a look at the frequently asked questions for both buyers and sellers.

Copyright © 2015 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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