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In terms of experience do unframed prints sell better than framed prints or visa versa? I am thinking of adding the option to my site for individuals to purchase unframed prints for a fraction of the framed price.

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Don't do it - it makes it look like your images are cheap and only the frame is expensive - and this devalues your work in the eyes of anyone browsing your site (it's ok to sell slightly cheaper unframed versions - but not "for a fraction of the framed price") -- if you suspect you audience isn't buying because of the price find another way to have a cheaper version that doesn't make it look like you have cheap prints lying around and you are selling framing services (or even better, work on getting a less price sensitive audience to your site) –  Nir Jan 23 '13 at 21:05
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Some nice info thanks, I see what you mean with regards to the "fraction of the price issue". I guess I would just be deducting the price of the frame so if the framed version sells for £150 then the unframed would be selling for around £100. –  IconicPhotos.co.uk Jan 23 '13 at 21:51
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Another option that I offer is Mounted & Wrapped, its a nice middle ground between raw and framed. And honestly for the £10 - £20 it costs per unit it looks FAR more professional than unmounted, but costs 1/3 - 1/2 a frame. AND its my most popular option! –  Darkcat Studios Jan 25 '13 at 9:50
    
I think I may go down this route. I have managed to find a supplier that sells the packs so that you can mount the print and bag it for shipping. It does look professional and I can offer a slightly cheaper price. –  IconicPhotos.co.uk Jan 25 '13 at 10:40

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The title of this question is a little misleading, for the question I thought you were asking:

Do unframed prints sell better than framed in person?

ie in a showroom I feel the answer is undoubtably framed photos sell better. They look better, they stand out more and feel like you care about the image more.

But it sounds like the question you're asking is:

Do unframed photos sell better than framed in my online store?

Is a totally different question and has a different answer (from me as a consumer) which is that its not as cut-and-dry in that 'it depends' and there are many instances where I would be turned off if I had to buy the frame.

The difference is in a showroom, the frame does a lot of magical stuff for you like I mentioned above, it sets it apart from the wall, the person can see how much care you put into framing (which is an art itself) which reflects on you as an artist, and when purchased they can take it home and hang it. When its online none of that magic comes across, shipping is MUCH more expensive because its fragile and while they can admire the photo online its harder to get a feeling for the framing job.

As long as you don't discount your unframed photos (in the sense that the framed photos are only marked up for the framing job) this shouldn't impact your net profit at all.

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Hi, this question was to do with selling the artwork online. I do see what you mean with regards to the frames looking better in store. I have approached the issue you mention by allowing the individual to see what the frame may look like in certain situations. You can see it in action at www.iconicphotos.co.uk when you click on an item it is at the bottom of the item page. –  IconicPhotos.co.uk Jan 23 '13 at 21:53
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I think if I do offer a unframed version then I will mention that the price is based on the cost of the frame and reduced shipping costs etc. –  IconicPhotos.co.uk Jan 23 '13 at 21:58
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Yea good call, that way you're not cheapening your photos and you still get the best of both worlds. I see the 'Frame in situ' page you have and thats helpful but seeing a framing in person is a different experience. You get to see not only that the photo is 'framed' but the paper color & texture, the matting thickness, angle and cut, the quality of the glass, the depth of the photo in the frame, the carpentry and quality of the frame itself, what it all says about the photo and its style. You know what I mean, but there is framing and there is Framing :). –  Shizam Jan 23 '13 at 22:14
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I guess it comes down to how you explain the quality of the frame etc. With it being online there is more emphasis placed on the description as well as the image. –  IconicPhotos.co.uk Jan 23 '13 at 22:19

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