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Do you have a basic minimum package?

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  #1  
Old 08-12-2001, 01:30 PM
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Do you have a basic minimum package?

For the least costly service you provide, what does the customer get in the way of services? Do you have an entry level package, or would you provide a scan only without corrections if the customer wanted it? Does the customer get a break with a "the more you buy, the better the deal" option?

Ed
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Old 08-12-2001, 02:59 PM
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Ed, Our basic package consists of a scan, color/tone balance and print which usually takes about 15 min. from start to finish. This is REAL basic-NO scratch removal, etc. Most of these jobs are, interestingly enough color to Black and White conversions. For ANYTHING else I have a discussion with the customer, tell them what can be done, what to reasonably expect and then give them prices based on an hourly rate and my best estimate of the time it will take. We do provide an Archiving service for those customers who want their photos burned to CD. We scan, color/tone/sharpen/ resample, burn to CD for $2 per photo or simply "scan and burn" for $1 per photo, PLUS the cost of the disc PLUS an hourly fee. Volumn jobs get the same rate,as once someone has decided to get this work done, cost ( at least in my experience) becomes of secondary concern and quality/timely delivery of the finished product becomes of primary interest. For those who want to haggle price or complain about costs, I refer them to someone else., my experience being that these type of customers are not what I want or need. Chances are nothing you do will meet with their approval unless YOU pay THEM for working on their stuff. As the old saying in these parts goes; " Some folks would complain if you hung 'em with a new rope". Tom
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Old 08-12-2001, 05:17 PM
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Photo CDs

Hi Tom,

I'm somewhat intrigued by your service of putting people's photos on a CD. I guess I never thought of that before although it sure sounds like a good idea. I have a couple of questions.

Do you put them on a CD so people can view them and send them out via email using their own computer or do you create the CDs for archivability purposes only? Because you would need to save either as a TIFF or JPEG right? It seems like the average person wouldn't know what to do with a TIFF file.

Do you provide instructions on how to open and view the files and such?

Thanks

Amanda
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Old 08-12-2001, 05:41 PM
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Hi Tom,

You're right about some people complaining about anything. We once put a roof on an addition for this guy, who was happy with the job, and paid us when it was completed. The next day he called and said the shingles were not laid properly. Naturally, we went to investigate. This guy got on the roof to measure up about 8 feet from the gutters. From one side of the roof to the other, there was a difference of 1/4 inch! He wanted us to rip the roof off, and reshingle it. Of course that was ridiculous, and we refused. He told us he would pay again for the job - up front. We refused, telling him that there was no way we could satisfy him. It really wasn't brain surgery. So I guess there's always some joker who cannot be satisfied, no matter how hard you try. Thankfully, this guy lived in an area where we rarely worked, so if he bad-mouthed us, it really didn't make a lot of difference.

Ed
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Old 08-12-2001, 07:26 PM
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Just me again Tom. I wanted to comment on your take about how you handle the ones who want to haggle, but I abruptly had to leave the computer. I couldn't agree with you more. From the short while we've been talking, I think we share basic business logic. I know when you're trying to start a business, and someone wants to haggle, it's hard to turn them away since you want/need the job. But in my estimation, when you allow yourself to sell below prices as listed, you are probably compromising your self esteem, and opening the door for more haggling from other potential customers who might have heard that you can be bargained with. The people who want to give their work away would not be the ones I considered as my competition. I would strive to do very good work, but there wouldn't be room to haggle. I think that could become the norm once you've done it. And that wouldn't do much for your bottom line.
Ed
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Old 08-12-2001, 08:07 PM
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Akj, Most of the CD's we put together for people contain two files- one for screen viewing/e-mailing and a second for printing by a third party source. (Those we burn in TIFF RGB as that is what the only place within 300 miles of here that makes prints from CD 's accepts.) We give written instructions on how to open and view the files( most people around here have computers and some type of image editing program although almost no-one knows how to use the programs). I make it a point to actually go to my customers homes, if they request it, and show them how to use their software to open and view/play with their photos. While this may seem odd, it has resulted in a lot of business coming my way as personal attention and service after sale mean a lot to folks. I am not the least bit concerned about training my "competition" as very few people, once they begin getting past the easy stuff in image editing have any desire to put the necessary time and money into training,software,equipment etc, necessary to progress past the home user/hobby stage. The folks I have instructed about how to use their programs are some of my loudest supporters. Hope this helps-thanks, Tom
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Old 08-12-2001, 08:22 PM
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Ed, I couldnt agree more. I discovered that in 100% of the cases the folks who haggle and complain are well known to every other business owner for just those reasons. The first one I had to deal with decided after viewing the finished restores that even though they were good they were too expensive so why didnt I cut the price and " well they are not really good but OK. Why dont you give them to me"(EXACT QUOTE). I politely declined the suggestion informing this individual that if the work was not good enough to pay for it wasnt good enough to give away. To make a long story short, I advised this person to seek help elsewhere as I couldnt help them. As you pointed out word "gets around" and I have had very few bargain hunters to contend with since. Good talking to you, Tom
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Old 08-12-2001, 10:48 PM
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I had a customer who came to me with a photo she actually tried first to ink her lower half out of the picture with a pen and then when that didn't look good she painted it with black paint. It was her son's wedding and she was dancing with him. It was a beautiful photo of mother and son but someone told her she looked heavy so she tried to color herself out.

With her help, I managed to get the paint off the photo but most of her was still scribbled over in ink. She told me what she wanted. I was to do only the upper bodies and the mood light sconces in the background with like a hazyness around. There was an ugly shadow over their heads that didn't fit when you I added the haze setting so I took it out. The photo looked great. Turns out she didn't like her hair either and the shadow disquised that. Then she decided she wanted the dance floor and her son full size but not her full body in it. Buy that time I realized nothing would please her. What I gave her she liked and I kept hoping she would never show it to anyone because it was the worst I had ever done. I should have just sent her to someone else. It wasn't worth it. She wasn't unpleased with my work but she couldn't stand herself.

I really have gotten so much out of reading all your thoughts on this subject. Thank you all for giving me some better guide lines to follow.

DJ
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Old 08-12-2001, 11:14 PM
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Dj, Somewhere in a remote locale I think there is a factory,run by the evil twins of Santa's Elves who manufacture these "clients from the neither world" and turn them loose on unsuspecting and kindly Photo folks!!! I REALLY DO!!!! Tom
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Old 08-13-2001, 12:10 AM
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DJ:

Did you keep her information so later on you could wish her on your worst enemy?
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