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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Printroom users
Brett Groehler, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 10:18 AM on 08.27.09
->> Anyone users out there that have heard if Printroom is in financial trouble? I have sold my work through them and always got my checks ontime. This month my check did not come and my sales rep. said they've had some "issues." I would be interested to know if anyone else has gotten their checks or heard anything.
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Les Stukenberg, Photographer, Photo Editor
Prescott Valley | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:27 AM on 08.27.09
->> I got my check, although it was a few days later than normal. I talked to my rep and he said it was due to the 15th falling on a Saturday, not "issues."
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Gray Quetti, Photographer
Jacksonville | Fl | USA | Posted: 10:37 AM on 08.27.09
->> Brett, Funny you should ask. I was very upset about this and called my Printroom rep. I've always received my checks on the 20th of the month. Last month was about 5 days late. This month I still don't have it. They did say "the check is in the mail." They didn't offer any excuses but said it won't happen again. We'll see.
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Clay Begrin, Photographer
Petaluma | Ca | USA | Posted: 1:34 AM on 08.28.09
->> I have used Printroom for four years and been happy with their service, however the last year my sales along with many other photogrpahers that use Printroom or a similar service have been down and I have wondered if Printroom would have some financial issues. Hopefully they are Ok.

Does anyone have any other alternative companies that provide a service like Printroom just in case they do not survive this economic problem?
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 1:38 AM on 08.28.09
->> That figures. I finally did some print sales with them this month, for the first time in a couple of years, so I guess I put my curse on them. Sorry.
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Clay Begrin, Photographer
Petaluma | Ca | USA | Posted: 1:52 AM on 08.28.09
->> Hey Doug, I think to issue with sales is directly related to the economy. Two years ago things were fine and then right in time with the U.S. economic issues, sales dropped.
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Mike Huffstatler, Photographer, Assistant
Rancho Cucamonga | Ca | United States | Posted: 2:50 AM on 08.28.09
->> I've had some issues with them, and ultimately the site I had built is sitting mostly idle now and being phased out. I was a very strong proponent of their service, but unfortunately no longer. What remains ther eis what is left of my free site. I did not renew my "pro" account.

It might be due to financial strains, it might just be a different business model or approach in the back side. I really don't know.

I tried another service, but it just hasn't worked out the way I wanted it to. No real fault on their side, it was/is just a different approach and ultimately not something I want to use.

I'm looking around again, but online sales and activities for me lately have been very, very low. I just need easy and priced reasonably. I'm doing a free trial of Zenfolio right now. They had added a lot of nice features since I last looked. I would drive everything to Photo shelter, but its hard to justify the cost for that move right now.

bottom line from me: buyer beware.
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Tom Suarez, Photographer
Austin | texas | USA | Posted: 9:50 AM on 08.28.09
->> "Does anyone have any other alternative companies that provide a service like Printroom just in case they do not survive this economic problem?"

I did use Printroom but switched to Zenfolio last yeat and am happy with it. I have over 20,0000 photos, 100 gb at this time. I upload the jpgs and keep a backup on my hard drive that mirrors what it online. Also if I am somewhere that I do not have access to my files I can use my laptop and download the full size files. This way I always have access to my files no matter where I am. I can also set up certain galleries where a client can download.
If anyone is interested my code is GER-BS4-UGY. Use that code when signing up and you get a discount I think it is 10.00on the first year but it may be 5.00. Then you get a code and everyone that uses your code to sign up you will also get a credit to your account.
It has unlimited storage space so it can be used as an online back up which is what I use it for. Here is a link to my account www.tomsuarez.net
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Ken Shelton, Photographer
Wyckoff | NJ | USA | Posted: 11:26 AM on 08.28.09
->> I have been using www.Backprint.com for about 4 years and have been happy with the service to both me and my customers. They have some very slick marketing tools which put thumbnails of the images into the customer's emails and provide click-through to the customer's individual ordering page.

A couple of months ago, after listening to a forum of their users (I'm on the forum) they set up the ability for their system to read in keywords. I use Lightroom to keyword the athlete's bib# into the image file, they sort the images & collate it to the spreadsheet of names and emails I provide. Each athlete receives a personalized email linked to only their images. No more wading through hundred of other athletes trying to find images.

You can see race site examples through my site www.kenshelton.com

Props to the guy who manages my account, Galen Davis galen@backprint.com
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Brett Groehler, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 11:53 AM on 08.28.09
->> I did get my check today but I appreciate the feedback here and the discussions about what other people are using. I am always interested in new ways of marketing online sales which I do think is one of Printroom's weaknesses.
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Clay Begrin, Photographer
Petaluma | Ca | USA | Posted: 7:06 PM on 08.28.09
->> Tom and Ken, thanks for the info on the alternative companies. I'm happy with Printroom but these days who knows who may be closing their doors.
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Evan Pilchik, Photographer
Portland | OR | USA | Posted: 2:08 PM on 08.31.09
->> I gotta second Ken. I too was on the forum he was speaking of and I really appreciate how they took some of our words of advice to heart and started to implement a few of them already, including the key wording feature.

I like their user interface and they are quick to take care of my customers if there ever is a problem ( which is rare but it does happen).

I use Bridge to do my keywording & editing and backprint has no problem incorporating them into their system.

You can check out my site at
http://www.myEPevents.com

I strongly recommend giving Galen a call if you want more information about Backprint.
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JP Wilson, Student/Intern, Photographer
Norman | OK | USA | Posted: 11:02 PM on 08.31.09
->> I used printroom for about 3 years and about 8 or 9 months ago I switched to another company called photostockplus.com
In my time with them I've had great customer service and help, my rep even gave me her cell phone number in case of trouble on the weekend.
Seems to work well for me, no problems. Also, their pricing gives you a little more profit than printroom.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 11:42 PM on 08.31.09
->> What other services have an option like Printroom that generates thumbnails for you to display on site and lets you replace them with the hi-rez images when prints are ordered? It makes workflow so much easier.
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Mike Doran, Photographer
Petaluma | CA | U.S.A. | Posted: 11:50 PM on 08.31.09
->> I used Printroom for over 4 years and there service was pretty good until there prices jumped and the service went down subsequently I switched to www.zenfolio.com and haver never been happier. They offer you the option of sending you a check or paying by paypal. They offer pro services and a wider range of service than I got from Printroom.
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Evan Pilchik, Photographer
Portland | OR | USA | Posted: 1:22 PM on 09.02.09
->> Doug:

backprint does this. You can upload low rez images (which makes uploading time really fast ) and then upload the high rez images when an order placed.
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Ken Shelton, Photographer
Wyckoff | NJ | USA | Posted: 6:14 PM on 09.02.09
->> ->> "What other services have an option like Printroom that generates thumbnails for you to display on site and lets you replace them with the hi-rez images when prints are ordered? It makes workflow so much easier."

Doug, As Evan says, Backprint does let you upload thumbs and upload the hi-rez later. I find it to be a PITA having to find and upload individual files days/weeks/months after the event. I have a 20mb up/down FIOS line. It regularly uploads 1,200-1,500 full jpgs per hour to Backprint's center which I understand has its own OC-48 service. My uploads are broken down by photographer and event location (swim/bike/run/finish/etc). Backprint's reports let me see how much of each photographer's work is selling.

Printroom DOES have the ability to remotely access your system and upload the needed images. I like the IDEA, but I would need to dedicate a system to it and build one large electronic wall around it. I can do that, but, like I said, with the FIOS line I have uploaded over 9,000 images in about 8 hours so really do not have the need.

Ken
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Jayne Oncea, Photographer
Saugus | CA | USA | Posted: 5:25 PM on 02.07.10
->> anybody besides me not get their DEC '09 checks yet
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Les Stukenberg, Photographer, Photo Editor
Prescott Valley | AZ | USA | Posted: 12:56 AM on 02.08.10
->> Jayne,
I got mine about two weeks late..
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Russ Isabella, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 1:20 AM on 02.08.10
->> Printroom changed their policy in the not too distant past (it's not clear to me when the change occurred since as far as I am aware, they did not notify their customers of this change). If your monthly profit does not surpass a pre-specified minimum dollar amount, they will not send you a check that month and will hold on to your profit until it reaches the pre-specified minimum. If you want them to send you a check for less than that minimum, it'll cost you $15.
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Gray Quetti, Photographer
Jacksonville | Fl | USA | Posted: 12:08 PM on 02.08.10
->> Printroom says that payments are "subject" to a $100 minimum. After the first issue with them on the payment all went well for a few months until time for the Dec payments. It was several weeks late before I called and they said they would overnight my check that day and they did. They said to send the other check back if it ever arrived, which it didn't.

I have had excellent service from them but money issues bug me more than anything.
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Jayne Oncea, Photographer
Saugus | CA | USA | Posted: 12:37 PM on 02.08.10
->> thanks.. i have been calling but keep getting a machine and no return calls.. yes, service is excellent.. but would be nice to let everybody know about policy changes..
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Jack McCoy, Photographer
Baldwin | NY | USA | Posted: 12:22 PM on 02.27.10
->> Hey guys, was about to post something myself until I saw this thread. I don't mean to jump to conclusions but I always get my check between the 19-21st. I kept asking where my check was and my account rep never got back to me...he got in touch with me regarding every other issue I have ever had. This month was my smallest check I have received in a year (due to my sales which for the time of the year is normal for the last four years) That said when I went to Bank of America just now after having to pay myself for the check to be sent via Fed Ex the bank told me the computer was coming up "non-negotiable" and they couldn't cash my check. This has never happened since the year and a half I have been cashing my Printroom checks at BOA. I'm obviously concerned since I also can't get an answer from Printroom. Anyone else having that problem for this month (February)?

--Jack
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Bert Entwistle, Photographer
Colorado Springs | CO | USA | Posted: 12:37 PM on 02.27.10
->> I haven't been paid for Dec. or Jan. I also lost some of my galleries.

They responded once then stopped talking to me a while back.

They haven't done anything for me yet - I believe it's probably bad news for all of us that use the service.

Maybe we should all contact them and demand some answers, I did this yesterday.

bert
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 12:44 PM on 02.27.10
->> I get a call back or an answer every time I call them.
granted I do not have any issues so I rarely have to call them, but recently I had to transfer all my root galleries to another machine and they took care of me very well. The entire process took two days as it occurred over the weekend (friday and Monday) but mainly because I could not be in front of the computer to complete the entire task.
they are great and fullfillment of orders is easy and they deliver a quality product to my clients.
Checks have always been good never any issues cashing them.
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Jayne Oncea, Photographer
Saugus | CA | USA | Posted: 2:09 PM on 02.27.10
->> Never got my December check..and Jan hasn't arrived yet either. I told via email, I would cancel my account if they didn't arrive. I was assured they would. I call and it rings and then I get a recording.
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Jayne Oncea, Photographer
Saugus | CA | USA | Posted: 2:16 PM on 02.27.10
->> anybody know of a simple program you can use on your own website, with a shopping cart and do your own online print orders?
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Heston Quan, Photographer
Orange County | CA | | Posted: 2:49 PM on 02.27.10
->> I didn't get my December check either. I contacted them this week about that and an order that needed to be cancelled. They answered back rather quickly about the order cancellation, but didn't say anything about my check.

They sure had no problem charging me my membership fee last month!
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Jack McCoy, Photographer
Baldwin | NY | USA | Posted: 3:02 PM on 02.27.10
->> I just sent them a message via Twitter and no response....I have no idea what is going on. I so don't want to change but am in a real tight spot here....
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Mike Brice, Photographer
SLC | UT | USA | Posted: 3:04 PM on 02.27.10
->> In another forum (digitalweddingforum.com - members only) there is some discussion about Printroom's financial health as several photographers are also missing their checks.

From quoted phone conversations, the reasons vary from a change in the paperwork procedure to a lack of funds. These photographers have sales in the thousands that they will be out. Scary times.

Exposure Manager allows you to upload thumbs and replace with full-sized images when ordered.

They also have recently introduced CD/DVD fulfillment.
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Jayne Oncea, Photographer
Saugus | CA | USA | Posted: 3:11 PM on 02.27.10
->> I'm changing companies on monday...what is the vote from all of you? never was a fan of photo reflect..I'm thinking about
zenfolio.. I like the direct deposit idea..
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Wally Raynes, Photographer
Kaiserslautern | ge | Germany | Posted: 3:25 PM on 02.27.10
->> Have a look at exposuremanager.com They now offer direct deposit, getting away from mailing checks. Service is top notch.
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Jack McCoy, Photographer
Baldwin | NY | USA | Posted: 3:29 PM on 02.27.10
->> I had been begging Printroom for direct deposit for years. If zenfolio has a direct deposit system that is definitely enticing. This really does suck mainly because I hate change...but change is good right?? Plus I have to cancel a job for tomorrow since I can't guarantee that I will ever get paid...and I wasn't going to have a drink today.
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Russ Isabella, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 3:32 PM on 02.27.10
->> As a long-time Printroom user, I'd say they have very little going for them right now. Based on information in a different thread here at SportsShooter about other companies and their print-sales offerings, I opened an account with Exposure Manager and so far, I'm real happy with what they have to offer.
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Mike McLaughlin, Photographer
Neptune City | NJ | USA | Posted: 4:04 PM on 02.27.10
->> I have not received my Dec. or Jan. checks. After 3 calls and messages over a months time, and no responses, I left a message threatening canceling my account. I got a call back that day, got transferred to an account manager who said he would have the finance people call me back that day (last Monday). No call Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. I called and spoke with him again on Wed. and was told they would call me back that day. Again, no call Wed., Thurs., Fri. I will call again on Monday and as soon as I receive my checks, will close my account after almost 10 years with them! Good luck people.
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Jack McCoy, Photographer
Baldwin | NY | USA | Posted: 4:32 PM on 02.27.10
->> I just emailed the CEO of Printroom along with my account rep saying they needed to get back to me within 48 hours or I would take my business elsewhere.
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Russ Isabella, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 4:54 PM on 02.27.10
->> About time. Though I'm sorry to hear of your problems (Mike and Jack), I'm glad to know I'm not alone in being 5 months removed from my profits.
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Mike Brice, Photographer
SLC | UT | USA | Posted: 5:31 PM on 02.27.10
->> I have received several e-mails from non-sportsshooter members expressing concern that they have not been paid either, and they are owed significant sums and have not been paid the last two months.

I wonder if they are going to be at WPPI?
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Darren Whitley, Photographer
Northwest Missouri | MO | USA | Posted: 6:53 PM on 02.27.10
->> I use PickPic and have a CC processor of my own. I also pay my own hosting fees. Losing 18-20% to a hosting company isn't viable over the long haul. At work, we use Zenfolio. I'm using the Lightroom plug-in and if things with PickPic were to change, I'd switch to Zenfolio since it uses Millers/Mpix for fulfillment.
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 7:16 PM on 02.27.10
->> I would use PhotoShelter. You can use their print providers or print your own. The money can go directly into your credit card provider or your PayPal account.
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Gray Quetti, Photographer
Jacksonville | Fl | USA | Posted: 11:07 PM on 02.27.10
->> This doesn't sound good. I'll have to keep an eye on this as well. They have responded to my technical issues without a problem, it's just the pay they don't respond to. I've been with them about 4 years and don't really want to change but it might be necessary now.
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Jack McCoy, Photographer
Baldwin | NY | USA | Posted: 12:50 PM on 02.28.10
->> CEO Carlton Osborne calling me tomorrow....
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Mike Brice, Photographer
SLC | UT | USA | Posted: 1:55 PM on 02.28.10
->> Maybe you can tell him to call the other photographers in this thread, and other forums who have still not been paid their December and January payments.

Better yet, maybe you could tell him to just send the checks.
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Mark Cornelison, Photographer
Lexington | KY | U.S.A. | Posted: 12:20 AM on 03.01.10
->> My December check says it has been issued, but I have not recieved anything.
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Jayne Oncea, Photographer
Saugus | CA | USA | Posted: 10:43 PM on 03.01.10
->> GOT THIS A LITTLE EARLIER TODAY.. FOR WHAT ITS WORTH.
I'LL FOLLOW UP IF/WHEN MY CHECK ARRIVES.






Dear Jayne,

We understand you may not have received a timely profit check from Printroom recently, and we regret any hardship this has caused you. We know you want to know the answer to three basic questions. What happened and is Printroom in any serious difficulty? Lastly, you want to know what Printroom is doing to remedy the situation.

Let's deal with the second question first. Printroom is in good financial shape. Honest. Thanks to you, your colleagues, and a major investment in operations this past year, we expect a record sales year in 2010; this, despite the recession.

As to what caused us to take longer than normal time to pay some photographers their profit checks, it had two causes. As you are aware, the economic downturn has had wide reaching consequences, and the photography industry is no exception. This decline, coupled with the first quarter of the year usually being a slow time for the photography industry, has caused Printroom to take a longer-than-normal time to issue profit checks, despite our planning. In short, when things got slow for you, they got slow for us.

We truly apologize for mishandling this cash crunch and our poor handling of communications with some of you. Printroom has taken the necessary steps to address this issue. We've raised additional capital through our venture capital partners and taken other measures to improve our financial position. We have begun catching up on our profit checks and our plan is to have everything back to normal by the middle of next month.

Specifically, I can confirm that any outstanding checks due to you were sent via Fedex today and you should receive it tomorrow.

This is the first time in our company's history that we have been faced with such a problem, and we look forward to restoring our usual reliable service to you and your customers. Business relationships are like personal relationships-- the best ones allow for error and forgiveness. We pledge to do better.

Sincerely,

Carlton

_________________________________________________________
Carlton Osborne | Chief Executive Officer | Printroom, Inc.
2520 Mission College Blvd. Suite 202 | Santa Clara CA, 95054
email: carlton@printroom.com | Web: www.printroom.com
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Clay Begrin, Photographer
Petaluma | Ca | USA | Posted: 1:38 AM on 03.02.10
->> Jayne, nice to hear you're gettng your check sent today. I called Printroom today about my check that I have not received (however on Printroom they indicate "Profit check issued") and couldn't locate anyone answering the phones until I selected Tech support. Then the Tech support person couldn't help me and said someone from accounting would call me however when they would call was unknown.

I realize businesses can have financial problems especially the past two years, however when Carlton tells you "As to what caused us to take longer than normal time to pay some photographers their profit checks, it had two causes. As you are aware, the economic downturn has had wide reaching consequences, and the photography industry is no exception. This decline, coupled with the first quarter of the year usually being a slow time for the photography industry, has caused Printroom to take a longer-than-normal time to issue profit checks, despite our planning. In short, when things got slow for you, they got slow for us."

There is no excuse for that. Yes things are slow, but when a sale is made, they should be putting the photogrpahers profits aside and mail them in a timely manner, NOT use the money for their own use (as it appears, otherwise what excuse is there for not sending out checks to photographers).

Am I venting? Hell yes. This is a bad business practice and shouldn't be happening! If Printroom has financial problems then I am concerned for them and feel for them as a business and user of Printroom as they have been good to me and my customers for almost 5 years...BUT don't spend money that belongs to your photographers that basically are the backbone to keeping your busness in business!
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 3:39 AM on 03.02.10
->> Everyone has a choice, if your uncomfortable with the situation change companies.
Personally I am staying with Printroom.

Always had great customer service with my clients, and with my business including excellent tech support staff.

Just today a parent called me, she had mistakenly selected too many prints and had processed her order for $77.00 and needed to correct it as she only meant to order $46.59 in product. I could not credit her account as the payment was processed through printroom. I gave her the 888 number and asked her to speak with the printroom account rep to fix the order.
I checked back with my client about 30 minutes later and the order was corrected and her card was credited the refunded amount. She said it went very smoothly. I also saw this reflected in on my account sales report.

So for me printroom is doing a great job, and I have been getting my past months checks.

Obviously they have had some issues as they have stated in Jayne's email, they have been servicing my online sales for over five years and been great, my monthly checks have ranged from a high of over $4000.00 to a low of $25.00 over the years and all of them cleared my account with no issues regardless of the amount.

when someone stumbles you don't just abandon them at the first issue, you find out what the problem is and if it can't be fixed then you say your goodbyes.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 8:51 AM on 03.02.10
->> Louis I agree that you don't kick someone when they are down. There are two issues (maybe 3) that people need to look at though. This thread started in AUGUST and here we are in March. At the least they should have communicated much sooner.

Second, and I may be wrong here, my understanding is that customers (photographers) have to hit a $100 threshold to have a check issued. That means that on any given month photographers are floating loans to PR without compensation. That was (I'm guessing) a big part of what probably got them in this mess. Pay people their cut at the end of the month. Period. There are services like PayPal or straight out direct deposits that cost pennies. There is no excuse for holding someone's $90 for an addition month until they reach $100.

Third and maybe most importantly, with privately held companies, there are no public filings that will let photographers know what the TRUE terms of both their current financial state AND the terms of this addition venture capital is. Venture capitalist want to make money on their money. The terms of those investments are never weak or business friendly. What's the time frame for paying those investors back? How much capital was required to bridge the accounting issues? What are the realistic expectations that PR can cover those loans?

I'm not a PR customer and never have been. I have nothing to gain either way. I'm not a customer of ANY of the services save Photoshelter and I probably last logged on there 8 months ago. I believe in having a backup plan. I do have friends that got totally toasted when DRR went down. Now we see rumblings of a similar beat. I said this on the 'other' PR post and I'll say it here, if I were in this boat and for whatever reason was planning on staying with PR I would be setting up a mirror site and uploading my events to both.

Photocart and a GoDaddy account are super short expenses if the bottom falls out of this and you are left facing a bank page and 40 events to upload.

For the record I don't use Photocart, it is a great program and someday I may be able to integrate it into my site but for now my site is 100% hand crafted for me, by me, and in some cases with the services of paid programmers. I am not here to shill for anyone. Just offering my experiences and advice so that those who haven't hit some of the potholes out there can avoid them.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 12:09 PM on 03.02.10
->> A company that is in "good financial shape" does not have widespread problems paying its creditors.

--Mark
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Jack McCoy, Photographer
Baldwin | NY | USA | Posted: 12:42 PM on 03.02.10
->> Carlton sent me the letter last night asking me what I thought and telling me he was sending the letter out today to fellow photographers:

My response to him:

Thanks for asking my thoughts. For starters, your web site still says that checks are mailed out on the 15th of each month. However, even if this date does not fall on a weekend, the checks have lately been sent out on the 17th. I unfortunately have several bills that get paid by the 20-21st automatically and lots of times I ask Jim to send me my check via FedEx using my account number. He ALWAYS says "no problem," and apparently drives my check down personally to the Fed Ex drop off center. To be honest, I was a little annoyed when I had to pay for the $18 FedEx charge myself last week, but he assured me the check would not go out in a timely matter if he didn't use my FedEx account number.

I posted a new thread on SportsShooter (link to follow). Basically some of the complaints is that some people don't understand why if your selling photos that we have taken and holding onto our money that you have collected sales on, that they need to wait several weeks to get paid. I don't necessarily agree nor disagree on that issue (basically I'm like Switzerland on that issue) but I have said for years that I would love for Printroom to offer direct deposit (NOT paypal because they are horrible) or, as some of the other photo hosting sites have, the opportunity to request a check anytime you want whenever money is deposited in their sales account. Meaning if you have had any sales, you could simply click on a button and ask for a check to be cut for a $3 charge (what one company is charging) and sent to you within 4-5 business days. I think that would be great service for Printroom to better its personal relationships with photographers and possibly avoid these problems in the future.

Besides that, I think your letter is sincere and promises changes.....but that said, I'm really hoping those promises are kept because it would pain for me to leave you because YOU GUYS DO GREAT WORK.
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