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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

PrintRoom...Doom...Ka-Boom!!!!
Gary Slickman, Photographer
Medfield | MA | United States | Posted: 9:42 AM on 03.18.11
->> I have been using Printroom.com since 2002 but recently my event sales diminshed as I focused more on selling pre-paid packages.

Last Nov. I happen to sell a few prints that amounted to $48.15 profit and since this is below the $100 profit level requirement I was not paid. The amount carried forward two months or so and then disappeared. So okay, I read the rules and too bad for me.

This speaks to the point that Eric Canha made so clearly last March:
"These companies that hold YOUR money for 30 days OR WORSE make you hit some threshold to cut you a check should be paying you interest on those funds.

Just think, if you had say 1000 p/t weekend shooters who have a month were they don't shoot anything and get $80 in loose print sales that's $80k THEY can float interest free!..."

So now I have three events with 700+ images to post for spec selling and fulfillment and I contacted Printroom to clarify their current "rules" of engagememt. I left voice mails and sent an email. After more than 4 days I have received no communication from them, so I have finally made a long overdue decision to terminate my Printromm relationship and migrate to Photo Shelter...Maybe this is old news and I was just the last to know and the last to go but policy changes I have experienced over the years with Printroom have been counter to developing and maintaining good customer service.

Maybe my disappointing experience will prompt others to look a little further into the "small print" when choosing an online photo-site to partner with...
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Erik Markov, Photographer
anywhere | IN | | Posted: 10:05 AM on 03.18.11
->> Gary,

now this brings a question. Maybe you've got an answer, or if someone else wants to chime in. I've got printroom, probably been using it for about the same length of time as you. Never really sold much thru it, just the occasional prints to someone who saw one of my images and liked it. Is there an online lab that will handle small orders, taking a small portion of the sales? While still paying out to members w/o needing to rack up $$$ in sales?
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Tom Suarez, Photographer
Austin | texas | USA | Posted: 10:20 AM on 03.18.11
->> I left Printroom about 3 years ago and have been with Zenfolio ever since. Never had any problems with them. Unlike with printroom I do not have to use any special software to upload and I put up full size files and use it like a back up also. I have over 140 GB of files online and over 34000 photos. I have access to all my photos from anywhere at any time all for 200.00 per year for the business account. Thay also have an account for 99.00.

You can request payment anytime you like and they will mail a check or put in paypal account. The fess are a lot less than Printroom also. Also you can earn a credit for anyone who signs up. I can almost pay for my subscription in just credits alone.

If anyone wnats to sign up here is my code to get a discount GER-BS4-UGY
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Tom Suarez, Photographer
Austin | texas | USA | Posted: 10:22 AM on 03.18.11
->> Forgot to mention you can upload using the built in uploader in Photomechanic under file upload which is what I use for uploading all my photos.
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Michael Ciu, Photographer, Assistant
Lorain | OH | USA | Posted: 10:42 AM on 03.18.11
->> We used Printroom too for a few years. They paid me when i closed our account and made a big fuss about the $100 rule, we were at $98.xx.

We switched to PhotoShelter. Man, what a difference, and they keep adding enhancements. You can now choose your print vendor from their partners OR print yourself. When your print yourself you set your own prices, cost for shipping, etc. You can track your top 100 images being viewed thus shooting more of a style that sells. You can make Gallery Collections and feature galleries on your main lading page. Just too much to like on PhotoShelter. Their web articles are great too. This has been a great experience and worth every penny and minute I invested in it.

Money transfers to our account via paypal minutes after the order is placed. I don't have to wait to get the money until a certain date or a certain amount is earned. I have to wait a few minutes and the $$ is all mine (muaaahhahahhh!)

Try it, you'll probably like it.
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Jim Cowsert, Photographer
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 10:53 AM on 03.18.11
->> I switched over to SmugMug and couldn't be happier. Plus if you sign up over your iPhone or Android device you get 50% off the first year. Another little plus is that you can archive all your .jpg files to SmugMug and when needed access them anytime. There's no limit on storage.
Great customer service, clients are very happy with the product, and you can request your money anytime you want.
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Brett Groehler, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 10:54 AM on 03.18.11
->> This is all very interesting.. I have been with Printroom for my sport and wedding images for about 6-7 years. Despite handing out biz cards etc. my sales and very seldom. I don't blame Printroom totally for this but am disappointed that
they dont help with marketing or adding new products.
I too have had a balance due my under $100 I would very much like to have
but PR continues to hold it and gain interest on MY money until I reach over $100.
I am have heard good things about ZenFolio and PhotoShelter. How much of a hassle is it to switch to either of these from a PR account? I know this is something I need to do, I just don't want it to be complicated.
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Tom Suarez, Photographer
Austin | texas | USA | Posted: 11:03 AM on 03.18.11
->> Brett, Nothing to it. Just set up account and start uploading. You can even use Photomechanic to create sub folders and galleries. You can upload low rez images and replace when order is received or upload full size files. When I first transferred it took about a week to get 20,000 plus photos uploaded since I upload full size files. I just set it to upload while I was sleeping each night.
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Juerg Schreiter, Photographer
Fort Lauderdale | FL | USA | Posted: 11:24 AM on 03.18.11
->> hey if you are close to your pay out balance, just buy a couple of your own prints, make a present to somebody and then get your money.
I had stopped using them a long time ago after havening some annoying problems.
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 12:27 PM on 03.18.11
->> Never used printroom, but have used companies with this pay off threshold that needs to be reached, and each time when I closed my account they sent me the check for the balance no matter how little it was, they have to. Much rather use a company that pays monthly no matter how little the amount, or at least have a minimum that is easily reached each month ($25-50).

As for print sales - if you're selling a decent amount of images online I'd seriously check out PhotoCart and doing it all yourself. I was/am a diehard supporter of Exposure Manager, they have the lowest percentage taken out, have the most freedom to customize if you know a little html, always working on adding new things, cheapest yearly rate, great prints and service, etc.

However, it's about bottom line so I decided to switch to PhotoCart after exploring a few others as well. PhotoCart is a system you buy and host on your own server. Already with the amount saved (in 2 1/2 months of usage) I've paid off storage for three years, the program itself will be paid off through savings by years end and on top of that through the savings should add over a grand to my bottom line, not talking a little amount.

PhotoShelter is great, but it's also the most expensive when it comes to selling prints. If it's images you want to sell editorially anyways, they're perfect, but for youth league stuff or other things that are not really being sold editorially then it's tough to justify to me. I have an account with them, but all editorial and no print sales, but haven't explored them as much for print sales just because of the cost alone, bottom line, etc.
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Gray Quetti, Photographer
Jacksonville | Fl | USA | Posted: 12:50 PM on 03.18.11
->> Printroom was great for the 1st 5-6 years I used them for my events. Then the payment problems started and I got tired of begging for my money each month. Those problems are well documented in previous threads. I left last Fall and went with Exposure Mgr and couldn't be happier. I don't know if PR is back on schedule with payments or not but I don't have to worry about that any longer. When PhotoShelter upgrades to the nested folders I will probably put my events there. I agree with Gary about not getting PR to respond to calls.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 2:34 PM on 03.18.11
->> Gary you may want to drop a dime or two and contact both the AG's office and the Treasurer's office in the state. If I remember correctly anything over $25 that is being held and/or unclaimed or unpaid has to be turned over to the state. Technically this is unclaimed money that was being held for you.

It certainly can't hurt to look into it and if they've been doing this every quarter for the last 9 years the number could be significant. Could be one hell of a class if it covers many Mass. shooters. Don't assume that just because they've been doing it that it is legal.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 2:39 PM on 03.18.11
->> Printroom.com is slow on communication to the actual photographers, but all my customers have no complaints. Orders are filled in a timely manner and any customer changes or money issues are resolved by them quickly and efficiently.
I really don't even have to think about printroom.com only when a thread like this comes up have I had them even come to mind.
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Gray Quetti, Photographer
Jacksonville | Fl | USA | Posted: 5:12 PM on 03.18.11
->> Louis- PR has never had a customer service issue as far as I know, only a photograper payment problem. They told me they have a preferred photograper list who gets paid first and I was on that list. If I got preferred pay I would hate to see the others. I filed a complaint with the Santa Clara BBB and got paid. Holding money already collected from my clients just wasn't acceptable. Maybe Gary should do the same.
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Sycamore | IL | USA | Posted: 5:18 PM on 03.18.11
->> I'm with Jim Cowsert... I have been with SmugMug longer than I have been a SportsShooter member and I don't have a single complaint (except possibly the silly name of the service). If you have even a small balance due you, you can request a payout and it's sent directly to your account on the next payout date (I think the business day after the 7th of each month).
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Ken Shelton, Photographer
Wyckoff | NJ | USA | Posted: 7:24 PM on 03.18.11
->> Let me put in a plug for Backprint. I've been with them for about 5 years, they roll out new enhancements regularly,and they direct-deposit to my bank every other Friday without fail no matter what the amount. They are helpful with marketing campaigns and have incredibly strong email tools for marketing to event participants. I have well in excess of 100,000 images on their servers; there's no charge.
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | IL | usa | Posted: 7:46 PM on 03.18.11
->> Thanks for pointing out backprint Ken. I've been searching for an option that is subscription free. I have one project I need to sell some prints of, and the volume would not be enough to justify a subscription. This seems perfect.
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Gary Slickman, Photographer
Medfield | MA | United States | Posted: 1:54 PM on 03.20.11
->> I appreciate the variety of opinions and feedback regarding this issue.

But returning to the point at hand, I want to thank Printroom. They were pioneers in the field along with Photo Reflect and I chose to go with Printroom because the had bets support for the then unappreciated Mac platform. And for severla years it was a mutually profiable arrangement.

For whatever the reasons may be, they were unable to adjust and adapt to the ever changing technology landscape. My opinion is that their functionality and approach has changed little while the marketplace of the digital world is evolving raidly.

So the $48.15 I lost turnsd out to have been money well spent for it comelled me to look elsewhere and begin a relationship with a very current and visionary company, Photo Shelter.

I'm glad that others have found suitable online image marketing solutions. I think we are all best served through competion and a variety of choices. My recommendation though is to not under value the importance and necessity for good SEO, blog intergration and the leveraging of social media. Fo this I personally find Photo Shelter unmatched.


To Eric: your suggestion about a class action might have merit. Having two lawyers in the family has lead me to believe that court is the last place anyone should be. It requires immense investments of time, energy, money and uncertainty. Best advice, stay out of court or settle. Verdicts are unpredictable at best.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 4:14 PM on 03.20.11
->> Gary to clarify I wasn't suggesting that you or anyone try to form a class. It is highly doubtful that there is enough money involved to justify it for a private firm. However if enough photographers in Mass are involved it MAY be something that Martha and Co. would pursue on behalf of those Mass businesses. Maybe.
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Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Powell | TN | USA | Posted: 8:54 AM on 03.21.11
->> I'm a big fan of Smugmug.... pm-r
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Danny Moloshok, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 10:01 PM on 05.24.11
->> I have been using photoshelter for quite some time and I am extreamly happy with them. But, I wish they had options to make packages when selling prints directly to consumers. Or for volume discounts. They have simple coupons for me to set a set percentage off or a set amount off, but I want something where if a client orderes two prints, the price goes down, etc without them having to put in a coupon code. Also, I'd like to offer packages like 2 4x6 and 1 8x10. I'd like to be able to price a digital download at a certain price, but then as they add more, the price lowers in their carts.

Also, one major problem I have is that there are two ways to download images. Let me explain....There is a link for someone to download the gallery images for when I am sending an editorial or commercial client images and using printroom to deliver my assignment to them. (Thus that client isn't buying each individual image) But, if I am selling downloads to a consumer, they have to add the item to their cart and then select download. This is very confusing to the consumers.

I can modify if the "client" download link is shown or not which makes it easier for the consumer, but is a global setting. So all of a sudden, my commercial clients don't have a download button on their galleries. I wish I could change that setting specific to each gallery.

Anyway, I love photoshelter, but just some things that I wish they'd add for the selling of prints and downloads to consumers as feedback I've been getting the past two years shows I really need these enhancements. I dont think the direct to consumer market is really the focus of their business though.

-Danny
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 8:16 AM on 05.25.11
->> Danny I tried to move over to PhotoShelter last year and discovered that it would be impossible to sell customized/personalized items. There is no way for PS cart to capture user data. No way for a customer to enter a name & team for a poster and certainly no way to enter all of the information needed to order trading cards. No way for customers to turn a lightbox into a book or album etc etc etc.

I have to say that given the IT expertise that is PhotoShelter I was surprised that in the end the sales side of the site is extremely vanilla in features and options. I ended up staying put with my site as is.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 10:30 AM on 05.25.11
->> Danny/Eric,

While certainly some of its functionality has matured over the years, PhotoShelter, as you pointed out, is not designed to meet the needs of youth/action photographer and associated products. I believe, and Alan please correct me if I am mistaken, PhotoShelter was originally designed to meet the needs of editorial photographers to deliver photographic content to newspapers, magazines and publishers as well as provide a cloud solution for redundant storage of valuable digital images, a service par none at the time and still today, I believe.

If I had not invested the time and energy into learning to code, design, and create an online delivery solution, which mirrors the content delivery portion of PhotoShelter, years earlier, I would be a PhotoShelter user today.

While it may seem pretty vanilla in terms of "youth/event" interface, it is a very robust service for which I recommend to those not up to the task of learning to the skill set necessary to implement their own or pay for a customized proprietary system by a IT/design firm to meet their business objectives for content delivery. Over the years, I've watch them respond to market wishes and believe that if enough people request the functionality you both are looking for that they probably would happily incorporate modules to meet, and more likely exceed your expectations.
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Thread Title: PrintRoom...Doom...Ka-Boom!!!!
Thread Started By: Gary Slickman
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