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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Onsite Youth Selling
David Dennis, Photographer
Bakersfield | Ca | US | Posted: 1:23 PM on 04.18.16
->> I had a question for those that maybe still selling photos from binders at some larger youth events. There are is an event I still do this way because offering prints online just didn't work out. I have in the past offered a std size of 4x6. My question to those that may still be doing this is have you tried 5x7 and 4x6's? If so did you find that people preferred one size over another?

I realize results may vary by area and many other factors. Also not looking for price. Just wondering on size preference, if you have noticed a volume difference in sales between the various sizes.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 11:01 AM on 04.19.16
->> 4x6's because the Mommies can get more on a page in the scrap books. That is what they tell me.
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David Dennis, Photographer
Bakersfield | Ca | US | Posted: 11:01 PM on 04.19.16
->> Thanks Sam
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Jeff Lewis, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 2:12 PM on 04.21.16
->> Years ago, when we were printing pictures, 5x7 was the choice size because it was slightly bigger and looked better than a 4x6 for not that much more money but now that people don't make prints that often, it doesn't really matter.

One thing I've been playing with is selling the entire team on buying a link to all the pictures. Everything full resolution and available for them to download for about $250 per baseball team and it has been more successful than printing pictures or sending parents to a website after the images are shot...
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David Dennis, Photographer
Bakersfield | Ca | US | Posted: 12:52 AM on 04.22.16
->> Appreciate the info Jeff.
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Michael Augustin, Photographer
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 10:44 AM on 04.22.16
->> Jeff Lewis, that is sort of what I am doing. I activate SmugMug's option for customers to buy an entire Gallery (as opposed to single downloads). I have had some success with entire Gallery sales.
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Jeff Lewis, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 12:11 PM on 04.22.16
->> 12-14 parents are not going to individually go in a buy all the pics but one might go in and buy the entire thing and split it amongst the parents or buy the entire gallery of their own kid. Online sales will work, we just need to think about it differently.

My thought is and always will be to get as much money upfront as you can. We usually go out a week in advance with samples and a price to shoot the entire team, give them a date our photo team will be out, and sign up as many teams as possible. If you have a league with 60 teams and 30 sign up, you only have to do half the work, and that helps not he editing side, and if you are charging $250 per team, you walk away that day with $7,500.

... Thats $7,500 with no processing cost!
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 1:29 PM on 04.24.16
->> Jeff, we sell team CD's ALL the time. 12-14 parents will go in for it. If 2 or 3 (and there will always be 2-3 who stiff the other parents on pix, t-shirts, selling candy, etc)do not chip in, use a sliding scale. CD is $250, 10 parents doing it, $25 each, you wanna share with the 'rents who did not chip in, that is up to paying customers. You still get your $250, who cares what they do when they get home.
We also do individual CD's of just their kid if need be. If 3 or 4 parents do that, I just burn the whole team, a lot less time. Plus I put the payees' names on the CD's so the non paying parents get the hint for the next time. First image on the CD done in a nice PS file.
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Jeff Lewis, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 12:58 AM on 05.03.16
->> Sam, CD's are definitely the way to go. For $250, teams can't beat that and you don't have to do any prints. What ever happens after the $250 and the disc really does not matter. Thats their problem. Do you collect the money before the games? I try to do that whenever I go out.
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Coram | NY | USA | Posted: 7:29 PM on 05.03.16
->> CDs are most sensible, but in reality, rarely does it ever come to fruition. It requires a team parent to organize not only the marketing of it, but the collection of dollars. Doesn't work. With lives being so busy these days, parents have so much going on that they cannot be bothered with this.

We had a 200 team tournament a few years ago (when youth sales weren't COMPLETELY dead like it is now), and marketed heavily on the CD deal. Had access to emails of coaches and parents, sent out flyers, discounts on posters if they signed on for CD, totally targeted marketing and get this, the support of the tournament organizer, who today, doesn't want to be bothered.

3 orders. 200 teams. 3 orders.

The other issue you'll have... when is the deadline to sign up? You need to hire photographers. You can't do that the night before. So, let's just say you make the cutoff a week before the tournament starts. That's still tight. Plus, there are still teams registering as close as the night before. Major, major headache. And it's even worse now.

The youth sales market is dead for the most part. The only determining factor at this point is the importance of the tournament. Weekend tourneys are so saturated. Kids are playing every weekend. There is no real investment in importance. It's blast playing. No real incentive to win the whole thing.

If you have any chance of making a go at it, you have to pick your tournaments carefully. Don't ask the league organizer if their tournament is important. They will all say YES. They are salesmen just like you are. They want you there. They want your vendor's fee. Do the research. Ask specific questions. We do TWO action tournaments. One softball, one baseball. Both important. One is televised on prime time TV. Once in a lifetime event. We are there for two weeks. It's still a grind. We have viewstations, print and frame on site, turnaround photos in an hour or less. And it's still a grind. 18 hour days and no down time. All on spec. No CD sales at all. It's only 14 teams. I can't make my expenses if all I can make is $250/team. I have to lodge and feed my photographers, and pay them day rates over two weeks. I need to make $250 per player in order for the tournament to be successful.
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Jeff Lewis, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 10:36 AM on 05.09.16
->> I always stay away from tournaments for that very reason and only service the leagues I shoot Picture Day for. If you service the picture day, you have a platform to grow the action from and the Action becomes icing on the cake. Also, tons of kids who don't play in tournaments play during the regular season, the team moms are not tired and deal with the team closer, and you don't have the bombardment of other photographers selling pictures to them every week like in the tournament part of the season.

Tournaments, even though tons of kids and team are there, are horrible for sales because there are a ton of tournaments and chances are, they bought pictures from last weeks tournament photographer. If a parent has been to four tournaments, they have been pitched to four times already by photographers.

Also, we can't put it on how busy the parents are. All parents want pictures of their kids playing. It's up to us to figure out how to close the deal with them and a lot of that is based on timing and the regular season has worked out great!
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David Dennis, Photographer
Bakersfield | Ca | US | Posted: 12:10 AM on 05.18.16
->> Thanks for all the input guys. I appreciate it.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 12:19 PM on 05.18.16
->> "Travel Ball" tournaments stay away from. Those types of teams play tourneys every weekend, not a big deal to them.
State, district, and regional Little League, Pony, Cal Ripken, etc., have special meaning and CD sales to those parents work. One reason is because by the time they get to a State level, the parents have been together for a long period of time. Travel teams switch out whoever can be there.
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Thread Title: Onsite Youth Selling
Thread Started By: David Dennis
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