Putting Off Pricelists? They’re Easier Than You Think.

Change isn’t always hard!

A while back we made the announcement that we were giving SmugMug Pros access to bigger and better things: New labs, new products, new features. And to access the new stuff, you had to migrate your gallery- and photo-level pricing over to the new system of Pricelists.

We initially posted a deadline in March but we confess it’s taken us, uhhh, a smidge longer than we expected to move everyone over. We’re almost done now.

So, here’s a quick view on Pricelists, how they work, and why they’re good for you.

Pricelists: Your Hub for Pro Pricing

Pricelists are the ONLY place you’ll ever need to go to set and apply your Pro pricing. Create them, choose your favorite pro print lab and then add in the products you want to sell. After you set your prices, apply the Pricelist to your galleries (or files) and you’re all done.

Want to switch labs on an existing Pricelist? Since each lab offers a unique variety of products, you’ll have to create a new Pricelist each time.

And, remember! Digital downloads have a new base price of $0.49 $0.01 per file and $.99 per gallery when you sell via Pricelists, plus digital download orders with subtotals under $10 incur a $0.50 processing fee. You can create a coupon or zip up a gallery download if you want to continue offering them for free.

Certain features like access to new labs WHCC and Loxley Colour, multiple currencies, Photo Extras and other brand-spanking new features are ONLY available once you’ve migrated to Pricelists. So for maximum money-making mojo, be sure you’re locked, loaded and ready to roll.

See For Yourself

If you’re still using our old system and prefer to be in control of your destiny, see how to painlessly migrate to Pricelists here. Otherwise, sit tight and we’ll do it for you.

And you can review all the details on how Pricelists work on our help pages. As always, our Support Heroes are ready and waiting to hear from you if you’re stuck, confused or just need a little encouragement.

See you on the flip side!

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I'm a freelance documentary photographer who loves travel, rangefinders, medium format film photography, and everything in-between.

67 thoughts on “Putting Off Pricelists? They’re Easier Than You Think.”

  1. I thought we already got that message so I tried changing mine over and found out I had to redo my pricelest which was a pain. I did have some difficulty getting it to switch to all of my galleries at first. But now I;’m getting a msg that I didn’t switch to Pricelists? Oh by. I think I’ll just let them do it for me. For a while, I had different prices in different galleries. I think I have it right now and all in unison.

  2. Still not happy with two things: First, $0.49 per file for downloads. Sure, you can take a % of print fees, but it makes no sense to me that my clients get charged to grab a file they can already be served via their browser if I choose to allow O-size images. Maybe you say it covers bandwidth? OK, increase my yearly fee but don’t tack on a complication like this. The coupon hack is totally not cool. Secondly, % markup on the galleries does not make sense because it doesn’t scale out to larger products. 400% markup on a 4×6, sure. 400% on a 24×36? no.

  3. Agree with Sean Hoyt about the download fees. I provided my customer with a coupon code (at cost) and they were still charged the download fee. I don’t see how I can provide a “free” download other than allowing “right click” and “original size” files for everyone. Very disenchanted with that. I haven’t tried the new “price lists” because it seemed cumbersome.

    1. You can actually go to the gallery yourself, and click “download files”, and it will email you links to download the zip files. I just send these links on to my clients that I wish to give free digitals to.

  4. I agree with Sean and Amer on all points. I realize bandwidth costs money but not that much guys (pennies)! Your subscription fees and profits from prints surely cover that in spades. If we so choose (and I personally never have or will), downloads should be selectively free if the owner wants. I personally use free “Skydrive” to allow certain clients to download files included with a package. The desktop feature is awesome (Microsoft finally got something right). But I digress… To me, the new pricing system is a complete fiasco. Having to choose a % markup instead of setting the exact price is counter intuitive to me, and I am sure to others as well. You people at Smugmug seem like a sharp bunch of folks so why not offer the option to choose a % markup or exact pricing? I won’t switch until I absolutely have to and if I am not comfortable with it then I guess I will have to unfortunately search elsewhere

    1. Hey Edmund! By using the Tools>Download All option, you can provide those files for free to customers as well, without the need for a desktop app. Just send the link SmugMug sends you to your clients/publisher. There’s no charge.
      You can also set your pricing by either exact ‘price’, by ‘profit’, or by percentage markup. We’ve put lots of choices in for you to be able to price in the way that’s most comfortable or appropriate for you. You can also apply different percentage markups to different product groups, i.e, 400% for standard prints, and 75% for merchandise, for example. Give us a shout at the help desk if you need a hand!

  5. I love the new price list ability. I easily went in and set my prices. Though the % feature is nice I chose to set the exact price for my prints. Thank you for the ability to do both. The interface is slick. As for the download fee well people can choose to complain about everything right? If you don’t like the fee… then don’t use the option. The fee for the download isn’t enough to make me leave Smugmug because I value customer service above all else. Thanks again for the improvements! Your hard work is always appreciated!!

  6. I agree with Sean and Amer regarding download fees. Though I’ve paid for a full Pro subscription…the download “gouging” might be enough to make me investigate alternatives. Up to this point I’ve been very pleased with SM but gouging customers isn’t a good sign. I’m just sayin…

    1. Hi Gina that is correct. We’re converting your gallery and photo level pricing to similarly-named Pricelists for all Pro accounts who haven’t yet migrated, but we’re almost finished. There’s a lot of you!

  7. For the record…the percent markup can be used as a quick way to set prices but you still have full control over the exact price of each item. You can even create an empty price list. For example, you can create a default price list with no items in it and if you forget to set a price list to a gallery nothing will be for sale (as opposed to the old way as SM added new products they went on sale in your galleries with no profit). Or you can set 400% on all items, make that your default price list and if you for get to assign a list to a gallery you are priced to high. As SM adds new items, they will not be fore sale in your galleries until you add them to your price lists.

    Price lists were odd at first put it has greatly simplified things for me. Don’t let the initial % thing scare you off. You have FULL control over each individual item and price.

  8. Regarding the $0.49 download fees… A *huge* number of digital download purchases are for a single digital download, and even at $0.49, SmugMug *loses* money on those orders. We just don’t lose nearly as much as we used to when it was $0.01 mimimum.

    That being said, I completely agree that this solution doesn’t cover everybody, and there are plenty of orders that aren’t for a single digital download. For those orders, $0.49 for each download isn’t the best choice, and we’re sorry that’s currently the way it works.

    We’re actively working on improving this aspect of digital downloads, and improving the experience overall. We understand that some SmugMuggers want a way to easily give digital downloads away for free (pre-paid customers, packages, family members, etc), and we also understand that some SmugMuggers want a way to sell more than one digital download at a reasonable price (less than $0.49/ea). I promise we’re working on both, and I’m sorry we don’t have a solution today. If there are other scenarios we should be thinking about, please let me know here.

  9. I also agree with Sean Hoyt. I pay 150.00 a year and as of today after 3 years I have not even got my money back. NO more fees please. Judy Burns

    1. Hi Judy, we couldn’t help but take a swing by your site since it sounds like you’ve been a bit frustrated by the lack of return. We’re always happy to give a few pointers (like to disable originals and protect your images, or how to get started marketing to your clients) and introduce you to some business resources that can help boost your sales. Shoot our heroes an email if you’d like some help: http://help.smugmug.com/

    2. But how is that SmugMug’s fault and how can you even say that? Having the galleries online is wonderful and is necessary for a professional photographer. It’s also a great backup, insurance. How much do YOU pay on insurance?

  10. Why won’t these guys at SmugMug listen to your customers? Photographers are busy people. They don’t have time reading help, watching videos, or listen to some quack in the forum telling how good the new prices lists are.

    The old system worked and the new one doesn’t makes sense.

  11. Sean Hoyt :
    Still not happy with two things: First, $0.49 per file for downloads. Sure, you can take a % of print fees, but it makes no sense to me that my clients get charged to grab a file they can already be served via their browser if I choose to allow O-size images. Maybe you say it covers bandwidth? OK, increase my yearly fee but don’t tack on a complication like this. The coupon hack is totally not cool. Secondly, % markup on the galleries does not make sense because it doesn’t scale out to larger products. 400% markup on a 4×6, sure. 400% on a 24×36? no.

    TOTALLY AGREE with you on this! The mark up we are required to charge on larger items is telling my clients to not buy them. Smugmug needs to rethink their profit margins on this. It is a benefit to all of us in the long run. Even if there is tiered percentage fee, start at 15% and go down to 12% or 10% if the orders are say over $X. If our customers order more product, Smugmug still would make more money, just a little less than 15% but still better than 15% of ZERO.

  12. Thanks for your comment Don MacAskill. You mention that the download fees have “very little to do with bandwidth and a whole lot to do with credit card fees.”

    I do understand that there are credit card monthly and/or annual fees that merchants, such as SmugMug, must pay. Generally, most merchants incorporate that cost in purchases when a credit card is used. Hence, I understand the incorporation of credit card costs in product prices when purchases are made regardless of print or download. However, shouldn’t that credit card fee be consistent for both print and/or downloads. Am I missing an additional credit card fee for prints? Am I only seeing the additional credit card fee for downloads?

    When (or if) there is NO CHARGE for a download — when it’s a free download — when a “free” coupon is provided, I don’t understand why there is a need to process the credit card for that item. There are NO charges incorporated–it’s free. Hence, there doesn’t seem to be any need for credit card usage fees–it wasn’t used. I’m wondering if SmugMug just doesn’t like the idea of Pro users “giving away” their products even though we pay our annual fee to use SmugMug.

    Am I wrong to assume that customers of my images are MY customers and that I, as the merchant, am using SmugMug to deliver my product? I’ve had difficulties with SmugMug canceling an order placed by MY customer because the customer placed two orders, within minutes, and SmugMug was trying to save the customer extra shipping costs. Without contacting me, SmugMug canceled the order and told the customer to reorder all items in one order. The frustrated customer never reordered and I lost profit.

    Similarly, if I want MY customer to receive a FREE product, I would really like to be able to make that choice and hoped that my annual fee to SmugMug would have incorporated my marketing efforts. Thanks to previous posts, I now know how to provide my customers with a link to download for free. Unfortunately, I can’t track all of my business records (including the free downloads) on SmugMug as I did before by using that method.

    I very much appreciate SmugMug’s continual review of this issue and hope a solution is reached that satisfies both SmugMug and Pros. Win-Wins are always the best.

  13. Thanks for that. May I just say I was using another provider until recently when I switched to sm. at first the ability for clients not to download for free put me off but it has totally been turned on its head.
    Normally I open the gallery for clients and they can download as part of the package, with sm I can’t do that, however I can send a zip file with them all in. This makes the client very happy and although this zip can be passed around, lots of family member, friends etc has paid good money for whole gallery downloads and it is working very well.

    I couldn’t be happier with sm. thanks

  14. I would have been very happy to have SmugMug leave well enough alone. I have no interest in and no time to move my prices to some other method that somebody thinks is an improvement. I have two college degrees and I’m not stupid, but I find that whenever I have a problem figuring out something on my SmugMug website and I need an answer, the Help section doesn’t cover that topic or I can’t make sense of it because a minor but crucial step has been left out. And then it’s “oh, sorry.” Help topics and changes such as pricelists need to be reviewed extensively by someone who is NOT involved at the developmental level; what’s intuitive to those who work with code or the site all day long is not necessarily clear to the rest of us. As far as I’m concerned, you folks at SmugMug can leave my prices alone, thanks very much. I’ve had requests for digital downloads, but the help e-mail I got from Anthony Worthen was so convoluted and confusing — plus, filled with links (am I supposed to click on those, or not?! — that I just gave up.

    1. Kathy, we’re so sorry to hear that you had a bad experience writing our Support Hero team. This isn’t normal and we apologize that it wasn’t anything but stellar. As a company, we do try to “teach a man to fish” so that you’ll be able to quickly use your site without waiting for a reply from us. But we also understand that being overwhelmed with too much info at once is anything but helpful. Do you mind sharing with us which crucial stop is left out of which page? We’ll be happy to fix it, as always.

      And we hope that you’ll reach out and give us another chance to answer your questions and get your site set up. We’re always open to feedback about how we do our support because, after all, it’s our job to help you.

  15. I still really wish you had an option to automatically eliminate sizes off the price list for images that need to be cropped. It is time consuming to go into each print and set up a different price list. Depending on my camera and how I edit a print it can be different.

    1. Hi Kristi, thanks for the feedback. That is a great suggestion and one that we hear from time to time from Pros. However one thing to keep in mind is that cropping is always available on every print that’s ordered, so even if you had a print size that fit your image perfectly, the customer could still choose to zoom in on, say, one person in the photo and crop it down. Some Pros are fine with this and others are not, so we can’t always predict which situation works best for you. This is why we always recommend that you use Proof Delay, so that you can review every order that comes in and adjust the crop. Or email our Support Heroes so we can change the print size, etc, because we have a 100% guarantee. Hope this helps!

      1. How you have it set up would be fine for portrait photographers but not landscape photographers. Landscape photographers set up a shot or crop a shot the way they see it represented artistically. Giving someone the option to crop the photo can ruin how the image was meant to be seen. I understand you can have the proof delay set up but it is poor customer service to then tell someone they can’t have a print in a size that they selected and cropped. I love everything else about smug mug so far. It is just this one problem..I haven’t been using online sales through my site because of this issue.

      2. This is another thing that ZF had that I am surprised that you don’t – having control over how our photos will appear. It seems bizarre that I can’t set it to “never crop”. This is something I actually just emailed a hero about today, and shook my head when told it wasn’t possible.

  16. I am a ZenFolio refugee. One of the things they did over there that I liked, regarding price lists, was to have a set $ markup *in addition* to the %. I agree with everyone about the % not scaling very well – it is much easier to make a reasonable price list when you can do something like 100% + $5 or similar.

    1. Todd, the $ plus % markup option was available with the old system. That way I wouldn’t have to go adjust my all prices individually. I stil haven’t gotten a good reply explaining why they couldn’t leave well alone.

      I appreciate the ability to apply pricelist templates but the removal of the dollar markup option, just gives me more work in the long run.

      1. I agree. I don’t know the old system, but having the combination of % and fixed dollar markup (across the board) gives much more flexibility to pricing, and makes it much easier to avoid avoid huge price shifts between 8×10 and 8×12, for example.

    2. Hi Todd, Pricelists do let you adjust both the % markup, $ profit and the final price, but it sounds like this is still a little different from what you’re used to. We do give you three ways to make sure that it’s as easy as possible to calculate the price you want, since we understand that one way of marking up may not work equally well on both small prints and large prints. Don’t be afraid to reach out and email the Support Heroes if you need a hand, or more advice.

      1. Yes but you cannot adjust the dollar markup across board like you can the percentage markup. To adjust the dollar markup, you have to do it for each item individually. What am I missing?

      2. You can’t do it for all photos, just each one individually. You can only set % and rounding for all photos in a list or set. If the $ was also for everything it would make pricing much easier.

  17. I agree with Sean Hoyt about percentage markups, and have set individual prices for my galleries. When you shift me over, will you keep those set prices? And will I be able to set different prices for different galleries? There may be a few galleries that are just for family and friends, and I would like to reduce prices for them.

    1. Hi Linda, migration doesn’t change your pricing at all, so whatever your customers see now is what they’ll see after migration, too. All we do is convert each set of gallery prices you have over to a similarly-named Pricelist. So for example if all of your Family galleries are set to one price scheme now, we’ll port all of those into one Pricelist called “Migrated from Family galleries.”

      After migration you’ll still be able to set different prices for different galleries. Take a look at the videos embedded on the help page here, to get an intro to how migration and the new system work: http://smu.gs/MT6YOA

  18. Since this pricelist change I have sold 0 and views are at an all time high,makes me wonder if I have things set right now.

    1. Hi Ed, I took a quick look around your site and while some of your galleries have Originals enabled, others don’t. We can’t make assumptions about whether or not this was done on purpose but it’s something that we often ask Pros to double-check. Also, be sure to keep telling your clients about your site and keep up with keywording and marketing yourself. Just because you build it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll come, so be sure that fans know about you. Feel free to write to our heroes or browse our Mind Your Own Business Forums for tips and suggestions on how to sell more: http://www.dgrin.com/forumdisplay.php?f=29

  19. I liked the new pricing setup until I couldn’t migrate it to Bay Photo, sure wish I had picked that option first, then I would be done…or did I miss something?

    1. Hi, could you shoot our Support Heroes an email and give us details about how your pricing was set before, and what Pricelists you’re looking at right now to compare it to? Migration should preserve the lab you had set on your previous galleries and photos, so this doesn’t sound right. We’ll be happy to take a closer look! http://help.smugmug.com/

  20. Regarding downloads, I also would like to be able to provide them for free sometimes. I do some pro-bono work for non-profits. I understand that part of the problem is the credit card fees. However, if the only thing they are buying is downloads (no prints), then there is no credit card involved. How about this: instead of requiring a minimum charge for download fees, charge some minimum fee for credit card use on orders that use a credit card. Make sense?

  21. Hello, IM Craig Adler a new photographer reaching out to all of you here on SM. I am a hair stylist and makeup artist. After working for photographers I realized that I was interested to become one. I take photos of everyone and now my problem is this. I have no idea what I should be charging for my work. I shot a 65 party for a lady and one of the guests asked me for the photos. How much do you charge she asked, I told her I would get back to her ASAP! I know this sounds crazy but I really need the help of you all and believe me if you need my help as a master hairstylist/makeup artist IM here. Also since i’ve been reading the reviews and questions from some of you and visited your websites. I have learned so much from looking at your photos and thank you for that! Craig Adler
    Check my hair site at craigadler.com

  22. I was about to sign up, but I’m put off by this move of yours to put out a mandatory change to customer that they can do nothing about. I want to know that what I sign up for stays consistently the same and only changes if I want it to.

    You are landing your customers with a huge amount of work they don’t have time for. Our business is not maintaining ever changing web sites and price list, we’re photographers.

    I quite liked what I was seeing, then I came across this blog, so I’ll be looking around now.

  23. This is not good none of our price lists stayed with our galleries they are all at default price or basically at cost. Now it appears I have to go into every single gallery and reset the pricing….so not cool.😦

    1. Hi Julie, the migration was designed to prevent this situation exactly, so something doesn’t sound right. Can you shoot our Support Heroes an email describing your situation with links to example galleries where you’ve had to manually change your pricing? http://help.smugmug.com/

  24. When is SmugMug going to get an actual customer service PHONE NUMBER? Does this drive anyone else crazy that everything is done through e-mail??

    1. Debbie,
      I too would prefer a phone contact as a resource for Pro users and above. But would you pay the extra fee for SmugMug to man a phone support staff? And what languages should they speak. How many shifts should they have to support users? Clearly, they should be located in the US but few organizations locate their telephone support staff in California, let alone San Francisco. That means setting up another location or outsourcing to a North American service provide….which I might ad are very good, but would take time to train.

      Here’s the good part…… they have very good email support staff who in my own experience react quickly during normal business hours. Personally, I really cringe when I am forced to communicate via email for support issues. I walked into my first client problem thinking that it was going to be a painful experience. Debbie, it wasn’t. They reacted VERY quickly, within minutes, and resolved the issue beyond my expectations.

      I wish you luck and feel your pain, but give them a chance to reach out to you. Please keep me informed as to your progress.

  25. I am sooooooooo confused on how this is supposed to help. I need to do some customized pricing and have felt like pulling my hair out because it is NOT working for me.

    1. Hi Debbie, we absolutely would love to help you. Please reach out to our amazing team of Support Heroes who can help answer your questions, and even walk you through a workflow if you give them info about what you’re trying to do! http://help.smugmug.com/

  26. I cannot even sell pics with Bay Photos, everything switched over to EZPrints and it is not want I want to use. It is very frustrating, I can see a grouping with Bay Photos but cannot switch anything over to it. Please help! UGH

  27. Is there a way to have different prices for different galleries? Sometimes I want to offer photos for less in one gallery and more in another. I can’t find a way to apply separate pricing. Am I missing something?

    1. Hi folkmaster

      I see that you have a portfolio account with us. In order to have more than one price list active at a time you need to have a business account. You can upgrade from your account settings if you wish.

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