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Archive 2012 · Replace damaged print package at cost?
  
 
bpantani
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


I completed a project for a dance studio, delivered around 250 print packages.
Yesterday I got a call (actually my wife took the call) from a mom ordering several of the add-on products I offered, maybe another $80 in total.
During the call the mom mentioned that she was really happy with the shots but so disappointed because she had just ruined the 2 packages she had purchased by spilling water on them at breakfast that morning.
She didn't ask for a replacement, no demand for a refund, just 2 dance moms chatting on the phone (my daughter also attends that school).
My question is, should I offer to replace the damaged prints for her? I was thinking I would just double my cost and quote her that price since she's already paid for them once and my work on the PP is already done.
I know it will build good will and I would have offered already but, since I find no good deed ever goes unpunished, I'm trying to think ahead and see what kind of Pandora's Box this might open.
Thoughts?



May 21, 2012 at 06:57 PM
BruceF99
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


Assuming you have priced your prints well so that you've made a good profit, I'd just replace them at no charge. Just print them and send them with a note.


May 21, 2012 at 07:20 PM
chez
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


Yep. I sell large landscape photos and I guarantee for life. If they damage the print, send it back and I replace for no charge.


May 21, 2012 at 09:21 PM
artd
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


I think you would not only build good will, but you would make a mom and a human being happy with a simple act of kindness. Pandora's Box be damned.


May 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM
RDKirk
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


My wall portraits have a lifetime guarantee against accidents, but not my gift packages.


May 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Peter Le
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


Yep do the right thing....no charge. Good for your Karma and for what it will cost you it will probably be the best money on advertising you have ever spent.......Peter


May 22, 2012 at 02:35 AM
glort
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Replace damaged print package at cost?



Geez, what did the packages cost you? 5,10 Bux?
I'm a tight arse at the best of time but this is a no brainer.

Personally I'd have sized the opportunity to blow her away with great customer service and have half the rest of the group know what a legend I was and already sent the replacements. I sure wouldn't be wasting time asking if I should here.

With what she has ordered you could probably replace them 10 times and still not be out of pocket.



May 22, 2012 at 08:35 AM
jefferies1
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


Not sure why you would not replace it for free. Then they can show them off to others and get you business and say how helpful you were. If you charge cost they will just say they paid 10 time what it cost you to make the prints, what a ripoff. Never tell the cost because people don't factor in anything else.


May 22, 2012 at 03:38 PM
bpantani
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


Just to close the loop, I took care of this the day I posted (sorry I didn't reply then) after BruceF99 suggested I do it gratis.
I have no idea why I didn't think about that most simple and considerate option.
I have no problem eating the $11.00 considering the profit on the job and it can't be seen as anything but good service to the mom & her dancer.
My concern was never the mother that lost her prints, but more about what other mothers would say if they found out I gave away something for nothing (these dance moms can be incredibly petty - for example the studio won't show samples of my work in the studio because they're concerned parents will be upset that their kid wasn't featured instead of the shot I chose).

Thanks for all of your feedback. It made me feel very small but it was well deserved. I should have done the right thing from the start, damn the consequences.

That said... next year when I get 17 phone calls saying that they ruined their prints and would like free replacements I'll be back - I have your names

B



May 22, 2012 at 11:56 PM
gheller
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


Easy solution. Make sure they send (or bring) you the damaged prints before replacing.

greg



May 23, 2012 at 03:01 AM
 

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RDKirk
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


It is still worth giving careful consideration to a standard policy covering your likely situations. Even when you have a policy, you can deviate on a case-by-case basis when appropriate, but without a policy you can run into problems very quickly, depending on what your business is.

Let's say, for instance, you do wedding photography and sell albums. Replacing a folder of individual 4x6 prints may not be much in time or money, but replacing a wedding album probably will be. You need to think about what your standard policy will be--where will you draw the lines and what is the reason that makes business sense to you for drawing those lines.

Then, when the situation arises, you have a ready response...or can decide differently in that case. But at least you know why and what it's going to cost you.

That's why I have a lifetime replacement policy for my wall portraits but not for gift prints. My rationale and calculations are similar to those of an insurance company (which is what a guarantee is). My wall portraits are expensive and replacing one is a serious consideration for a client. Yet, having to replace a wall portrait is a statistically rare circumstance. Thus, I can offer something that would be a great benefit to an individual client who suffered that loss, but it's statistically rare enough not to chew seriously into my own bottom line.

The case is different for gift prints. They're cheap enough not to be a significant burden to my clients, but the statistical odds that they will lose or damage a gift print are extremely high--I'd spend a large amount of time and effort replacing gift prints if I provided the same lifetime guarantee for them.



May 23, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Mr645
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


If it was just water then the prints should be easily cleaned. Just fill a sink with an inch or two of clean water, drop in a couple of drops of dish soap, stir gently, wash off the prints, hang to dry. Or just order new prints and replace them at no charge. After all, your selling the image, not the paper.




May 24, 2012 at 04:24 PM
RDKirk
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


Mr645 wrote:
If it was just water then the prints should be easily cleaned. Just fill a sink with an inch or two of clean water, drop in a couple of drops of dish soap, stir gently, wash off the prints, hang to dry. Or just order new prints and replace them at no charge. After all, your selling the image, not the paper.



If that were completely true, I'd be able to sell a single image emailed to the client for the same price as a framed 30x40 wall portrait. I can get >$1200 for that framed wall portrait.



May 24, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Mr645
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


RDKirk wrote:
If that were completely true, I'd be able to sell a single image emailed to the client for the same price as a framed 30x40 wall portrait. I can get >$1200 for that framed wall portrait.



It should be that way. There are many photographers that sell based on a few size ranges.

Once you add framing, then your not dealing with intellectual art that you have created, so yes, framing can be sold by the linear foot. But I bet your cost for an 8x10 vs. a 16x20 is not a big deal.



May 24, 2012 at 08:22 PM
RDKirk
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


It should be that way. There are many photographers that sell based on a few size ranges.

Once you add framing, then your not dealing with intellectual art that you have created, so yes, framing can be sold by the linear foot. But I bet your cost for an 8x10 vs. a 16x20 is not a big deal.


Actually, it's the clients who buy images that way. I can sell a 30x40 gallery wrap portrait (IOW, sans frame) for $1000. If I charged that much for a single image emailed to a client, I'd get a nasty-worded reply.



May 24, 2012 at 08:51 PM
BriMcD
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


The good word of mouth she will give you is worth the cost of the print (assuming it's not a 24x36 canvas gallery wrap)


Jun 09, 2012 at 05:59 PM
jojosung
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


I know it has been resolved..
but just another spin on this..
If you said you'll be able to do it for say $20, but originally they paid you $120. You just revealed to them the "Cost" and the "Profit"
Most people do not factor in the post processing time.
Not only will you might not get the good word of the mouth, you might ended up with bad publicity as well...

ie.. I mean the photos are great.. but can't believe this guy have a 500% mark up on the cost..etc..

Thus free is the only way to go.



Jun 18, 2012 at 06:32 PM
parsons
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


some good thoughts here, but i would also like to mention that if the person who spilt the water on the images, should of been more careful (obviously) then they are responsible for the damage, not the photog.

If i crash my car, do i then ask the motor company to replace it because i had an accident? no. i have to pay either for repair or a new car. just sayin

s



Jun 18, 2012 at 07:25 PM
RKnecht
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Replace damaged print package at cost?


I think you did the right thing. I had almost the same thing happen with one of my clients a couple years ago. A few of the prints were damaged by their pet and they wanted to buy replacements. I asked them to take a picture of the damaged prints with their cell phone and email it to me. They did just that and they had new prints in a few days. That person has become one of my better clients and to this day she tells everyone about that experience.

Word of mouth can be your best source of advertising or your worst enemy. Doing what you did can only help you in the future.



Jul 04, 2012 at 01:09 PM





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