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Archive 2013 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages
  
 
skiboarder72
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


Wanted to get everyone's thoughts/experience on two very different types of pricing styles. For the past 8 years or so I've always had my wedding pricing divided up into between 3 and 5 packages. Lately, I've thought about switching to a la carte style pricing to make it easier for people to make the decision to book me. It currently takes me about 15-20 minutes to fully explain my packages and options and I can just tell that people glaze over about half way though my little speech.

While I love the simplicity and ease of the a la carte method I'm concerned that a fair amount of clients won't choose to add on albums/other things because they aren't bundled in with a package with a discount. Currently almost everyone of my packages includes some type of album, which is great because it gives me a chance to upsell that album, but then I also go though a lot of work to create it, and I'm not making quite as much to begin with because the album was discounted in the overall price of the package.

I know this has been talked about in the past but I'd really appreciate it if some people could chime in with some experience with both pricing styles and their thoughts/advice.



Apr 01, 2013 at 06:43 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


To be honest, if it takes you 15-20 minutes to explain your packages, I would work on simplifying those first before you dive into a la carte pricing.


Apr 01, 2013 at 06:48 PM
ricardovaste
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


jcolman wrote:
To be honest, if it takes you 15-20 minutes to explain your packages, I would work on simplifying those first before you dive into a la carte pricing.


+1

I'd try going to two packages that you want / need to sell. Then if someone wants something slightly different, offer a la carte customisation.



Apr 01, 2013 at 07:17 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


I agree with what's already been stated.

Do you believe your packages are so complex that potential clients don't understand what they are buying into? If so, yeah, simplify. Clients should be able to read a simple list that is within your offered packages. If they want something else a la carte can be an option. I've done it this way for years and it seems to work for those who want a package and those who want to choose on their own.

The one year I did try all a la carte I found myself talking and explaining more....I still don't quite understand why. I did have one client who was not interested because she 'didn't want to think' and wanted it all premade and setup for her (she wanted only package options).

I rarely find myself discussing anything beyond my 3 packages but I do provide clients with the price sheet for individual items. I'm not a fan of up-selling because I listen to the client then focus in on what they are most interested in.



Apr 01, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Scott Mosher
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


I've got both. So far I've gotten about 1/2 wanting a package and 1/2 wanting a la carte.


Apr 01, 2013 at 08:05 PM
NYstyles
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


Scott Mosher wrote:
I've got both. So far I've gotten about 1/2 wanting a package and 1/2 wanting a la carte.


Its like this for me.



Apr 01, 2013 at 08:17 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


we used to be a la carte but then no one ordered anything else.
now we sell packages and it works fine



Apr 01, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Thats Fresh
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


Three packages. Pitch your packages in this order, best, better, good. Hopefully, youll win them at the best package. You can always up sell and let them they can add on products.


Apr 01, 2013 at 09:04 PM
WNStudio
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


Why not both? First create a packages you want to sell (no more than 3 imo), then create a la carte menu about 20 % more expensive than the same but within package. This way clients have a choice but actually they don't


Apr 01, 2013 at 09:26 PM
julieawhitlock
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


Three packages. One you really want to sell. One no one will ever buy to make the one you want to sell look more reasonable priced and one that has nothing anyone could ever get by on to make the one you want to sell look complete.


Apr 01, 2013 at 09:31 PM
 

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TRReichman
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


It should make complete sense why they should choose a given package. If your packages are built on a model if giving just a little more stuff (hours, album size, album pages) for just a little more money it becomes somewhat difficult for the client to understand how much of something they might need. Packages are better built for specific purposes (ie.- if you want parent's albums, then you need this collection). I don't recommend "kitchen sink" style package building because as soon as you add something that a client may not want you have limited them in your sales options, so most package systems end up driving clients downward instead of moving them forward. Plus, most package systems build value in things rather than service - if the client doesn't want a lot of stuff your earning level is limited.

Then again I hate the upcharged-a-la-carte/discounted-package system because it creates value by forcing the client to do math, which is sort of silly IMO.

- trr



Apr 01, 2013 at 09:42 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


I have five packages that seem to work well for me. Out of the 20 weddings I have this year, I've sold one bottom package, three top packages and the rest fall in the middle.


Apr 01, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Inku Yo
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


The way I do my rates - lowest rate is what I'm willing to accept a job for. What I mean is, if I were to only book my lowest package all the time, I can sustain my business. I don't have any BS low rates hoping people are going to spend more money.


Apr 02, 2013 at 02:09 AM
Ian Ivey
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


I have one package, with a couple of options (e.g., larger traditional album). I offer product sales electronically, but I don't emphasize them or rely on them. I probably could increase profitability by doing so, but since I shoot part time, the extra effort needed to create a compelling sales presentation and product-centric experience seems greater than I can manage at this point.


Apr 02, 2013 at 04:17 AM
Inku Yo
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


Just want to clarify my post a little bit - basically what I'm saying is don't list anything you don't want to sell. If you have some low priced package with nothing in it hoping people will ignore that and buy your middle package, just start with your middle package and work up from there.

If you're going to go a la carte, start with a rate that you can sustain your business with if all your clients bought nothing else after the wedding.

People are not stupid. They're going to look at that bottom and know you're trying to 1) lure them in with a low starting rate, and 2) force them into a higher priced package.

I don't list anything on my rate sheet that I wouldn't be happy to provide to my clients.



Apr 02, 2013 at 04:17 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


Thats Fresh wrote:
Three packages. Pitch your packages in this order, best, better, good.


This is the advice I've heard about offering packages generally.



Apr 02, 2013 at 09:56 PM
cineski
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


No packages. Only a la carte with all day photography coverage as the starting point with add-ons. It's just how I like to do things.


Apr 03, 2013 at 12:04 PM
paparazzinick
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


We offer both. We find most brides need structure. We have bounced between both ways over the years and always end up coming back to packages.

We do 3. 1 simple package for a few hours and cd. 2 more hours and an album. 3 2 photographers album and some other stuff.

We will offer custom packaging if the bride doesnt see a package that fits her.




Apr 03, 2013 at 12:51 PM
tobicus
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Pricing styles - A La Carte vs. Packages


We offer three packages as of this spring. The lowest package is basically to welcome folks in; no one picks it.


Apr 28, 2013 at 02:38 AM





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