let us have a self-fulfillment print order capability
SM's fulfillment is very swish. Problem is it's only valid for US people - printing costs and lead times make orders for EU customers prohibitively expensive.
I know several other would like this feature, and like many others, I've been playing around with paypal payments (there's a good thread on dgrin about it). Problem is, well, it's paypal and doesn't give the photographer / seller the option to view an order before receiving payment.
Google has a far better order processing system, but doesn't support logistics; a third party shopping cart is required and that costs money!
So, why not open up SM's excellent print ordering system so that SM members can receive an order via email and manage the fulfillment themselves? :)
Being based in the UK, I'm not losing out on people not being able to buy my photos easily and because of that, I fear I may cancel my SM renewal because it's a real showstopper for me...
I also want this function. Being in Australia, I need to source locally to make it more economical.
I know others have the option of self-fulfilling orders and I may have to change real soon if this option doesn't become available.
Lisa D commented
I am adding my request to this list - I would also like a little more control over sizes and print quality
Jack J commented
The request has been open for a long time. This far I never have seen a firm answer as to why it is not offered.
I have a few assumption at to why this not being offered:
1) It detracts from the ecosystem and continuity of Smug Mug that we currently know. However this can be mitigated of standards of operation and/or requirements imposed on the seller in order to offer self fulfillment.
2) If customers have issues with direct fulfillment (i.e. lead time quality, etc), and SmugMug is the one processing the payments, then SmugMug is on the proverbial hook for the funds. This can be mitigated buy holding fulfillment funds for a longer specified time.
3) Many sellers are amateur and thus commonly have issue with color/skin tones etc. Again can be managed through a list of requirements and standards. Yes it will take some work but in the end is manageable AND this feature will keep and attract more customers to SmugMug. As for managing this, could be handled via only offering on the top level SmugMug plans only and through a customer satisfaction rating system. Seller has to maintain a rating of *** to participate.
In the end, self fulfillment IS happening already and is completely removing SmugMug from the income potential. As a businessman, this fact only should catch someones attention. Not to mention the lose of subscribers by not having this option. Protection of the ecosystem CAN be done it just needs to be thought out.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
I am in desperate need of this self fulfilling option as well! I use a different company for my canvases only, and would like to be able to self fulfill those canvas orders. Please work on implementing this feature!
I have a lab picked out for my sports photography and would like to keep consistency of products when people reorder online.
Ian Cartwright commented
I, too am UK based. I want to be able to choose labs so that I can offer products which Loxley doesn't offer. Also, one of my labs is 15 minutes' drive away, and so does not charge me carriage when I collect.
How many votes are needed for this request to be implemented?
Kara Laws commented
Today one of the techs told me that they have never heard of this request before. I want to scream. Keep voting on this and pushing it guys. It is ridiculous that we cannot do self-fullfilling orders. This is a HUGE oversight.
I am currently building another site to self-fulfil. I am based in the UK. I use Loxley for some things and other suppliers for others. This is for the same reason stated in others' responses. The products have got to be competitive.
I'm getting nil sales despite excellent feedback from people. Why? Because my prints are too expensive, despite having dropped my profit margin to a measly 15%. So why is it so expensive? Because Loxley charge a fortune! If they can't offer a competitive rate of a budget range, then I want and need the facility to receive orders myself, where I can arrange printing and framing myself, for half the price, and take payment via Smugmug a Shopping Cart. I'm losing out on sales because of this issue, and if it isn't resolved by next summer, I reluctantly WILL NOT be renewing my Smugmug Subscription. For me, there's no point forking out on a website if I'm not making any sales!
I certainly support the ability to choose between self fulfillment and direct lab orders. One of the benefits of using SmugMug is the ease of use but after shooting one event and listing photos for sale I'm finding a number of limitations that are making me question my membership after less than one month.
Self-fulfillment and digital download packages are going to be critical for me moving forward. For $300+ per year I shouldn't have to do either of those tasks manually, especially when competitors of SmugMug offer these services already.
Francesco Langiulli commented
Add the possibility of adding a own printer. My print Lab in Italy has much lower rates of Loxley! It would be ideal to automate an email with photo in attachments to be sent to an address customize (in our case our printer) and be able to independently manage the printing and order management.
This feature is available at PhotoDeck, a good alternative to Smugmug, but I wont leave Smugmug for this reason.
Some of my images are signed and limited edition. It is difficult to ask customers to contact me for these prints, since there is no self-fulfill option. Many size and material options available from the labs SmugMug uses are not available through the SM system. This is frustrating especially when trying to sell panoramas, which are poorly represented in SM's current size options. Additionally, SmugMug's shipping costs are up to 3 times higher than the cost of drop shipping from some labs. A self-fulfill option would solve all of these problems.
I would definitely prefer the ability to self-fulfill orders. I have used the same local lab for years, and we have a relationship which allows me a greater level of control over my final output than any of the options offered through SmugMug. I'm surprised such a full-featured platform doesn't make this available.
Jack J commented
While many be fine with the 4 photo labs offered, I personal would like the ability to handle my own printing, using my own equipment. For my local clients I can control my delivery, quality and overall cost much better.
This could be done through a customer "personal" price list and still could use the SmugMug check out. You (SmugMug) could still keep your the normal cut and I would have the option to print my own images or use a lab of my choice.
Please consider a way to offer self fulfillment! In the end I want full control on what my clients get by knowing what exactly they are receiving. (I have had issues in the past
with another web site regarding returns and exchanges etc and it's much easier and less costly for me to simply handle what is needed...especially for my local clients). I am sure the labs offer
good products but as a paying customer I should have a
I really, really wish there was an option for self-fulfillment on SM. I sell at art shows and have an already printed inventory that I would like to offer on my web site as well. I don't want to order additional prints when I have thousands of $ already tied up in inventory.
Mark Linebe commented
There are certain images I want to print for customers but can't if I continue using SM. Many great things about SM, but this is a very awkward to deal with and would help make future customer experiences more seamless. Further, SM would still get their cut on the sale instead of being directed away. Just looking for a really simple solution such as an email or report with images ordered. I'm looking hard for another option to satisfy this need, so even a little input as to whether you are even considering this for development and/or when would be helpful. Thx
The absence of this feature is the only thing stopping me moving my two current event photography businesses to Smugmug and it's a real shame. I currently run my own personal website on here and would love to be able to use it for my two other companies. But impossible for to until I can self-fulfill orders.
Please implement this feature SM!
Umberto Roveto for Fracasphoto.com commented
I guess this is the thread to add my voice to self fulfillment as I mainly use the website for the storing capacity and the possibility for my clients to preview before ordering and once the have ordered and paid I give them access to download the digital print.
I am from Canada and I do sports photography for minor league sports. My supplier is based in Sherbrooke, Qc, specializes in sports cards and prints. He is really my main supplier for all my business unless I have to do oversize poster prints. It would be great for everyone if I was able to take the orders and payments straight from the website. For anyone interested in my suppliers products, go to his website https://ezfo.to/ ... I am trying to convince them to contact SM in order to partner with them.