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 am looking into Self Fulfilment options with a lower fee, easier said than done!
I can only assume that SmugMug as well as taking their % commission from us - they are also receiving rebate payments from the actual Labs as well.
In the UK I can order the same product direct from Loxley and sometimes the cost listed on SmugMug is much much higher than an identical product on Loxley. Could someone explain why that would be..?? SmugMug you need to revisit your economic model soon... and also start listening to your customers and reply to this thread with your position ?
Well after yet another pointless conversation with a "hero" I am here to add to the pile. GIVE US SELF FULFILMENT OPTIONS NOW, Please! I see some European peers are having issues with cost as well and the same is true here in Canada.
"Oh you'd like this print? It's only $29! ....oh plus $34.50 in shipping...and you can expect that print in about 5-9 weeks" As you might expect, this math is not encouraging sales!"
After 7 years with SmugMug Pro account, I have now downgraded since printing is prohibitively expensive and reduced the slick ordering system to clients leaving comments on images they like. It looks like I will be researching new provider so I can downgrade right off the site.
sheila daoust commented
I'm looking for one site, I do my own posters, canvas and printing, it would be nice if they could order them on my Smugmug site and pay there and I get notified of the order and I can print it and ship it out...might think about adding that option, it would save me a lot of work instead of having 2 photo sites to buy and view my photo's. Makes your site limited for photographer needs, competitors of SmugMug offer these services already. hope I don't have to make a choice...
Jason Kimmings commented
I'm currently with Shootproof. If SmugMug had self-fulfilment I'd swap to them, but without it it's far too limiting.
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.