2016: The End of Print
On June 1, our print supplier Don’s Photo made a very tough call. They centralized all of their printing services in Winnipeg, MB. It was at this time that they also added a minimum order for each order placed with them and changed a lot of their pro level pricing (for the first time since 2013).
During our peak seasons, like Dance Festivals and other major events, this is not an issue as orders are always rolling in. However, when it is not peak season and we get a single order for a 4x6 or 5x7, that causes an issue for us as we are in the business of making money rather than losing it on a sale.
What steps did we take to prevent this change?
- We talked directly with the print manager to see if there was a way around this minimum order. Unfortunately, as they describe it, the order minimum is in place so that they do not lose money when printing (print is an expensive business to be in and we can respect their decision to enforce these minimums).
- We looked into similar printing services located in Saskatoon to keep print local as well as some other third party services in the province and nearby Alberta. Unfortunately, our search was fruitless as we need to ensure a high-quality product for you, the client, at a reasonable cost for us.
- We looked in to buying our own printer and using it to fulfill online orders. Unfortunately, the cost was prohibitive for the amount of printing we do as well as risks with colour correction and quality control.
I like to give people some inside information on how we run our business from time to time, so, let’s talk about stats. We only have data for half of the 2016 year so far, but we have statistics that go back to July 2012 on our sites.
During and pre-2012, print accounted for a third of all sales (pre-2012 was a higher percentage as well, upwards of 50–60%). As time went on it started to account for less and less. Orders with digital products made up 81.4%, 77.5%, 80.8% and 80.1% of sales for the years 2013 through 2016. 2016’s numbers also include two of our Dance Festival sales.
So, how does this affect you, the client?
Effective June 17, 2016, you will no longer be able to purchase a print from our website during off-peak seasons. You can still purchase the digital file, and use this file to print at your own printer of choice, whether that be at a print house like Don’s Photo, or one of the bigger chains like London Drugs and Wal-Mart.
Our dance festival and large scale events will continue to have printing options due to the volume that we go through during that time.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
Josh Schaefer, Owner and Lead Photographer at GetMyPhoto.ca