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Posts Tagged ‘posters’

Covert Art Research

It appears I struck a chord with the last two posts on creating physical products. I appreciate all the comments and feedback. In this post, I decided to up-the-ante by sharing a clever research strategy and combine it with another sneaky method for finding high-rez Public Domain images. This approach isn’t being taught anywhere so you’re learning it here first!

Imagine how powerful it would be to have 3.5 million art-buying consumers tell you exactly which Public Domain images they like to purchase. Information like that could revolutionize your “art” business, couldn’t it? Think about it…one of the keys to succeeding in business is to know what your prospects want (or the problem they need solved) and providing them with the answer. So, if we had a way where buying customers, and LOTS of them, would tell us what they like through their consistent purchasing decisions, the results would be a good indicator of what WE should consider selling as well, right?

Good news! That is EXACTLY what I am going to show you in this post! There are two websites online that sell a massive amount of art posters: AllPosters.com and Art.com. Between the two websites, they receive 3.5 million unique visitors per month. That’s HUGE! Plus, with each site offering around 500,000 art choices, it becomes pretty easy to consider that we may be able to identify buying trends. What’s cool is that both sites make our covert research pretty easy! Let’s get into the process. It works the same for both sites.

The first step in the process is to identify what the best-selling images are on each site. Below are screenshots that show you where to click to discover that information for each site. On AllPosters.com, you want to click on the circled link, “View more in ‘category’ (Bestsellers)”. On Art.com, click the “Bestseller” link in the top navigation bar.

Once you get to the Bestseller section of each website, you will notice that you have several style options. I typically look at the “Fine Art” and “Vintage” bestsellers, since many of those bestsellers are actually from the Public Domain. The screenshot below shows the top-sellers in the Fine Art category on AllPosters.com. I also want to point out that AllPosters.com is SO kind to actually tell us the copyright date for the art that was purchased! How kind of them…grin.

Now we could stop there and, with just a little time, you would gain valuable insight into which images consumers are purchasing the most…valuable info!  But I’m not planning to stop there. It’s great to know WHAT people are buying, but what about finding the actual files for the images so that you can sell the same images (or related ones) yourself? Check this out…let’s pick an image, like the “Great Wave” image in the #3 position and right-mouse click on it. Choose “Copy Image Location.”

Next we are going to open a new tab and visit the site, TinEye.com. Once there, we want to “Paste” the URL we just copied at AllPosters.com into the “Enter image address” section and click “Search.”

TinEye will search through 1.8 billion images and return results that are identical or similar to the image URL you entered. Once the results are returned, you want to sort the results by “Biggest Image.” You will notice in the result below that our largest result is 4,335 X 2,990 pixels…large enough for us to print a decent 16″ X 20″ print! How cool is that? And, we know that the image is in the Public Domain because AllPosters.com listed the copyright date as 1829!

I hope you see the power in this strategy! Now, to be completely transparent, you will NOT find high-resolutions of EVERY image using the method I just showed you. However, it’s likely that you WILL uncover MORE images than you are currently aware of. Now, for the sake of completeness…let me show you another site that you can ALSO use to find similar image results. That site is GazoPa.com. The process for this site is very similar to that of TinEye, but the results work a little different. Below is a screenshot of my result using the same image URL.

You can see that GazoPa found the same size image as our results turned up using TinEye. I have found in some cases, however, the one site might return results that the other doesn’t, which is why I usually check both!

Okay…that’s it. In just a short period of time, we have not only identified some of the top-selling art images online, but have also discovered a way to connect us with some of those digital files as well so that we can create our OWN versions of those best-selling posters! Go have fun with it!

Art Print Creation Strategies

In my last post, I shared about the importance of creating and selling physical products. It’s a must-do part of your business for more reasons than just making money (like building credibility, new markets, etc)! In this post, I thought I’d continue the discussion by focusing on one of my favorite types of physical products: Art Prints. I’ve been conducting a lot of research on price and quality and have identified the best options for getting high-quality, low-cost prints made.For definition-sake, an art print can refer to any type of printed image, from maps and photographs to labels and posters.

It used to be that if you wanted to produce art prints, say 18″ X 24″ or 24″ X 36″, you had to go to a printer and have them produced in mass quantities to make them cost effective. When I managed the commercial printing companies in the late ’80s and early ’90s, my pricing model started with a base price whether you were printing one copy or thousands. The cost of creating a negative and plate for a job as well as the press startup were always the same. And if you wanted a 4-color job, it was expensive…especially in low quantities. Of course, with digital printing and large-format inkjet printers, all that has changed…and the pricing, if you know where to look, is pretty amazing.

Previously I mentioned Zazzle and CafePress as important considerations for creating and selling physical products. I still believe that, especially when it comes to testing new markets or product designs. But for long-term product creation…art prints for our example today…they are NOT good solutions. When I compare pricing models in just a moment, you’ll see why.

Two of the most popular art print/poster sizes are 18″ X 24″ or 24″ X 36″ and there are several options for having them produced. Some companies (like Zazzle or CafePress) will allow you to purchase just one copy. Other companies require a minimum quantity purchase (typically 100). Of course, in many cases, buying in quantity means a cheaper cost per unit, as we will see. In some cases, however, you may only want to purchase one print initially to test the market, and then increase printing numbers from there. Let’s take a look at our current pricing options for Art Prints.

(Prices are Cost per Print and do not include S/H fees)

Zazzle.com: 18″ X 24″: $19.95 24″ X 36″: $34.95

CafePress.com: 16″ X 20″:  $16.00 23″ X 35″: $19

ShortRunPosters.com: 18″ X 24″: $2.97 24″ X 36″: $9.97

As you can see, the best option by far is ShortRunPosters.com. Their quality is excellent and are, in my opinion, the best solution for short-run art prints/posters. If you find that you need 100 or more art prints of the same image (such as for a promotion or of an image that is selling well), there are better options that will drive your costs down even further. I recently found a company I had not heard of, JiperorPrint.com, who produces all types of printing including posters. While they require minimum runs, their prices are amazing compared to former solutions I’ve used like PrintPelican.com and PSPrint.com. Let me give you an example based on the above sizes.

(Prices are Cost per 100 and do not include S/H fees)

JiperiorPrint.com: 18″ X 24″: $109 ($1.09 per print)  24″ X 36″: $179 ($1.79 per print)

The prices are amazing! And if you bump the quantities to 500, check out the cost per unit:

18″ X 24″: $175 ($.35 per print)  24″ X 36″: $336 ($.67 per print)

Think about this…why purchase 100 18″ X 24″ prints for $109 when you can get 5 times that many for $66 more?! Amazing! Now perhaps you’re thinking, “That’s great, Tony, but what if I want to print smaller sizes? It looks like my options are limited.” Well, I’m glad you asked! The thing is, just because you’re printing an 18″ X 24″ print doesn’t mean the image HAS to be that size! You can fit two 11″ X 17″ prints side-by-side on a sheet or even four 8″ X 10″ prints on a single sheet. So let’s say you want to produce 8″ X 10″ prints of four related images…you could put one of each on a sheet and drop your cost for each of the four down to just $.75 (when printing at ShortRunPosters.com). Below are examples of a recent print order I had produced at ShortRunPosters.com that demonstrates what I mean:

Full Size

Two-Up

Four-Up

As you can see, there are a LOT of possibilities for ganging your prints!

In closing, I want to mention one quick note about using ShortRunPosters.com…they have a $10 flat shipping fee so ordering just one print is still expensive. What I do (and recommend) is order multiple prints of several layouts. The shipping cost remains the same but is spread out over your order of prints. Also, make sure you use as high a print resolution for your files as possible. I recommend NOT going below 180 DPI with 300DPI being the ideal!

I hope that this article has inspired you to consider getting your own prints made. The art print market is HUGE (especially on eBay), and with the cost of prints I’ve shared above, and the millions of images available to you in the Public Domain, you now have ZERO reason to venture into this profitable market! So go get ’em!

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