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The Value of an Album - PPA Today

The Value of an Album

Written by guest blogger, Booray Perry, CPP

We just got a new coffee maker.

It's one of those Keurig coffee makers that are really just the best thing ever invented. I really admire the whole idea behind the new coffee makers, especially when you consider that coffee makers have been pretty much unchanged for 50 years and then someone comes along and totally turns that industry on its head. Like the way ketchup bottles were unchanged for 50 years until some genius figured out they should stand on their head so the ketchup is always ready.

Anyway, we just got a new one and it's our third one. We have to buy a new one every year or so because we have "hard water" and it eventually breaks the machine.

Now, the manual tells you that you can prevent the machine from breaking by using distilled water. We did that at first until I started "doing the math." When you subtract the cost of a year's worth of distilled water from the cost of a new machine, you end up with a savings of less than $20. Since I'm the one who usually has to buy the distilled water and carry it to the car (and carry it into the house and put the empty into the recycle bin...) I decided that $20 a year was a fair price to pay to not have to deal with the distilled water anymore. A bargain, really.

It seems excessive when you are buying a new, expensive coffee maker every year or so but it's not if you remember that you aren't buying (and carrying) jugs of distilled water every week (or skipping coffee because you forgot the water, which really increases the value of using tap water.)

This is the way my mind works. As opposed to my wife, who would have reached the same conclusion but without the math. For her, not having to carry the water is all the incentive she needs, regardless of the cost. She never asks, "How much is the valet parking?"

So, you're probably thinking, "This is all very interesting but why is it on the PPA blog, which is really about photography?"

Good question!

It has to do with "value." Whenever someone tells me that they can't sell custom albums, itvalueofanalbum_boorayperry_1.jpg always means the same thing: They haven't learned how to teach their clients about the value of an album.

I photograph a lot of weddings and Bar Mitzvah's and I custom design a lot of albums. Albums are not inexpensive, they take a lot of time and talent to design and retouch... and the material costs are considerable. In fact, if I sold a print of every picture in an album, I would make more money and do a lot less work. Albums have the lowest profit margin of anything I produce.

But they have the highest value. An album is the only thing you have after your event or portrait session that actually increases in value.

Think about that.valueofanalbum_boorayperry_2.jpg

Let's say a client buys a wedding album from you. Ten years later, do you think they would be willing to sell it back to you at the same price?

Thirty years from now, would they sell their album for twice what they paid? Three times?
Seventy years from now, is there any amount of money that would persuade their children or grandchildren to part with that album?

Albums increase in value. They are worth more with each passing year until they eventually become priceless. We may be the only people on the planet who can promise a risk-free investment that is guaranteed to go up in value.

This is what you need to be saying to your clients. People need to understand that when they buy an album they are buying something that will become more valuable, more precious to them with each passing year.

So, just as I am willing to spend an extra $20 a year extra for the convenience of not having to cart water into the house every week, your clients will be willing to spend money on a product that actually increases in value, every year, until it becomes almost priceless... if you explain it to them.

Booray Perry, CPP

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on October 20, 2014 10:02 PM.

Top 10 Blog Posts 10/13-17 was the previous entry in this blog.

Do the Work... is the next entry in this blog.

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