We’ve rounded up some of the best practices you can use to optimize your Store to sell and ship prints.

Decide What to Sell

Before you start selling and shipping your work, there are a few things you should do: 

Decide which images you want to offer as prints for sale

Choose the types of prints you’ll offer, e.g.

  • Art prints on photo paper
  • Giclee
  • Canvas prints
  • Framed vs. unframed

Determine where the majority of your customers are located

Choose a print fulfillment vendor who can provide what you need, with reasonable shipping costs. A few options include*:

North America:

Europe:

Consult the print fulfillment company’s requirements to ensure that your image files are large enough to be printed at the sizes you want to sell

Set up your files correctly so that the color will print accurately, according to your print vendor’s specifications

Sort Out the Shipping Details

Make sure you investigate how much your fulfillment service will charge for shipping, and decide which countries you wish to ship to. We recommend including a page on your website with an FAQ section that outlines your shipping policies.

You can choose to offer:

  • Flat worldwide rates
  • Combined shipping (e.g. a discount for multiple items)
  • Different rates for different countries

Create Your Store

Create a Store on Format

You will need to create a PayPal account for business in order to make your products available for purchase and to accept payments.

Organize Your Products

One way to organize your products is by the image. This works best if you are selling your prints in one size only, or if the shipping rates you are offering for the different print sizes are the same.

a) Create a new product in your Store and select “Physical Product” 

  • Upload the image you are selling as a print
  • Give it a descriptive title such as “Landscape Print”
  • Include details like print type, paper, and size

b) Create an option for each additional size that the print can be purchased in, e.g. 4x6, 8x12, 12x18

c) Set shipping rates

  • You can set combined shipping so that a customer buying multiple items gets a discount
  • If you select different rates for different countries, your customer will be automatically given the correct rate when they enter their shipping address in PayPal

Another way to organize your products is by the print size or finishing. This works best if you are selling your prints in many sizes or finishes that have different costs for shipping.

a) Create a new product in the store and select “Physical Product”

  • Upload images of the different prints that will be available in this size
  • Give it a descriptive title like “Framed 8x10 Print”
  • Include details like print type, paper, and finishing.

b) Create an option for each image that can be purchased in this size and finishing

  • E.g. Landscape Print, Abstract Print, Botanical Print

c) Set shipping rates

  • You can set combined shipping so that a customer buying multiple items gets a discount
  • If you select different rates for different countries, your customer will be automatically given the correct rate when they enter their shipping address in Paypal

You can also organize your products by using Proofing projects to sell print packages. This works best if you are selling prints of commissioned images directly to a client (such as portraits, family photos, weddings, or engagements), as opposed to selling fine art prints to general customers.

a) Create a proofing project under Proofing

  • Upload the images from your shoot to the proofing project
  • Go to the settings and ensure that “Favoriting” is ON, and “Downloading” is OFF
  • You can include a password on the page
  • You can add a watermark to the images for security

b) Instruct your client to select their favorite images from the shoot using the Star button on their project

c) When your client is done, you can view their favorite images in the Activity tab of the project

  • You can sort by the person’s email address, or you can view all the favorites together
  • You can export the favorited images as a list of filenames, or as a contact sheet with thumbnails

d) Next, create a new product in your Store and select “Physical Product”

  • Upload examples of finished items you are selling, such as photo books, framed prints, canvas prints, etc.
  • Give the product a descriptive title like “Family Portrait Package”

e) Create options for each package you would like to sell, e.g. Assorted Prints and Photo Book; Photo Book only; Assorted Prints only

  • Include all the details about what is included in the packages, such as item quantities in each packages, print size, and other requirements
  • Have your client select and purchase the package that they want
  • Ensure that you confirm which images they want to be printed in each size, etc.

You can also sell digital downloads of your work and let your customers get them printed themselves. 

a) Create a new product in the Store and select “Digital Product”

  • Upload a thumbnail image of the image you are selling
  • Include details like the image resolution in the product description
  • Ensure that the terms of use are clear (for personal use only; not to be distributed online; etc.)

b) Upload the high-resolution file for your customers to download

c) When your customer completes payment for the item, they will receive a link to download the item in their email.

  • Note that this approach has a higher risk of copyright infringement, if the customer uploads the image online. 

Organize Your Store

All the products that are listed as “Available in Store” will be shown as thumbnails on your Store page. You can set unavailable items to “Coming Soon” or “Sold Out”—they won’t be available to purchase. If you’re selling one-off items that you only want to make available to specific people, you can also create Unlisted items that don’t show up in your Store list or set a password on an item if you want to restrict who has access to purchase it. 

Change the order of the items in your store by dragging the items on your Store section up and down. You can also create Collection pages or Custom pages that link to a smaller subset of your products. For example, you could have a page on your website menu called Landscape Prints and create a collection that includes links to all of your products in that category.

Keep Track of Orders

You can see new orders in your Store under Orders. You will also get email notifications when you have a new order.

When a new order comes in, upload the high res file(s) that your customer selected to a print fulfillment service of your choice.

  • Get the client’s order details by clicking on their name in the Order list
  • Select the correct items that the customer purchased
  • Enter the customer’s contact information and address in the print fulfillment order

When the order has been shipped, mark it as Shipped in your order list

  • Your customer will be notified that their item is on the way

If you have many orders to manage at once, you can download a spreadsheet of all your orders and keep track of them in Excel or Google Sheets.

Offer Discounts to Promote Your Products

Create custom discount codes to celebrate anything you like. Choose between limited and ongoing discounts, decide on a flat rate or percentage, apply the discount store-wide or only to specific products, or set a minimum order for discount eligibility. Only one discount can be applied per order, so make sure your customers know that when you share the codes with them.

*Format is not associated with any of the service providers listed, and does not receive any monetary or pecuniary advantage if you choose to use their services. We cannot guarantee their services or products.


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