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  • #140527
    deephorse
    Participant

    When I read “cat servant with duelling pistols” my mind immediately created an image.  That image did not match with the photo that subsequently appeared on my screen (cute as it was).  Certainly, a better description of said cat servant might have generated a more accurate image of what to expect.  But the point of having photos on your website could not be more clearly illustrated (no pun intended).

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen

    #140531
    Mike
    Keymaster

    If they do it for their own reasons other than sales, then that’s fine I guess.

    But if it is on a webshop then it must be for sales, why else offer it for sale.
    I know what you mean, but I can not think of a reason why you would put something on a site for sale, unless you wanted to sell it.
    Maybe you don’t want to sell too many as you can’t cast that many?
    Then put stock levels up to limit sales?

    I don’t get the notion that someone with an e-commerce site they have likely paid for, and sculpts they have likely paid for, and stock they have paid for that has come from moulds they have paid for does not want to sell anything.
    I am not saying that is the case, but it boggles my mind that someone would go to that effort to get a product to market then not bother with the final step of letting people actually see what it is you are selling.

    #140546
    Blackhat
    Participant

    This comes up again and again and the simple fact is that if you have a lot of codes from ranges bought in it takes a lot of time to cast, ink and photograph them.

    Time that needs to be spent first on fulfilling orders to get in money.

    If you have sufficient orders to fill your time then taking photos comes a long way down the list of jobs to do when you “ave a spare moment”

    I current own Imperial Miniatures and Dorset Model Soldiers which have some 7,000 codes between them that don’t have photographs or poor photos.

    I am working on a new website but that won’t have photos either because I am flat out fulfilling orders and don’t have the time to take photos or the incentive to to get new orders…

    Mike

    (Who has been doing this as a full time living since 2006)

     

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #140551
    greg954
    Participant

    Interesting because reading through this thread seems to me. That the general consensus is that we wargamers like to see pics right? For reasons illustrated by the Sherman and the shape of the turret comment goes to prove this. Mike comments and I quote…

    “boggles my mind that someone would go to that effort to get a product to market then not bother with the final step of letting people actually see what it is you are selling.”

    and also says…..

    ”I don’t get the notion that someone with an e-commerce site they have likely paid for, and sculpts they have likely paid for, and stock they have paid for that has come from moulds they have paid for does not want to sell anything”.

    Which I get and understand and makes complete sense. Then Blackhat comes along as says……

    ”I am working on a new website but that won’t have photos either because I am flat out fulfilling orders and don’t have the time to take photos or the incentive to to get new orders”.

    That too makes sense. But if you don’t need to put up photos, who is buying? I’m pretty sure this is the same for GZG and some others. So, wargamers are buying without photos. Maybe the majority of us are familiar with what manufactures sell and are reoccurring consumers. But what about new products? Clearly the manufacturers who don’t have photos are turning over enough sales for whatever reason.

    #140561
    Blackhat
    Participant

    I think there are very few manufacturers with new products that aren’t putting up photos – in fact I can’t think of anyone.  it is the people with ranges that originated before the internet and cheap photography that tend to lack photos.

    Mike

     

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #140567
    Muerto
    Participant

    I know what you mean, but I can not think of a reason why you would put something on a site for sale, unless you wanted to sell it.

    If you have sufficient orders to fill your time then taking photos comes a long way down the list of jobs to do when you “ave a spare moment”

    I’d wondered too, but I guess that answers that.

    Playing Devil’s advocate, and acknowledging that I speak with exactly the authority of someone who’s never run a successful miniatures company to someone who has – is there maybe not something in the approach Mirliton takes with the Grenadier range: instead of dropping 7000 new products on the site, slowly introducing them in batches once the ducks are all lined up? (In their case, it’s about mould preparation as much as photos I believe, but still.) Again, without knowing whereof I speak, it can’t hurt your sales if you’ve got too many to handle already.

    #140593
    deephorse
    Participant

    Moving on a bit from no photos, how about the wrong photos?   A WWII vendor that I regularly buy from has almost all of their range photographed.  Annoyingly, some of the photos do not match the item description.  So you’re left wondering if I buy an item described as ‘A’ will I actually get ‘A’ or will I get what’s in the photo, which is definitely not ‘A’?  Oh, and there are a couple of items that are different but which share the same photo, so which is which?

    So what would you rather have, no photos or the wrong photos?  No photos I guess, because at least that doesn’t sow doubt in your mind as to what you might actually receive.

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen

    #140594
    Blackhat
    Participant

    I’d wondered too, but I guess that answers that. Playing Devil’s advocate, and acknowledging that I speak with exactly the authority of someone who’s never run a successful miniatures company to someone who has – is there maybe not something in the approach Mirliton takes with the Grenadier range: instead of dropping 7000 new products on the site, slowly introducing them in batches once the ducks are all lined up? (In their case, it’s about mould preparation as much as photos I believe, but still.) Again, without knowing whereof I speak, it can’t hurt your sales if you’ve got too many to handle already.

    I initially thought of doing that with Imperial Miniatures where I sell the old “All the Queen’s Men” ranges but it made no sense for me to work on adding the ACW vignettes if people really wanted Agincourt ones, so I listed everything in a price list and have been adding photos as I make sets and paint them for people…

    Also it would take me years to get all the figures re-released doing it that way…

    Mike

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #140712
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… Sorry, but 10+ years of this topic coming up, discussed only by a vocal minority, has changed absolutely nothing.

    It’s amazing, isn’t it, that in that time no wargames business has stopped running because it has instead opted to fulfil orders rather than spend time taking commercially inadequate pictures.

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

    #140727
    irishserb
    Participant

    Hi Ian,

    I don’t think that anyone is claiming that the lack of photos has driven anyone out of business. I also think that there has been some valid discussion from both sides of the issue, probably more constructive in my experience, than in past instances of this discussion.  While I may be disqualified from having a valid opinion as part of the vocal minority, I can offer that I am sure that at least 70 percent of the gamers that have been part of my regular gaming groups over the years have decided not to buy miniatures at one time or another due to the lack of available photos.

    For me it depends on the type of miniatures and whether I’m familiar with the company.  A company new to me, will likely not get the sale.  A company that I am very familiar with and  is consistent with quality and style is more likely to get the sale.  Where quality or style varies with the age of sculpts, I lean to the side of caution, and either won’t buy or may buy a sample.  That said, I understand that challenges that sellers face.  In my case, I did everything from the sculpting to the packaging and shipping, plus 50-70 hours a week at a day job.    I understand why there aren’t pics of every fig.

    I think the simple answer is that some companies don’t need to provide photos of figs to maintain an acceptable business flow.  If you are making enough sales and profit to meet your needs/expectations without photos, why add photos?  Growth is not always a good thing.  In my case, when I was selling (not that I’ve stopped permanently), I got frequent requests from those who asked me to send them free miniatures and they would advertise for me.  I would thank them, but decline, as in my experience demand was usually on the edge of, or exceeding capacity.  My sales met and usually exceeded my goals.  I didn’t need a shopping cart, advertising, and other things that were offered/requested/demanded to and from me.  I suspect that photos fall into a similar realm for some.

    #140781
    Muerto
    Participant

    @irishserb, @blackhat – More than happy to entertain the perspectives of such nuanced contributions, which seek to evidence their assertions and that avoid fallacious arguments.

    #140784
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… Sorry, but 10+ years of this topic coming up, discussed only by a vocal minority, has changed absolutely nothing. It’s amazing, isn’t it, that in that time no wargames business has stopped running because it has instead opted to fulfil orders rather than spend time taking commercially inadequate pictures.

    I remember the old Minifigs catalogues with the tiny b&w photos of some of the ranges, and Dixon’s line drawings of their figures (who did those? how long did it take?). That was 40 years ago, before the internet and digital cameras, but at least they tried.

    There might have been some excuse then. Now only Navwar gets a pass, because it’s…Navwar 🙂

     

    "I'm not signing that"

    #140787
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    Hi Ian, I don’t think that anyone is claiming that the lack of photos has driven anyone out of business.

    That’s not my point. My point is exactly this:

    If you are making enough sales and profit to meet your needs/expectations without photos, why add photos?

    The bare minimum for anyone to sell things online is to get the catalogue up there so people can see codes to buy, whether it’s an online PDF, list or an actual working shopping cart. Anything else is a bonus. For all businesses with a legacy line, they have had customers who have been buying those figures for 20, 30 even 40 years, and the customers know what those figures look like, keep buying, and keep them in business without the need to cater for new customers. Prospective customers may also see these lines at clubs and competitions and find out what the figures are like in person without needing pictures to buy.

    For businesses with new products, it’s different: they do need pictures to sell. And they need good pictures. They have to show product at its best, not its worst. A bad picture does not sell a product: it invites further enquiries about whether there are better pictures, and it makes the website that hosts it look unprofessional. It’s better to provide a good picture from the off to avoid pointless duplication of effort: there’s no point taking time to take 2,000 bad pictures and upload them, if later on you’re going to take and upload commercially acceptable pictures.

    I recently took a month off to work on a new website for Fighting 15s. I added more than 500 new images in that time, and I’m still adding or replacing images at about 80-100 a month now that I’m processing orders again. I have well over 2,000 figures still to photograph. I none the less had someone bleat that I hadn’t photographed a particular range, when mere paragraphs above their comment I had stated that I hadn’t photographed everything and still had a lot to do. It’s as if no one ever reads anything written above their own two-penn’orth. 🙂

    Anyone interested in the process of creating what I regard as commercially acceptable pictures can take a look at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5hhe1RnD1C61hqjUbRbrcuOvkv7lSfkq&fbclid It’s not quick: preparing and assembling figures, and editing pictures are by far the most time-consuming aspects. And I know what I’m doing, using the tools of my former trade. Even then, sometimes I think I could do a lot better.

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

    #140930
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    There’s the Eureka Minatures approach which is (or appears to be) a dark wash on bare metal followed by a black and white photo. It need not be art, though I think everyone appreciates the results of a good 10-hour process.

    And yet Eureka too does not photograph every code in its new releases. I write with the experience of being their agent for 15 years and the frustration of seeing a new range launched but only partly illustrated, when it came to adding product to my own shop. It did the same with AB. And that was true even when Nic Robson used to have the staff to deal with the new releases. Eureka still has a vast back catalogue that is only partly photographed.

    But the inkwash is the bare minimum I do, because it picks out detail. Cut out and with the right background it is more than passable than a bare metal miniature shot against a white background that turns grey because the camera can’t cope with the exposure. However, to get to the inking stage requires figure cleaning and assembly, and that’s one of the really time-consuming elements.

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

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