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Thread: First ever client wants to sell her products through the website. Should I use PHP?

  1. #1
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    Question First ever client wants to sell her products through the website. Should I use PHP?

    Should I use PHP for this? She is a photographer and wants to be able to update and sell her items through her website. Would Paypal be easier? I'm really lost at what to do. Any kind of help would be awesome!

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    1) Is she selling photos, or other things?
    2) What does she expect to sell? Number of expected transactions per month.
    3) Is she willing to pay transaction fees?
    4) Is she willing to deal with problem transactions, damaged and lost items, returns, etc?
    5) Will she be mailing photos (through the postal service), or will they be digital downloads?

    PHP is the easiest to use for programming, but maybe she might want to use some online ecommerce site (for a monthly service fee) and not have to deal with hiring a programmer to build a website. Is she currently using anything like square.com? Square is popular to use at art shows and events because you accept credit cards using an iPhone. She could set-up a Square Market Online Store.


  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    She may also want to look at partnering with someone like Getty Images or a similar company. They'd take a cut of each photo, but it would be based on sales, so your client would have nothing to lose (assuming she was smart enough to mark up her images to compensate for the commission).
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    Thanks for your response!

    She was mostly looking to sell photos of people playing local sport. So she'll take photos of the under 10's soccer team and put them on her website so their parents can but the photos. That sort of thing.

    She wants to sell printed copies of these pictures. What I was thinking is I could have an order form where the customer fills out their details and then these details get sent to my client and then she sends out the photos that they wanted to buy. Do you think there will be a better way to go about this?

    Also I'm not too sure how to fit the payment for the photos into all of this haha I'm so lost

    Thanks!

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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I think it's an interesting idea, but it's flawed now through no fault of her own, and the flaw will only become greater as time passes. I'm not sure how she deals with it, either.

    Here's the flaw: Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram. And Google+. And every other social network or site or cyberlocker that stores pictures online. The photos she's taking are going to be similar in concept to the ones amateur Ansel Adams wannabes worldwide will take with their cell phones or their digital cameras. The quality difference isn't going to be significant enough to matter in most cases, as the photos themselves will trigger the emotional response required as long as they're not grainy or snowy or out of focus (and for the most part, digital cameras will take care of all those). A lot of them will even do various touchups and effects for people long before they're put online. No paper required. They can be enjoyed however people want to enjoy them. They can even be printed if someone wants to print them.

    My grandfather, while he was still alive, used to send people pictures that he took of my nephew's soccer games via email "at no charge" as he'd put it. It wasn't because he was especially proud of his great-grandson, although my nephew at the time was leading his league in goals by a very wide margin; it was because he took such brilliant shots of photographic mastery that the world needed to bask in his reflected genius. He expected anyone who got his emails to admire his innate ability to capture the action as it happened and give the world close-up snapshots of the Barrie, Ontario Under 10 Boys' Pizza Pizza House League Superstars. He conveniently neglected to let everyone know that he was getting those shots by wandering out onto the pitch when he thought no one was paying attention or that the play was going to take place elsewhere, and that he nearly cost my nephew's team a playoff game by kicking a ball in play because the kids shooting the ball was of infinitely lesser importance than his shooting of the kids shooting the ball (my nephew had to score 2 goals in the last 3 minutes to bail him out); but those were mere details, you see. The photo was the important thing. And his genius would surely be immortalized long after his death by those people who would have saved his emails and the pictures and lived vicariously through his lens.

    Yes, my grandfather was somewhat of an extreme case, but the scary thing about that from the standpoint of your photographer client is that he is just one of manymanymanymanymanyMANY people who take their amateur photography arguably as seriously as the pros (albeit with the added danger of not having any clue whatsoever of what they're doing). And they're giving it away for free. I don't think your client's printed photo idea will compete with that. 15, 10, maybe even 5 years ago that idea could have been pulled off. Not now, unless there's some other perk your client can come up with that trumps Happy Hour at the Click 'n' Shoot Corral.
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    How about using some open-source shopping carts like opencart?

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    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    There is also the issue of taking photos of kids, posting them online for parents to see so they can purchase them. What if some parents don't want photos of their kids put online? This becomes a privacy issue. She would have to get written permission from every parent of every child in order to take their photograph and to put them online. Even though the soccer field is "public space", and even if they were adults (and not children), there are some ethical points about asking permission to take someone's photo, and putting them online for the world to see. I think you might agree if you were clearly visible in one of her photos and you had a finger in your nose at that specific time. You would probably be angry that she posted it online. If she is a professional photographer, I assume she has thought about that.

    For everyone else that takes photos of strangers and posts them on FaceBook, Flickr, etc, they are clearly not very considerate of others when no permission is granted. Again, if it was your photo posted on FaceBook you may not find it so funny or "cute".


    But to answer your original question ...

    It would be easiest if she used PayPal. Anyone can use PayPal for the transaction even if they don't have a PayPal account. I mention PayPal because she is pretty much selling locally and in low quantities. Using PHP for the webpage scripting will allow her to show proofs online that have a water-mark imprinted on the JPG files. What type of script to use would be sort of "whatever". You'll have to make your own or hire someone to program it. It all depends on what features you need. For sure a database of some kind so that each photo has some sort of identification code, and a way for people to add them to their "cart"? The shopping cart could be part of PayPal too ... that would make scripting a little bit easier.

    It's probably good to be optimistic and say that she will sell a lot of photos, but I really think she is going to spend more on a webhost account than she will make in sales. Everyone, and I mean everyone is carrying a camera with them at all times. Many of them are very good cameras. I wish her lots of luck.
    Last edited by mlseim; Dec 03rd, 2013 at 06:45 AM.
    TheGAME1264 likes this.



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