Is Picfair worth the money? I’ve sold prints through Alamy and Smugmug over the years and although I like Alamy and have sold quite a few pictures there, I abandoned my Smugmug subscription about four years ago due to the price. It simply wasn’t worth the money. The galleries on my website are not e-commerce enabled and even if they were, not all of the pictures I take are suitable for mainstream sales.

Picfair is a relative newcomer to the image sales scene and their model is different. Like a stock provider they support a marketplace in which all of your pictures are available, visibility being based on keywords. Unlike a stock provider they also offer customised galleries for the photographer to promote.

The app feels modern and intuitive, it does two things only and it does them well. My experience with Smugmug was very different and possibly a result of the Smugmug team trying to be a Swiss army knife – viewing gallery, website, e-commece etc.

There is a free version of Picfair, but I signed up to the paid “Picfair Plus” ¬†this weekend with a Black Friday discount of 50% – that makes it affordable if I sell two pictures this year.

The free version offers

  • Images listed on Picfair’s global marketplace
  • Set your own prices
  • Sell digital downloads
  • Sell high-quality printed products
  • Your own Picfair powered store
  • Upload up to 50 images

Is Picfair worth the money? Well this is what you get with the subscription..

  • Images listed on Picfair’s global marketplace
  • Set your own prices
  • Sell digital downloads
  • Sell high-quality printed products
  • Your own Picfair powered store
  • Upload unlimited images
  • 0% commission on all your image sales
  • Connect domain to your store
  • Choose from multiple Store templates
  • Custom image ordering on Store home page
  • Albums within Stores
  • Add your own logo & bio
  • Full-screen slideshow functionality
  • Add social media profiles to your store
  • Remove Picfair branding from your Store
  • Guaranteed access to Picfair’s FTP upload server
  • Customise watermarks on your store
  • Enable search on your store
  • Access to Picfair Plus customer service
  • Early access to new features

The free version works on a commission basis – it’s a small commission (20%) compared to many providers, but nonetheless it’s a commission and drives the price up.

More important for me was the ability to connect my own domain to the store and style it similarly to my own web site. So I’ve added a logo and short biography, added my social media links and removed Picfair branding. I used a white theme, so it looks like a part of my website, accessible through the prints menu. This whole process took about an hour. If you don’t understand the details of DNS then PicFair have a decent tutorial that will guide you through the process.

Once you’ve set up your store, you can create albums, add a splash screen if you like, upload some photographs and you’re good to go.

The other thing Picfair do that adds value is provide marketing tips in the form of manuals devoted to the main social media platforms. If Picfair is worth the money, this is gold, because selling prints is a very competitive business, think about it for a second – how many images get uploaded to the internet a day? Something in the region of 300 million. There are only 7.8 billion people on the planet. Do the Maths.

The only way a new photographer gets to sell images is by creating images that are commercially viable and mastering every aspect of marketing. In particular, keywords. Keywords will help your pictures be found in the Picfair marketplace. After that, promoting the gallery consistently on social media so that people who are interested will be prompted to look at new content. The guides produced by Picfair are a good place to start, covering Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If I have one gripe it is that sharing an image to Facebook doesn’t give me the option to share to my photography business page. But that is a Facebook issue and I can always reshape it from my personal account.

Is Picfair worth the money?

For simplicity, elegance, ease of use and accessibility, absolutely. Not only is Picfair worth the money but Its the best e-commerce platform I’ve used and if I sell pictures, it will be worth every penny. And there’s the rub, an e-commerce solution is only worth investing in if you sell more than you spend. With Picfair this is refreshingly clear, no outlandish promises, it’s clear from the beginning that it is the photographer’s responsibility to take their pictures to market effectively.