Selling photos online

A recent photo of mine had a lot of interest shown in it by many people, with some asking if they could buy it.  Up till recently I hadn’t done a lot about selling photos from this site and I have spent some time exploring options. I have sold quite a few photos via a stock photo site.  And I announced a few days ago that photos can now be purchased online here at this site but I have decided to take it further and set up with a third party site.  Why? Because, when you really look into it, they have already done all the hard work and made the connections.  It means photos can be bought as digital downloads, as prints in many formats, and also on products such as calendars, mugs, tshirts, mousepads and all sorts of other things.  The additional thing is that these sites already have the traffic and while my own site is developing nicely and the traffic is growing, it still doesn’t match what is already available out there.  So, I thought I’d share my research with you.

To date I’ve looked at Smugmug, Zenfolio. Photoshelter, Photomerchant, Shutterfly, Fotomoto

Smugmug has the best Google Page and Alexa ranking, which to me means they probably get more hits and have more incoming links to the other sites. If traffic is important, then that’s a plus. Zenfolio isn’t far behind though. Pricing structure reasonable with both when you consider it’s a monthly or annual fee and includes everything. Paying for your own hosting and then getting the structure in place to provide what they provide would be difficult.

Photomerchant appears to be the most expensive (which is a shame since it appears to be Australian and, therefore, local to me and in our currency) and doesn’t have the products available that other sites have. All of the other sites have great offerings – digital downloads, prints, products including mugs, mousepads, calendars, photobooks and clothing items.

Photoshelter also appears more expensive than some of the others but does have similar offerings.

Fotomoto appears to be an add-on for your website where you can link to it to sell your own photos.  A shopping cart you can build in.  I could not find any reference to a cost but there is probably a fee per sale.   They have a decent PR as well.

Photoboxgallery is another I came across. Has a reasonable Google Page Rank (4) and quite high Alexa ranking. So it’s been around for awhile and gets a lot of traffic. It also has quite a line up of products available too, to have your photos put on and sold. This one is free to set up and they take 10% of all sales from your site. They’re based in the UK I think as their pricing examples are in pounds.

So I’ve decided to take the plunge and get a third party site to encourage sales of my images as I’ve been getting enquiries.  It has taken time to source the right services to provide what the enquirer wants, and I’m afraid I may have lost some sales because the momentum is lost.  But no more delays, the deed is done and the site is set up.  Click on the image below to have a look. I’m sure I will gradually change how the site looks and will definitely upload more images over time.  If you have seen an image you’d like to buy but can’t find it at that site, please contact me so I can organise to get it up there for you.


  1. Cheryl Day Photography says:

    I have Fotomoto on my website. I’ve just gotten started, so no sales yet, but it is as simple as copying a line of code into your code. They are very helpful and tell you exactly where to place the code. A link shows with each picture. You have to go into your fotomoto dashboard and select which photos you are selling and the various sizes and prices, etc. I believe they take 15% (that’s from my memory so I could be off) but they do all the work for you.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Thanks Cheryl. I did consider them but realised that whatever I chose, there was work to be done and smugmug ended up being more attractive for my needs. However I’d love to hear how it’s working for you over time.

  3. Love your choice Kathy. So many great formats to choosed from. I recently purchased a Nikon D3100 and my goal is to do be able to something similar.
    Still enjoy receiving your beautiful photos by email. HT

  4. Sounds good Helen. Would love to hear how it goes for you. Glad you are enjoying the photos. Thanks for commenting.

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