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Old June 17th, 2015, 09:57 PM   #1
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Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

Do you have a guaranteed minimum order amount before you commit to shooting?
I picked up a last minute gig, and was fortunate that they had plenty of pre-orders. They have already asked me back for next year. With my current customers, this is not an issue as there are always plenty of orders.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 09:22 AM   #2
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Re: Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

We never have.

In an ideal situation, I would like to arrange for the studio to collect a small fee, say $20-$25 from every student at the beginning of the dance year and then have them pay me that fee and I guarantee every child gets a video.

I have yet to do that way though... but I'd love to because it would make everything an order of magnitude easier.

Studio has 200 kids, you get 200 DVDs kind of thing... not having to deal with orders and all this mess.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 04:19 PM   #3
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Re: Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

There are a couple of place I just gp and do it without any guarantees because in the past I've always made good money there.

However, if it's someone new I quote them a figure that I'm happy to work for that includes the first 'x' copies (usually 30 or 40) and if the want more then it's 'X' per copy extra.

I also make it clear that all the extra copies need to be ordered both at the same time and within 1 week of delivering the first set of DVDs. We can usually get everything in to the first delivery (extras come in quickly) but at most we'll do two deliveries. Anything after that and it's 'X times 2' per DVD in order to cover costs of producing them in small quantities.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 05:22 PM   #4
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Re: Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

I do regular school production work and I don't charge a fee for filming, rather a minimum quantity of DVDs at a fixed price. The quantity depends on the length of the production, to cover our time and make a profit, but any orders over the minimum, are sold to the school at half price. As the school's take care of all the sales directly, that means that they always end up making a profit on the sales and that brings them back year after year..

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Old June 18th, 2015, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

Semi-Related: but consider how you are going to accept payment.

For me, I used PayPal, Cash, and Check.

However, I had a bad check this past week and have decided that I am no longer accepting checks for school events or dance recitals etc. Cash or PayPal only. I'm trying to call and collect this money and no one is answering and the mailbox is full. Frustrating.

--- to clarify --
I filmed the high school chorus concert at my old high school. I agreed to do it because (1) I hadn't been there in 20 years and thought it would be fun for me (2) It would be an easy way to make some quick money.

The chorus program had about 150 students in it. I sold 10 videos at $25/each and made $250.
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Last edited by Kyle Root; June 18th, 2015 at 06:21 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old June 19th, 2015, 05:49 AM   #6
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Re: Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

Hi Kyle,

I have never had a payment problem from schools and usually take cash or cheque. The school's typically get paid in cash by parents, so cash is the norm.

Your sales of 10 DVDs for 150 students sounds a low uptake. I typically find 100-150 students in a school production at end of term or Christmas. We would expect to sell 50-100 DVDs to return 500-700 to us with the school also taking a small profit. I wonder whether you may have sold a lot more DVDs if your price was perhaps $15. I have found in the past that if the price is too high, a few will buy and simply copy them for everyone else. I also find that parents and pupils are more inclined to buy if the school sells them, which is how we always work.

I also supply mine with onbody printing and a case and sleeve, which makes them more desirable to reduce the chance of copying. So far over the 8 years that we have been filming school productions, all of the original schools come back every year for at least two productions. The parents also know what they are going to get and last year one group made a protest when their school decided not to bother with one of the productions. They ended up selling more copies of that one than any previously.

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Old June 19th, 2015, 11:03 AM   #7
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Re: Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Root View Post
However, I had a bad check this past week and have decided that I am no longer accepting checks for school events or dance recitals etc. Cash or PayPal only. I'm trying to call and collect this money and no one is answering and the mailbox is full. Frustrating.
The chorus program had about 150 students in it. I sold 10 videos at $25/each and made $250.
The low sales numbers notwithstanding, I'd re-consider Cash/PayPal only.
1. How many sales will you lose because people do not have cash, and do not trust/understand Paypal.
2. How much does PayPal charge you vs. the lost revenue/cost of the bad-check.

Finally, have you considered calling the Chorus director and saying, "Hey I don't want to be a jerk, but the check from Mary Smith bounced. Can you help me in any way?"
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Old June 19th, 2015, 11:26 AM   #8
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Re: Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

I tried calling the person, but no answer and voice mailbox is full. Sending a registered letter to them in the mail requesting to remit payment.

As far as going cash/Paypal only...

For this and the dance recitals, over 50% do Paypal, then about 25% do checks and 25% do cash.

I always make announcements weeks in advance and send out orders forms with directions etc... I believe stating cash or PP only would not have a negative impact on sales.
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Old June 19th, 2015, 12:39 PM   #9
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Re: Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

I have a 15 dvd minimum. I haven't had to enforce it but it's more of a polite reminder to hiring performance director that you need to promote the dvds or you'll be on the hook.

I find directors who take an active role collecting orders in advance of the show makes a huge difference so much so I'm happy to pay them a commission for their efforts.
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Old June 19th, 2015, 12:52 PM   #10
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Re: Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

PayPal actually offers a service where they collect credit card payment for you. You set up items and pricing in your PayPal account, and you are provided with some HTML to paste into your website. When customer clicks on your Order button on YOUR website, the payment page opens and they are actually in the Paypal payment portal and can enter their card info to place order. Quick and easy ordering, Paypal account not needed for customer (but they can pay using Paypal if they want of course).

Tax can be automatically added per your settings. For instance, I'm in WI and many customers are from IL, so it charges tax for WI orders and not for IL. Money appears in my Paypal account and I can transfer to my checking...or buy new toys online using Paypal!

Paypal then sends you an email with order details, and you can also print a shipping label - with discounted pricing. Quite convenient for the small fee they charge.

I've never required minimums for recitals and have done ok, but I had one repeat customer for school musicals and when sales started slowing year to year, I did have to insist on a minimum amount to show up or not worth the effort. But for the most part doing dances, graduations, etc. over 20 years always did ok with no min. requirement.

Thanks

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Old June 19th, 2015, 03:49 PM   #11
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Re: Dance Recital - Do you require s guaranteed minimum

Uk schools are usually safe as they use purchase orders, and once you have this, it's pretty secure. Cheques are horrible things now - I still get a cheque from one regular client, and it takes over a week fro it arriving to getting the funds made available. Here in the UK, cheques are on their way out now.
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