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Oppurtunity For PFRE Readers To Beta Test A Order Management System

March 20th, 2013

PerlMarketingLaurent Perrier, a long time PFRE reader and real estate photographer in Montreal, contacted me today to tell me about a real estate photography order management system that has built for his business that he is going to start selling to other real estate photographers. Laurent’s system is in beta test right now, and he’d like to have some more hardcore real estate photographers help shake it down and give him feedback.

Here is Laurent’s description of the order management system:

  • Create an order: You can create new orders manually or add an order form to your existing website. Clients have the option to pay by credit card. Clients get a professional email confirmation.
  • Rates: The system supports different rates and also allows to add “extras” on a per order basis.
  • Take the appointment: When you set an appointment, it gets added to your calendar (integration with Google Calendar). Calendars are updated automatically if order information changes. Orders can be assigned to a team.
  • Deliver the photos: When a new order is created, a folder for that order is automatically created on your computer (integration with Dropbox). To deliver the photos to the client, simply copy the high resolution photos to that folder and you’re done. The photos will upload in the background. Once it has finished uploading, the system will created a zip file with the high resolution photos and create low resolutions versions as well. A professional email will be sent to the client with a link to download the zip file, a link to a preview slideshow and the low resolutions photos as email attachments.
  • Invoicing: Along with the photos, the client will receive a professional invoice automatically. Invoices between photographers and agencies are also generated automatically.
  • Get paid: If the client pays with a credit card, the credit card gets charged automatically (integration with Stripe) and the money is deposited in your bank account. Payment between photographers and agencies can also be handled automatically by credit card.

As of right now it requires a free account with Google, Dropbox and Stripe to work properly, although these might become optional in the future to speed up set up.

Because stripe.com is used for the credit card processing this beta test offer is only for readers in the US and Canada. Apparently Stripe with be expanding to Europe in the future. Apparently they are not in AU & NZ sorry mates.

Laurent is offering PFRE readers a 20% discount which is $.99 per order. If you would like to take advantage of this offer contact Laurent at email: pfre at perlmarketing.com. The site is: photos.perlmarketing.com

For those that try Laurent’s system and like it be sure to let us all know by posting a comment here.

 

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11 Responses to “Oppurtunity For PFRE Readers To Beta Test A Order Management System”

  • Thank you very much for helping us get beta testers!

  • This services hits a few sweet spots for photographers, especially the delivery function. I would suggest that if the service requires a Google account for usage, then Google Drive should be a natural option for the storage and delivery and not just Dropbox.

  • Sounds like a great System!

  • Forgive me if my tone sounds negative here… I’m not trying to be mean, but I’m not seeing how this is a worthwhile product. At first glance, the idea of putting all these actions (shopping cart, invoicing, getting paid, scheduling, photo delivery) in one place looks interesting, but the more I think about it, there are so many options, and technology is always evolving, I think photographers have more flexibility to do all these things without being married to one particular provider. Am I wrong?

    Is that $.99 per order on top of the credit card fees? Is that the cost to use the program AFTER beta testing, or is that the cost (to me) to help them beta test it? The website doesn’t explain anything… so I’m put in the position of having to contact them to see if I’m interested? hmmm. I just don’t like that.

    So, am I understanding this right, that I have to pay to test it? Which means I’d have to switch my current billing system over to this one, and pay more than I am now – to test it?

    One thing to keep in mind is that the credit card processor they use (Stripe) charges a higher % than both paypal and square, and twice as much for the transaction fee. Plus, this startup adds an additional surcharge to use their software – which is reasonable. But, I already use paypal for my billing and invoicing, and I used to use dropbox before savvytours came along. But even Google Drive is a great option for photo delivery. Then I have to ask, are they charging more because they’re a reseller of stripe?

    Maybe there’s a demand for this kind of thing and I’m just not seeing it. With all the options out there, I don’t see how this solves any problems for me. At the very least, I think they should have do a little bit of a sales presentation. I can’t imagine any “hardcore real estate photographers”, switching they’re business systems over to help them with feedback.

  • Hi Courtney,

    We built this system to solve a need we had, and recently started offering it to other photographers.

    We’ve been using this version of the platform for over a month with our orders and it works well. We’re currently working on adding documentation, video tutorials and streamlining the set up process. A more explicative website will also follow. For now, we’re calling it a beta because we’d appreciate feedback from the community. The discounted price for readers of this blog is $0.99 per delivered order during the beta and the regular price is $1.25. This does not include credit card transaction fees.

    Your main issue seems to be Stripe’s transaction fees, however your comparison between Stripe, Square and Paypal is not entirely accurate. Square is a point of sale credit card swiper while our integration with Stripe means clients enter their credit card once and they get charged automatically on delivery. Keep in mind that Square’s transaction fee jumps up to 3.5% + 15 cents if cards are not swiped. Paypal’s transaction fees are all over the place depending on the service you use and multiple variables.

    For more details on Stripe’s transaction fees, you can visit: https://stripe.com/us/help/pricing

    We use Dropbox to transfer the photos from your computer to our platform. Delivery is done by our platform which automatically creates zip files with the full resolution pictures, generate low resolution versions, create a preview slideshow and sends an email to the client, along with the invoice.

    We offer a convenient way to automate management tasks so you can focus on photography, as well as a consistent and professional experience for your clients from order to delivery. Because this is a beta, we’re not asking anyone to switch over their whole business right away if they’re not comfortable with it.

    While you might enjoy having your business scattered over multiple providers, not everyone does. Set up only takes a few minutes and you can ease into it with a few orders to see if you like it.

    Thanks to everyone who has been providing us with feedback!

  • Hi RL,

    Thank you for the positive comments. Google Drive integration is a good suggestion!

  • I’m signed up. Laurent is very helpful. If this would benefit you, I suggest giving it a go. I’ve looked at other solutions to fit my needs but none of them have been the right thing. Either too much $ monthly, or lacking specific features. This is perfect for me.

  • Hi, I just signed up. I was already using dropbox so I thought I’d give it a try. It seems like there is a lot of potential here. I just wish there was some kind tutorials or documentation. I created a test order and it seems to work ok. It sent an order receipt out to the client email, added the job to my calendar, and automatically setup a folder for the job in my dropbox. Pretty cool!

  • Hi Dave,

    Thank you for signing up. I’m glad you like it so far!

    We’re still working on documentation and video tutorials but in the mean time feel free to ask any questions you might have using the Help/Feedback button.

    (It gets even cooler when it’s time to deliver the photos, invoice the client and get paid. All you have to do is put the full size photos in the Dropbox folder that was created for you and you’re done!)

  • Looks like a really awesome system! Do you happen to know if there may be integration with PayPal?

  • Hi Jason,

    Thank you for the positive feedback!

    There currently isn’t integration with Paypal. However, signing up for Stripe only takes a few minutes and they offer competitive rates.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

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