6 Reasons You Might Be Losing Print Sales

As a photographer trying to make money from your passion, print sales are huge. Our Support Heroes often get questions from SmugMug Portfolio and Pro subscribers about why their sales numbers aren’t what they’d like them to be, so we rounded up our top reasons why users have missed out on the opportunity to make their next sale.

1) Buying isn’t enabled.

Sales blog buy button screenshot

Buying is enabled by default if you have a Portfolio or Pro plan, but even expert SmugMuggers have occasionally turned off their buying functionality by accident. To make sure you have this feature enabled, open your gallery settings in the Organizer and look under the Shopping tab. The shopping cart toggle is at the top of the list, so be sure that’s set to ON.

2) Your pricing isn’t set up.

Sales blog pricelist screenshot

If you haven’t set up pricing, people might be buying your photos at cost, giving no profit to you. To make sure you’re getting the credit and cash for all your hard work, visit your pricelist manager by clicking the Sell dropdown from the top action bar and selecting Pricelists. Add the products you want to sell to your default pricelist, set the prices you think are fair, then save. All galleries on your site that have buying enabled will now reflect those prices to your customers. Pro subscribers can also create multiple pricelists for different galleries. 

3) Nobody knows you exist.

Sales blog followers screenshot

Even the most beautiful SmugMug sites may not drive sales if people don't know how to find them. To address this common complaint, be sure to share those links! Photos, galleries, or your whole website can be shared via the URL in your address bar, and we recommend promoting your work through other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr.

To help your images be found by users who are searching, you should also be sure that your images have titles, descriptions, and keyword-rich metadata about the subject and content of your photos. 

4) Your clients get lost.

Sales blog 404

The architecture of your site plays a critical role in helping your customers quickly and easily make the jump from homepage to purchase. Trying to sell or highlight a particular image or gallery? Put it front and center so your users can navigate to it with ease. And when in doubt, give your clients a direct link to their relevant gallery or photo.

Pro subscribers can also organize photos and galleries using our events tool, which gives your clients the power to choose their favorites to share and print.

5) Clients can't reach you.

Sales blog contact

If your clients have a question about pricing, printing, scheduling, shipping, or any other concern, do they know how to get a hold of you? More often than you might think, our Support Heroes have found contact info that’s hidden, buried, or just plain missing. To address this, be sure to create a contact page and double-check that your contact info is up to date. The placement of the contact page in your menu bar is also important, so be sure to check out how to unleash the power of the menu bar.

6) Visitors are downloading instead of buying photos.

Sales blog download

Some folks out there (we’re not pointing fingers) will try to download a photo before they’d ever consider purchasing it. If this thought makes you cringe, make sure the photos you’re selling are protected. Check your image-protection settings and make sure that “Originals” are not enabled in your galleries. This will stop viewers from being able to save full-resolution copies of your photos. For even more defense, you can turn on and customize a message that will show up any time someone right-clicks on an image. Think of it as a friendly way to remind them that your photos are for sale, not for saving. 

Don’t forget, though, that you can sell digital downloads as a part of your pricelists, so people who want digital copies of your photos can still pay you for your hard work and download a version to keep for themselves. 


These are only a handful of the most common roadblocks to making the sale that our Support Heroes have come across. Keep in mind that any changes you make will take time to come to fruition, so keep your eyes on the horizon and happy selling!

Written by Nathan Landau

Mar 16, 2020 · 6 min read

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