Elizabeth Halford Photography {the blog} » photography in plain English

Should photographers offer gift certificates?

Note: You may also be wondering about whether you should offer your services for raffles or charity auctions. Click here for that post.

It seems like a pretty logical move to add gift certificates to your product offerings, but it may not be such a hot idea. These are the reasons why I’ve decided not to offer gift vouchers/certificates:

  • When my clients hire me, they are very certain of my style and the fact that they like it. I don’t have this with clients who only know I exist because someone gave them a voucher.
  • I don’t get to build and maintain appropriate expectations with that client and misunderstandings abound.
  • I made the majority of my portrait session income through in-person sales. A client who receives a session as a gift won’t want to spend because -well- it’s supposed to be a gift! They spend the included print credit and run.

I like to be in control of my own business and, for me, allowing clients to buy sessions for their friends hasn’t been profitable enough to continue.

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