Old 07-20-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
Joe the Photog
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Default Calendars?

You guys who do your own calendars, who do you go through? I know there are some online places that I've seen, but the cost seems a tad high to then sell them and expect to even break even. Am I missing an obvious way to do them cheaper? I always wait and wait and wait and then all of a sudden it's December and I think, "oh, yeah, calendars."
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:48 PM   #2
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I don't do calendars but I do bumper stickers through zazzle. I get a percentage of each sale.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:50 PM   #3
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Avoid Lulu.com; the last few years their color reproduction has been absolutely horrible. In 2008 I ended up with 90 free poorly-printed copies of my calendar because in three attempts they were unable to match the perfect colors in the proof copy I had made for my 30-copy bulk order, and then they subsequently refunded what I had paid in the first place. I haven't used them since.

CafePress has done a pretty good job for me the last two years (here's my 2010 calendar), but as you point out the unit price is fairly high (before creator markup: $16.99/each, bulk discount of $11.04/each at 15+ copies). This year they also had an issue reproducing shadow details in large areas of dark colors; I originally used this photo for November...
Image © David Honan
PhotoID: 269323
Photograph © David Honan

...but when all the trees were reduced to giant blue/green blobs I had to swap it out for the following shot (also used on the cover):
Image © David Honan
PhotoID: 298702
Photograph © David Honan


I've heard good things about Mpix but don't have any experience with their calendars (though their large prints are spectacular). I'm hesitant to use them, though, because their prices are pretty high -- $20/each, and you have to order 51-100 to get a bulk discount of $15.40/each. I'm also not sure if Mpix has print-on-demand services for the general public to use for purchasing copies, which is a benefit of Lulu and CafePress.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:33 PM   #4
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I do calendars every year as Christmas gifts for my family and such. I go through Photoshop, who sends them Kodak to print them. They do a good job, in my mind, but it is really expensive: $25 a pop and I think $20-23 for bulk orders of 25+.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:54 PM   #5
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I did a calendar this year, of non-train stuff and used zazzle, I was less than pleased with the quality. Everyone who got one loved it, but I saw their flaws and was pissed. I had done picture books through them before and quality was decent, but these calendars blew and I will be looking elsewhere if / when I do this again.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:17 PM   #6
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If you're looking to make money with calendars you'll have better luck sending them to UP, CP, TTX, McMillan, or anyone else who will send you a check and take care of distribution and sales themselves.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:34 PM   #7
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I was just doing it for gifts, but if anyone wants a very limited edition 2010 Troy12N calendar, let me know, lol...
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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Ive done Calendars as gifts and have used both Cafepress and Mpix. When I used Cafepress it was 4 years ago and the quality was HORRIBLE.

Used Mpix last year I was for the most part happy with it, some weird banding or something going on in a few of the prints that were not in the original files but overall I couldn't complain.
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose View Post
If you're looking to make money with calendars you'll have better luck sending them to UP, CP, TTX, McMillan, or anyone else who will send you a check and take care of distribution and sales themselves.
Yeah, a whopping $100 profit to you for last year
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainboysd40 View Post
Yeah, a whopping $100 profit to you for last year
Not a bad rate for emailing a TIFF and signing/faxing a form, eh?
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose View Post
Not a bad rate for emailing a TIFF and signing/faxing a form, eh?
Well, considering I got paid double that for jpegs...
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