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Price increases ...

Posted by Dave Bull at 1:51 PM, November 12, 2008

I got a fax this afternoon, another one to add to the pile of notices that I have received from my suppliers over the past half-year or so, letting me know about yet another price increase.

This time, it is the supplier of the custom cardboard boxes I use to ship the prints in my current 'My Solitudes' series. The new price will be 160 yen, up from 130. It was 75 yen when I ordered the first batch at the beginning of this project!

Every single one of my suppliers - without exception - has now raised the price of the stuff they sell me: the washi for making the prints, the nice paper for printing the body of the books, the heavier paper for the book covers, the acid-free boards for mounting the prints, the toner for my laser printer to make the page printouts, even the silk thread we use for binding the books ... every single component is now considerably more expensive than when I began this project, getting on for two years ago.

It's interesting that in the time immediately following the spike in oil prices last year, they all sent me immediate price increases, but now that oil is back down, I have yet to receive a single corresponding notification of a price decrease!

Anyway, all this is just to let you know that starting with the next print, there will be ... no damn change in my price! I set the price at 8,000 yen per print/book when I started this project, and I'll stick with it ...

(But it would help greatly if subscribers would make remittances fairly soon after receiving each shipment ... thanks!)



Following comment posted by: Tom Kristensen on November 12, 2008 10:15 PM

Commiserations Dave,

And thanks for absorbing the costs.

Things could be worse, the Aussie dollar has fallen from about 90 US cents to about 65 in the last six months. Who knows why, our economy is supposedly doing well. This means the cost of my imported supplies have all skyrocketed. I'm only glad I got in a couple of big orders before things went pear-shaped (what is the problem with pears anyway?)

Following comment posted by: Dave on November 12, 2008 10:22 PM

Yes, the currency exchange is another big problem, both for me, and the overseas subscribers. We're in a period of 'high yen' (as compared with nearly every other currency), and the net effect of that is that my prices automatically become higher to everybody, but I myself don't receive any more!

And I miss the 'up side' of the yen appreciation, because none of my supplies are imported!

Following comment posted by: E.B.Atwood on November 13, 2008 3:25 AM

My humble opinion would suggest that you slowly increase your prices wherever you can. The current prices will never decrease. You can still be the generous person that you are and not fall too far behind......where a big jump in the future would look grabby......not your style.

Following comment posted by: Dave on November 13, 2008 7:25 AM

Well, as for a price increase for the prints, I'm thinking that I'll just run this series to the end (five left - around a year or so) at the current price. That seems only fair to the subscribers, many of whom have already had a price increase - in effect - due to the decline in the dollar.

I'm making 200 or so of each print, but only have 70+ subscribers at present. So I'll have plenty of 'back issues' available for years to come. Once the series slips into back issue territory, I'll be free to adjust the price to whatever level I feel necessary.

This is what I did with the scroll print a couple of years ago. I set the price at 50,000 yen based on the original calculations of costs, but that turned out to be a low estimate (by far). I maintained that same price for the original subscribers, but after the project was finished, I had to boost it to 80,000 (there are still around 25 or so left).

So we'll see on this current series. I'm not about to announce "Buy them now; the price will be going up later!" as I don't really know that this will be the case. Perhaps with the very long slowdown facing us at present, I'll be trying to sell them for a dollar each somewhere down the line! :-(

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