View Full Version : I need sound advice.

James Jaragosky
11-16-2008, 8:39 PM
The pictures below are for a proto type of an idea I have.
The plan is to take your photographs of a memorable event such as a wedding ect.. Burn all the pictures to DVD add the music that you supply or music of my own, and make a slide show. Then burn the photo of your choice onto some Baltic birch and insert that into a hardwood frame of my making. the frame will have a built in pocket located on the back for storage of the case.
The oak cost me a $1.
The birch cost me .53 cents
DVD and case .75 cents
30 minutes laser time on most photos in the birch
6 minutes on the CNC router on the oak ( I am sure I can cut this down)
5 minutes photo prep time with Corel & photo Grav
Glue, stain, clear coat maybe $1.
I will need to get some hardware to hold in the DVD so, .25 cents
Time to load photos on DVD and add music 15 minutes.
Under my current pricing structure of smoke and mirrors and advanced algebra,
I come up with $57.00.
The LOML says the price is too high, but she has some very frugal Scottish blood running in her veins, and she thinks everything is priced to high.
My first question is, before I go to all the trouble to set up jigs to run 50 or so of these things, is this product idea any good, and what would to improve it?
My second question is and (I understand that pricing is subjective depending on many variables not the least of which is the quality of my work) do you feel $57.00 is to high or to low for the mark “you” are in, as it stands in today’s economy.

Rudy Ress
11-16-2008, 9:40 PM
James another alternative is a case similar to that from ColoradoHeirloom. Not sure of the price, but could probably make it cheaper than buying it. Just an other option.

Doug Griffith
11-16-2008, 9:44 PM
I think the price is about right because it is for the memory, not the wood and plastic.

I also think your cutting yourself short on image manipulation time. 5 minutes is very short.

How about adding a triangular piece of wood to the back so it can be stood on end like a picture frame. Might add more perceived value.


Steve Clarkson
11-16-2008, 9:54 PM
Personally, I think you would save yourself alot of time and aggrevation by just buying the blanks from Laserbits or Colorado Heirloom......you can get CD/DVD cases for like $10.....and with volume discounts like you're talking.....you could get them for $7 or $8 each. It's a great idea though.....and you could be making the DVD while the case is being engraved! I think the $50-$60 range is very reasonable.

George M. Perzel
11-16-2008, 11:01 PM
Hi James;
IMHO, Baltic birch is terrible for photos-lousy contrast and poor material to finish. Many better and cheaper alternatives available.
I also think you are underestimating labor time for the whole project-especially photo prep and loading pics and music in DVD.
However, wish you luck
Best regards;

Mike Null
11-17-2008, 12:38 AM

I agree with George about the baltic birch and, in fact, would much prefer to use George's cherry wood thins for such a project.

I personally feel that the price is too high. I'm thinking $39.95 but you may want to try $49.95 first. Over $50 to me is too high to achieve any volume.

I would also give strong consideration to using already made products.

Brian Conklin
11-17-2008, 12:38 PM
From Colorado Heirloom.....$7.35 but they kill you with extra handling costs if you order in small quantities.

Joe Pelonio
11-17-2008, 1:28 PM
I think the price may be reasonable if it's well done and you can find the customers wanting it.

From recent experience I can tell you that a DVD slide show of wedding photos/music from a professional photographer is going to be $100 or more.

Our daughter's photographer was very reasonable, and charged $100 for the first DVD, $75 for each additional. The advantage to using the photographer for weddings is that they have the original digital files, so there is no loss of resolution from scanning or e-mailing them. You might contact photographers to offer the cases only, on a wholesale basis for weddings, and market more to events where they are not used.

Steve Clarkson
11-17-2008, 2:10 PM

Do you have a suggested price for offering these cases to photographers on a "wholesale" basis? Have you had any success doing it?

Scott Shepherd
11-17-2008, 5:28 PM
James, why would I want to store my DVD behind a picture? Just curious. Not sure the DVD behind the photo adds any value.

James Jaragosky
11-17-2008, 6:35 PM
I really appreciate all the input and I am sincerely grateful.

As far as purchasing items form 3rd party venders.
I have recently acquired a CNC router and most of what I see I can make much cheaper myself. Currently time is not a factor price is this may change in the future and if it does I will rework my plan.

As too why I use Baltic birch.
Its cheap and for photos of contrast I like it because the whites are white not a darker color. I have, and do use cherry and walnut and Philippine Mahoney, when I feel the photo will support such woods, but you will be amazed at some brides reactions if their dress in not white.

To the point regarding the amount time it will take to down load picture files onto DVD.
Most people are happy with any photo of 300 dpi or better. My estimate was based on the customer supplying digital photos. It takes me around 2 minutes for each photo to scan and file but if I have to do any physical scanning of photos the price would change.

I currently use Roxio 10 and the process to make a slide show and add music is quite simple. The program has some really advanced features as well, which would require more time, I have been making DVD’s for may family for Christmas and after the 10th one I have the process down pat.
Now for the big question why put a DVD in behind a picture at all.
IMHO most pictures are filed into photo albums most of which are unlabeled, and eventually stored away to be seldom viewed, and eventually when the owner dies the family looks them over and divides them up takes them home, only to file them the same way. At least this has been my experience.

What I am trying to do is create a piece of personalized wall art that is connected to a important life event that hangs in full view for all friends and family to comment on, at which point the proud owner can become my salesperson by telling all about the great service and wonderful pricing they got from Jim at laser sharp memories and how the memory is not only the picture on the front but a whole series of pictures are right here on the back. It may be just a gimmick but so was the pet rock, and I only want one tenth of what that made. Any way what started this is that I need to supply a sample to a major cruise line, and they got hold of me from a yachting club I did some work for in Santa Barbara.
But I am mostly my own counsel, that’s why I asked your opinions, because I value them.

I have laid out my reasoning not to contest what you have taken the time to share with me, but so you could know where I am coming from a little clearer.
Thanks for your help and support

Michael Kowalczyk
11-17-2008, 6:42 PM
Hey James,
nice idea but...
#1- 30 minutes alone on the laser plus prep time is worth 30.00 minimum at the wholesale level plus material. I also agree that Baltic birch ply is not my 1st choice let alone 2nd or 3rd if any for pics.
#2-instead of wood why not laser tile or black marble? better quality image and more versatile on the coffee table.
#3- why re invent the wheel unless you can do it faster or it will save you labor on your process.
#4- Don't sell yourself short. Remember you will always have the ones that don't cut the mustard for whatever reason but you have to build that into your price as part of your overhead.
#5- I know you have the new CNC but I have learned that sometimes we can't :eek: make it cheaper. Sorry if I busted any ones bubble.
#6- ah , oh hold on a sec, ah oh ya I'll get back to you on this one:D

Keep on thinking and remember Edison found 9,999 ways how not to make a light bulb.

James Jaragosky
01-10-2009, 11:15 PM
Well this idea has taken off for me, I will not get rich, but I have had enough orders to call this idea a sound success. The sweet spot on pricing is $59.95
I have a display at a local crafting mall, and it would appear that the scrap booking crowed has a likening for this sort of thing.
Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

I have a new screwball idea but ill make a new thread for that.
Jim J.

Bill Cunningham
01-11-2009, 12:28 AM
I have used a birch veneer from HD that has a core (MDF?) that lasers darker, and allows for pretty good contrast..Usually put a coat of lacquer on first, laser, then wash/dry/finish off with two more coats of lacquer

James Jaragosky
01-11-2009, 1:03 AM
I have used a birch veneer from HD that has a core (MDF?) that lasers darker, and allows for pretty good contrast..Usually put a coat of lacquer on first, laser, then wash/dry/finish off with two more coats of lacquer
I will get some the next time im at the borg and give it a try.
thanks for the tip.
jim j.