Thursday, December 08, 2005

Puzzled About Collage Sheets as a Business Venture

I am still surprised and puzzled about ‘collage sheets’. Let me get this right: someone purchases antique photos, scans them and sells copies of them as ‘collage sheets’ at $4-5 a pop? Do people really buy these?? Are these companies really making money?

Here is one online seller of collage sheets of vintage photographs, called B-Muse.

I once emailed the owner of one of these businesses after she placed an ad on an ATC chat list which I am on. I politely asked her if she really makes money on this type of business. She did not answer my questions. I was polite and was hoping my question would not offend her. It was an honest business question, I thought.

Over the years I have purchased antique photos at flea markets when I saw some. I always have been drawn to them. I wonder what the stories are behind the people captured on film. Some of the people and children are so interesting looking. I usually pay $1 per photo for them. I don’t have many, perhaps 20 total. My husband always thought I was nuts to buy them so I would limit my spending. The best source of them for me is the Wellfleet Drive-in Movie Theatre Flea Market in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

My grandmother also has a collection of family photos which I could copy and sell, if it were a worthwhile endeavor.

I have always been drawn to old skeleton keys, which also usually sell for $1. This is another thing that my husband thinks I am strange for buying. I only have about 5 or 6 of them, but I digress.

Anyway I would really like to know if there is money making potential in selling these collage sheets. This is what I worry about:
The cost of running a website
How much time is invested in the business vs. profits actually made?
Can a profit actually be made?

If money can be made this way then all one needs to do is buy some of the photograph lot auctions which are on eBay. “Lots” of photos are going for less than $1 each.

A question I’d have is what type of printer would be high quality enough to use to print off these sheets. Could I use my home printer, would I have to buy a new one or would I pay a local copy shop to print them off for me?

Perhaps the solution to our lack of income and unemployment is me going into a business of this sort? Could it be that easy?

I spoke to my husband about this idea. He just said, “Be the seller, not the buyer”. I think he was worried I was going to go on a spending spree to purchase collage sheets. So far, I haven’t spent a dime on them, so he can rest easy.

By the way I am miffed about the copies of old photos or documents, not collage sheets of an artist’s original artwork (which seems more legitimate to me). Here is an example of an artist who sells her original artwork on collage sheets: Teesha Moore.

No comments: