July 2008

News & Updates

The first of our two scheduled discounted fee dates starts tomorrow! Some of you are trying to use the discounted fees to your fullest advantage by putting on a sale of your own this weekend, but some of you others are slacking... so what are you waiting for? Take advantage of the discount we are offering this weekend by putting on a sale of your own! The next time (and probably the last time this year) that we will be offering a discounted fee of this type is October 3rd through October 5th.

This month there hasn't been too many large changes or additions to the system, but a few of the changes that are worth mentioning include a new filter on a couple of the Activity reports, a way for you to link to/from multiple Instaproofs accounts, a better way for you to download your images from us, and a new way that we are processing your images. At the end of the newsletter we will also go over how you can setup products that require your clients to select multiple prints to go with them. See below for details...

New Activity Report Filter

Since so many of you are selling images across state lines we have decided to put a new “State” filter on both the “monthly summary” and “event breakdown” reports. What this allows you to do is separate the orders that should have been taxed from those that didn't need to be. For example, if I run my business from Utah I am required to collect sales tax from all orders shipped to a Utah address. When I run the report filtered down to just Utah, I can now see the order totals for everything that I should have collected sales tax on because it was shipped to Utah. If you have a business presence in multiple states you can do the same thing for each of the different states, which may help you find the numbers you need when you are filling out your tax documents.

Activity Report Filter

Link Multiple Accounts

For those of you that have multiple Instaproofs accounts, switching between them just got a whole lot easier! In the past when you wanted to go from one account to another you needed to manually log out, then enter the username and password for your other account, do what you were going to do on the other account, and then log back out and do the same all over again to return to your first account. It was kind of a pain. In order to eliminate the need to log in and out of your different accounts, we have created a new area where you can put in the information for each account, and then switch between them by simply clicking a single button from the linked accounts page. The link to get into the new linked accounts area is found at the bottom of each administrative page, and is labeled “Linked Accounts”.

Link Multiple Accounts

Download Your Images

Often times we get requests from distraught photographers asking if there is any way that they can download previously uploaded images. This usually happens when a hard drive fails, the CD holding the images gets lost, they don't have access to their work computer, etc., and for the most part any images that they can get from us is better than nothing at all. In these circumstances we have always been willing to give anything that we have, but the method of actually getting you the images has been a little bit rough. So instead of continuing with our old method, we have created a way for you to get your images* whenever, and wherever, you want to get them. To download your images go into the “Events” tab, click “Manage Photos” next to your event, and then click the little zip icon found next to the category that you are wanting to get the images from. Download Your Images * The images that we store on our servers are limited to 1280x1280 in size, regardless of the originally uploaded size.

New Image Processing Method

Prior to this week the image uploading procedure included uploading your images and then waiting around an additional 1-2 seconds per image for them to process before you could do anything else in the system. This meant that if you were uploading 60 images, you would have to upload your images and then just sit and wait for an additional one to two minutes after your upload was complete before you could get on to the next task at hand. Some people have been confused by the wait, others have been frustrated with it, and others have just downright hated it. Because of all the trouble and confusion that the processing wait has caused we have gone in and modified things a little bit so that you no longer have to wait for the images to process before moving on. You still have to wait for the images to upload (of course), but once the images are finished uploading you can now go to the next page, upload more images, or do whatever else you might want to do on the site within just a few seconds of the upload completing*.

We also plan on rolling out this processing method for the images uploaded via FTP within the next few days, so look for that there if you primarily upload through FTP. Image Processing * After the images have uploaded they still need to be processed into the system, which can take up to 15 minutes to complete. While the images are processing an “Image Not Available” message will be displayed in their place on the storefront and on the “manage photos” pages.

How To - User Selectable Prints

We have received a lot of inquiries this month about creating products that require multiple prints to be selected with them, so that is what we are going to cover in this month's How-To guide. Some possible uses for this type of product include photo albums, collages, multi-pose packages, etc.

Step 1) Create a Product

The first step to creating a product of this type is to go into the “products” page within the “Setup” tab and click the “Create New” button. On the product definition page you will need to put in some basic information... the name of the product, a short description of the product, which event types you would like the product to be displayed in, and an image to represent the product that you are trying to sell. On this page you will also want to select the option labeled “This product includes user selectable photo prints.” Once you have finished defining the product click the “Update” button at the bottom to save your changes.

Selectable Prints Product

Step 2) Create Product Options

After you have defined the product, the second step is to create product options for your clients to select from. If you are selling a photo album you might have a 20 page option, a 25 page option, and a 30 page option. If you are selling Christmas cards you might have multiple styles to select from. Etc. To create a new option for your product click the “Create New” button on the “manage options” page. Each product option requires you to give a name, an optional short description, a price, and the shipping cost for the option. Since your options are being defined for a product that includes user selectable prints you will also need to select which print sizes your customers will need to select with this option. For example, if you have a 20 page album that includes 20 8x10 prints for its contents and a 5x7 print for the cover, you would select the both the 5x7 and 8x10 sizes from the list, put “20” in the quantity column for the 8x10, and “1” in for the 5x7 quantity. Once you have finished defining the option values, click the “Update” button to save.

Selectable Prints Option

Storefront Use

All of the products that you define can be found in the “Products” category within the events on your storefront. When your clients add a product to their cart that requires additional images to be selected, they are instructed to browse through the event's images as normal and to add images to the product by selecting print sizes from the “Special Options” area of the print size droplists. Your clients cannot checkout until all of the images for the product have been selected.

Storefront Product

Wrap Up

And that about wraps it up! Good luck on your sales this weekend, and we'll see you here again in about a month.

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