I wandered across a new beta site today, SpiderPic. SpiderPic may be a consumer’s best friend – and a photographer’s worst nightmare if you’re not careful.

determining how to price microstock images for online sales

I know that feelings on microstock vary across the board with the photography community. I’ve always been a fan of selling microstock on the side, and letting it help you build up a residual, or second stream of income while you do whatever else you love.

When you sell to a microstock house like iStockPhoto or Fotolia, you make anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars, depending on your level of authority within the community.

And if you play the microstock game correctly, you’ve sold images to multiple sites. Some sites reward you if you sell exclusively to their company; and others allow you to sell the same image currently listed on other sites.

Where the danger lies is selling for different prices to different microstock sites. And that’s where SpiderPic comes in. With SpiderPic, search for images based on keyword or URL, and it will find everywhere an image is listed, and give you pricing in every location. Consumers can instantly find the lowest price for their image, instead of purchasing from a preferred microstock location. And in today’s difficult economic times, who isn’t looking for a way to cut costs any way you can?

Moral of this story: If you do sell microstock, make sure you are pricing your images the same in every location. It may also be better to build up your reputation with fewer stock houses, and use more exclusive content per site, especially as you gain a larger portfolio, and have a larger following.