12 Jun

Perception: Research and Saving Money

I was in the store with my 3 year old son the other day and I looked and saw some little metal toy trucks marked $3.99. I immediately thought in my mind wow that’s kind of costly for a little toy truck. About an aisle away I saw a large brick of Rice Krispies treats marked 2 for $3.00. I immediately thought WOW that’s cheap. Then it hit me… buying the Rice Krispies treats that I thought were a deal would not last a week in my house and would not leave any lasting benefit. The little metal truck my son liked was metal so technically it could last long enough to be handed down to his kids.

Isn’t it funny how we ‘PERCEIVE’ value? The same is true in your online business. When we make the decision to start a business our ‘perceptions’ can help us and hurt us at the same time. Sometimes we will need to research solutions to problems, the best deals, the ROI- Return On Investment and much more.

One simple thing I recently researched was www.istockphoto.com. I thought the cost of the images was high. I understand that it’s important to use images that are licensed, not taken from the internet. There are a few reasons why we want to do that ethically and for search ability. I have even heard of a group of lawyers just searching the web for plagiarized materials. So it’s important to do things right.

But in my investigations I found that iStock has had several changes of ownership with little upgrades and improvements in their website. In fact, their pricing is high. With the average cost of images we use for our blogs generally cost 3 to 4 dollars in iStock. So I went out looking for cheaper solutions.

That’s when I found http://www.123rf.com. I found that they had a decent selection of pictures, cheaper prices, and I found similar pictures available on iStock when searching certain words or themes.

A credit at 123rf.com will cost you about a $1 when you buy 20 credits at a time. When you buy more credits at a time it costs less. Compared to iStock’s $1.75 a credit, this is quite a savings. But even more savings comes in when most of 123rf.com’s pictures that we can use in blogs and web work cost only 1 credit whereas iStock’s are 2 to 3 credits.

If you blog twice a week for 52 weeks a year you will need 104 images. In iStock that would cost you $312 minimum. At 123rf.com’s site it will cost you about $104. So you could save $208 a year by switching. Do I sound like an insurance commercial?

Virtual Assistant Debbie Twomey who used to use iStock Photos for 2 years says it was a little confusing at first to switch but the savings was worth it and 123rf.com has gotten easier to use with time.

So remember let’s stay ethical and not steal images. Do the right thing and purchase them or take your own. Save some money by switching over to 123rf.com.

Perception – remember to take a minute and think about what you are doing, what you are buying in your business. Research as see if it really is a good deal and what will its return on investment be for you.

By the way I didn’t end up buying the toy truck or the brick of Rice Krispies treats.

Do you have any good tips for savings in our online businesses? Let us know in the comment section below.

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