Home Photrade Makes Selling and Licensing Your Photos Easy

Photrade Makes Selling and Licensing Your Photos Easy

The DEMO Fall conference today saw the launch of a number of interesting online photo applications. Out of this group, one service that especially caught our eye was Photrade, which not only gives you an online photo album, but also the option to easily sell copies of your photos and license them to other web sites. During the open beta, Photrade is giving all users a Pro account for the next year, with the ability to upload an unlimited amount of pictures. After this first year, Pro accounts will cost $25 a year.


To upload photos to Photrade, you currently have to use the standard uploader on the site. Photrade is planning on letting you transfer images from Flickr directly, but unlike other online photo applications like Picnik, it does not establish these connections for you yet. Over time, we expect that Photrade will also support other sites like Picasa or Photobucket.

For groups, Photrade offers a very nice ‘Events’ feature. You can invite a number of your friends to upload their photos from a conference, for example, though it is not quite clear to us how the potential revenue generated from sales of photos in this group would be distributed.

One very neat feature of Photrade is that you can easily move pictures between different galleries by simply dragging and dropping them. Tagging your photos and adding additional information to your albums is also extremely easy, thanks to Photrade’s easy to use interface.

Overall, the photo-management features of Photrade are very much up to par with its competition.

Making Money

At the heart of Photrade is, as the name implies, its system for selling, buying, and licensing photos. This is, of course, a very competitive market, with both free and paid competitors like SmugMug or even Flickr, but after our initial review, we can see how Photrade could create its own niche. Unlike most of its competitors, though, Photrade really emphasizes the sale and licensing of photos over just storing and sharing them, which gives the site a slightly different feel from SmugMug, for example.

As you log into Photrade, you are immediately greeted with detailed statistics for how often your pictures were viewed and how many of them were sold. To protect you photos from theft, you can also add watermarks to your pictures. As you upload your pictures, you also get to set a price for each one of them.

Besides printing on standard paper, Photrade supports putting your photos on all the standard merchandise, including mugs, key chains, shirts, and puzzles.

You can choose the exact markup you want to charge for each picture. If you just want to give your friends a chance to buy pictures from a party, for example, you can choose not to charge anything over Photrade’s standard price at all.

One issue we noticed though, was that, by default, Photrade activates sales for all sizes of photos, even when we just uploaded a very small picture that would not look good at any size over 4×6 inches. As you cannot really see pictures at a full resolution, a user might easily get fooled into buying a poster version of a less than VGA sized picture.

Besides selling pictures, Photrade also shares the profits it makes from advertising on pages with your photos on it.


Overall, we can see how Photrade could appeal to a large number of photographers who want an easy way to sell some of their photos. One feature we would really like to see from Photrade would be the ability to theme albums, which would give professional photographers the option to keep their own branding intact.

Photrade is going up against some strong competition, including iStockphoto and stock.xchng, but Photrade seems to be courting amateur photographers a lot more than these sites.

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