You may have recently seen an announcement or two on our Instagram about adjusting our prices. Today, those price adjustments have officially gone into effect, and I wanted to take a minute to add some transparency to why this had to be done and what that means for the lab and its clients.
I want to first say that affordability and access to high quality lab services for everyone has been the most important thing when I started this lab. That said, the lab has overhead costs and expenses that are always going to be there, and we need to at least cover those expenses to ensure the lab is sustainable and is around for a long time.
At launch, I wanted to position our Color C41 and B&W services as affordably as I could in order to provide value. After a few months, our budget told a very clear story: we are way under market. Basically our margin for profit was almost nothing on every roll we processed. I have been coming out of pocket for chemistry and other associated expenses with every batch. Thats not great. So, our C41 and B&W prices now reflect real world costs and responsible budgeting. We are still extremely competitive with smaller labs around the country, which is something I'm proud of! This adjustment averages about a $2 price increase across those services in all formats. Relatively small from the client side, but it makes a huge difference on the lab side.
For E6 and ECN-2, we had a lot of feedback about how we were pricing those services. The vast majority of feedback we received was that we should absolutely bring our prices up to be more in line with other labs. Again, looking at what expenses go into providing these services, the scarcity of labs offering these services, and the extra work necessary to process these films, it just made sense to increase the prices slightly. There are only a small handful of labs offering ECN-2 processing at all, mostly because of the relative complexity of processing cinema film, as well as sourcing the specific chemistry. CineStill got around this by removing the remjet from motion picture film to allow for cross-processing in C41. For those of us who prefer to shoot motion picture film and process as intended to produce the results we want, the more labs that can provide those services the better! The price increases for those services average out to about $3. Again, not a huge difference for clients, but a huge bump in our margins.
Our final adjustment is making Push Processing free. It just made sense to stop charging for it, and have it be a free add-on for better value for those of us who like to push process our film.
Over time, slight adjustments to our prices will be necessary to ensure we can cover costs and invest in the lab in order to expand and offer more services for the community. I will make it a priority to be as transparent as possible with these changes so our clients can stay informed. I am the farthest thing from a businessman there is, but communication and transparency is something that seems like a no-brainer if a business wants to gain the trust of their clients and the communities they operate in.
If you have any questions or concerns about our pricing or really anything at all, please don't hesitate to reach out via the Contact page.