The average consumer buys one or two prints at a time, uses them to decorate a room in his or her house, and isn't expecting any sort of "volume discount" because the order size is relatively small. Interior designers and corporate art buyers, on the other hand, operate much differently. They work on large-scale design projects (e.g. hotels, hospitals, corporate offices, etc.) and routinely place orders for hundreds of prints at a time. Due to the size of their orders, they expect to purchase at "trade" prices - discounted prices which give them room to make a profit when reselling the prints to their clients.
Fine Art America is a home with millions of images from the greatest artists and photographers in the world including me, and they're launching an initiative to expand beyond the direct-to-consumer market and introduce their artists and photographers to large-volume, wholesale buyers. In order to do that, they needed to change their pricing model.
FAA bought the domain name DesignerPrints.com, and they're using that website to market directly to interior designers, corporate art buyers, and industry professionals who are involved in specifying and purchasing artwork for large-scale design projects.
In order to make a purchase on DesignerPrints.com, you have to formally apply for membership and go through an approval process. No one can make a purchase on DesignerPrints.com without applying for membership and being approved. You can't even add items to your shopping cart unless you're a member. During the approval process, a Fine Art America staff member will conduct a phone interview with the applicant to learn more about their business, learn what type of projects they work on, estimate the volume of orders that they'll be placing, and more. If the applicant is indeed a high-volume interior designer or corporate art buyer, they'll approve their membership, and they'll provide them with a username and password which allows them to login to DesignerPrints.com and start making purchases.
When a member logs in, all of the prices on the website instantly change to lower, "trade" prices. On their end, they lower the prices that they charge for their materials and labor (e.g. frames, mats, stetcher bars, packaging, assembly labor, etc.), and on our end (Artist/Photographer), they lower our print markups, as well (see below).
For every product on the site, the buyer is able to see the regular price, the wholesale price, and how much he/she is saving. An example is shown, below:
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