At My Sales -> Price Plans, items typically used fixed prices. However you can set the price to literal "quote" to have the buyer request a custom quote from you:
When the buyer requests a quote, he uses the normal shopping cart interface to add all his images, items and quantities. He enters his name, delivery address, and answers any custom checkout questions. He is prompted to provide a comment on each individual line-item that requires a quote — though he can leave the comment blank. He is also given the option to enter an overall comment on the entire order and given the option to provide his phone number, even if those fields are normally disabled in the price plan:
The pending order is then sent to you via email, along with an admin link. Your admin link lets you enter prices for each quoted line item, and the buyer is then allowed to complete the order. You have all the buyer's contact information so are free to communicate further if needed. You, the seller, can also list all quote requests at any time, and recent quote requests appear on your main dashboard when you sign in.
The photographer receives an immediate email whose subject begins "ACTION REQUIRED - QUOTE NEEDED #1234 by John Smith". In addition, whenever the photographer signs in to theimagefile, a reminder will be shown on the home page. If no quote is provided, the photographer will receive a reminder email after 24-48 hours with subject "ACTION REQUIRED - QUOTE NEEDED #1234 by John Smith - FINAL REMINDER". If the photographer doesn't provide a quote within 7 days, the buyer will receive an automated reply advising that no action has yet been taken, and advising the buyer to contact the photographer again via the photographer website contact page and/or to request another quote.
Sales of Rights-Managed stock images automatically use this quote workflow when using the "negotiate" pricing method. For negotiated Rights-Managed stock, the buyer must enter his intended usage of the image in a "Image Usage Rights" comments box. The seller has a chance to amend these "Image Usage Rights" when assigning a price (i.e. to finesse the text and add any clarifications that arose during discussions).
Setting quoted prices controls the line-item subtotal only. Shipping is always calculated programmatically and cannot be quoted. In practice, you can make shipping be free and then account for a reasonable shipping price within the actual line-item quote. However, note that the buyer always enters or updates his delivery details last, after quotes have been set, so you cannot be certain of the delivery location until after the order is made. (See the final paragraph of this article for alternatives.)
Sale items set to "quote" cannot use automated free/reduced-price item discounts. (You can still apply discounts, but must do so manually in your custom quote.)
Setting Quantity Limits
If the buyer has selected multiple quantities on a line-item receiving a quote, you may assign a minimum quantity in your quote response. For example, the buyer asks for a quote on 100 custom greeting cards, and you respond with a 1.99 unit price (tentative total is 199.00) and you assign a minimum quantity of 75 (to ensure your fixed costs are met). Later, when the buyer actually purchases, the buyer may increase the quantity, but cannot reduce below 75 (at least without initiating another quote). This is intended to protect you against the risk of a buyer adjusting the quantity down to just 1 during actual checkout.
We also offer other ways to set min/max quantity limits on items; see Setting Quantity Limits on Sale Items (Minimum and Maximum Quantity).
The seller enters quote prices for individual line-items only. After receiving a completed quote, the buyer can add/remove other cart-items, adjust quantities, and update delivery details later on before final checkout. Please be aware of this when setting prices — don't necessarily offer a low quoted price as a volume discount when the tentative cart contains tons of other cart-items, because those other cart-items might be removed before checkout.
To address this risk, we warn you in multiple places when you're setting quote prices about how the buyer can fully edit his cart after receiving quotes. A better solution for you would be to quote high prices that you would be happy with even if selling only a single item. You can then set price plan discounts for high-volume orders. These discounts can be defined as standards and publicised, to encourage all buyers to order more, and you won't need to think about them in every quote response. The discounts will kick in automatically when orders are actually completed and paid, and you can configure them to only apply at certain sales levels. For more info, see Setting up and using discounts in price plans.
Cart Edits After Quote Received
After you, the seller, provide quotes on each line-item, the buyer returns to his shopping cart to complete his purchase. During that time, he has full freedom to add/remove cart items and edit his delivery details.
While developing this feature, we considered the merits of freezing the shopping cart after quotes were given, forcing the buyer to accept the entire cart unchanged (or abandon it, or request a fresh quote). That way, if seller-assigned prices were based on assumptions about the total cart value or destination address, then those assumptions would be sure to hold.
We ultimately opted against this, allowing the buyer to continue to make edits, for the following reasons:
We believe the buyer has the best chance of actually completing his purchase if he can make changes as needed. This improvement to overall completion rates is more important than protecting against possible corner cases.
Shopping carts vary over time, as prices & promotions change, and images & items become unavailable, so forcing read-only carts isn't always feasible.
When requesting a quote, buyers are often tentative about whether they'll ultimately complete a purchase and in what quantities (will depend on the price and they may still be shopping around elsewhere). As such, the name and delivery details they enter are often bogus or at best must be changed to reflect their business instead of personal details. When finally purchasing, the buyer is in a different mindset and will re-think the items and quantities needed. As such, many quoted carts will need legitimate edits that don't invalidate the legitimacy of the quoted prices the seller provided. Forcing a repeat of the workflow for any edit, especially trivial ones, will frustrate the buyer and prevent sales.
If you need a true frozen cart, you can offer offline payment, perhaps with placeholder values for all pricing, and then accept a completed order from the buyer via offline payment. During your offline payment-collection discussions with the buyer, you can agree upon the actual true product/shiping prices, and then collect that amount before marking cart as paid-in-full.