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Author Topic: Another One Bites the Dust  (Read 6433 times)

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« on: August 03, 2012, 14:22 »
+1
In my on going attempt to move my stock image business to greener pastures, I deleted all my images at 123RF today. You can call me crazy or stupid, but it seemed like the right move to make. 123RF has an extremely low RPD, and sales have been picking up there.

I see them appear in a lot of searches, and I was worried that they were stealing away the walk in traffic to better paying sites. I'm sure it will cause a short term hit to my sales, but I'm hoping it was the best move for the long term picture.


Lagereek

« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 14:33 »
0
In my on going attempt to move my stock image business to greener pastures, I deleted all my images at 123RF today. You can call me crazy or stupid, but it seemed like the right move to make. 123RF has an extremely low RPD, and sales have been picking up there.

I see them appear in a lot of searches, and I was worried that they were stealing away the walk in traffic to better paying sites. I'm sure it will cause a short term hit to my sales, but I'm hoping it was the best move for the long term picture.

Good for you I say. Motto:  if you can deliver but the agency can not, then whats the point?  just leave them,  end of story.

« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 14:46 »
0
congrats on your independence.  I'd like to get to the point where sales through my own site are substantial enough that if a site reduces commissions below a certain point I can just walk away.

grp_photo

« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 15:01 »
0
congrats on your independence.  I'd like to get to the point where sales through my own site are substantial enough that if a site reduces commissions below a certain point I can just walk away.
ditto, detto, dito  :)

traveler1116

« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 15:19 »
0
Congrats!

« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 15:22 »
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Neither crazy nor stupid :)

I do hope that your buyers find you and that the move works out - as we know, you don't have to have as many buyers when you aren't paying anything/as much to the agency. I no longer upload to 123rf but haven't yet pulled the plug (I think I'm going to hold on until the end of the year and see if they go through with their ill-advised commission changes).

« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2012, 15:51 »
0
Neither crazy nor stupid :)

I do hope that your buyers find you and that the move works out - as we know, you don't have to have as many buyers when you aren't paying anything/as much to the agency. I no longer upload to 123rf but haven't yet pulled the plug (I think I'm going to hold on until the end of the year and see if they go through with their ill-advised commission changes).

I hope so too. I've kind of been running in place the last couple of years. I make progress, then I delete an agency and end up back where I was. All that trouble and I still have my great white whale in Shutterstock.  ;)

« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2012, 15:58 »
0
Good to see I'm not the only one thinking about leaving 123RF. They make up 5% of my income, but their minimum size rule and the fact that Google image search shows alot of 123RF pictures makes me think about leaving them too. Besides I hate the fact that I cant see how much a picture has made with them. It's like they deliberately trying to create a fuss.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 15:59 by jwolf »

« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2012, 16:13 »
0
commiissions are pathetic to say the least, so if they do end up cutting contributor rates I am definitely jumping ship

I'll take my chances in the ocean rather than be on a boat full of greedy pirates...

« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2012, 16:15 »
0
Very good, Cory. I'm thinking of leaving them too. I haven't uploaded in a long time, but they're still making me a couple of hundred bucks monthly. Anyway, it really puts me off their policy with discounts for buyers being taken from contributors' royalties. They beat FT in the matter of shady business, imho. Depositphotos also make discounts, they have never taken a penny from me because of this.

« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2012, 18:10 »
0
commiissions are pathetic to say the least, so if they do end up cutting contributor rates I am definitely jumping ship

I'll take my chances in the ocean rather than be on a boat full of greedy pirates...

Yeah?  Is that low sales or low rpd?  I've just started there and, so far, RPD is 2nd only to DT and double SS - of course SS generates much more because of higher volumes.

EmberMike

« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2012, 18:45 »
0
...All that trouble and I still have my great white whale in Shutterstock.  ;)

I applaud your guts with cutting the cord on some of the agencies. You've made moves I'm not comfortable doing, and for that you definitely have my respect.

Think SS will ever be on your chopping block? In terms of RPD, they've improved but are still on the low end. It's hard to imagine anyone cutting SS out of the picture.

« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2012, 01:39 »
0
I did get rid of a couple of sites in the past but I don't see the point unless most of us leave.  The problem is, all the copycats stay with those sites and will get the money that would of been mine.  It's only a small percentage of my portfolio that makes most of the money and many of those images have similar versions by other people.

It would be great to leave some sites but when you start, where do you stop?  Is there much point in being independent and only using SS?  I rely on the money from microstock, if it was a hobby, I would probably be exclusive with istock.  Hopefully one day I wont be so reliant on my microstock income but it's going to take me a long time to get another income with the non-microstock sites.  So I don't see much advantage in leaving site, unless they completely stop selling.

Lagereek

« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2012, 01:51 »
0
I did get rid of a couple of sites in the past but I don't see the point unless most of us leave.  The problem is, all the copycats stay with those sites and will get the money that would of been mine.  It's only a small percentage of my portfolio that makes most of the money and many of those images have similar versions by other people.

It would be great to leave some sites but when you start, where do you stop?  Is there much point in being independent and only using SS?  I rely on the money from microstock, if it was a hobby, I would probably be exclusive with istock.  Hopefully one day I wont be so reliant on my microstock income but it's going to take me a long time to get another income with the non-microstock sites.  So I don't see much advantage in leaving site, unless they completely stop selling.

There was once some, point in leaving others and go alone with SS, but only if they introduced exclusivity,  but now they are also like others messing with searches and bugs to the point where it feels unstable and shakey,  so, dont know really. Im also contemplating on leaving micro alltogether.

« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2012, 10:52 »
0
Think SS will ever be on your chopping block? In terms of RPD, they've improved but are still on the low end. It's hard to imagine anyone cutting SS out of the picture.

I could see a day when that happens, although I'm sure I don't do anywhere close to as well at SS as you or some others do. I guess it really depends on how things progress at other sites. Whether or not they keep growing or hit a wall.

« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2012, 11:29 »
0
I can't imagine leaving 123RF unless my situation there changes dramatically for the worst.  Last month they were 25% of my stock income, and so far this month they're doing the same.  I don't care about RPD; I don't see the point in agonizing over "if only they'd bought that image from the high price agency down the virtual street!"  Shutterstock became my best earner four years ago, and it did it mostly with cheap subscription sales.  123RF seems to be doing the same, and I'm happy with that.  Obviously I'll revisit the question when/if they reduce my percentage next year, but only if my monthly result takes a hit.

It may be that I've adapted my submissions to low price/high volume agencies.  I'll submit as many images from a shoot as they'll let me.  I want a lot of sales from the shoot, which compensates to some degree for the low earnings per sale.  Hard to tell if I'd have taken the same approach if all my big earning agencies produced high prices but low sales volumes.  I might still have done, although the lack of positive feedback (all those sales) might have changed my behavior.

fujiko

« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2012, 13:46 »
0
When an agency doesn't provide what it should (growing sales and royalties), it becomes worthless and has to be dropped. And God knows some agencies are really trying hard to become worthless for many contributors.

You made the right choice. Show the agencies that they are worthless for you and you don't need them.

All the best!

« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2012, 15:00 »
0
When an agency doesn't provide what it should (growing sales and royalties), it becomes worthless and has to be dropped.

Really?  Then you must be deeply disappointed in most every aspect of your life.  Most of us hope for improvements in a few small aspects of life and are grateful when most things don't get worse.  Would you abandon your kids if they didn't get better grades?  Quit your job because they don't give you a raise year after year?  Me, I'll gravitate toward agencies that show better results.  But I won't abandon one that keeps earning, just because I wish they'd do even better.

« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2012, 15:30 »
0
When an agency doesn't provide what it should (growing sales and royalties), it becomes worthless and has to be dropped.

Really?  Then you must be deeply disappointed in most every aspect of your life.  Most of us hope for improvements in a few small aspects of life and are grateful when most things don't get worse.  Would you abandon your kids if they didn't get better grades?  Quit your job because they don't give you a raise year after year?  Me, I'll gravitate toward agencies that show better results.  But I won't abandon one that keeps earning, just because I wish they'd do even better.

That's a really poor comparrison, in my opinion. If an agency claws back royalties and shows little or no improvement in sales, it may, depending on your portfolio, be a waste of time. I have a relatively small portfolio
with 123RF. As it stands, with the present system, it'll take months before I "cash in". How much longer will it
take with royalties cut back? I agree with Fujiko but I'm not going to bail until I see the numbers next year. I spent
far too much time and effort with 123RF before I'll abandon ship but in the end if the pay-off doesn't reflect the
amount of energy I've dedicated to 123RF, I won't partner with them. Period.

« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2012, 16:27 »
0
Read what fujiko wrote.  I agree that reducing royalties is cause for concern if not action.  But when fujiko says that
Quote
When an agency doesn't provide what it should (growing sales and royalties), it becomes worthless and has to be dropped.

that's a statement I have to disagree with wholeheartedly.  There's a difference between reducing royalties, producing less revenue because they're seeing fewer sales, and simply not producing more sales and royalties.  How is the latter worthless as he or she claims?  There's a huge difference between worthless and worth less.

As for 123RF's announced plans regarding royalties, to me it depends on whether they can increase sales enough to increase my share.  I wasn't crazy about giving 80% to iStock but justified it as their putting a chunk of their share toward marketing and increasing the overall pile.  But when the pile shrank, and then they cut my share even further, that's when I stopped uploading and started disabling images.  I have not yet made any decisions regarding 123RF and won't until the picture becomes clearer.

« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2012, 17:25 »
0
I did get rid of a couple of sites in the past but I don't see the point unless most of us leave.  The problem is, all the copycats stay with those sites and will get the money that would of been mine.  It's only a small percentage of my portfolio that makes most of the money and many of those images have similar versions by other people.

It would be great to leave some sites but when you start, where do you stop?  Is there much point in being independent and only using SS?  I rely on the money from microstock, if it was a hobby, I would probably be exclusive with istock.  Hopefully one day I wont be so reliant on my microstock income but it's going to take me a long time to get another income with the non-microstock sites.  So I don't see much advantage in leaving site, unless they completely stop selling.

I guess I gave up on what everyone else is going to do a while ago, so I'm definitely not trying to lead a revolution. I'm just focused on trying to make my own situation better. It's hard to say if I'm accomplishing that or not because I don't know if I would be doing better with the sites that I eliminated. It's the whole you can't be in two places at once thing. I am trying to dial down on these sites cautiously, so that I can maintain a certain income level. I am doing that, so I guess it is working from that perspective. Everything else? Who knows?

fujiko

« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2012, 17:37 »
0
Disorderly, it's only an agency, a middlemen, not a son.

I can understand what you say and I agree that failing to increase sales is different to cut royalties or produce less revenue and I agree with you that if an agency still provides revenue it's worth it.

My mistake in not wording it properly, maybe I have been infected with the greed the agencies show every time when their only mission seems to be increasing their growth at contributors expenses and I forgot that sustainability is acceptable for us, contributors.

Sorry for sounding like an agency manager obsessed with growth.

« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2012, 18:05 »
0
you have my respect (you had it before) ;D

once upon a time I "loved" 123RF but these days dont even open it much

Jan 2012 - 108  (70.47)
Feb 2012 - 127 (113.98)
Mar 2012 -   118 (108.39)
Apr 2012 - 87 (59.15)
May 2012 - 124 (90.18)
Jun 2012 - 113 (67.75)
Jul 2012 - 78 (47.78)
Aug 2012 - 22 (12.31)

Lagereek

« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2012, 01:34 »
0
Micro has been going for 12-13 years now, some even longer. In this day and age, you cant hang around waiting for the promised land and pipedreams! Some agencies are setting such bad examples that the others should learn a lesson and not walk down the same avenue and if they still do, then get rid of them! whats the point in wasting time and effort when, collapse, is the ultimate result.

Any agency that start with clawbacks, reducing royalties, tampering with the Search in hopes to increase profit at the cost of contributors, bugs and glitches, etc, are simply not worth it anymore. Life is too short, etc. bail out and take your pics with you.

« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2012, 01:56 »
0
...Any agency that start with clawbacks, reducing royalties, tampering with the Search in hopes to increase profit at the cost of contributors, bugs and glitches, etc, are simply not worth it anymore. Life is too short, etc. bail out and take your pics with you.
Doesn't that rule out all the microstock sites?  I don't see any point in leaving sites that make me money.  The larger sites are all nearly as bad as each other, they could all easily afford to pay us 50% commission but they choose not to.  SS is perhaps better than the others but I still think we get a bad deal from them, nowhere near 50%.  The smaller sites don't have as many buyers, so there's no point in only using them.  So I'll either use all the sites that make me some money or I'll get out of microstock entirely.  At the moment, I can't afford to get out of microstock.

Lagereek

« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2012, 02:05 »
0
...Any agency that start with clawbacks, reducing royalties, tampering with the Search in hopes to increase profit at the cost of contributors, bugs and glitches, etc, are simply not worth it anymore. Life is too short, etc. bail out and take your pics with you.
Doesn't that rule out all the microstock sites?  I don't see any point in leaving sites that make me money.  The larger sites are all nearly as bad as each other, they could all easily afford to pay us 50% commission but they choose not to.  SS is perhaps better than the others but I still think we get a bad deal from them, nowhere near 50%.  The smaller sites don't have as many buyers, so there's no point in only using them.  So I'll either use all the sites that make me some money or I'll get out of microstock entirely.  At the moment, I can't afford to get out of microstock.

Well, not exactly what I meant. but if they lend themselves to all this scullduggery and still dont produce any revenue to speak of, then whats the point? obviously if an agency produces good results, etc, then you stay with them.
Maybe Im in a differant position then you. I mean I blew out, 123, over a year back, deleted over 750 shots and thats because their reviewing stunk something chronic, some horrible automated reviewing process which couldnt even separate a purposely toned image from faulty WB. That was enough for me.

Wim

« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2012, 10:59 »
0
...Any agency that start with clawbacks, reducing royalties, tampering with the Search in hopes to increase profit at the cost of contributors, bugs and glitches, etc, are simply not worth it anymore. Life is too short, etc. bail out and take your pics with you.
Doesn't that rule out all the microstock sites?  I don't see any point in leaving sites that make me money.  The larger sites are all nearly as bad as each other, they could all easily afford to pay us 50% commission but they choose not to.  SS is perhaps better than the others but I still think we get a bad deal from them, nowhere near 50%.  The smaller sites don't have as many buyers, so there's no point in only using them.  So I'll either use all the sites that make me some money or I'll get out of microstock entirely.  At the moment, I can't afford to get out of microstock.

Well, not exactly what I meant. but if they lend themselves to all this scullduggery and still dont produce any revenue to speak of, then whats the point? obviously if an agency produces good results, etc, then you stay with them.
Maybe Im in a differant position then you. I mean I blew out, 123, over a year back, deleted over 750 shots and thats because their reviewing stunk something chronic, some horrible automated reviewing process which couldnt even separate a purposely toned image from faulty WB. That was enough for me.

I'm sure all reviewers are professionals right?

Anyway, I'm not leaving 123RF just yet, steady income and fast/proper reviews (and that favorites system actually works)
Let's see what happens next year.

« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2012, 06:51 »
0
Hadn't paid too much attention to the rates, RPD is currently ok (relatively speaking) and wouldn't have joined at all if the, by definition discriminatory, grandfathering proposal had stood.  Total monthy MS income is not even a day's pay and 123 is a very small proportion on that.  I'd be prepared to suck up the cut on credit sales but am not prepared to accept subs less than IS's PP so reckon I'll pull out when I get the first one of those.

« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2012, 08:09 »
0
I did get rid of a couple of sites in the past but I don't see the point unless most of us leave.  The problem is, all the copycats stay with those sites and will get the money that would of been mine.  It's only a small percentage of my portfolio that makes most of the money and many of those images have similar versions by other people.

It would be great to leave some sites but when you start, where do you stop?  Is there much point in being independent and only using SS?  I rely on the money from microstock, if it was a hobby, I would probably be exclusive with istock.  Hopefully one day I wont be so reliant on my microstock income but it's going to take me a long time to get another income with the non-microstock sites.  So I don't see much advantage in leaving site, unless they completely stop selling.

I guess I gave up on what everyone else is going to do a while ago, so I'm definitely not trying to lead a revolution. I'm just focused on trying to make my own situation better. It's hard to say if I'm accomplishing that or not because I don't know if I would be doing better with the sites that I eliminated. It's the whole you can't be in two places at once thing. I am trying to dial down on these sites cautiously, so that I can maintain a certain income level. I am doing that, so I guess it is working from that perspective. Everything else? Who knows?


You've got the right idea Cory. The only sales that matter to you are your sales. There is no reason for you, or anyone else, to be concerned with who does/doesn't leave a given agency. When a buyer goes into Google Images and sees your image listed at mystockvectors, and sees a cheaper price from 123RF right next to it, you lose the sale to 123RF.

Set your own prices, and keep 100% of the commission. It seems to me that every move you've made the last year has eventually worked out for you. Keep at it!   8)


 

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