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Author Topic: Why do you continue to call them *Agencies*?  (Read 1106 times)

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« on: July 07, 2017, 06:35 »
+6
They are not agencies, they are more like some kind of online supermarkets (of which we are the exploited suppliers).


« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2017, 06:46 »
+3
They are not agencies, they are more like some kind of online supermarkets (of which we are the exploited suppliers).

Nobody is forcing "exploitation" on you.
You can always leave if you don't like the way you are treated.

« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 07:56 »
+4
They are not agencies, they are more like some kind of online supermarkets (of which we are the exploited suppliers).

Nobody is forcing "exploitation" on you.
You can always leave if you don't like the way you are treated.

That is true, for sure. I have left a number of sites of my own free will, mainly because of the low sales and some due to treatment.  But the analogy Chichikov makes is much closer to a supermarket model than a true agency who represents their contributors.  Contributors are the suppliers who are gouged and not represented with a partnership bias.  So I see it much like Chichikov states, but to your point, nobody is handcuffing us to stay. 

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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2017, 07:57 »
+5
'Agencies' is a lot shorter and quicker to say/write than 'some kind of online supermarket'.... so that's probably why.

« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2017, 08:09 »
+2
Perhaps because not everything requires an instant social commentary.

« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2017, 09:03 »
+1
They are not agencies, they are more like some kind of online supermarkets (of which we are the exploited suppliers).

Don't give them ideas.

Remember that, increasingly in supermarkets, suppliers have to pay for the best positions on the shelves. Imagine if agencies started to require payments to make sure your images were in the first few pages of search results.

(PS My wife just asked me what I was posting because apparently I had my "smarty pants" expression.)
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 09:46 by namussi »

« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2017, 13:56 »
+2
They are not agencies, they are more like some kind of online supermarkets (of which we are the exploited suppliers).

Absolutely correct, they've simply hijacked the term "agency" because it attracts photographers.    A real agent is someone who represents you and your work, promotes it, and tries to secure the best price for it, in return for an agreed-upon commission.  Microstock 'agencies' are basically big warehouses - you're allowed to put your product on shelf, and customers can come in and search for something they want.   The so-called 'agency' does nothing but facilitate the transaction, in fact it can be almost totally automated.  In return, it keeps as much of the money as it thinks it can get away with, while preventing you from knowing what the buyer actually paid. 

« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 15:15 »
+1
They are not agencies, they are more like some kind of online supermarkets (of which we are the exploited suppliers).

Nobody is forcing "exploitation" on you.
You can always leave if you don't like the way you are treated.

Well, the question was Why do you continue to call them *Agencies*?
I have worked for 40 years with agencies and Microstock companies are all what you want but not *agencies*.

Supermarket suppliers are not forced to work with supermarkets, but they work with them anyway even if they are exploited
And to leave it is not so easy when you have tenth of thousand images

Did you heard about the stick and the carrot?
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 15:17 by Chichikov »

« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 16:25 »
+4
I do not agree with what said above.
I am really enjoying doing stock video and a little of photo.
If "agencies" did not exist I would have to try to market my videos by myself, spending probably 70% of my time pitching for customers, 5% invoicing, 24.5% running after payments from my customers (if I had any), and 0.5% of my time doing what I like: shooting and doing post production.
In other words if agencies did not exist I would be forced to do commissioned work, and I hate that, so I probably would not be in this market

« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2017, 16:36 »
+1
They are not agencies, they are more like some kind of online supermarkets (of which we are the exploited suppliers).

Nobody is forcing "exploitation" on you.
You can always leave if you don't like the way you are treated.

Well, the question was Why do you continue to call them *Agencies*?
I have worked for 40 years with agencies and Microstock companies are all what you want but not *agencies*.

Supermarket suppliers are not forced to work with supermarkets, but they work with them anyway even if they are exploited
And to leave it is not so easy when you have tenth of thousand images

Did you heard about the stick and the carrot?

Ok then!
- Microstock companies are "exploiting" contributors
- Supermarkets are "exploiting" their suppliers,

then what?

- Supermarket suppliers (those "exploited" by the supermarkets) are "exploiting", in return, the farmers they get their produce from?
- Travel companies are "exploiting" hotel owners?
- Car manufacturers are "exploiting" their parts suppliers?
- Apple and and Samsung are "exploiting" their electronic components suppliers?
- Best Buy or MediaMarkt are "exploiting", in return, Apple and Samsung when they sell their products?
...

Common, man!

I am not bothered by the name you want to give to microstock companies, I'm rather bothered by your Marxist view of a very free and open market (maybe one of the few left without government licensing and regulations).
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 16:53 by Zero Talent »

« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2017, 16:38 »
+1
Very well said!
I was trying to formulate something similar, but you said it much better than me

« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2017, 16:40 »
+3
I do not agree with what said above.
I am really enjoying doing stock video and a little of photo.
If "agencies" did not exist I would have to try to market my videos by myself, spending probably 70% of my time pitching for customers, 5% invoicing, 24.5% running after payments from my customers (if I had any), and 0.5% of my time doing what I like: shooting and doing post production.
In other words if agencies did not exist I would be forced to do commissioned work, and I hate that, so I probably would not be in this market

agree! We all know how symbio stock (owned and ran by the artists)  worked out for us in the past  :-\



« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2017, 21:03 »
0
Like I said earlier: let's get real.  There's a pretty significant difference between being a supplier to a supermarket, vs. a "contributor" to a microstock "agency".

If you supply a product to a normal retailer, you can negotiate a price, based on your cost of production, and your knowledge of what the retail price will be.   The retailer doesn't insist on paying the same price for every product.  And typically, the retailer's goal isn't to grind you into dust and force you out of business; he wants you to keep supplying him, and knows that to do that, you have to make a profit just like he does.    You face competing suppliers - but there are also a lot of competing retailers you can potentially sell through.

Yes some really big retailers  have a lot of power, but at least all their cards are on the table.  And if you decide you can't make it selling your product through Walmart, you probably have quite a few other options. 

« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2017, 00:01 »
+2
Like I said earlier: let's get real.  There's a pretty significant difference between being a supplier to a supermarket, vs. a "contributor" to a microstock "agency".

If you supply a product to a normal retailer, you can negotiate a price, based on your cost of production, and your knowledge of what the retail price will be.   The retailer doesn't insist on paying the same price for every product.  And typically, the retailer's goal isn't to grind you into dust and force you out of business; he wants you to keep supplying him, and knows that to do that, you have to make a profit just like he does.    You face competing suppliers - but there are also a lot of competing retailers you can potentially sell through.

Yes some really big retailers  have a lot of power, but at least all their cards are on the table.  And if you decide you can't make it selling your product through Walmart, you probably have quite a few other options.
You have a very rosy view of the way supermarkets often behave. I don't think an Agencies goal is to grind people into the dust why should the care either way? Cost of production is pretty irrelevant in pricing decisions supply and demand is what matters.

« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2017, 01:20 »
+2
True! an agency is a proper representative and in my opinion the only ones qualifying for being called an agency today are the smaller type of boutique agencies. Microstock is supermarkets and Getty is a deli-supermarket.

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« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2017, 02:23 »
0
...the only ones qualifying for being called an agency today are the smaller type of boutique agencies.

Is that a diplomatic way of saying 'the ones that don't sell very much'.. or is there a bit more to your definition?  ;D

« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2017, 02:55 »
+2
The worst thing is that several of the sites act like a reasonable agency but we the suppliers ruin the market by supplying other sites that obviously exploit us.  I would have no problem only supplying sites that pay us 50% but unfortunately, thousands of contributors are willing to accept 15% to 19%.

50% has always seemed reasonable to me and some sites have thrived with that rate but how much better would they do if more of us took action and only supplied them?  I'm in if everyone else is but I know, having been a member of this forum for over a decade, there's no chance of that happening.  Some people here complain constantly while supplying istock for less than 20%.


« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2017, 02:56 »
+1
They are by definition agencies whether they are good agencies or poor agencies is a different question. Microstock may or may not be poor but the business model is completely different to supermarkets as they do not even do retail.


 

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