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Author Topic: Sales have tanked big time  (Read 71990 times)

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« Reply #825 on: December 15, 2011, 15:38 »
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...I'd like to point out that it is still feasible that they may not actually be getting hit hard financially because best match matches may simply be shifting searches through to other contributors that may not be active on any internet forums hence we really are left in the dark as to how good or bad their sales really are - i find this frustrating...
That's true, there are several people that used to post a lot here but stopped after they went exclusive.  Until they come here and tell us they are also experiencing a sales slump, I'm not convinced that things are as gloomy with istock as some here would like.

There's also the fact that more and more contributors have joined istock and we might be suffering from dilution but istock could still be doing OK overall.  It looks like they have lost a lot of business to SS but they might be doing well enough to give them the impression that their strategy is working.

If things were really as bad as they seem, wouldn't they be doing more about it?


KB

« Reply #826 on: December 15, 2011, 17:13 »
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There's also the fact that more and more contributors have joined istock and we might be suffering from dilution but istock could still be doing OK overall.  It looks like they have lost a lot of business to SS but they might be doing well enough to give them the impression that their strategy is working.

If their revenues are increasing even slightly year over year, and their margins have improved (which they undoubtedly have, greatly, this being the first year of the new bracketed commission levels), then as far as H&F is concerned their strategy is working. We all know they don't give a flippin' @!#$ about how contributors are doing, or how damaging their actions are to the long term viability of their business. In 2012 they should be able to report huge balance sheet improvements throughout Getty, and dump the business off on some company or entity that doesn't thoroughly do their homework.

Assuming the economy doesn't crumble first, I think the odds are high that H&F will unload Getty next year.

mlwinphoto

« Reply #827 on: December 15, 2011, 21:47 »
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If you think you have it bad.....I've had one measly (22 cent commission) sale in 4 weeks....came to a grinding halt Nov 17....to add insult to injury due to the bugs I have no idea if this is actually occurring as others have been reporting abnormally bad sales as well....is it me or is it iStock??   Yes, I have a small port but ebb and flow is not a reason I want to hear as it has never been close to being this bad.  And, other sites are doing as expected.  I've sent a request in to CR to look into this for me but I don't have alot of faith that it will be done.

Thank goodness for RM.....

I'm done venting, back to the bottle.

« Reply #828 on: December 17, 2011, 00:21 »
0
...I'd like to point out that it is still feasible that they may not actually be getting hit hard financially because best match matches may simply be shifting searches through to other contributors that may not be active on any internet forums hence we really are left in the dark as to how good or bad their sales really are - i find this frustrating...
That's true, there are several people that used to post a lot here but stopped after they went exclusive.  Until they come here and tell us they are also experiencing a sales slump, I'm not convinced that things are as gloomy with istock as some here would like.

There's also the fact that more and more contributors have joined istock and we might be suffering from dilution but istock could still be doing OK overall.  It looks like they have lost a lot of business to SS but they might be doing well enough to give them the impression that their strategy is working.

If things were really as bad as they seem, wouldn't they be doing more about it?

I noticed that Lisegagne, the star Istockphoto contributor, passed the 1 million sales mark in May 2010.  She crossed the 500,000 mark three years before, which means that her images must have been selling at least 166,000 times (and due to growth being exponential, more like 200,000 times.)  

Well, her Istockphoto page still shows her at 1,100,000+, which means that at the very least, she has yet to cross the 1,200,000 mark, despite 1.6 years since she crossed the 1 million mark, which suggests that her sales have slowed down (at least 20% but perhaps more likely more), despite her having 7,808 images (I remember her having something like 5,900 images around two years ago.  Of course, it probably doesn't bother her that much to go from perhaps $1 million a year to perhaps $500,000 to $700,000 a year, but its still a noticeable decrease.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 00:25 by Skylinehunter »

« Reply #829 on: December 17, 2011, 01:35 »
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If you think you have it bad.....I've had one measly (22 cent commission) sale in 4 weeks....came to a grinding halt Nov 17....to add insult to injury due to the bugs I have no idea if this is actually occurring as others have been reporting abnormally bad sales as well....is it me or is it iStock??   Yes, I have a small port but ebb and flow is not a reason I want to hear as it has never been close to being this bad.  And, other sites are doing as expected.  I've sent a request in to CR to look into this for me but I don't have alot of faith that it will be done.

Thank goodness for RM.....

I'm done venting, back to the bottle.

I think that week is when everyone's came crashing to a halt, from the reports on the forums, and it was that week that downloads stopped being reported for some time.  I also believe something happened around that time, beyond a general slowdown (my own shows no downloads for two weeks, although the individual lines show DLs not reflected in the total).  Too many people have reported the same thing.  They don't seem to be dealing with CR requests much.  I've a phone call in that went directly to voicemail and was never returned almost a week ago, and several CR reports, and others have reported as such on the forums as well.  Given that they closed off another week without any comment on the bugs or responses to anything, I don't think they're paying a whole lot of attention to CR requests.  It really shows their contempt for their contributor base. 

lagereek

« Reply #830 on: December 17, 2011, 02:06 »
0
...I'd like to point out that it is still feasible that they may not actually be getting hit hard financially because best match matches may simply be shifting searches through to other contributors that may not be active on any internet forums hence we really are left in the dark as to how good or bad their sales really are - i find this frustrating...
That's true, there are several people that used to post a lot here but stopped after they went exclusive.  Until they come here and tell us they are also experiencing a sales slump, I'm not convinced that things are as gloomy with istock as some here would like.

There's also the fact that more and more contributors have joined istock and we might be suffering from dilution but istock could still be doing OK overall.  It looks like they have lost a lot of business to SS but they might be doing well enough to give them the impression that their strategy is working.

If things were really as bad as they seem, wouldn't they be doing more about it?


I think you could be absoloutely right on this one!  The overall picture might not be as bad at all, as some will have it and all these graphs, etc, well theyre not realy giving any indication at all.

I think they are doing quite well with the Vettas/agency files, etc, or else as you say, they would do something about it and sure as hell, so would H&F, if anything.
Their strategy is probably going according to plan and so what?

Only, they can do that without my cooperation. Not interested.

« Reply #831 on: December 17, 2011, 05:01 »
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After reading here for weeks or better month I want to let you know my two cents ...

... I understand that a lot of independent as well as exclusive IS distributors are frustrated ... mainly if the (nearly unbelievable) number of bugs/problems on the site are coming hand in hand with a drop/decrease of sales.

But believe me - there are at least as many contributors who are facing a huge increase in their IS income. Thanks god I am one of these, I doubled my income in 2011 and I easily made the 40.000 RCs which means that I am having now the royalities of the gold canister while I am going to stay officialy silver for some months longer. And ... I only observed the german speaking forum on IS - there are lots of contris who made even stronger steps upwards, three of the people Im talking to regulary made this year even the step from silver to diamond (means that they got more than 150.000 RCs...).

And... to avoid any comments from the beginning - I am for sure not one of these "woojay - thank you iStock for everything"-people, nor the other very succesful contris Im talking to are it. We are all critical, we hate the perfomance and especially the "communication" from iStock to us - but we are making good, some of us really good money.

If you read the monthly sales threads carefully you will find out, that it are mainly diamond/gold contris who arent uploading a lot that are reporting decreasing royalites - but I am very sure that there is the same number of cintributors who are uploading regulary and a lot and are doing extremely well.

I think you should consider this in your overall discussion about iStock ... there are problems, no question. But there are still a lot of people with good and increasing sales, so I think its a bit to early to send out invitations for the iStock funeral...
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 05:06 by guenterguni »

« Reply #832 on: December 17, 2011, 05:17 »
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That's interesting. May I ask what genre you supply and how long you have been contributing?

« Reply #833 on: December 17, 2011, 05:19 »
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That's interesting. May I ask what genre you supply and how long you have been contributing?

I started uploading in November 2007. And just click on the iStock symbol below my post and you see my portfolio.

... and, if you think my increase of income is only because some of my images are quite rare: the three german speaking colleagues who made it all in 2011 from silver to diamond royalities are all doing total different things: one ONLY studio shots, one ONLY lifestyle/people and one mostly architecture/landscape. For me personally this is the proof that it you upload a good number of decent quality images regulary (for my opinion a minimum of 500, maybe 600 images a year) there is still substantial growth possible.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 05:27 by guenterguni »

ShadySue

« Reply #834 on: December 17, 2011, 05:43 »
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That's interesting. May I ask what genre you supply and how long you have been contributing?

I started uploading in November 2007. And just click on the iStock symbol below my post and you see my portfolio.

... and, if you think my increase of income is only because some of my images are quite rare: the three german speaking colleagues who made it all in 2011 from silver to diamond royalities are all doing total different things: one ONLY studio shots, one ONLY lifestyle/people and one mostly architecture/landscape. For me personally this is the proof that it you upload a good number of decent quality images regulary (for my opinion a minimum of 500, maybe 600 images a year) there is still substantial growth possible.

Congrats on your sales this year: but it has to be said that it's not your sales from this year which have caused the huge bump. At least, not your most recent 400. Another feature of the current iStock is that in general it takes much longer for images to be noticed.

« Reply #835 on: December 17, 2011, 05:46 »
0
That's interesting. May I ask what genre you supply and how long you have been contributing?

I started uploading in November 2007. And just click on the iStock symbol below my post and you see my portfolio.

... and, if you think my increase of income is only because some of my images are quite rare: the three german speaking colleagues who made it all in 2011 from silver to diamond royalities are all doing total different things: one ONLY studio shots, one ONLY lifestyle/people and one mostly architecture/landscape. For me personally this is the proof that it you upload a good number of decent quality images regulary (for my opinion a minimum of 500, maybe 600 images a year) there is still substantial growth possible.

Congrats on your sales this year: but it has to be said that it's not your sales from this year which have caused the huge bump. At least, not your most recent 400. Another feature of the current iStock is that in general it takes much longer for images to be noticed.


thanks for the congrats - but you are wrong, the succes is coming ONLY from the images I uploaded in 2011. More than 65 % (!!!) of my royalites made this year are coming from images uploaded in 2011.

lagereek

« Reply #836 on: December 17, 2011, 05:56 »
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True!  I know 2 exclusive diamons and 1 gold, exclusive ( not much but anyways),  all three are doing really bad, down by 40% or something, at least they say so.

but, they in their turn know a few silver and bronze contributors who as you say have doubled their income. Might be a part of the new strategy? to make sure and invest in tomorrows photographers. If they can steer away revenues from independants they can also steer it towards the low cannisters.

Boy, what a shamble, really, its like robbing Peter to pay Paul,  shabby and dodgy business, this is.

« Reply #837 on: December 17, 2011, 06:02 »
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True!  I know 2 exclusive diamons and 1 gold, exclusive ( not much but anyways),  all three are doing really bad, down by 40% or something, at least they say so.

but, they in their turn know a few silver and bronze contributors who as you say have doubled their income. Might be a part of the new strategy? to make sure and invest in tomorrows photographers. If they can steer away revenues from independants they can also steer it towards the low cannisters.

Boy, what a shamble, really, its like robbing Peter to pay Paul,  shabby and dodgy business, this is.

This may be right, but dont forget, that these people are changing sometimes within only ten month from silver to diamond (as my three examples did) or at least from silver to gold royalities (as I did for example). This means that they aerent longer "cheap" contributors for iStock... and on the other hand there are a lot of diamond contris who have been fallen back even to silver royalites - which means that from next year on they are now "cheap" contributors. I personally think that the year 2012 will show for the first time how iStock reacts on this ... maybe the winners of this year are the losers of 2012 and vice versa? I dont know ... My posts should only illustrate that (in opposite to the overall atmosphere here in this forum) not everything and not for all iStock is doing bad. Except the site perfomance and the communication - in this cases everything is bad in fact.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 06:09 by guenterguni »

« Reply #838 on: December 17, 2011, 06:12 »
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Well, congratulations indeed GuenterGuni - and nice portfolio - I'm not showing quite that degree of success, being a Gold on 30% and (barring a Christmas miracle) not going to reach the 40,000 RCs needed for the next level this year, but even so I'm going to get an increase in annual earnings of something between 25-30% over 2010, which is none too shabby.

So well done you!  And you seem to have a lot of Vetta/Agency images, perhaps that's the key...

ShadySue

« Reply #839 on: December 17, 2011, 06:18 »
0
That's interesting. May I ask what genre you supply and how long you have been contributing?

I started uploading in November 2007. And just click on the iStock symbol below my post and you see my portfolio.

... and, if you think my increase of income is only because some of my images are quite rare: the three german speaking colleagues who made it all in 2011 from silver to diamond royalities are all doing total different things: one ONLY studio shots, one ONLY lifestyle/people and one mostly architecture/landscape. For me personally this is the proof that it you upload a good number of decent quality images regulary (for my opinion a minimum of 500, maybe 600 images a year) there is still substantial growth possible.

Congrats on your sales this year: but it has to be said that it's not your sales from this year which have caused the huge bump. At least, not your most recent 400. Another feature of the current iStock is that in general it takes much longer for images to be noticed.


thanks for the congrats - but you are wrong, the succes is coming ONLY from the images I uploaded in 2011. More than 65 % (!!!) of my royalites made this year are coming from images uploaded in 2011.

OK, I didn't go on to your third page from new, and you do have a well-selling rainforest image. Ha! All my rainforest photos were rejected for 'flat light', so I haven't even tried for 18 months. Well done!
I'm clearly not uploading the right stuff: 730 pics this year and my RCs are only c400 up on last year (miles below 35% target). But to be fair, I've been focussing on Alamy this year, and next year have a 'vague intention' of checking out some smaller, more specialist RM agencies.

lagereek

« Reply #840 on: December 17, 2011, 06:20 »
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True!  I know 2 exclusive diamons and 1 gold, exclusive ( not much but anyways),  all three are doing really bad, down by 40% or something, at least they say so.

but, they in their turn know a few silver and bronze contributors who as you say have doubled their income. Might be a part of the new strategy? to make sure and invest in tomorrows photographers. If they can steer away revenues from independants they can also steer it towards the low cannisters.

Boy, what a shamble, really, its like robbing Peter to pay Paul,  shabby and dodgy business, this is.

This may be right, but dont forget, that these people are becoming sometimes within only ten month from silver to diamond (as my three examples did) or at lest from silver to gold royalities (as I did for example). This means that they aerent longer "cheap" contributors for iStock... and on the other hand there are a lot of diamond contris who have been fallen back even to silver royalites - which means that from next year on they are now "cheap" contributors. I personally think that the year 2012 will show for the first time how iStock reacts on this ... maybe the winners of this year are the loosers of 2012 and vice versa? I dont know ... My posts should only illustrate that (in opposite to the overall atmosphere here in this forum) not everything and not for all iStock is doing bad. Except the site perfomance and the communication - in this cases everything is bad in fact.


Yep!  well, Im an independant diamond myself but I and my fellow independants here, we certainly cant earn any money with them, thats for sure. I stopped uploading many months back and have removed lots of top-sellers because I dont want them to go to TS.

The absoloute fundamental rules of any agency, may it be an old trad-agency, RM, RF, micro, whatever, should be picture-quality, content, etc but when I saw, IS, giving prefferences to names, rang, etc, accepting tons of generic, irrelevant material, etc,  well, that was game over for me.

Funny this, because when I upload the the Getty-RM, house-collection, either using my private name or business-pseudo,  they are almost frantic! about picture quality, conceptual and content.
Its like night and day to IS, differant people I suppose, at least they are knowlegable, thats for sure and house lots of "real" editors, ADs, etc.

« Reply #841 on: December 17, 2011, 06:24 »
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... but you are wrong, the succes is coming ONLY from the images I uploaded in 2011. More than 65 % (!!!) of my royalites made this year are coming from images uploaded in 2011.

What you fail to mention is that you have increased your portfolio size by 138% (!!!) in 2011.

More specifically you've done 138% more work in the last 10 months than you had previously achieved in the preceeding 3.3 years combined. Hardly surprising that you are experiencing growth.

Let's see how long you can keep it up for __ you'll need to upload nearly 2500 new images in 2012 and 6000 in 2013. Good luck with that.

« Reply #842 on: December 17, 2011, 06:30 »
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double post, sorry.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 06:33 by guenterguni »

« Reply #843 on: December 17, 2011, 06:32 »
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... but you are wrong, the succes is coming ONLY from the images I uploaded in 2011. More than 65 % (!!!) of my royalites made this year are coming from images uploaded in 2011.

What you fail to mention is that you have increased your portfolio size by 138% (!!!) in 2011.

More specifically you've done 138% more work in the last 10 months than you had previously achieved in the preceeding 3.3 years combined. Hardly surprising that you are experiencing growth.

Let's see how long you can keep it up for __ you'll need to upload nearly 2500 new images in 2012 and 6000 in 2013. Good luck with that.

Yes, I uploaded 1000 images this year - the main reason for this high number was the introduction of the Editorial collection - 480 of the 1000 images are Editorials. The number of new images in the regular collections is about the same than in 2010. But... and you are right - I didnt upload too much in the first two years, and this was for sure also the reason why my growth in the first years was a slow one.

And... yes, the Editorial collection was one of the reasons of my good success this year, 18,5 % of my royalties are coming out ot this new collection - and with the fact that these images dont need time for post-processing this seems to be the easiest made money for me.

« Reply #844 on: December 17, 2011, 06:39 »
0
...I'd like to point out that it is still feasible that they may not actually be getting hit hard financially because best match matches may simply be shifting searches through to other contributors that may not be active on any internet forums hence we really are left in the dark as to how good or bad their sales really are - i find this frustrating...
That's true, there are several people that used to post a lot here but stopped after they went exclusive.  Until they come here and tell us they are also experiencing a sales slump, I'm not convinced that things are as gloomy with istock as some here would like.

There's also the fact that more and more contributors have joined istock and we might be suffering from dilution but istock could still be doing OK overall.  It looks like they have lost a lot of business to SS but they might be doing well enough to give them the impression that their strategy is working.

If things were really as bad as they seem, wouldn't they be doing more about it?

I noticed that Lisegagne, the star Istockphoto contributor, passed the 1 million sales mark in May 2010.  She crossed the 500,000 mark three years before, which means that her images must have been selling at least 166,000 times (and due to growth being exponential, more like 200,000 times.)  

Well, her Istockphoto page still shows her at 1,100,000+, which means that at the very least, she has yet to cross the 1,200,000 mark, despite 1.6 years since she crossed the 1 million mark, which suggests that her sales have slowed down (at least 20% but perhaps more likely more), despite her having 7,808 images (I remember her having something like 5,900 images around two years ago.  Of course, it probably doesn't bother her that much to go from perhaps $1 million a year to perhaps $500,000 to $700,000 a year, but its still a noticeable decrease.

Don't mistake sales with income. Three years ago files were priced at 1, 2 3... (or 1, 3 5... I'm not sure) and now are more expensive.  It's sure that sales have slowed down, and that files that passed from "regular" to E+, Vetta and Agency sell way less. But that doesn't mean she's losing income (I really don't know: maybe yes, maybe not ),  even with the ugly reduction from 45% to 30% for Vetta and Agency.

« Reply #845 on: December 17, 2011, 08:33 »
0
... but you are wrong, the succes is coming ONLY from the images I uploaded in 2011. More than 65 % (!!!) of my royalites made this year are coming from images uploaded in 2011.

What you fail to mention is that you have increased your portfolio size by 138% (!!!) in 2011.

More specifically you've done 138% more work in the last 10 months than you had previously achieved in the preceeding 3.3 years combined. Hardly surprising that you are experiencing growth.

Let's see how long you can keep it up for __ you'll need to upload nearly 2500 new images in 2012 and 6000 in 2013. Good luck with that.

Right - if you don't do anything for 3 years and suddenly ramp up, of course you'll see growth.  However Sue is right - out of the last 200 images since September, most are at 0 sales, there are a couple of 1s and maybe 1 or 2 over that.  So uploading lots isn't necessarily paying off.

« Reply #846 on: December 17, 2011, 10:17 »
0
...I'd like to point out that it is still feasible that they may not actually be getting hit hard financially because best match matches may simply be shifting searches through to other contributors that may not be active on any internet forums hence we really are left in the dark as to how good or bad their sales really are - i find this frustrating...
That's true, there are several people that used to post a lot here but stopped after they went exclusive.  Until they come here and tell us they are also experiencing a sales slump, I'm not convinced that things are as gloomy with istock as some here would like.

There's also the fact that more and more contributors have joined istock and we might be suffering from dilution but istock could still be doing OK overall.  It looks like they have lost a lot of business to SS but they might be doing well enough to give them the impression that their strategy is working.

If things were really as bad as they seem, wouldn't they be doing more about it?

I noticed that Lisegagne, the star Istockphoto contributor, passed the 1 million sales mark in May 2010.  She crossed the 500,000 mark three years before, which means that her images must have been selling at least 166,000 times (and due to growth being exponential, more like 200,000 times.)  

Well, her Istockphoto page still shows her at 1,100,000+, which means that at the very least, she has yet to cross the 1,200,000 mark, despite 1.6 years since she crossed the 1 million mark, which suggests that her sales have slowed down (at least 20% but perhaps more likely more), despite her having 7,808 images (I remember her having something like 5,900 images around two years ago.  Of course, it probably doesn't bother her that much to go from perhaps $1 million a year to perhaps $500,000 to $700,000 a year, but its still a noticeable decrease.

Don't mistake sales with income. Three years ago files were priced at 1, 2 3... (or 1, 3 5... I'm not sure) and now are more expensive.  It's sure that sales have slowed down, and that files that passed from "regular" to E+, Vetta and Agency sell way less. But that doesn't mean she's losing income (I really don't know: maybe yes, maybe not ),  even with the ugly reduction from 45% to 30% for Vetta and Agency.

Well considering she went to graphic design school at 36 at some community college in Canada trying to figure out what to do with her life, then just picked up a camera and found istock ;), she probably is not complaining about what ever decreased income you have figured out for her. 

« Reply #847 on: December 17, 2011, 10:35 »
0
... but you are wrong, the succes is coming ONLY from the images I uploaded in 2011. More than 65 % (!!!) of my royalites made this year are coming from images uploaded in 2011.

Right - if you don't do anything for 3 years and suddenly ramp up, of course you'll see growth.  However Sue is right - out of the last 200 images since September, most are at 0 sales, there are a couple of 1s and maybe 1 or 2 over that.  So uploading lots isn't necessarily paying off.

Well, I uploaded in 2010 more than 600 images... and in the beginning of 2010 Ive been a bronze contributor with only a small allowance of images to upload. 600 new images in a year may mean "not doing anything" for you - for me it was a lot of work (beside my main business) and if I check the stats there are less than 2000 contributors who uploaded more than me in this year. Of course 1000 images is substantial more than 600, but as I mentioned nearly 500 of them have been Editorials.

Anway, Ive said what I wanted to say - I only wanted to add another aspect to the discussion which is bringing one argument against istock after the other without paying attention that there is another side too... and only wanted to highlight that there are still contributors with a good growth.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 10:43 by guenterguni »

lagereek

« Reply #848 on: December 17, 2011, 10:39 »
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This entire subject is so beaten to sh+t !  that every post, every subject, all the money talks just becomes more and more absurd. Then we always get these little Istockers trying to justify and patch up.

In just 3 years time, we will see who is laughing.

« Reply #849 on: December 17, 2011, 10:44 »
0
Just to add some personal info for all of you who are burying IS:
I am a silver contributor at IS, started out the year at 25% and just hit the 35% mark.  I am still far away from the the gold canister (at least 6 months).
I see an 8% average MONTHLY growth in income.
My monthly RPI is steady at ~55c.
December is a blast so far for me.


 

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