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Author Topic: why do YOU buy at istock???  (Read 6301 times)

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« on: April 01, 2008, 08:09 »
this is a question for those who buy images.  If you are a photographer who wants to 'guess' why buyers buy at istock, please start a new thread.

For those of you who buy images (i think they are a few designers on here), I am really curious why you buy at istock.  They sure seem to have the largest market share for buyers, but they don't have the largest market share of submitters and I am wondering how they managed that, or what attracts buyers?????

« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2008, 08:29 »
As a buyer (also photographer) I mostly buy at istock and some at dramstime. Istock is preferred because they have what others don't have. For example I need Egyptian image of god Osiris and I find best images on Istock. Quality is best on istock and with zoom viewer you can see for yourself with all details.

Next, istock has best search engine for multiple word guess. Also because my english isn't well enough it search also synonimes.

I hope that my reasons help you for what you need it for.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 08:34 by dbajurin »

« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2008, 08:31 »
Even though I am a submitter, I have purchased files from iStock. Most of what I have bought has been flash files for my website since I know nothing about flash. No other of the big stock sites offer that. Plus it is real easy to buy credits with your account balance.


« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2008, 09:24 »
I only buy at StockXpert. I figure if I'm going to buy, I might as well do it from one of the highest-paying sites. If I buy at StockXpert, the contributor gets 50%, as opposed to istock's 20-40%.

When I go buy images, they are for a variety of projects. I bought some zebra images for a tradeshow display, I bought one of Gregor's backgrounds for a website header, lots of people images, especially female portraits for a recent project for a medical testing product, and some landscape images that are being placed into photos of LCD TVs to make it look like the tvs are turned on.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 09:27 by helix7 »


« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2008, 09:40 »
I buy rarely, but when I have bought it was to get holiday borders for my Christmas cards.  I bought mainly from DT, but also picked up a couple of exclusive ones from IS because there was nothing very similar elsewhere.   

FWIW, those of you who do borders, there is room on the other sites for some more Christmas borders, particularly holly, pine, and especially poinsetta...

« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2008, 09:51 »
The odd time I have purchased, I try to do it from StockXpert so the artist gets the most bang for the buck.

« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2008, 11:49 »
1. They often have just what I'm looking for among their exclusive photos, but trust me, I usually try to find it elsewhere first

2. I always buy for web, so I like the price of the smallest size: $1. A subscription is out of the question and some other agencies charge much more than that for a web-size photo

3. Being a contributor I know they take more care than any other agency to ensure their files are legal, which gives me a lot of confidence when I publish

4. I keep getting free credits whether from a promotion they're doing or from the code on the back of the staff business cards

« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2008, 21:23 »
We used to buy at istock but don't any longer - we purchase roughly 10 or so images a day in my company - we began to look around last year with the 2007 increase - through 2007 we bought about half at istock and half elsewhere - with the Jan 2008 raise we are forbidden to buy from istock without prior approval - since January we have only purchased one file at istock ... and the truth is we have realised that except for a few vectors (we don't use flash files etc) we don't even miss it - the quality and choice out there on the other micro sites is just as good so i doubt we will ever go back to istock ... and with all the technical problems they seem to have all the time - why bother?   

« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2008, 06:20 »
Im i photographer only, but sometimes i had to buy photos for my friends designers. Istock is last place where i would like to buy, but at the end most photos i bought  there. They have better quality  especially if you need for printing, easier to find what you looking for. recently i bought photos from 123rf and they are not suitable for printing since photos of 12MP(not isolation) was heavy only 550kb completely wash out details. from Dreams time i bought two photos, they are unnecessarily oversharpened with halos, also not suitable for printing. I bought one from Sxpert and it was ok. Against my will I had to buy 8 photos from Istock and all of them are good.
 If you have decent budget for project, price difference is not that huge if you could get what you want.

« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2008, 07:29 »
I found Istock in 2004 through a Google search and started buying because the prices were right and they had subject content you couldn't get elsewhere.

After they instituted the best match a couple years ago, I started buying from Dreamtime when I couldn't find what I wanted from Istock fast enough.  I have accounts at Istock and Dreamstime.  If the file I want is available at both sites, I'll download it at the cheaper one. 

I had a situation a few months back where the subject matter I needed was only at Bigstock.  I forwarded that information over to the client for future reference since they decided to hold off on the project for a while.

Long term, I think it's the missing content rather than the prices that will lose more business for Istock.  Their upload limits restrict the professionals not the casual contributor.

As for quality, I'm firmly convinced that any of the major sites would refund your money if you found the quality lacking and complained. 

« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2008, 17:44 »
I used to have a corporate account on istock for a company I did work for. We chose istock because of the easy ability to add credits when needed and the general overall quality. Not being "regular downloaders" we didn't want to get sucked into subscription plans we would never fully utilize.

Here is a short list of things I bought. Note that these are "specific" searches as opposed to flowers & sunsets & stuff. In case some of you wonder what some buyers look for.

Oil platform - style of the platform mattered

A certain type of cell tower (it was the construction method in the tower that was important - only one style would work)

5 year old (approximate age) smiling clean cut blond boy wearing a red shirt, looking straight at camera, isolated on white (as if he was about to play with toys). In the image, I needed to comp in a new toy prototype. Found exactly what I wanted on istock.
Workboat or barge with railing

One of those red UK phone booths on white or one I could easily cut

Particular shot of Canada Flag. I needed a sort of a slightly downward view to comp into an image to replace a USA flag. Was hard to find - that's why I have a problem with reviewers who say "too many of this". If they are good, never too many.

A vintage toaster

Single knife and fork vertical aspect - wish it would have been shot on black with proper studio lighting, but took the isolated on white and fixed it.

Good looking raw steak

A cello wrapped gift basket - was for web so contents did not matter too much. Fluffy cellophane wrapping and big bow were what mattered. Had to change color of bow.

Antarctica blue water, blue sky, and icebergs

Pile of diamonds or CZs (no luck on that one - they were all crap on every service - wound up hooking up with a gem broker and shooting them myself)

About 90% of the needs were fulfilled by istock during the course of my relationship with  this client. This started about 2005.  The money didn't matter much as long as what I needed was available.  We looked at Shutterstock, but at that time, once you got past the first 3 or 4  pages, you really started seeing "the crap" and we decided against it.Quality much better overall now, and at every service.

« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2008, 18:58 »
I buy some stuff from iStock because they often have good images that the others don't.

If available I buy from 123Rf because you can usually get an 800+ pixel image for 1 credit. I'm usually only buying for website use but even so having a larger image is better for isolating.  I've also bought some stuff from Fotolia.

All of the above have the best zoom-in facilities of the microstocks.


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