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Author Topic: 123rf sharing commissions with parent company Inmagine  (Read 17548 times)

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fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer

« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2014, 14:50 »
+3
So, hypothetically, what is the true royalty on an Inmagine sale for an image uploaded to 123RF? I'm supposed to be getting 50% on a $10 sale. Is it 50% after Inmagine takes their 50%?

If your royalty rate at 123rf is 50%, you get 50% of 50%, means: 25%.

(please note that Inmagine officially talks about 40%, that depends on the currency the customer buys the image with)


« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2014, 15:36 »
+15
Thank you, Robert, for sharing this information! It is a scandal and actually requires a response from us contributors.

« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2014, 16:02 »
+1
Shutterstock and pond5 have been free of the back door deals so far. dreamstime has a good reputation as well.


I agree with the above statement, except that for stills, Pond5 hardly sells anything.  So that leaves SS and DT.  Anyone can make a living with just SS and DT? 

« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2014, 16:09 »
-9
you still have fotolia,photodune,bigstockphoto. Photodune is very good, sales are increasing there.

i dont upload to canstockphoto, how is that page?

« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2014, 18:01 »
+6
you still have fotolia,photodune,bigstockphoto. Photodune is very good, sales are increasing there.

i dont upload to canstockphoto, how is that page?

Fotolia???? I trust this isn't meant to be a list of places that don't fleece you.

« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2014, 18:12 »
+1
Shutterstock and pond5 have been free of the back door deals so far. dreamstime has a good reputation as well.


I agree with the above statement, except that for stills, Pond5 hardly sells anything.  So that leaves SS and DT.  Anyone can make a living with just SS and DT?

That leaves SS iStock Bigstock and Alamy in my view. They account for 80% of my earnings  ;D

The rest them are a waste of oxygen  :o


« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2014, 18:13 »
+2
you still have fotolia,photodune,bigstockphoto. Photodune is very good, sales are increasing there.

i dont upload to canstockphoto, how is that page?

Photodune?? Only if you can get them to accept images and then their returns are rubbish :(

« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2014, 18:48 »
+4
Shutterstock and pond5 have been free of the back door deals so far. dreamstime has a good reputation as well.


I agree with the above statement, except that for stills, Pond5 hardly sells anything.  So that leaves SS and DT.  Anyone can make a living with just SS and DT?

That leaves SS iStock Bigstock and Alamy in my view. They account for 80% of my earnings  ;D

The rest them are a waste of oxygen  :o

I thought BigStock was in hot water for lower sub rates than SS to everyone who isn't in Bridge program...?

« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2014, 19:48 »
0
I left BigStock when they refused to let me opt out of lowball subs (I wasn't in the bridge program). Fotolia refused to have me back when I left exclusivity. I'm with PhotoDune but I wouldn't recommend them to anyone new

« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2014, 21:23 »
-10
Hi everyone,

I've been following the thread and I hope I would be given the opportunity to jump in and clarify a few matters.

Yes, you're right to view Inmagine as a sister or parent company, whose main product are PREMIUM RM and RF images and have the same shareholders. However, that's where the similarities end -  Inmagine and 123RF do not share manpower, infrastructure, sales or marketing budgets, marketing activities, strategies etc.

Being experienced contributors, you would understand that every business is carried out differently - Inmagine's target audience are customers of a different segment with different needs. With 123RF, we're largely a self-serve, pay before you consume, volume based sales approach. While Inmagine has longer sales cycles, heavily reliant on relationship based sales, requires a lot of extensive image research, travelling and pitching before a client finally gets on board and the customer care that entails after the sale is very protracted, a lot of manual invoicing, mailing and follow up is required even if only a single image was sold.  A majority of Inmagine's customers demand credit terms ranging anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. This is because, Inmagine's own customers (the agencies themselves) have to be paid beforehand. Once they're paid then only Inmagine gets paid.

However, the 123RF Partner Reseller API (the bridge between 123RF and Inmagine) immediately registers a sale whenever Inmagine records an image purchase. 123RF is then committed to pay the commissions to you regardless of the ability of Inmagine to collect payment with credit terms mentioned above.

The image that I'm trying to paint here is:
1. Inmagine's cost of sales is very much different from 123RF's. It's a lot more involved - client visits and servicing are imperative to the business.
2. Inmagine's undertaking of RISK is also very much higher because there is a significant chance that clients might default or even go bust before payments are collected. This is a very real risk during bad economic downturns when a large number of agencies stopped operating.
3. 123RF has to pay commissions upon record of sale and charge Inmagine immediately, but Inmagine has to take a long time to recover the sales as Imagine have to abide by the credit terms given.
4. Inmagine and 123RF are incorporated in different parts of the world, we cannot "merge" the accounting systems between the 2 companies as easily as some might think.

With the 4 points above, I hope you can somewhat relate that we are unable treat the businesses as a single entity. Inmagine has to retain that margin because of a larger cost of sale required to sustain its business. Please also note that we feel that Inmagine should retain itself as an API Partner Reseller because we believe that every sale we can fight for our contributors and keep it within the community would be beneficial and count towards your earnings.

Thanks for lending us your ears.

Alex
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 21:38 by alex123rf »

« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2014, 21:42 »
+16
Hi everyone,

I've been following the thread and I hope I would be given the opportunity to jump in and clarify a few matters.

Yes, you're right to view Inmagine as a sister or parent company, whose main product are PREMIUM RM and RF images and have the same shareholders. However, that's where the similarities end -  Inmagine and 123RF do not share manpower, infrastructure, sales or marketing budgets, marketing activities, strategies etc.

Being experienced contributors, you would understand that every business is carried out differently - Inmagine's target audience are customers of a different segment with different needs. With 123RF, we're largely a self-serve, pay before you consume, volume based sales approach. While Inmagine has longer sales cycles, heavily reliant on relationship based sales, requires a lot of extensive image research, travelling and pitching before a client finally gets on board and the customer care that entails after the sale is very protracted, a lot of manual invoicing, mailing and follow up is required even if only a single image was sold.  A majority of Inmagine's customers demand credit terms ranging anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. This is because, Inmagine's own customers (the agencies themselves) have to be paid beforehand. Once they're paid then only Inmagine gets paid.

However, the 123RF Partner Reseller API (the bridge between 123RF and Inmagine) immediately registers a sale whenever Inmagine records an image purchase. 123RF is then committed to pay the commissions to you regardless of the ability of Inmagine to collect payment with credit terms mentioned above.

The image that I'm trying to paint here is:
1. Inmagine's cost of sales is very much different from 123RF's. It's a lot more involved - client visits and servicing are imperative to the business.
2. Inmagine's undertaking of RISK is also very much higher because there is a significant chance that clients might default or even go bust before payments are collected. This is a very real risk during bad economic downturns when a large number of agencies stopped operating.
3. 123RF has to pay commissions upon record of sale and charge Inmagine immediately, but Inmagine has to take a long time to recover the sales as Imagine have to abide by the credit terms given.
4. Inmagine and 123RF are incorporated in different parts of the world, we cannot "merge" the accounting systems between the 2 companies as easily as some might think.

With the 4 points above, I hope you can somewhat relate that we are unable treat the businesses as a single entity. Inmagine has to retain that margin because of a larger cost of sale required to sustain its business. Please also note that we feel that Inmagine should retain itself as an API Partner Reseller because we believe that every sale we can fight for our contributors and keep it within the community would be beneficial and count towards your earnings.

Thanks for lending us your ears.

Alex

Can we opt out? I don't like being misled and having other contributors "discover" the inequity and only then is it addressed. I'd prefer to not have my work on that site.

« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2014, 22:13 »
+38
How about Inmagine takes their %50, and the contributor gets the rest, as they are doing all the work, from your description.

« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2014, 22:33 »
+45
I don't buy this - I understand it, but it's just not relevant to the royalties we should be paid. The fact that you weren't up front with this arrangement suggests something less than fair, reasonable and ethical - why wasn't this all spelled out in the royalty chart and contributor agreement?

I don't want to argue the details of the costs of the two sites because I don't have the data to do so, however I do not want to participate in these operations where one company gets two bites of the buyer's money before I get any. I want to opt my images out of this deal - I'm already opted out of the API partner deals.

I would suggest that you offer an opt out in the UI so that contributors can know what's going on and choose what to do. If you can't do that, I want my images removed in whatever way you can - I can remove them, but I'd rather not do that if there's something less drastic that can be done.

Switching away from a flat 50% royalty was the first profit-fattening move 123rf made. Now this secret arrangement to bypass the partner opt out and take two chunks out of the image price before paying contributors is a second profit-fattening move. I can see why you like it, but can't you see why the people who create what you sell feel shortchanged and abused by this?

objowl

« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2014, 23:26 »
0
+1

« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2014, 00:39 »
+1
If this is treated as part of the Partner program will opting out of it remove your photos from Inmagine?

« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2014, 00:58 »
+22
Please give us an opt out from inmagine and otherwise make it clear in your royalty structure that commission received is much lower if it comes from inmagine.

You are treating inmagine as a partner royaltywise, so opting out of partner deals should automatically remove all files from inmagine.

If it doesnt, we need an additional opt out.

I am so tired of all these sneaky back door deals. Do the agencies really believe we will never find out?


« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2014, 01:28 »
+16
If you are sister companies and the same shareholders share the revenue, the distribution should be 50% for the contributor, 25% for Inmagine, 25% for 123RF. That way the books are kept apart tidily, the contributors get their fair share, and the shareholders end up with the 50% they should get.

But you weren't really after a fair distribution, were you? Ah *... I am so tired of this crap.


fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer

« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2014, 02:18 »
+20
Sorry, I don't buy it, Alex.

1. You claim Inmagine to be an API Partner Reseller, but offer the 123rf images even if the "API Partners" have been disabled.

2. Even when I found out, you offered to remove the images from the Inmagine search results, but NOT from the site.

3. You claim that it can happen very often that an Inmagine customer doesn't pay. When we did our research, the only payment options have been Paypal and credit card. Paypal offers upfront payment and same goes for most credit cards (if it is not a stolen one).

4. Given that it's true that many of your customers don't seem to pay, should photographers be worried who send their images to Inmagine directly?

5. If you need more manpower and two different bookkeeping systems and back offices, even though 123rf and Inmagine belong to the same company, that's your "problem", not one of yours.

Lightrecorder

« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2014, 02:19 »
+13
Hi Everyone,

We understand your concern and I am glad to report that in the next few days, we will no longer feature your portfolio at any API Partner Reseller site, if you have opted out from the Partner Reseller program.

Thank you,

Alex.

I love it how you offer an opt out, but refuse to change the royalty structure which is the actual scam.

You explanation of the cost is a lot of  :'( as if you are feeling sorry for yourself you are in this business. Talking about risk if a customer defaults. Are you for real? So its ok to take 87.5% for all the work you have to do. How do you think the image is being created? For free? You leave the person doing the actual work with 12,5%. How do you sleep at night, greedy %$&^%.

« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2014, 02:19 »
+4

We understand your concern and I am glad to report that in the next few days, we will no longer feature your portfolio at any API Partner Reseller site, if you have opted out from the Partner Reseller program.

I just wonder and still can't imagine, how come people didn't know about it? Why it looks like some secret and then suddenly boom and oops?!  ::)
Where did you write about % details so your contributors know what they are accepting?

« Reply #46 on: October 31, 2014, 02:42 »
+6
Hi everyone,

I've been following the thread and I hope I would be given the opportunity to jump in and clarify a few matters.

Yes, you're right to view Inmagine as a sister or parent company, whose main product are PREMIUM RM and RF images and have the same shareholders. However, that's where the similarities end -  Inmagine and 123RF do not share manpower, infrastructure, sales or marketing budgets, marketing activities, strategies etc.

Being experienced contributors, you would understand that every business is carried out differently - Inmagine's target audience are customers of a different segment with different needs. With 123RF, we're largely a self-serve, pay before you consume, volume based sales approach. While Inmagine has longer sales cycles, heavily reliant on relationship based sales, requires a lot of extensive image research, travelling and pitching before a client finally gets on board and the customer care that entails after the sale is very protracted, a lot of manual invoicing, mailing and follow up is required even if only a single image was sold.  A majority of Inmagine's customers demand credit terms ranging anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. This is because, Inmagine's own customers (the agencies themselves) have to be paid beforehand. Once they're paid then only Inmagine gets paid.

However, the 123RF Partner Reseller API (the bridge between 123RF and Inmagine) immediately registers a sale whenever Inmagine records an image purchase. 123RF is then committed to pay the commissions to you regardless of the ability of Inmagine to collect payment with credit terms mentioned above.

The image that I'm trying to paint here is:
1. Inmagine's cost of sales is very much different from 123RF's. It's a lot more involved - client visits and servicing are imperative to the business.
2. Inmagine's undertaking of RISK is also very much higher because there is a significant chance that clients might default or even go bust before payments are collected. This is a very real risk during bad economic downturns when a large number of agencies stopped operating.
3. 123RF has to pay commissions upon record of sale and charge Inmagine immediately, but Inmagine has to take a long time to recover the sales as Imagine have to abide by the credit terms given.
4. Inmagine and 123RF are incorporated in different parts of the world, we cannot "merge" the accounting systems between the 2 companies as easily as some might think.

With the 4 points above, I hope you can somewhat relate that we are unable treat the businesses as a single entity. Inmagine has to retain that margin because of a larger cost of sale required to sustain its business. Please also note that we feel that Inmagine should retain itself as an API Partner Reseller because we believe that every sale we can fight for our contributors and keep it within the community would be beneficial and count towards your earnings.

Thanks for lending us your ears.

Alex

Well, you are making a point for why macrostock images are priced significantly higher than microstock. So why are you selling high-res images at $10 through Inmagine then? I somehow doubt that you can pay many client visits and image research from then additional $5 you take out of this. How about pricing those images at $50 - $500 like all other macrostock images you are selling on Inmagine? Because as you say, the higher price is not justified by the images themselves but because of all the additional services and risks you are taking. I might consider it a good idea if you start selling my images for $50 up and might agree that you take a higher share out of those sales for the additional customer services you are providing.

« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2014, 02:50 »
+6
Oh, just another little note: How do the higher cost and risk involved would affect the copyright holders' right to be credited for the images he/she produces?

I can't see why removing the copyright notices from the image is somewhat a requirement to provide client visits and image research, is it?

« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2014, 02:56 »
+5
Well, you are making a point for why macrostock images are priced significantly higher than microstock. So why are you selling high-res images at $10 through Inmagine then? .....


Few months ago I asked InMagine about selling direct. Here's what they said:

"Photos are submitted on a non-exclusive basis. You may submit and continue to sell your photos to other websites and stock photo agencies. However, do take note that under the Inmagine Contributor Agreement, you should not license your photos at a lower price elsewhere."

Sounds interesting, huh? For me it's pretty messy thing in 123RF API case.



Edit. By accident I've just found this:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/123royaltyfree-com/my-pictures-on-inmagine-without-reference-to-my-name/


Looks like nothing changed for 3 years (or more?).

« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 03:33 by Ariene »

« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2014, 03:14 »
+20
Bitterly disappointing Alex. Do you believe this setup (with lack of communication) to be ethical? Its all these silent deals that is making microstock a joke to work in, and ive already started the transition out. I just removed my RM folio from inmagine. My micro images will be removed from 123RF in the coming months. For me personally it all boils down to fairness and trust, both of which are clearly redundant here.


 

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