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Author Topic: Alamy Refunds?  (Read 12550 times)

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« on: March 14, 2016, 14:46 »
0
Every now and then Alamy refunds the money made on a sale from my portfolio back to the purchaser. Typically it will be for a high price sale. So that means they are purchasing the larger file size getting the down load and then asking for a refund. Whats to prevent them from then using the photo and having paid nothing?


« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 14:54 »
+1
I've had a couple of these in the last few months. I assume they found my work cheaper on one of the micro sites and bought a license.

« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 15:00 »
+1
I had a 250$ sale refunded this month the same day it was sold.  Shame as those price sales are rare for me.

ShadySue

« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 15:02 »
0
Search for refunds on the Alamy forum here (I can't seem to make a link to that search, sorry).
There can be lots of reasons for refunds, there can be resales for lower prices (possibly the buyer licenses a lot of files then negotiates a discount) or even occasionally resales for higher prices (I think I had one once).

« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 15:07 »
0
I had one where Alamy simply couldn't get paid after, I think it was 18 months, but it shows on my account as a refund.

« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 15:56 »
0
I had one last year - after a month or 2 they got a refund on a $250 sale and the same image was bought that day for $195 - I presume it was the same buyer and they got some sort of discount and made it retro-active. It still beats .38 by a wide margin but is pretty frustrating. I also have some long standing unpaid sales that Alamy said they will probably never recover.

« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 16:20 »
0
I had one last year - after a month or 2 they got a refund on a $250 sale and the same image was bought that day for $195 - I presume it was the same buyer and they got some sort of discount and made it retro-active. It still beats .38 by a wide margin but is pretty frustrating. I also have some long standing unpaid sales that Alamy said they will probably never recover.

So if the buyer never pays for the downloaded image doesn't Alamy compensate it to the contributor at some point? 

ShadySue

« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 16:23 »
0
I had one last year - after a month or 2 they got a refund on a $250 sale and the same image was bought that day for $195 - I presume it was the same buyer and they got some sort of discount and made it retro-active. It still beats .38 by a wide margin but is pretty frustrating. I also have some long standing unpaid sales that Alamy said they will probably never recover.

So if the buyer never pays for the downloaded image doesn't Alamy compensate it to the contributor at some point?
No.

« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2016, 16:32 »
0
I had one last year - after a month or 2 they got a refund on a $250 sale and the same image was bought that day for $195 - I presume it was the same buyer and they got some sort of discount and made it retro-active. It still beats .38 by a wide margin but is pretty frustrating. I also have some long standing unpaid sales that Alamy said they will probably never recover.

So if the buyer never pays for the downloaded image doesn't Alamy compensate it to the contributor at some point?

Question is why this refund/non pay buyer behavior is possible at Alamy.
I dont have this problem in this volume on other agencies.

« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2016, 16:38 »
+5
The possibility of getting a sale refunded at Alamy in favour of a low priced sale of the same image at a micro site suggests it is probably wise not to have the same images on both Alamy and micros....

Sometimes refunds work the other way - I have had sales refunded and soon afterwards resold for a higher price, clearly after the customer has had a discussion with Alamy sales departement and adjusted the RM liicence to reflect a slightly different usage than  the original sale.

One other reason why Alamy sales may be refunded after many months is simply that the image was not used in the final version of the publication. Publications like textbooks may have a long gestation period and may be subject to many changes in that time before final approval is given by the client. Pictures which have appeared in draft versions, but not in the final publication will often be refunded.   Alamy, at it heart, is a traditional picture agency, and understands that in the long term they will do better business if they bend their sales practice to the practical needs of the clients and will offer refunds for an image which was never actually used.

To answer the OP's original point, there is nothing to physically stop a customer getting a refund and then using the image anyway, no more or less at Alamy than any micro agency, except of course that such a usage would be unethical and illegal.  However, I would suggest that with Alamy, because the community is well-populated with hardened professional togs with many decades of experience,  such illegal use is more likely to be spotted, highlighted and pursued with legal vigour. I'm sure illegal use is sometimes made of images sold through Alamy, but in my opinion such miscreants are chancing their arm in doing so.

« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2016, 20:22 »
0
I had a 250$ sale refunded this month the same day it was sold.  Shame as those price sales are rare for me.

Same here

« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 02:08 »
+5
New wave of refunds! Never ever i can believe that refunded image will not be used by a client. Downloads should be in the list of "no return" products.

« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2018, 06:33 »
+2
New wave of refunds! Never ever i can believe that refunded image will not be used by a client. Downloads should be in the list of "no return" products.
There can be genuine returns if a client rejects an image or the quality is not as expected. I've also seen accidental double downloads where one gets refunded, or a photo sold on one set of license conditions, then relicensed on slightly different terms and the first sale cancelled.

« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2018, 06:54 »
+1
New wave of refunds! Never ever i can believe that refunded image will not be used by a client. Downloads should be in the list of "no return" products.
There can be genuine returns if a client rejects an image or the quality is not as expected. I've also seen accidental double downloads where one gets refunded, or a photo sold on one set of license conditions, then relicensed on slightly different terms and the first sale cancelled.
My last sale of April was also refunded  only to be bought at a cheaper price moments after.

« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2018, 10:27 »
+4
I think what they're doing is basically "renting" images without paying royalties.  The client uses the photo for internal purposes - design mockups, presentations, sales pitches for ad campaigns, or just to develop ideas - in exchange for a sort of "restocking fee"  from which we get nothing.


« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2018, 08:32 »
0
I think what they're doing is basically "renting" images without paying royalties.  The client uses the photo for internal purposes - design mockups, presentations, sales pitches for ad campaigns, or just to develop ideas - in exchange for a sort of "restocking fee"  from which we get nothing.

Wouldn't that be blatantly illegal - which would be very stupid of them because somewhere along the way a "renter" would also be a contributor.  And remember, Alamy's profits fund cancer research, it's not run by some Wall Street shyster who's trying to rip everyone off for personal gain.

« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2018, 13:47 »
0
I get refunds often from Depositphotos which is rubbish considering how cheap the sales are.

Also get them from 123rf

Haven't had any recently from Alamy

« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2018, 14:42 »
0
I think what they're doing is basically "renting" images without paying royalties.  The client uses the photo for internal purposes - design mockups, presentations, sales pitches for ad campaigns, or just to develop ideas - in exchange for a sort of "restocking fee"  from which we get nothing.

Wouldn't that be blatantly illegal - which would be very stupid of them because somewhere along the way a "renter" would also be a contributor.  And remember, Alamy's profits fund cancer research, it's not run by some Wall Street shyster who's trying to rip everyone off for personal gain.

No doubt the TOS would allow this, because it's not a 'sale'.  I don't necessarily think Alamy set out to cheat us by turning 'sales' into 'rentals' - maybe it's something they just sort of slid into by going overboard to please customers.  And over time, they found out it was a source of revenue, so they loosened things up even more.

I don't know the details, I'm just guessing that the customer pays Alamy something for these 'returned' images, and if so, we obviously don't get a cut. 

ShadySue

« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2018, 14:56 »
0
How many refunds have you had which aren't repurchased, even after some time or for a different value, clearly by the same buyer? Compared to sales?

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2018, 21:38 »
0
How many refunds have you had which aren't repurchased, even after some time or for a different value, clearly by the same buyer? Compared to sales?

Not sure if I understand the specific question, but my only Alamy refunds have been purchased at Alamy, same terms, immediately after the refund. (at a lower price) I've never had one refunded and not re-purchased. I don't know if they renegotiated the use or what.

ShadySue

« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2018, 02:42 »
0
How many refunds have you had which aren't repurchased, even after some time or for a different value, clearly by the same buyer? Compared to sales?

Not sure if I understand the specific question, but my only Alamy refunds have been purchased at Alamy, same terms, immediately after the refund. (at a lower price) I've never had one refunded and not re-purchased. I don't know if they renegotiated the use or what.

I was specifically asking stockastic, as s/he seems to have had enough bad experiences with refunds to warrant positing an alternative theory to the explanation regularly given by Alamy on their forum.
Like I said in the other thread, I've had one refund which wasn't rebought, several rebought at higher (?!) or lower (price negotiation due to bulk purchases, applied in retrospect?) and one instance where I had two sales of the same file on the same day to the same buyer, one for a cover one for a small inside use refunded, then rebought as a larger image inside only, for an intermediate price. Two uses of the same file often garner a discount, and presumably this was an editorial change of direction.
The really curious ones are where they are refunded and rebought for the same, or near same (currency fluctuation) price, sometimes on the same day. Sometimes, these have a subtly different usage appended, but sometimes the use is the same. (RM)

Sometimes the resales are the same day or nearly as the refund, sometimes quite a while later, but the use is the same or so similar as to make it 'extremely likely' that it was the same buyer.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 12:10 by ShadySue »

« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2018, 01:22 »
+1
No doubt the TOS would allow this, because it's not a 'sale'.  I don't necessarily think Alamy set out to cheat us by turning 'sales' into 'rentals' - maybe it's something they just sort of slid into by going overboard to please customers.  And over time, they found out it was a source of revenue, so they loosened things up even more.

I don't know the details, I'm just guessing that the customer pays Alamy something for these 'returned' images, and if so, we obviously don't get a cut.

So you don't actually have a single shred of evidence that any such thing is happening, outside of what goes on in your vivid imagination?

I notice that you ignored my point about the risk that news of such  a scheme would be bound to leak out eventually.

« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2018, 13:06 »
+1
No doubt the TOS would allow this, because it's not a 'sale'.  I don't necessarily think Alamy set out to cheat us by turning 'sales' into 'rentals' - maybe it's something they just sort of slid into by going overboard to please customers.  And over time, they found out it was a source of revenue, so they loosened things up even more.

I don't know the details, I'm just guessing that the customer pays Alamy something for these 'returned' images, and if so, we obviously don't get a cut.

So you don't actually have a single shred of evidence that any such thing is happening, outside of what goes on in your vivid imagination?

I notice that you ignored my point about the risk that news of such  a scheme would be bound to leak out eventually.

Which part of "I'm just guessing" wasn't sufficiently clear?

« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2018, 02:08 »
+2
No doubt the TOS would allow this, because it's not a 'sale'.  I don't necessarily think Alamy set out to cheat us by turning 'sales' into 'rentals' - maybe it's something they just sort of slid into by going overboard to please customers.  And over time, they found out it was a source of revenue, so they loosened things up even more.

I don't know the details, I'm just guessing that the customer pays Alamy something for these 'returned' images, and if so, we obviously don't get a cut.

So you don't actually have a single shred of evidence that any such thing is happening, outside of what goes on in your vivid imagination?

I notice that you ignored my point about the risk that news of such  a scheme would be bound to leak out eventually.

Which part of "I'm just guessing" wasn't sufficiently clear?

I was just rephrasing it, wasn't I?

I'm sorry, but I'm just getting a bit tired of all the ridiculous conspiracy theories people keep manufacturing out of thin air. There are plenty of real examples of the micros abusing us without people confusing matters with imaginary ones.

A more credible theory about why you seem to be troubled more than others with numerous returns might be that your work has technical faults that clients won't put up with as they paid out a reasonable sum for an image. If someone pays $50 or $100 to Alamy they're likely to be less willing to swallow the loss than someone paying a micro $4 for a download or even getting an image for pennies on subscription.

« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2018, 09:50 »
0
A more credible theory about why you seem to be troubled more than others with numerous returns might be that your work has technical faults

A good theory, except I didn't say anything about "numerous returns".  I think I've had maybe 2 over the years.

I don't seem to be doing a good job of writing the posts you actually want to reply to.   But I'm sure you're right about my lousy photography.


 

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