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Author Topic: Simple change to assist contributors  (Read 2851 times)

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« on: June 23, 2015, 10:09 »
+19
I have a portfolio at Alamy (although I'm not uploading there at the moment as sales seem to have slowed dramatically) but I find their sales and payment practices to be really unfriendly to contributors.

I found one of my images in use in the online Travel & Leisure magazine, credited to me/Alamy but there was no reported sale. The date on the article was June 3rd. I wrote to Alamy member services to ask about this (acknowledging it was possible the file had been licensed elsewhere).

They replied that "Weve a relevant download for your image CTC9F8 from travel and leisure." and saying that a delay in reporting usages is "normal" and that some customers take up to 3 months to report usages. If I didn't see the sale show up in 3 months then check back with them, they'd check the customer's downloads and invoice them.

And then the 45 day wait for a balance to clear begins

Given these massively generous cash floats the agency gives their customers, images should cost more at Alamy!

The suggestion that I think would really help contributors is that downloads of an image should be reported in real time - in a separate interface from the sales reports. Probably shouldn't include the name of the company which downloaded it (nice though that would be) so that contributors didn't pester customers. If nothing else, it'd give us a starting point to try and track down unreported sales.

Is there any reason this is a bad idea?


« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015, 10:19 »
0
Good idea.
Had a similar case recently, found an image in use correctly credited to me / Alamy.
I received the same reply when I asked support (and a few days after the sale report showed up).

Semmick Photo

« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 11:16 »
+2
But according to IS reporting in real time is not possible.

And James has explained that they report in real time as soon as the buyer downloads the image. If you will be paid is another question.

Alamy is just as thick as IS.

ShadySue

« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2015, 11:20 »
+1
Alamy always think they are right and don't really welcome suggestions.
For years before I started there, contributors were asking for a simple Editorial button, but they have flat refused to implement it, and how hard can that be, relatively speaking? You're supposed to go through a confusing number of hoops to set restrictions, and if you choose what might seem the most logical restrictions, it can't be sold at all.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2015, 19:35 »
+5
No it's not a bad idea it's a great idea. WHy Alamy is sticking with this outdated, confidence game, is beyond me. People report usage, before the buyers, often. People find un-registered usage, over and over. And Alamy just goes on saying, wait and then they will check.

It's backwards.

You don't go to a restaurant, have a dinner, and take the bill home and then see if a couple months later, you enjoyed the meal. Report it and pay.  :) You don't take a newspaper and read it and then a couple months later, drop a buck in the slot, because you read it.

Why should buyers get our work for free, on a trust basis, they can use it for previews and bids and often publish them, without any notice. Until they get around to it, or until they are caught.

It's Wrong!


The suggestion that I think would really help contributors is that downloads of an image should be reported in real time - in a separate interface from the sales reports. Probably shouldn't include the name of the company which downloaded it (nice though that would be) so that contributors didn't pester customers. If nothing else, it'd give us a starting point to try and track down unreported sales.

Is there any reason this is a bad idea?

ShadySue

« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2015, 19:39 »
+2
Why should buyers get our work for free, on a trust basis, they can use it for previews and bids and often publish them, without any notice. Until they get around to it, or until they are caught.
And when they get caught a long time after the event, they get to pay the current rate, even though it's cheaper than they'd have paid at the time. "It's policy" I was told when I questioned them about it. What on earth is the incentive not to try to cheat, at least some of the time, if all that happens if they get caught it that they can pay less?

« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2015, 20:35 »
+1
I found something in use on the web years later and got a few dollars when I would have gotten significantly more at the time - I often find uses by their regular customers that go unreported. Yet, I had another use where the company didn't report it and they had to pay a penalty, which is what should happen every time to discourage underreporting but instead their regular customers get a sweet deal and are forgiven for failure to report. It's bad enough that you have to find uses yourself but if you find them right away, then you have to remember to let Alamy know it a few months later if it doesn't show up, and can't even report it when you find it. It's very frustrating.

On the plus side, sales have picked up over there lately and at least when you do get a commission at least half the time it is for a decent amount. Alamy is a lot of work, both uploading and keeping track, but their commission structure is better than any of the micros and at least they've dropped their payout from $250 to $75 to reflect a changing marketplace.

I have a lot of travel and editorial, so it's worthwhile for me. If I shot mostly lifestyle I'd probably feel differently.

« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2015, 14:57 »
0
I've been checking and the sale was reported June 30th - at least I assume that's the Travel & Leisure sale, but it's for the image they used

Rinderart

« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2015, 16:29 »
+1
I've been with 39+ sites Alamy is By far the weirdest there is.

Titus Livius

« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2015, 16:43 »
+1
I've been with 39+ sites Alamy is By far the weirdest there is.

because Alamy must be run by luddites.

the idea behind technology is that it's supposed to make our life easier, and in our specific case to automate the whole process of online sales.

instead we see alamy doing sales "by hand", forgetting about updating sales charts, creating delays in payments, etc etc just as if we were stuck in the '50s ...


« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2015, 17:49 »
0
What  other business model sells a product that you dont have to pay for or secure up front?
This practice can make fraud and pilfering a whole lot easier to achieve.

I generally like Alamy, but these practices are very business unfriendly - for us and Alamy.

ShadySue

« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2015, 18:00 »
0
Some buyers need to be able to pay in arrears, and apparently will pay more for the facility.
When I was working, it was not permitted (or even possible through the system) to pay for anything until we received it, so paying 'up front' as is necessary on micros would have been impossible.

« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2015, 11:13 »
0
Alamy just don't have it compared to the US agencies. For some reason the US completely dominate this market both in performance and market share. Alamy are way behind the eight ball


 

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