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Author Topic: Something stinks up in Canada and it smells of CanStockPhoto  (Read 26923 times)

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« on: May 02, 2011, 13:22 »
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Here's my own experience with CanStockPhoto.com as a contributing photographer for the last two years:

Sales are extremely slow, even for pro photographers, and even with a great portfolio of 400+ photos. I'm using the term "great portfolio" not a self-evaluation, but rather as a term used by CanStockPhoto staff in their last reference to my portfolio.

Contributors also should be aware that closing the account is a long and tedious process, where you have to go through and delete each and every photo manually through an edit process before the option to close the account is even available. I've read posts on this forum that you can submit a request to CanStockPhoto staff to delete your photos in mass, but this isn't posted anywhere on the CanStockPhoto website itself, so everyone just ends up going through the extremely tedious process and frustration ensues.

Last but definitely not least, the company will NOT, I repeat, they will NOT issue you a credit of your balance for your own photo sales if you close your account  >:( . They call this an industry standard, even though most other stock agencies don't this as a practice. One thing is guaranteed though: You will forfeit your balance as punishment for closing your account. This information is buried in the fine print of the Member Agreement, but thrown in your face when requesting a refund of your balance.


« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 13:29 »
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I hate to be the wet towel, but...

Yes, every site I know of requires you to have a minimum amount of $$ before you can cash out.  If you close your account before you cash out, they keep the difference. In a way this is fair as they also spent a lot of money reviewing a photographers photos getting them online.  Canstock also has reasonable enough sales that waiting for a payout shouldn't take too long with 400+ photos.

I also think it is fair that a site doesn't advertise how to delete your portfolio 'en mass'.  If someone wants to remove their port. I don't think it too surprising that they would contact support on how to do it easily.

« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2011, 13:36 »
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Harsh words for small issues. Why so emotional?
Canstock is a slow seller, true, but beyond that one of the best and fairest sites out there. I totally trust duncan (owner) and his crew and it is one of the few sites which ahven`t betrayed their Contributors and pay a fair royalty.

« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 15:37 »
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No complaints from me.  CanStockPhoto are selling quite nicely and they accept almost everything I upload with the fastest reviews.  There are some nice higher priced sales.  There must be at least 50 sites that are much worse.  The only thing I don't like is the occasional $0.25 subs sale.

« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 16:24 »
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I  If you close your account before you cash out, they keep the difference. In a way this is fair as they also spent a lot of money reviewing a photographers photos getting them online. 

Couldn't disagree more.  The agency already got its percentage on those sales which more than covers their costs. The contributor's commission balance should  be paid without question when the account is closed.   

« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011, 16:29 »
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I  If you close your account before you cash out, they keep the difference. In a way this is fair as they also spent a lot of money reviewing a photographers photos getting them online.

Couldn't disagree more.  The agency already got its percentage on those sales which more than covers their costs. The contributor's commission balance should  be paid without question when the account is closed.    

yeah, good point. Depending on the number of sales I suppose.  If a photog. uploads 1000 photos, then removes his account after a month or two and has only had $10 in sales, .. that would end up costing the agency a fair bit.  

How much money are we talking about sipaphoto?

lisafx

« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2011, 16:54 »
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Harsh words for small issues. Why so emotional?
Canstock is a slow seller, true, but beyond that one of the best and fairest sites out there. I totally trust duncan (owner) and his crew and it is one of the few sites which ahven`t betrayed their Contributors and pay a fair royalty.

+1 from me across the board.  Duncan is great and has bent over backward to help contributors many, many times. 

Not to mention that sales at Canstock have been picking up the last year or so.  400 image portfolio (regardless of how "great") is not large enough to make any sweeping judgments about sales on any of the micro sites. 

CD123

« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2011, 16:56 »
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I  If you close your account before you cash out, they keep the difference. In a way this is fair as they also spent a lot of money reviewing a photographers photos getting them online. 

Couldn't disagree more.  The agency already got its percentage on those sales which more than covers their costs. The contributor's commission balance should  be paid without question when the account is closed.   

If I was a site owner I would also not pay out just because an account is closed! As soon as a person feels that his/her sales is a bit slow, they can close the account, get a payout (and maybe next month open a new account). You know the rules of payouts when you entered into an agreement with the site, can not see how one can think that the payout rule is suddenly changed because you want to opt out.
Think it is just common sense to only close an account after after you have reached / received a payout. If you feel uploading is a waste of time, just stop and leave your portfolio there in the hope it pay out somewhere in the future. Alternatively, just write of the few dollars........
Canstock is a great site and my top seller, but every site has a bit of a niche, so one just need to find the one best suited for your work.

redwater

  • retro stock illustrations
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2011, 17:06 »
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it really doesn't take you much time to upload at Canstockphoto. it's one of the easiest site to deal with and also very fast in their review times. they're also my fastest growth site this year.

« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2011, 17:59 »
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IMO any independant microstocker who does not submit to CanStockPhoto is probably making a mistake.
I second all the positive comments above, and add that my April sales there were up 114% year-over-year.  :)

« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2011, 18:13 »
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We're all going to close our accounts someday.  Either that, or it will be done by our survivors or heirs.  

Yes in a very few cases agencies might lose money on a portfolio due to reviewing costs -  gee I sure wouldn't want anyone to see anyone in business taking a risk (like I do when I spent time shooting stock photos), or lose a few bucks.    

In the software business we used to joke about how hard it could be to get "that last check" from a customer whose finances were shaky. They'd keep paying you until they didn't need you anymore, then stiff you on the last check so you ended up working the final 2 weeks for nothing.  We thought those customers were just swell guys and totally understood where they were coming from.  
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 18:24 by stockastic »

« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2011, 19:51 »
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Mark me down as a CanStockPhoto supporter too. They are a good earner, solid RPD, and a good royalty percentage. It sucks that you got burned, but you definitely have to close any micro account carefully to make sure you don't leave money behind. Support will usually guide you on their policies. I just contacted support for 2 agencies today for deleting my images and they both had quick responses, were polite, and helpful. I know this isn't any consolation, but take it as a learning experience and move on.

« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2011, 20:40 »
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Harsh words for small issues. Why so emotional?
Canstock is a slow seller, true, but beyond that one of the best and fairest sites out there. I totally trust duncan (owner) and his crew and it is one of the few sites which ahven`t betrayed their Contributors and pay a fair royalty.

I couldn't agree more! Sales have steadily increased for the last year.
One of the easiest sites to upload to with fast review times.  I have to agree a portfolio of 400 images is really hard to judge success of sales at any stock site.

« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2011, 20:45 »
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The most you should ever lose in closing a Canstock account is the minimum payout...I take that back...you'll lose all the revenue you would have gained if you just left the images there and forgotten about them for a few years.  Why anyone goes through the extra effort of removing their files (verifiable fraud and abuse by the agency aside) is beyond me. You are only hurting yourself.

« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2011, 21:25 »
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One small question - forgive me if this has already been mentioned but I have a link in my account settings that says "Cancel Account".

That should have done it.  :-\

« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2011, 22:47 »
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I hate to be the wet towel, but...

Yes, every site I know of requires you to have a minimum amount of $$ before you can cash out.  If you close your account before you cash out, they keep the difference. In a way this is fair as they also spent a lot of money reviewing a photographers photos getting them online.  Canstock also has reasonable enough sales that waiting for a payout shouldn't take too long with 400+ photos.

I also think it is fair that a site doesn't advertise how to delete your portfolio 'en mass'.  If someone wants to remove their port. I don't think it too surprising that they would contact support on how to do it easily.

Well, you can be a wet towel all you want.. but you're still wrong in supporting these sites. However, I rather suspect that you have a good reason for supporting them, as in probably working for one.

That aside, you can't possibly believe all the Nutella you just tried to spread on my baby's diaper. Spare me please. They are absolutely NOT entitled to keeping any money that's been designated as my share from selling my photos. Remember, this is only my "share"! The website already made it's share which I might add is a much larger portion of profit than what's given the photographer as his share. The cost incurred by the company in "reviewing" my photos come out of the profits the company makes in selling them. It's absolutely ridiculous and irresponsible of you to try to justify their keeping the measly shares from the real bread and butter of these companies, the photographers themselves.

As for deleting files, it's just as easy for the company to add a simple text line saying "Click here to ask tech support to delete all your files in mass." After all, they did spend the time to add the following line instead: "You must delete all your photos before closing your account". Note the word "You" cleverly disguised as a substitute for the words "Hey, we can do it for you much easier and faster". :|

Finally, it's ridiculous to even have to wait until a company reaches a minimum before obtaining a payout when a photographer makes the decision to close the account. The ONLY reason a company does this is to earn even more money off the interest this money earns while sitting in the company's bank accounts.

So please, spare me the nuts in your Nutella... thanks.

« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2011, 22:52 »
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Harsh words for small issues. Why so emotional?
Canstock is a slow seller, true, but beyond that one of the best and fairest sites out there. I totally trust duncan (owner) and his crew and it is one of the few sites which ahven`t betrayed their Contributors and pay a fair royalty.

Why so emotional... let's see. Why don't you to send me the money that CanStockPhoto is automatically forfeiting for me, and we'll see if you're emotional about it or not. The money forfeited is a small amount, but that's not the point. It's the principle of the thing, and unfortunately it seems that the vast majority of microstock companies have forgotten principle altogether. I'm here to remind those who read this post that they don't have to take this type of thing lying down, and that everyone has a voice when they've been wronged.

« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2011, 22:54 »
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No complaints from me.  CanStockPhoto are selling quite nicely and they accept almost everything I upload with the fastest reviews.  There are some nice higher priced sales.  There must be at least 50 sites that are much worse.  The only thing I don't like is the occasional $0.25 subs sale.

Well good for you... Ignorance is bliss. Try closing your account when they owe you money and you won't be as happy, guaranteed.

« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2011, 23:00 »
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I  If you close your account before you cash out, they keep the difference. In a way this is fair as they also spent a lot of money reviewing a photographers photos getting them online.

Couldn't disagree more.  The agency already got its percentage on those sales which more than covers their costs. The contributor's commission balance should  be paid without question when the account is closed.    

yeah, good point. Depending on the number of sales I suppose.  If a photog. uploads 1000 photos, then removes his account after a month or two and has only had $10 in sales, .. that would end up costing the agency a fair bit.  

How much money are we talking about sipaphoto?

The amount is actually irrelevant to be honest. Like any company, it assumes a certain amount of risk when it accepts the photographer and the photos. Sometimes this pays out, and sometimes it doesn't. It's called profits vs. loss. By the same logic you're using, the company would have the right to charge me money for time spent reviewing the photos if my photos generated zero dollars in sales. I'm sure people would flip if they actually received a bill in the mail after closing the account. I mean, the way you have it, companies should have zero risk and the risk needs to ALWAYS be on the photographer. Come on, whatever happened to fair business practices?

« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2011, 23:03 »
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Harsh words for small issues. Why so emotional?
Canstock is a slow seller, true, but beyond that one of the best and fairest sites out there. I totally trust duncan (owner) and his crew and it is one of the few sites which ahven`t betrayed their Contributors and pay a fair royalty.

+1 from me across the board.  Duncan is great and has bent over backward to help contributors many, many times. 

Not to mention that sales at Canstock have been picking up the last year or so.  400 image portfolio (regardless of how "great") is not large enough to make any sweeping judgments about sales on any of the micro sites. 

Exactly who signs your paycheck?

« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2011, 23:04 »
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Most if not all sites have a minimum payout and if you cancel before you reach it you should expect to lose the money in your account. Seeing how low the minimum is is one of the details you have to read and decide on before you join and start submitting. Most people who are planning on leaving a site wait 'til they hit the minimum before leaving or keep a balance above the minimum for the last chunk of time so they can empty out their account as the last step.

I haven't tried to leave Canstock, so I can't say if the process is a pain or not, but if I had a heap of images I wanted removed I'd definitely be writing them with a request rather than doing it one at a time.

I am ready to jump all over a site when they lower commissions or otherwise screw the artists, but the minimum payout is something we all joined with full knowledge of (or should have if we read the fine print).

« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2011, 23:07 »
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You did read the contributor agreement when you joined Canstock didn't you?

« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2011, 23:11 »
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Quote
If I was a site owner I would also not pay out just because an account is closed! As soon as a person feels that his/her sales is a bit slow, they can close the account, get a payout (and maybe next month open a new account). You know the rules of payouts when you entered into an agreement with the site, can not see how one can think that the payout rule is suddenly changed because you want to opt out.
/quote]

I absolutely disagree simply because your logic trumps my rights as the owner of the photos. If I want to stop selling my photos, it is my right to do so. It's my right to close my account at any time and it's also my right to sign up again if I choose. It's also the company's right to decline my account if I sign up again "next month" as you suggest.

Another thing: I challenge you to be honest and tell us all how often you actually read the 10+ pages long Membership Agreements online before putting the little checkmark in the "I agree" box. Not only because they're long, but also because they're written in legal terms that only attorneys understand. Nobody reads those agreements, as evidenced by many studies done by several companies. Even Dateline NBC covered that topic in one of their newscasts. Companies know this and take advantage of it endlessly.

« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2011, 23:17 »
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Mark me down as a CanStockPhoto supporter too. They are a good earner, solid RPD, and a good royalty percentage. It sucks that you got burned, but you definitely have to close any micro account carefully to make sure you don't leave money behind. Support will usually guide you on their policies. I just contacted support for 2 agencies today for deleting my images and they both had quick responses, were polite, and helpful. I know this isn't any consolation, but take it as a learning experience and move on.

That's what I'm doing, but it doesn't mean I won't also speak out against the company's policy. I think the policy is unfair and will voice my opinion, but I've already closed my account and forfeited the earnings. I just happen to not be one of those people who just takes things lying down. I'm just not the type to simply take things as they are just because a corporation tells me to.

« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2011, 23:19 »
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Harsh words for small issues. Why so emotional?
Canstock is a slow seller, true, but beyond that one of the best and fairest sites out there. I totally trust duncan (owner) and his crew and it is one of the few sites which ahven`t betrayed their Contributors and pay a fair royalty.

I couldn't agree more! Sales have steadily increased for the last year.
One of the easiest sites to upload to with fast review times.  I have to agree a portfolio of 400 images is really hard to judge success of sales at any stock site.
Really? Because I was under the impression that it's not quantity but quality that matters. Boy was I misguided.


 

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