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Author Topic: Cutcaster customer base?  (Read 7718 times)

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« on: August 13, 2008, 20:47 »
I know this question has been asked to some extent before in the mid-stock forum, but I never really see a clear answer.

Tell me why a customer would choose to use a site like Cutcaster as opposed to the "cheaper-priced" sites like any of the Big 6?

Is Cutcaster looking for exclusives?  Is there some other big plus that I'm overlooking?  I've decided to stop uploading to Fotolia so I'm looking for a replacement.  In reading these forums, I've been impressed so far with the hands-on, can-do attitude of Cutcaster's founder.

So, those of you who have already signed up- are you satisfied with your decision so far? Are you uploading exclusives?  I'm trying to figure out which direction to direct my energy.  Any info is appreciated!

« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2008, 23:48 »
Curious, what other sites are you registered with?

« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2008, 01:33 »
The think I believe you're overlooking is actually from the contributor side rather than the buyer side. Contributors who don't want to sell at microstock prices can go to CutCaster and sell their content at much higher prices and with higher commissions. By attracting this portion of the market CutCaster will - in theory - end up with content that the microstock agencies don't have.

Whether it's better quality or more quantity remains to be seen, but if it works buyers will pay more at CutCaster than at the Big6 microstock agencies simply because they can get a better product, or something they can't find elsewhere.

CutCaster are new to the market, so moderate your expectations with that in mind. While people are getting sales and both the prices and commissions are higher than at Fotolia, you won't get nearly the same quantity of sales at this time. If CutCaster can catch up, it won't be soon.

So if you're looking for an interesting agency to support with your portfolio, CutCaster is a great choice. If you believe their model will work, then uploading is an investment in your future earnings. But if you're looking for an immediate return, it's going to be slow at CutCaster for a little while longer.

And as RGebbie said, if you tell us which other agencies you're currently using we'll be able to make suggestions (that aren't those).


« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2008, 02:52 »
As you can set your own prices with cutcaster, you could set them the same as fotolia, so cutcaster isn't necessarily more expensive than fotolia.  They also let buyers put in their own bid for our images.  This is something different from the other sites and might be good for the buyers and sellers.  If a buyer thinks an image is too expensive, they don't have to go looking for it on another site, they can place a lower bid.

Some people put their microstock photos on alamy and they sell for much higher prices.  I don't think that will do alamy any good in the long term but it is apparent that people are willing to pay much more than they do  with the microstock sites.

I just hope people have some patience and give cutcaster a year to get going.  It is tough for new sites now and it seems a lot of people upload their portfolios and become disillusioned after a month and remove them.  That isn't going to work.

Cutcaster seems similar to featurepics but I think it is a much better designed site and hopefully they will have more of a marketing
strategy.  I will give them a year and see what happens.

« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2008, 07:59 »
Thanks for the replies.  To answer your question, the sites I'm currently on are Shutterstock, Istock, Dreamstime, Bigstockphoto, and Fotolia.

Any other suggestions for a change of direction?

« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2008, 09:11 »
My suggestions would be

- StockXpert
- 123RF
- SnapVillage

The suggestions with a possible higher earning per image would be

- MostPhotos
- Zymmetrical
- Cutcaster

Well, the first three will bring you probably in the beginning more download and money, but the last three have the potential in the long run to overrun the first because they pay more per image.

The upload systems are similar, only SnapVillage does not have ftp. SnapVillage and MostPhotos have the lowest minimum payout, but Cutcaster follows closely with a minimum payout of $20. Cutcaster also accepts editorial images. Zymmetrical does this too, but has it in the moment temporarily disabled.

« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2008, 10:02 »
Cutcaster is especially good if you are only using sites without subs (or your are opted out of subs) so that customers have to purchase your images at the prices you set.  If you are at a site with subs and customers can get it there cheaper (provided they already have an account)...

To be honest, I don't expect much of anything in the way of sales on Cutcaster until they come out of beta and do a major marketing push.  At that time, I expect to see results one way or the other.  The only advantage to submitting to Cutcaster now is getting in on the "ground floor" and getting your portfolio pre-loaded onto the site for when they do their major marketing push.

How well you do on a site depends mostly on how much exposure you have on the site, so the more images you have up the better exposure you get.  On new sites like Cutcaster small portfolios get better exposure because they don't have the millions of images yet.

As noted in another thread elsewhere, you do run a risk of Cutcaster never making it and having to fold.  Which some people feel like makes uploading their portfolio as wasted time.  So you have to take that into account and decide if you want in on the ground floor of something new.

For me personally, it's worth the risk because those who got into the big 6 years ago are doing the best in terms of RTI on those sites.  The search algorithms on those sites bring their stuff up more often (giving them more exposure).  So, in some cases, a few smaller portfolios on SS, StockXpert, DT, etc.. are doing very well compared to MUCH MUCH larger portfolios.

What also helps is that CC's submit process is pretty streamlined, so if you have properly tagged all your images with IPTC data, you can get them online with very little interaction on the site per image on your part.

Just to re-iterate, it's a risk...  Take that into account.  But many people like myself feel the risk is worth it based on the feedback we get from CC and the interaction between both sides.

« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2008, 10:20 »
Cutcaster is my favorite site under the new agencies. John and his team doing a great job! They respond very quickly to any problems. They are very open in their blog and forum. I don't think of it as a risk going with them. I see it more of a good investment of my time.

« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2008, 10:56 »
So to those of you who did sign up with Cutcaster- are you continuing to upload the same images at other agencies (including subscriptions)?

That's why I was asking about exclusives.  It seems to me that if I upload all of my images everywhere, I'm just shooting myself in the foot; a buyer will just go the "cheaper" site to get the image instead of downloading it from Cutcaser.

Is this making any sense at all?  ???

« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2008, 11:14 »
It makes sense but fortunately the buyers don't seem to look around that much.  Most of them seem to buy an image from the site they first find it on, as long as the price isn't extortionate.

« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2008, 11:25 »
Also, remember this...  Subscriptions are not cheap.  A buyer may see the same photo on 3 or 4 different sites, but not have a subscription to any of them.   Typically used to doing PPD.

So buying your photo off Cutcaster may be a better deal than a $299 subscription for one month on a Sub site if they aren't gonna be downloading a lot of photos.

« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2008, 11:56 »
Interesting feedback!  I guess it can't hurt to go ahead then and take a chance.  Plus, being relatively new to all of this,  it's not like I have hundreds of photos to go through to upload.

Thanks for all of your insight!


« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2008, 13:25 »
Hi TreeOfLife,
I have uploaded a few at other sites.  I am finding myself uploading more at Cutcaster.  I have uploaded exclusives there also.  Even though Cutcaster is new and still in beta my sales there in July far surpassed my sales at other sites.  I know it is risky because they are new.  I am obviously willing to take that risk.  For me, the personal interaction, responses, and ability to set prices and accept bids outweighs the risk.  I would rather help make a site like Cutcaster make it than continue to sell photos for $.25 or lower.  So, my advice is to take a chance...join Cutcaster.

So to those of you who did sign up with Cutcaster- are you continuing to upload the same images at other agencies (including subscriptions)?

That's why I was asking about exclusives.  It seems to me that if I upload all of my images everywhere, I'm just shooting myself in the foot; a buyer will just go the "cheaper" site to get the image instead of downloading it from Cutcaser.

Is this making any sense at all?  ???

« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2008, 17:03 »
Hi Marburg,

I'm curious- what other sites are you on?  Any of the "Big 6?"  also- how many images do you have in your portfolio?  I only have about 40.

That is great to hear that you're getting sales there!  I'm still considering it; I think I will also try Photoshelter.  I've been intrigued with both Photoshelter and Cutcaster for a while now, and will probably give them a try.

Like you, I have also been impressed with Cutcaster's replies and "hand-on" attitude.  I'm just hoping that they raise the bar as far as images are concerned; I've seen some really nice stuff on there but also have seen some dreadful photos.  I also hope they get a good crew on to make sure keyword spamming doesn't take over.  I read Photoshelter's policy on that and was impressed.


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