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Author Topic: The sweet thing about Featurepics...  (Read 10836 times)

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« on: February 07, 2008, 20:27 »
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... is that, although downloads don't appear as often as at other places, they pay well when they come. Like today, I sold a $7 photo, generating $4.90 for me. And to make it even better, it was a photo that was found "not stockworthy" at all other agencies.


« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2008, 02:05 »
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... is that, although downloads don't appear as often as at other places, they pay well when they come. Like today, I sold a $7 photo, generating $4.90 for me. And to make it even better, it was a photo that was found "not stockworthy" at all other agencies.

try alamy 6 sales my cut over $1000 on images that are "not stock" :):)

« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2008, 02:13 »
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I asked FP to remove my portfolio today after a dismal year of sales.  The first year was okay, but in 2007 I had several spurts where for several months at a time there wasn't a single sale.  That sucks on a portfolio of 1500.  I'm going the Rustyphil route instead..."non-stock" goes to Alamy, where my cut is 65% and I don't have to wait 14 months just to earn $50.

« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2008, 03:06 »
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I keep thinking FP will start to sell and then a month goes by with nothing.  I am leaving my portfolio there but wont upload any more.  There are too many other sites to upload to that are making money.

« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2008, 03:17 »
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Featurepics is a site that I always hope will thrive, but seems to be stagnating. The occasional sale keeps me vaguely interested, but they do not get priority when I am uploading. I got a payout in May 07, and think I will get another one this year!

DanP68

« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2008, 03:49 »
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They need to advertise more.  This board is the only place where I have ever heard of them. 

I only joined in December, so I'm not nearly ready to bail.  But I have hit the point where they are an afterthought when it comes to new uploads, and I don't check my $0 earnings balance nearly as often as I used to.


« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2008, 03:54 »
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Yeah! sales are slow and very intermittent. Just when you think of maybe leaving a sale pops in with a decent commission.

Will hang on there for another while.
Wish it was more lively.

« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2008, 06:55 »
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sales tick along for me, but I would happily take a cut in commission down to 50 or 60% if they were to put the extra in advertising

« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2008, 08:00 »
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FP is increasing for me, but slowly. I upload micro images at micro prices there and macro images at macro prices. That's convenient, since it's the only place where I can have all my images.

« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2008, 10:51 »
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epixx, have you sold any there at macro prices?  I have some RM images on alamy but haven't uploaded them to FP.

« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2008, 10:59 »
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sales tick along for me, but I would happily take a cut in commission down to 50 or 60% if they were to put the extra in advertising

I accord to this. May be positive for all.

grp_photo

« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2008, 11:07 »
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epixx, have you sold any there at macro prices?  I have some RM images on alamy but haven't uploaded them to FP.
I have macro and midstock images sold there (not too many of course and my portfolio is pretty large)

gbcimages

« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2008, 11:27 »
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sales tick along for me, but I would happily take a cut in commission down to 50 or 60% if they were to put the extra in advertising


I agree with you

« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2008, 12:18 »
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in 2007 I had several spurts where for several months at a time there wasn't a single sale.  That sucks on a portfolio of 1500.
It's just a mystery why some people sell good at site A and bad at site B, and other people vice-versa. I started at LO and at FP at the same time with almost the same port, and I had to quit LO with 15$ and at FP I'm on my way to 3-th payout. With a smaller port and inferior to yours.

« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2008, 16:49 »
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Crazy, huh?   ???  I've actually done better at Image Vortex $$$ wise with a mere 38 photos online in 6 months than I have at FP with 1500 photos in 2 years.  Oh well...my decision to leave FP will benefit everyone else who is sticking it out. 

« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2008, 17:19 »
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Sorry folks, but I'll say it again - there ain't gonna be no progress at Featurepics while they pay 70% commission and retain only 30% for themselves.  By the time they've paid running costs there ain't no dosh left for advertising, marketing or promotional activities.

A dead parrot is always a dead parrot, and unless contributors start to realise that LOWER commission plus increased marketing equals better sales and more money, this parrot will remain dead.

Give me 20% at iStock and 2.7 million customers, or 30c at Shutterstock and 70 or 80 downloads a day.  But FP?  Sorry - doesn't make the slightest bit of business sense.

« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2008, 17:47 »
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Sorry folks, but I'll say it again - there ain't gonna be no progress at Featurepics while they pay 70% commission and retain only 30% for themselves.  By the time they've paid running costs there ain't no dosh left for advertising, marketing or promotional activities.

As they sell images at much higher prices than istock, they should be able to make enough from the 30% to advertise.  People are selling some images at macro prices there.  I think they either didn't start out with enough money for marketing or they have been doing things wrong.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2008, 17:50 by sharpshot »

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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2008, 17:57 »
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I like FP but I don't make any money. The same images on IS are selling hundreds per month.

20% of $$$$$ = $
70% of 0 = 0

If I need to invest time promoting a site, I might as well promote my own and make 100%.

FP 70% is a noble cause, but apparantly not a profitable one.

« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2008, 19:34 »
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epixx, have you sold any there at macro prices?  I have some RM images on alamy but haven't uploaded them to FP.

No, not yet, but the average price of the photos sold is going up, as well as the sales volume.

« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2008, 19:41 »
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Crazy, huh?   ???  I've actually done better at Image Vortex $$$ wise with a mere 38 photos online in 6 months than I have at FP with 1500 photos in 2 years.  Oh well...my decision to leave FP will benefit everyone else who is sticking it out. 

Amazing. I've had 60+ photos at Imagevortex for over two years, and haven't sold a single one, while sales are ticking happily along at FP. 2006 was extremely slow, 2007 was slow and now I'm seeing a very positive development.

I think it's important to point out, that in this business, if we don't include SS, time is on our side. Designers visit a portfolio, looking for an image, doesn't necessarily find it, but like s other things, and 6 months later, he may come back to buy an image that he saw the first time.

Writing off an agency after a year may be to early. I stop uploading after a year if I see no results, but I keep my portfolio there for at least another year, unless there are important reasons to remove it, just to see if there's any development. It doesn't cost me a dime, so why not.

« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2008, 19:47 »
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Sorry folks, but I'll say it again - there ain't gonna be no progress at Featurepics while they pay 70% commission and retain only 30% for themselves.  By the time they've paid running costs there ain't no dosh left for advertising, marketing or promotional activities.

A dead parrot is always a dead parrot, and unless contributors start to realise that LOWER commission plus increased marketing equals better sales and more money, this parrot will remain dead.

Give me 20% at iStock and 2.7 million customers, or 30c at Shutterstock and 70 or 80 downloads a day.  But FP?  Sorry - doesn't make the slightest bit of business sense.

As long as they're alive, and sales are increasing, I disagree strongly. Traditionally, stock agencies have always paid around 70%, and anything less than 50% is really a rip-off. All the advertising done by IS and SS is very good for them and for their profit, but as long as that advertising gives them more momentum towards microstock agencies that pay more per image, we are the ones losing money on the advertising.

Advertising won't make designers buy more photos, since they only buy what they need, but it will make them try those agencies who advertises the most, diverting money into the pockets of IS and whoever makes their advertising.

« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2008, 20:34 »
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epixx, have you sold any there at macro prices?  I have some RM images on alamy but haven't uploaded them to FP.

I have sold one RM image there.  Not much money though because of the alledged use.  Also one RF on the smallest size, got about US$14 if I remember it right.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2008, 21:40 »
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I think that it's important to remember that, even if a place like SS brings in much more money, a $10 sale at FP, generating a $7 profit, would still only generate $0.30 at SS. As long as I can have it both ways, volume at SS and higher profit per image at FP, I'll say: Yes please, I'll take both.

« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2008, 22:26 »
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Sorry folks, but I'll say it again - there ain't gonna be no progress at Featurepics while they pay 70% commission and retain only 30% for themselves.  By the time they've paid running costs there ain't no dosh left for advertising, marketing or promotional activities.

A dead parrot is always a dead parrot, and unless contributors start to realise that LOWER commission plus increased marketing equals better sales and more money, this parrot will remain dead.

Give me 20% at iStock and 2.7 million customers, or 30c at Shutterstock and 70 or 80 downloads a day.  But FP?  Sorry - doesn't make the slightest bit of business sense.

I've been saying the same thing for over a year.  70% on photos with low prices just doesn't make sense, unless FP is actually expecting us to self-promote.  I've thought for a long time that their biggest mistake was not setting a minimum price that could justify and withstand 70%.  How do they expect to make enough profit to afford marketing when the majority of the images are priced at micro prices? 

« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2008, 01:33 »
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Sorry folks, but I'll say it again - there ain't gonna be no progress at Featurepics while they pay 70% commission and retain only 30% for themselves.  By the time they've paid running costs there ain't no dosh left for advertising, marketing or promotional activities.

A dead parrot is always a dead parrot, and unless contributors start to realise that LOWER commission plus increased marketing equals better sales and more money, this parrot will remain dead.

Give me 20% at iStock and 2.7 million customers, or 30c at Shutterstock and 70 or 80 downloads a day.  But FP?  Sorry - doesn't make the slightest bit of business sense.

I've been saying the same thing for over a year.  70% on photos with low prices just doesn't make sense, unless FP is actually expecting us to self-promote.  I've thought for a long time that their biggest mistake was not setting a minimum price that could justify and withstand 70%.  How do they expect to make enough profit to afford marketing when the majority of the images are priced at micro prices? 

That's a valid question. I believe many photographers set their prices low at FP because the 70% will give a "decent" pay anyway. In reality, it doesn't make sense, neither for the photographer nor for FP. If a customer has found a photo at FP, the fact that it costs the same there as it would have cost at IS or DT won't make him not buy it.

A minimum price of at least $5, but preferably $10, would work much better.

« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2008, 03:28 »
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I totally agree. There is no sense in selling on FP at the same price than on other sites. Their business model can work only if the pictures provided are different from the ones found on microsites and with a price allowing FP to make a decent margin.

The microsite economy is doomed to fail someday because of the ever decreasing prices and the everdecreasing share microsites offer the photographers to keep their margin. Sooner or later, the best photographers will try to find better paying markets. And better paying markets mean market who sell with higher prices.

FP is a model which should work well in this environment, and it will get better when they'll have reached a large portfolio. Right now they have reached the 500 000 pictures. That means they are beginning to offer something for everybody. That also means they still have some gaps to fill. Why not try to fill these, and so attract more potential customers, with pictures offered for a decent price ?

I think that 10$ is a minimum for a photo (well, according to Dan Heller, I put mine at 9.99).
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 03:33 by ParisEye »

« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2008, 06:09 »
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I totally agree. There is no sense in selling on FP at the same price than on other sites.


I put mine at 6$ and allow resizing, so the minimum is 1.40$. Except for bestsellers that have 10$.

In principle, the idea is great: photogs can determine price and license type. As such, it is all-in-1 and unlike any other agency. BUT I have the feeling we are thinking too much as photogs (supply) and not as customers (demand). FP is a photog-centered site.
Yes, we are working 50% of our time on the big 6 for advertising. Apparently sites only grow big with big advertising, such seems to be the law of capitalism.

A year or so ago, Rinder played around with the idee of a best of stock site that would only be on invitation and there would be no reviewers. Actually setting up a site like that technically is a piece of cake (unless for Snapvillage). But he discarded the idea later since he realized that he needed marketing, support, follow-up and it would just be another beginning stock site.

Actually a site like that would exactly be in the position of FP. Maximal yield for the photog, minimal overhead. So why make another FP? Let's face it, I love FP but for me it still sells only 8% of SS. Apparently, we think too much as photogs and not enough as designers.

You can even see it on all the great personal sites that are posted here. Photogs show off,  post tutorials and blogs and links for other photogs. That's great, but we aren't each others customers. So it won't translate in sales.

-----------------------
I have been a designer for a while 2 years ago in a couple of projects and at one point I subscribed to CanStockPhoto to get my shots fast. I really didn't care about the photog, I was just looking in a rush at usable shots, et voila.
If you need hugs and aaahs and wows, go to Flickr. You'll get plenty for free. [that's imho the basic flaw behind the LO and MP commenting game - hugs are free].

For a designer, photos are a commodity and he isn't in the least interested in the wonderful personality of the photog. Just no time for that. Sorry gals & guys, we are just like the anonymous slave-artists that built the cathedrals in the Middle Ages: great carved stones and statues with no name on it.

--------------------------

I'm revamping my site now slowly towards a designer-centered site with a fast and direct path to sales. Iofoto is my guide: a great designer-centered site.
Your own marketing can only be a funnel to existing ms agency sites. Existing sites are successfully run businesses with clever business minds like Serban and Jon, and those don't come cheap. They dominate the ms market and any newcomer will have to put up a giant sum in advertising to get settled in that market. The first guy that sold sand to the Sahara got rich. The original founder of iStock got rich. No way you can sell sand now in the Sahara.

There are just no shortcuts to significant sales than massive advertising and brand building, and the Matthew effect plays around: those who have will be given more, and those that have little will haven taken away the little they have. The first mice got the cheese. Coca-Cola is just another brown sweet drink. Why do they sell? Because 50% of their budget goes to advertising. You can buy cola-clones at local brandless markets at 1/3 of the price.

Where do we go from here? It's all about the customers. Think designer. For instance, at FP I have all my shots, also my favs rejected as "non commercial" by some of the big 6. And guess what? What I sell at FP is not those favs, but exactly the same top sellers as at the big 6.

-------------------

Summary:

- The first mice got the cheese already. Any new site is bound to fail since they will need super-advertising to overcome the established position of the big 6. There is no cheese left.

- Personal advertising only works if you think designer.

- FP will stay an exotic mini-market player unless they adverise.

- Just my 2 cents, but I want Eurocents!
(sorry for the long post)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 06:17 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2008, 07:10 »
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If I understand your post, I think you are saying two things :

1) the first one gets all

2) the only issue is in advertising.

If I agree with the second one (and now that FP has reached a certain level they should soon be able to advertise), I can't agree with the first, otherwise everybody would drive in a Ford car and wear Levi's Jeans.

I think there is room for a lot of different offers, and I think also that Microstock will soon reach its limits. Right now, Microstock is an amateur field. Anybody with a P&S can sell pictures. And these pictures are sold for less and less through subscription, which drives the market down without anybody profiting it except buyers.

It's a spiral which will end in excluding pro photographers who won't find enough return for their work (we already saw Yuri lament about the trend and saying that he can't cover his expenses, and he isn't a pro -even though he could be-).

At the same time there is still a demand for upper stock because there are some markets where people are costing so much that they have to find quickly what they want and can't loose time on sites with low quality pictures they have to browse for hours before finding the good one.

I think there is room somewhere in the middle where good standing pictures done by professionals who want to earn a living and not only see their images in print somewhere for the thrill of it will find their place.

Which means perhaps a change in policy from midstock sites where quality will become their main asset.

Which, of course, goes through some advertising about the change.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 07:44 by ParisEye »

« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2008, 07:36 »
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While I agree that heavy marketing is needed for fast growth, not all agencies have the money needed for that. Some never take off, some take off, only to crash later, but with FP, I've seen a slow but steady positive development over time. There's no guarantee that they will survive, but since they represent a positive element within the stock photo market, I'll continue uploading there until I see that it's clearly going the wrong way.

Their biggest strength is probably the fact that they accept a much wider variety of photos than most agencies. For IS and SS, it's not a big problem that they reject half of what they are offered, since they have such a large number of photos on file anyway. FP's strength in the competition against giants like that, is to offer photos that are not available elsewhere.

I too sell photos at FP that have sold well at other agencies, but I also sell photos there that have not been accepted anywhere but FP, not for technical reasons, but for the "we don't think this is a good stock photo" reason.

Buyers have very varied needs, and surprisingly often, I (when I'm a buyer) can't find what I'm looking for anywhere. That obviously makes FP an interesting option. If I know about it. So, I send my customers to FP if they ask where to find photos. They don't always find it there, but it's better than finding the same photos that they don't need, at 5 different agencies.

The customers need alternatives. Although McDonald's dominate the hamburger market, there are others making a healthy living from selling hamburgers as well, only on a smaller scale.

« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2008, 07:50 »
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Well said. FP is a niche-player. Moreover, since they accept _all_, I use them as my online backup and by hotlinking to the thumbs as an engine for my portfolio on my own site. I'd better point occasional buyers to FP which gives 70% of 6$ than to SS. And it's as easy to upload as to MostPhotos. I just would never link to MostPhotos since any customer can see then that his 25 Euro shot can be bought for 3 Euro at other sites. I don't even mention my site at MostPhotos.

« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2008, 04:08 »
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xxx put it in another tread....
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 04:10 by ason »

« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2008, 17:31 »
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Right now I'm finding with sales so far apart, it's hard to sustain interest at FP.

« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2008, 17:50 »
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I still find their "pro-photog" business model a "good thing" and will continue to upload religiously.

« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2008, 17:55 »
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I still find their "pro-photog" business model a "good thing" and will continue to upload religiously.

I too. The effort is minimal... and who knows the future?

« Reply #34 on: February 29, 2008, 03:30 »
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I often hear folks justify sticking with a site, because of it's "easy upload" process.

When I multiplied all the time I spent in two years of processing my photos after I uploaded them to FP (5 minutes twice a week for two years) by the bare minimum hourly wage I expect to earn from selling my photos ($10 an hour), I actually ended up in the red.  I earned just under $60 for my time, when I expected to earn at the very least $200.

Five minutes here and there don't seem like much, but they add up really fast.  I can't afford to stay in the red until a site decides it's time to start pulling its weight and market my photos.  At the rate my sales were going, it would have taken a total of 5 1/2 years before I earned the money equal the time I spent uploading to FP for the first two years.  Who knows how much longer it would have taken to earn enough to help cover their small portion of the rest of my time creating the photos and associated expenses. 

I'm at the point where if I don't earn at least $100 from a site per year, which covers the minimum cost of my time to process photos on their site, they are history.  No more goofing around by supplying new and unproven or long-time duds with my work.  Those 9 hours per year would be better spent creating one fabulous photo that will earn several hundred dollars in a year.         
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 14:48 by Karimala »

« Reply #35 on: February 29, 2008, 16:56 »
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Hey,

One month at FP = 1.75 years at LO  ;D

vonkara

« Reply #36 on: February 29, 2008, 17:31 »
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I often hear folks justify sticking with a site, because of it's "easy upload" process.

When I multiplied all the time I spent in two years of processing my photos after I uploaded them to FP (5 minutes twice a week for two years) by the bare minimum hourly wage I expect to earn from selling my photos ($10 an hour), I actually ended up in the red.  I earned just under $60 for my time, when I expected to earn at the very least $200.

Five minutes here and there don't seem like much, but they add up really fast.  I can't afford to stay in the red until a site decides it's time to start pulling its weight and market my photos.  At the rate my sales were going, it would have taken a total of 5 1/2 years before I earned the money equal the time I spent uploading to FP for the first two years.  Who knows how much longer it would have taken to earn enough to help cover their small portion of the rest of my time creating the photos and associated expenses. 

I'm at the point where if I don't earn at least $100 from a site per year, which covers the minimum cost of my time to process photos on their site, they are history.  No more goofing around by supplying new and unproven or long-time duds with my work.  Those 9 hours per year would be better spent creating one fabulous photo that will earn several hundred dollars in a year.         
I agree whit that. When I'm going to be very old and taking a camera in my hand would be too hard, I will start upload to low earner micros. But now time have to pay a little much that what I can expect at FP and others.

I still have a portfolio to build and the sad gray and dirty winter don't help my inspiration at this time. I must admit that I need more to entertain my lost time and wait for the first rains to wash the sand and salt of the streets :(

« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2008, 14:40 »
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Another sale at FP! Worth the wait  $15.75 for me ;D

« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2008, 20:09 »
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One sale only this month (not as nice as jorge's!!) got me more than the nine sales I had in 123RF.  Mind you, I appreciate that single sale much more...  Overall FP and 123RF are about the same in earnings, and much better than many other sites (2xCSP, 6xCS, just to mention two).

Of course, different people have different experiences in the sites.  I'm happy with FP.

Regards,
Adelaide


 

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