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Author Topic: Fotolia: Worth starting a port there?  (Read 14870 times)

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« on: October 15, 2009, 10:07 »
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Just looking for some feedback from some current Fotolia contributors on this one.  I currently have a port with SS, IS, DT, StockXpert; all with a good degree of sucess (well not so much with StockXpert anymore).
I have about 500-600 good quality images that I can submit to Fotolia, so Im wondering if it would be worth my time or not.  Thoughts?


« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2009, 10:10 »
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no. You will take more money from me. :D

« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 10:15 »
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I do well there, others do not. Some say they have a high rejection rate. I get a few rejected here and there but not a lot overall. Also over all they are in my top three always and this month they are in the lead. Hope that helps.

KB

« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 10:35 »
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I just made some comments in another thread regarding FT. They seem more appropriate here, so I will copy them, below.

I find FT very frustrating, as they are a relatively decent seller (typically they swap  with DT for the #3 and #4 spots in my monthly revenue chart).

Pros: Decent earnings, fast reviews
Cons: Inconsistent reviews, poor commission rates on largest files, can't edit images once submitted, cumbersome UL process (keyword order, no phrases, categories)

But no one can really answer this question better than yourself. Try them and see; the only cost is your time.

Copy of previous post follows:
I seriously wonder, given the large differences in experiences that people have with FT, whether some accounts are marked as "pass", and others "fail".

I just ran a small test over the last 10 days. I submitted the same 5 photos to all the top agencies. Here were the results:

123: 4 of 5 accepted
BigStock: 5 of 5 accepted
DT: 5 of 5 accepted
FT: 0 of 5 accepted
IS: 5 of 5 accepted
SS: 5 of 5 accepted
StockXpert: 5 of 5 accepted

For 123, the one rejection was "lighting/composition".

For FT, all 5 rejections were for "quality of photo".

It's been my experience, and thus my question for FT, that there is a disconnect between FT reviewers and the rest of the stock sites. My acceptance ratio is 80%-95% on all other sites, but is well below 50% on FT. Are FT's standards so much greater than all the other sites? I don't think so, since I'm sure if I re-submitted those 5 images enough times (which I definitely will not bother doing), eventually they would all get accepted.

So my question, re-phrased, is that something in the review process is broken at FT, and are they going to fix it or not?

RacePhoto

« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2009, 11:20 »
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Just looking for some feedback from some current Fotolia contributors on this one.  I currently have a port with SS, IS, DT, StockXpert; all with a good degree of sucess (well not so much with StockXpert anymore).
I have about 500-600 good quality images that I can submit to Fotolia, so Im wondering if it would be worth my time or not.  Thoughts?

Only if you use my referral link, otherwise I'd say No.  ;)

Honestly some people are very happy with FT, some have left and removed their accounts. Some people find the reviews vague and sometimes arbitrary, rejecting files that are accepted at the rest of the big six. Others find good results and sales.

With all that, you'll have to find out for yourself if FT is the place for you. As far as opinions go on this forum, you'll find the widest variation from love to hate of any micro agency. That's about the only thing I can say for sure.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2009, 11:28 »
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I personally find them frustrating and I get high rejection rates - usually for "quality of the photograph". I have around 350 images active on most of the sites, 255 on iStock because of their restricted upload process, and just 165 on Fotolia, and I think I got most of those in the initial months. I must be doing something they don't like!

Steve

http://www.backyardsilver.com

« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2009, 11:43 »
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I have a contributor account there from last year that's still active but I never really did anything with it. Since my port is for the most part established on other sites, I thought about turning my attention to Fotolia, so I guess I'll give it a whirl. 
I'll be a bit on the picky side with what I submit and see how the approval ratio goes.

« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2009, 12:16 »
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It probably  depends mostly on what kind of photos you have for upload. I agree with others that rejections are common, UI is hard to use.  They require a lot of patience but I can see a slow and steady growth after 1.5 years. I guess like any other top agencies they do not need more images so they just cherry pick the ones they like. Starting now is much harder than 3 years ago.

« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2009, 15:16 »
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I would go for it.
I have been a contributor for almost 3 years and I get steady sales there.
I found it slow at the start but I hung in there and when I  got to 'Bronze' it was every reason to stay.

« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2009, 15:32 »
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I just made some comments in another thread regarding FT. They seem more appropriate here, so I will copy them, below.

I find FT very frustrating, as they are a relatively decent seller (typically they swap  with DT for the #3 and #4 spots in my monthly revenue chart).

Pros: Decent earnings, fast reviews
Cons: Inconsistent reviews, poor commission rates on largest files, can't edit images once submitted, cumbersome UL process (keyword order, no phrases, categories)

But no one can really answer this question better than yourself. Try them and see; the only cost is your time.

Copy of previous post follows:
I seriously wonder, given the large differences in experiences that people have with FT, whether some accounts are marked as "pass", and others "fail".

I just ran a small test over the last 10 days. I submitted the same 5 photos to all the top agencies. Here were the results:

123: 4 of 5 accepted
BigStock: 5 of 5 accepted
DT: 5 of 5 accepted
FT: 0 of 5 accepted
IS: 5 of 5 accepted
SS: 5 of 5 accepted
StockXpert: 5 of 5 accepted

For 123, the one rejection was "lighting/composition".

For FT, all 5 rejections were for "quality of photo".

It's been my experience, and thus my question for FT, that there is a disconnect between FT reviewers and the rest of the stock sites. My acceptance ratio is 80%-95% on all other sites, but is well below 50% on FT. Are FT's standards so much greater than all the other sites? I don't think so, since I'm sure if I re-submitted those 5 images enough times (which I definitely will not bother doing), eventually they would all get accepted.

So my question, re-phrased, is that something in the review process is broken at FT, and are they going to fix it or not?


I have a similar problem with FT.

At times, I sit here thinking screw it. Are they worth the trouble.

Of the big 6, they are my second lowest.

My acceptance ratio there is about 25%.

Thank god for SS, sales this month have already doubled for me.. BME  ;D

A.

« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2009, 19:10 »
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Make sure you are happy with their 'affiliates/associates' program before taking the leap.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 16:14 by a.k.a.-tom »

« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2009, 19:43 »
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I sell well (for my standards) at FT, however the amount of subscription sales lately is very high.  I haven't uploaded to the micros in months, so I can not say anything about rejections. 

« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2009, 20:54 »
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I uploaded an initial 50 images there (bit of a tedious process with the keyword heirarchy etc).  I'll see how that batch goes.  I also resized my images to 3600 pixels on the long side (normally over 4000 pixels) since it seems that the XL size is over 7.8 MP and the next size is like 15MP.


« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2009, 10:36 »
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Mat, I am curious and I hope you don't mind answering: what is the % of your sales that are subscriptions?  Not in $, but in number of downloads.

« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2009, 11:16 »
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Mat, I am curious and I hope you don't mind answering: what is the % of your sales that are subscriptions?  Not in $, but in number of downloads.

Of my most recent 100 sales, 35 were subscriptions. 

Mat

lisafx

« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2009, 11:35 »
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I would say it is definitely worth uploading to Fotolia.  I have seen more growth there in the past year than on any other site I contribute to.  They are consistently either my #2 or #3 earner.  You are definitely leaving money on the table if you don't upload there.

That said,  the reviews can be inconsistent, as mentioned before.  Contributor support is a bit inconsistent too, IMO.  When I have had issues the support responses have varied from extremely helpful to extremely dismissive with everything in between. 

FWIW, though, it's been several months since I had rejections that left me scratching my head, and my last few encounters with customer service have been among the most positive.  Perhaps they have been working to improve in both areas.

« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2009, 13:06 »
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Just looking for some feedback from some current Fotolia contributors on this one.  I currently have a port with SS, IS, DT, StockXpert; all with a good degree of sucess (well not so much with StockXpert anymore).
I have about 500-600 good quality images that I can submit to Fotolia, so Im wondering if it would be worth my time or not.  Thoughts?

No!

Definitely not worth your time. Stay away and even go exclusive with IS!

« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2009, 15:00 »
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Of my most recent 100 sales, 35 were subscriptions. 
Last month I had 40% subs, this month almost 70%. :(

« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2009, 17:48 »
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Last month I had 40% subs, this month almost 70%. :(

Of my last 100 sales 43 were sub's. This month my RPI at FT is just over 1 credit __ about the mid-range of the agencies I submit to. It can vary quite a bit from month to month though . If you don't like sub sales then the only real option is exclusivity at IS and/or RM macro.

« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2009, 18:30 »
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Quote
Definitely not worth your time. Stay away and even go exclusive with IS!

I've thought about going exclusive with IS, but I find their requirements too restrictive so I dont see it as a viable option.
I've got 50 images at Fotolia pending now, so I'll see how the review process goes.  Once those have been reviewed I'll submit more as I've found that reviewers dont tend to like extra large batches of images all at once.

« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2009, 19:56 »
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Quote
Definitely not worth your time. Stay away and even go exclusive with IS!

I've thought about going exclusive with IS, but I find their requirements too restrictive so I dont see it as a viable option.
I've got 50 images at Fotolia pending now, so I'll see how the review process goes.  Once those have been reviewed I'll submit more as I've found that reviewers dont tend to like extra large batches of images all at once.

You are doing the right thing. Everyone should test it for themselves.

I wasn't serious anyway. It was a poor attempt to keep you out of competition  :)

« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2009, 22:03 »
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So I got my first status update emails from Fotolia.  So far 10 accepted, 14 declined due to not reaching a "desired level of aesthetic quality" (whatever that means), and 2 rejected due to "overabundant photo category".
Is there some way I can actually see the ones that were rejected?  I haven't figured out that one yet on Fotolia.
Serving up another 54 images for them tonight.

« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2009, 22:44 »
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on the "uploaded files" tab there is blue link at the bottom right of the page giving an option to show rejected files

« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2009, 23:53 »
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ah great thanks!

« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2009, 00:08 »
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Just had a look at my last 100. 
38% of them are subs but
32%  are 8 credit or more sales which compensates for the subs.

« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2009, 23:55 »
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Fotolia is a site where if you can get a portfolio established there, eventually the sales will start to slowly come in.  My sales are somewhat consistent there.  I love how quickly they review images, though its disappointing how many they reject  I have the lowest Acceptance Ratio there compared to all my other sites.  I don't really enjoy the way keywording works there.  I wish I could add and delete keywords.  Overall my recommendation would be its worth trying to get established on Fotolia.  Its not an easy though, excercise patience.

« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2009, 04:12 »
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Fotolia are probably the fastest reviewers i just upload 5 files while key wording and before i had finished  2 had been accepted , i don't bother if they reject i have learned its personal its not what they looking for most of the time .

« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2009, 06:10 »
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It bothers me that almost every month some credits are missing again and again due to fraud incidents and so on. I don't care about how they protect themselves from image thievery but once I've sold an image, I need to be paid.
This incident never happened to other agencies I upload, none but FT. It's annoying..

« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2009, 10:40 »
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Yes that line about "desired level of aesthetic quality" still burns me up every time I get it.  Particularly because it usually happens when I submit a shot that I know is good but probably too artsy for stock.    Why they use such a patronizing, insulting tone in a routine rejection notice just totally escapes me. 


« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2009, 19:46 »
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Quote
Yes that line about "desired level of aesthetic quality" still burns me up every time I get it.

That's a favorite one with my submissions it seems.  I'll just try slipping a few at a time back into future submissions and see what happens.  Well I've got 33 images now active since I began submitting on Friday and got 2 sub sales today.  Woohoo 65 cents total. :P

KB

« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2009, 21:37 »
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Yes that line about "desired level of aesthetic quality" still burns me up every time I get it. 

I agree it's bad. But it doesn't compete with BigStock's worst:
Snapshot composition: This image is more of a snapshot than a marketable stock image.

Gee, why don't you say what you really mean?  ;D

I can't complain too much, though. I've received it only 3 times out of around 600 submissions. Whereas I must have received Fotolia's "desired level of aesthetic quality" 200 times at least.

ap

« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2009, 19:09 »
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Yes that line about "desired level of aesthetic quality" still burns me up every time I get it.  Particularly because it usually happens when I submit a shot that I know is good but probably too artsy for stock.    Why they use such a patronizing, insulting tone in a routine rejection notice just totally escapes me.  



it's a true orwellian perversion of the word 'aesthetic' as we know it. funny though, the shots they reject tend to do well elsewhere. so they don't seem either commercially nor aesthetically savvy.

it will be hard to do well at ft for the high rejection rates and the high # of subs.  but, you may have a portfolio they like. hint: they truly hate landscapes and anything aesthetically inclined.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 19:11 by ap »

« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2009, 23:25 »
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Jason Stitt (an Emerald contributor) posted on their forum a couple of days ago that he just had over $400 removed from his account due to credit card fraud.  This has grown to be an alarming recurring theme over there.  I know it happens on other sites, but I never hear about it happening nearly so much anywhere else. 
Why?

« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2009, 23:27 »
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Quote
hint: they truly hate landscapes and anything aesthetically inclined.

Oh I may be in trouble then!  I've noticed that so far they have accepted some of my landscapes; even one involving tulips (tulip shots are hard to get accepted anywhere these days).  I'll keep plugging along and see what happens

ap

« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2009, 23:33 »
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they must love you then, for i know they also hate flowers. but veggies, food, isolations are almost 100% foolproof. i just ruined my acceptance rate by sending in some landscapes. but i like playing with fire.

« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2009, 01:42 »
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Last 100: 28 subs, 3 EL. Much less subs than DT.
Almost no dl of my landscapes, but many overwhite models.

ap

« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2009, 02:16 »
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Almost no dl of my landscapes, but many overwhite models.


 ??? ??? disambiguation required for overwhite:

  did you mean caucasian or isolation?  ;)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 17:22 by ap »

« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2009, 02:26 »
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??? ??? disambiguation required for overwhite:  did you mean caucasian or isolation?
cut out, isolated, overwhite, silo

« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2009, 00:30 »
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Nike: Just Do IT

« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2009, 00:43 »
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Got 5 sales so far (all subs).  So far I'm around a 40% acceptance rate.

« Reply #41 on: October 24, 2009, 02:00 »
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The number of credit card fraud related transactions there is a cause for concern. It looks like they really don't have any effective security measure. I've had 4 transactions reversed in the last month for refused cards.

What really bothers me is that the transactions seem to correlate with Subscription sales - so someone signs up with a subscription, steals a lot of out photos then we get amounts subtracted from our balance.

one was on 15 October: (Image purchased with subscription, 07-21-2009 02:15:12 am) - so basically the fraud happened and they don't pick it up for 3 months?!?


« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2009, 03:10 »
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as far as I'm concerned (although this makes no change to the reality of it) if Fotolia sell your photo and then find out it's a fraud then they should only be able to retrieve the money back from the contributor if they're able to return the goods sold to the contributor. Which they can't. 

The "agent" gets 70% of the money for each sale for doing the marketing, providing the platform and the transactions. This commission should include the risk of bad transactions and the contributor has no control over this component.


« Reply #43 on: October 24, 2009, 12:30 »
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Has anyone ever purchased in the sites using a credit card and noticed anything in Fotolia that would explaing this behaviour? 

« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2009, 16:30 »
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The number of credit card fraud related transactions there is a cause for concern. It looks like they really don't have any effective security measure. I've had 4 transactions reversed in the last month for refused cards.

What really bothers me is that the transactions seem to correlate with Subscription sales - so someone signs up with a subscription, steals a lot of out photos then we get amounts subtracted from our balance.

one was on 15 October: (Image purchased with subscription, 07-21-2009 02:15:12 am) - so basically the fraud happened and they don't pick it up for 3 months?!?


Some contributors have had money deducted from transactions that happened over a year earlier. I agree the risk should be taken by the one who gets the lion's share of the commission. But apparently FT contributors are out of luck and had better just live with it. That's par for their course.

lisafx

« Reply #45 on: October 24, 2009, 17:15 »
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If these boards are any indication, Fotolia has lost a lot of its goodwill among contributors.  Eventually that is bound to hurt their collection as more and more small to midsize contributors stop uploading there, or close their accounts altogether.   

You can't build a varied and comprehensive collection just with the superstars of micro, who mostly produce the same subjects and styles over and over again.  The smaller players are what brings interest and variety.  If Fotolia manages to alienate these people, the other sites that treat them well are bound to gain a competitive advantage.

traveler1116

« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2009, 03:16 »
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If these boards are any indication, Fotolia has lost a lot of its goodwill among contributors.  Eventually that is bound to hurt their collection as more and more small to midsize contributors stop uploading there, or close their accounts altogether.   

You can't build a varied and comprehensive collection just with the superstars of micro, who mostly produce the same subjects and styles over and over again.  The smaller players are what brings interest and variety.  If Fotolia manages to alienate these people, the other sites that treat them well are bound to gain a competitive advantage.

I think that's true, at least in my case.  I am going around the world, many times to place where 0 or very few images show up in the search and I would like to think that buyers will have to follow me for some images.  With all these changes that are hurting current contributors (DT pay cut from 50 to 30% and FT allowing new contributors with less sales than me to come in at 2 levels higher) I can't bring myself to continue working with them and feel forced to go to IS and Alamy.  I'm not sure how this will play out but I think I will be happy with the decision even if I lose some money.

« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2009, 11:31 »
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I closed my Fotolia account last August.     Had I known what now I know, I would have never uploaded anything there.



 

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