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Author Topic: HOW to earn fair prices on FT  (Read 10566 times)

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« on: January 20, 2009, 05:47 »
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As you know, Fotolia (FT) is one of the cheapest fotosellers on the web, and their greed will not end. It is good for customers but bad for photografers.  :'(

Me, as a fotografer, annoys that FT bit the hand that feeds them.

for eg.:
Substcribtions:
you cant choose if you want subscribers (except you load up exclusive) or not, so by example it is possible that you get 0,31 credits for a XL pict placed on a cover of a Magazin. FT mentioned that they will get new customers that way but why on the back of us fotografers? This is really an unfair point of their selling strategie, besides the prices of the fotos they sell, are rather cheap at all.

...so there is only one way to avoid this fact: you have to upload exclusiv picts, to stop subscription. By the way you are able to rise the price of you picts up because the are exclusiv.

Ill give you a small example:
My last 10 downloads at FT where 60% subscriptions (L or XL) so I lost about 1,4 credits (1,75 for a XL or 1,56 for L) per download or 8,6 credits for 10 downloads (average). Thats to much for customer relationship.

For an exclusiv file Ill get 4,16 credits (before 1,56) for a Large thats far better (+350%). ::) ::) Same for extended license: 20 credits (6.6 for me) before now 50 credits (16.6 credits for me).

So I ask you why should I give my fotos for 0,31 credits away? Think customers will understand that they should pay for a good foto.

....what do you think?


« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 06:03 »
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you are forgetting to calculate in what you loose by not having sales on other sites when having an image exclusive on fotolia

« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 06:19 »
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Thats not the problem, because my very best picts are not for sale as microstock, only these which are not that high quality at all. Besides I shot series, so that I am able to deliver a similar pict (not the same) to other agencies.

DanP68

« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 06:28 »
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Gustyx,

If you go exclusive with Fotolia, you run the risk that they will change the rules (which they are known to do) and not allow a subs opt-out.  If you are unhappy with FT, then I don't understand why you would even consider exclusivity with them.

iStock would seem a more viable option if you choose exclusivity.  They already have a subs plan in place, which is clearly not a subs plan as we would define it.  Also you will get a decent commission share once you hit silver as an exclusive. 

Dreamstime may not currently have the earnings power you desire, but their subs plan for exclusives pays 42 cents per sale.  And they raise it regularly.  Perhaps you could consider them too.

Good luck to you.

« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2009, 06:30 »
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Thats not the problem, because my very best picts are not for sale as microstock, only these which are not that high quality at all. Besides I shot series, so that I am able to deliver a similar pict (not the same) to other agencies.

I thought exclusivity restrictions applied to all images in a series.  Kind of a useless policy if images only slightly different can be sold elsewhere.  

fred

DanP68

« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2009, 06:35 »
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You are correct Fred.  If an image is exclusive somewhere, similars cannot be sold elsewhere.  The agencies do police such things too.

« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2009, 06:39 »
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Thats right, but they got good sales for me, the point is only the price policies. For me the subscription problem exists not only at fotolia, its a problem of microstock-market at all. Im not willing to give my picts away for nothing or 0,31 credits, because it takes time to shoot them, to work them out and finally to make them useable for stockagencies.

It makes no sense to make customers believe, that the picts are not worth to pay a fair price. Remember that worth defines over the price.

DanP68

« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2009, 06:43 »
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Not many would disagree with you Gustyx.  Seriously, look into iStock exclusivity.  They don't have sub sales, just a redefinition of a credit package.  And their prices are among the highest in the industry, if not the absolute highest.  They seem to fit exactly what you are looking for in terms of fair pricing.

There are a few posters here (Sjlocke and SusanS come to mind) who are long time exclusives and could probably provide better feedback. 

« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2009, 06:46 »
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Thats right, but where is the border whats similar and whats different there are no guidlines. Of course I know this fact, so the pictures vary in lightning, perspektive, Backgrounds, etc., of course.

...and there is the next question about Exclusivity isnt it against the spirit of royalty free status?

« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2009, 06:48 »
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I am at IS, too, but not enough sales there to become exclusive yet.

« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 06:55 »
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Thats right, but where is the border whats similar and whats different there are no guidlines. Of course I know this fact, so the pictures vary in lightning, perspektive, Backgrounds, etc., of course.

...and there is the next question about Exclusivity isnt it against the spirit of royalty free status?

Differentiation is easy.  If photos are similar and from the same series they can only be exclusive on one site.  What you have said seems to violate that principle.

fred


« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2009, 06:57 »
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Attention: IS exclusivity is not the same as FT!
FT allows exclusivity by photo, IS only allows contributor exclusivity.
You say you sell other pictures at higher prices. If these are licensed as RF, than IS exclusivity is not for you...

« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2009, 07:11 »
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to Fred:
do you think these two are similar? But they are from the same serie, same motiv and same fotografer
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 07:40 by gustyx »

« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2009, 07:32 »
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and now the other way round. Both picts are from different fotografers, on of these is exclusiv, both are in Fotolia.

....thats the question about exclusivity in microstock market. What sense makes exclusivity for the customer? Whats about similarity? Have the agency the right  to do things that fotografers arent allowed to do? Whats about partner sales and exclusivity?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 07:48 by gustyx »

« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2009, 07:44 »
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If you are not happy with the pricing at Microstock (nobody is), you'd better not join them. If you count on ditching your substandard shots on Microstock, you might be in for a surprise since the standards have become very high and many photographers send their best. (Very) talented photographers are an endless supply, like sand in the Sahara. Buyers are not.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 07:46 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2009, 08:00 »
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It doesnt mean that I am unhappy with MS pricing, but I think as fotografer you have to stand against agencys selling policies if it makes a disadvantage to you and your work is given away for nothing more frustrating if these are picts from very talented fotografers and we should not be the slaves of any agency, or customer. For shure Id like also to get for example my food for free, but it dont work why should it work in picture markets?

Besides I have no problem to sell my not highend picts at MS sites. For me it is the place where they should be sold. Best Quality Fotos should be sold at a higher price at all. Quality counts.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 08:13 by gustyx »

« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2009, 08:14 »
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It doesnt mean that I am unhappy with MS pricing, but I think as fotografer you have to stand against agencys selling policies if it makes a disadvantage to you and your work is given away for nothing more frustrating if these are picts from very talented fotografers.

We all agree here, but what can you do? It's a question of supply and demand. You can even find people that upload on Crestock that has extremely high quality standards and sell those shots for 25cents. If you don't do it, others will do it. It's the world of 19-th century Dickens capitalism ;-)

We all hope that Obama will pass some tough laws (seasoned with state subsidies of course) that make it illegal to sell photos under 5 dollars  ;D
In the mean time, the price of a photo (or of any item) is not determined by what its intrinsic value is, but by what the sites/buyers want to give for it. Yes it's the sites that determine the prices, not the customers. Customers are much less cost-aware than what most think. Time is money, and finding the right shot fast and easy saves more time/money than shopping for a 1$ rebate.

« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2009, 08:28 »
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Thats the point, it should be the business of the agencies to afford these matters for the customers (quick finding, quality sorting, etc. ) but not making the prices. The prices of a picture should be in the fotografers (producers) hand if its to expansiv nobody wants to buy it, thats market.

But for the time being it is the agency who beats down the prices, not the market.

« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2009, 08:38 »
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But for the time being it is the agency who beats down the prices, not the market.

Acencies are competing against each other too, especially for customer loyalty since most microstock agencies carry the same type of images now. Price competition is - as you state - probably much less important than convenience. The large agencies clearly have an advantage here, since with millions of shots they can cater for many customers' demands. Dreamstime and Istock have never been competing on the price level, as smaller agencies tend to do.

Ultimately, it's the photographer's responsability not to upload to sites that undersell.

« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2009, 08:40 »
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...so in the end we have to realise that Microstock market ruins the picturemarket because they want high-end quality to sell for 0,31 credits.

...to avoid this fact is,
1) to differ Quality (fotografers shouldnt sell their very best at microstock sites, for other not that high quality picts its ok to be sold there for a lower price. There must be a reason for lower pricing.

2) not to obey the agencies selling concepts, if they bring disadvantage for us fotografers.
3) avoid subscription as tip of the iceberg.

....and so its also in our hands not to ruin the market.



« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2009, 09:00 »
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....and it seems everbody knows, but nobody act.

« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2009, 09:16 »
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You can have exclusive images in DT too.  I do.

I am considering making one of my illustrations exclusive at FT, because it sells much more there than all the sites togheter (the same reason why I put one exclusive at DT) and so I could benefit from the higher commission and opt it out from subs.

I have the impression someone said that exclusivity in FT isn't so strict about similars as other sites.  I must do a research about that.  That image also has a similar, but it also performs better at FT, so it would make sense to have both as exclusives if I go that way.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2009, 11:00 »
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Exclusivity on Fotolia is a very difficult balance.

If you made all your photos exclusive, then opted out of subscriptions, it is true that you would not have to sell your work for 0.31c

However, it doesn't mean that you would get $2 for them.  The customer may just buy someone else's for 0.31 instead.  It could reduce your earnings!

However, I generally adopt a rule that if an image sells really well at Fotolia I delete it from other sites and have it exclusive on Fotolia (perhaps at 2 credits but sometimes just at 1).  For images with more sales on Fotolia than all other sites put together it makes business sense to make them exclusive.

Most images I now put up as non-exclusive initially, then  see how they go.

tan510jomast

« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2009, 11:10 »
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you are forgetting to calculate in what you loose by not having sales on other sites when having an image exclusive on fotolia

Not just that. Exclusive may work against you, if you suddenly change your opinion about one site. Or if they tank and close up shop. 
tomsailor :  if your image sells well on Fotolia, why delete them from elsewhere?  It tells you it's a potential seller, and you are cutting off your market when in fact you should be increasing it.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 11:13 by tan510jomast »

« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2009, 11:15 »
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Ill give you a small example:
My last 10 downloads at FT where 60% subscriptions (L or XL) so I lost about 1,4 credits (1,75 for a XL or 1,56 for L) per download or 8,6 credits for 10 downloads (average). Thats to much for customer relationship.

I thought FT subs were limited to L.  I've never had an XL sub sale.   Or is that a Vector?

RacePhoto

« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2009, 22:17 »
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But for the time being it is the agency who beats down the prices, not the market.

Acencies are competing against each other too, especially for customer loyalty since most microstock agencies carry the same type of images now. Price competition is - as you state - probably much less important than convenience. The large agencies clearly have an advantage here, since with millions of shots they can cater for many customers' demands. Dreamstime and Istock have never been competing on the price level, as smaller agencies tend to do.

Ultimately, it's the photographer's responsability not to upload to sites that undersell.

Excuse me but I have one fine point to disagree with, the rest I agree with you. Look above at the bold words... I'd say that most agencies have mostly identical images from the same photographers. That's what sets IS apart.

If someone is going to pick and choose, arguing "what is similar and what is exclusive" there is no exclusive either for those people.

Winner so far is the guy who not only had his photos on multiple sites, but also on at least three of them as exclusive (even though they were identical) and on Alamy at the same time. I got a kick out of that. I never bothered to follow up and see how many sites he was still an exclusive on?

Next down the list are the people who are IS exclusives and have a room mate or spouse that contributes to the other sites, using the same camera and lenses, with similar shots?  ;D

People can set their own prices on some sites. One of those places is SV. Another is Featurpics, where it appears customers aren't buy them in a big way, or the plan either.

« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2009, 16:40 »
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I have the impression someone said that exclusivity in FT isn't so strict about similars as other sites.  I must do a research about that. 

Update: I asked FT and they said exclusive images have to be completely different from non-exclusive ones. 

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2009, 05:20 »
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see reply 13#

how will they manage this.

« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2009, 07:05 »
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to Fred:
do you think these two are similar? But they are from the same serie, same motiv and same fotografer

I'm not a judge and I don't work for any MS site.  Suggest you consult your lawyer or site support.

fred

« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2009, 07:36 »
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However, I generally adopt a rule that if an image sells really well at Fotolia I delete it from other sites and have it exclusive on Fotolia (perhaps at 2 credits but sometimes just at 1).  For images with more sales on Fotolia than all other sites put together it makes business sense to make them exclusive.

Most images I now put up as non-exclusive initially, then  see how they go.

I do this too except that I always price them at 3 or 4 credits. For the most part they continue to sell at the same rate but make far more money. I suspect that some buyers don't even look at the price or at least don't care.

« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2009, 11:19 »
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I thought FT subs were limited to L.  I've never had an XL sub sale.   Or is that a Vector?

You're right only L size is available for subscription


 

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