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Author Topic: Which Are Really The Big 6? And Which Ones Are Really Worth The Time?  (Read 15729 times)

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« on: May 07, 2009, 14:30 »
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I have read various MS forums and blogs and each one lists the top 6 MS sites in different order.

I would place the top 4 as iStock, Fotolia, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime. As for the next 2 slots I thought the first one should be StockXpert, but I have put up so many images with minimal results so I think StockXpert is not really in the running anymore. Since most of my sales are coming from the top 4 sites I am thinking of adding 2 more possible sites.

Yuri has been writing recently about Can Stock and I have heard some good things about Big Stock. But neither of these are listed in the top 6 on this forum. Instead you have StockXpert and 123RF in the top 6. As I said, I have not had good results from StockXpert and I have heard 123RF is not really worth the time.

I would appreciate some good feedback on what other 2 sites you would contribute to if you were already contributiing to the top 4.

Many thanks...


« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2009, 14:35 »
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There are no big 6, that's what's confusing.

SS
DT
IS
FT

That's the top 4.  Beyond that, you're stretching.

BigStock
123
StockXpert
CanStockPhoto

That's the next level - stuff you can occasionally get money from.

CS, FP, YM, MP, ZM, SV, etc. are all the "good luck" places.  That's just how it generally shakes out.  Everyone's port is different but that's the basics.

« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009, 14:52 »
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There are no big 6, that's what's confusing.

SS
DT
IS
FT

That's the top 4.  Beyond that, you're stretching.

BigStock
123
StockXpert
CanStockPhoto

That's the next level - stuff you can occasionally get money from.

CS, FP, YM, MP, ZM, SV, etc. are all the "good luck" places.  That's just how it generally shakes out.  Everyone's port is different but that's the basics.

Right, except StockXpert. It belongs to Top 5.

In fact the truth is: (in no particular order)

IS
SS

then;
DT
StockXpert
FT

then;
123rf
BigStock
maybe CanStockPhoto

then the rest...
« Last Edit: May 07, 2009, 14:54 by cidepix »

« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 15:07 »
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Thanks guys, but I am afraid I am getting a bit lost in the abbreviations  ::)

Anyway, if you were to put say Big Stock, Can Stock, and 123RF in an order from 1 to 3, how would that shake out?

Thanks...

« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2009, 15:17 »
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My benchmark for an agency being worthwhile is its ability to consistently earn a minimum of $100 per month. The only agencies to pass this mark for me are SS, IS, FT, DT, StockXpert, and 123. So there's your 'Big Six'. Promising sites are Veer and Canstock, but the jury's still out on those two.

« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2009, 15:20 »
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Anyway, if you were to put say Big Stock, Can Stock, and 123RF in an order from 1 to 3, how would that shake out?

Over the last 6 months according to my spreadsheet, just using four agencies, not % of the total but % of these four:

StockXpert 33%
BigStock 25%
123 22%
CanStockPhoto 20%

Using the same scale, SS is at 100%, meaning equal to all 4 of those put together.  DT is at 55% and FT at 40%.  

« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2009, 15:24 »
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I'm doing reasonably well at SX.  It's reliably fifth, although it's running ahead of Ftl this month.  Over the last twelve months, BigStock brings in a little over half of SX, and 123 is a little over half of BigStock.

« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 15:59 »
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I wouldn't take a lot if notice about what Yuri reccomends as I started uploading to Crestock based on his reccomendations.  That was the biggest waste of uploading time that I have ever spent.  I think he has ulterior motives when pushing sites.
I would go with Bigstock if I were you.  They are my 6th site after (in order) FT, IS,SS,DT and StockXpert but don't expect to get anywhere near what you can on the big 4.



Yuri has been writing recently about Can Stock and I have heard some good things about Big Stock.

Many thanks...

« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 16:01 »
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Those 6 do it for me along with Bigstock that beats 123rf.

My benchmark for an agency being worthwhile is its ability to consistently earn a minimum of $100 per month. The only agencies to pass this mark for me are SS, IS, FT, DT, StockXpert, and 123. So there's your 'Big Six'. Promising sites are Veer and Canstock, but the jury's still out on those two.


« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2009, 16:13 »
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to me it's the big 4... in order

IS
FT
SS
DT

then

SX

then the rest

batman

« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2009, 16:17 »
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There is really no formula involved. Not unless you shoot the same stuff as us, and even then, there is no saying that because we are making money at xxx, and not xx site, that you too will find the same thing.
The only test is time and your own experience. Submit to all the sites you can, and the ones that give you consistent approval AND sales, are the ones you should concentrate.
 

« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2009, 16:30 »
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I agree with the big 4 concept, however for me they are IS, DT, StockXpert and FT.  I'm not in  SS.

« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2009, 16:40 »
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SS is the only one that's done anything for me.  DT, FT are way behind and IS has been a flop.  StockXpert is in trouble - may contributors (including myself) found that submissions after February of this year were getting no views. This issue is unresolved.

So at this point there is no big 4 for me.  SS, DT and FT are the only ones worth submitting to  - and only SS has generated any money - and that was almost all from subscriptions.


lisafx

« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2009, 17:42 »
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I agree with your first 4.  I would include Bigstock in the top 6 instead of 123.  My sales there have been stagnant for two years, despite doubling my portfolio.  I still barely make payout there each month, even with 4500+ images.

I still think StockXpert belongs there, but only if they leave our royalties alone.  If they lower them to match the proposed istock plan that would be the final nail in the coffin lid there as far as I'm concerned.

Canstock has actually picked up.  Nowhere near the top 6, but they moved from 0% of my income to 3%, passing 123 and Crestock this past month.  If the Fotosearch sales continue to build it could be a respectable moneymaker. 

batman

« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2009, 17:49 »
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I agree with your first 4.  I would include Bigstock in the top 6 instead of 123.  My sales there have been stagnant for two years, despite doubling my portfolio.  I still barely make payout there each month, even with 4500+ images.

what's the payout  at BigStock?

« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2009, 17:59 »
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I agree with the BIG 4:

iStockphoto
Shutterstock
Dreamstime
Fotolia

Then two sites that give me some money:
StockXpert (was recently in BIG 5, but has dropped quite a bit)
Bigstockphoto

And then a few that I get payments from, but needs a lot of patience because of the low earnings
123rf (easy upload)
crestock (easy upload)

Waste of time:
Featurepics
Stockphotomedia
Scanstockphoto
Snapvillage
Mostphotos
Canstockphoto




« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2009, 15:41 »
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I am not a huge player in this but for me bigstock has always been a steady performer. The low payouts are great as well.

« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2009, 16:10 »
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I am getting regular payouts (every month or every 2nd month) from 7 sites, but only two satisfy the ">$100/month" criterion (SS, IS). So, "big 2"?

Here is how it looked during last 6 months for my portfolio:
SS -   50.9%
IS -   21.1%
DT -   9.7%
FT -   6.2%
StockXpert -  5.8%
BigStock -  4.5%
123 -  3.2%

I am not sure if DT will stay on the 3rd place - my acceptance rate dropped there recently from 80+ % to 50% ...

« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2009, 16:20 »
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It's funny thread. People a describing in their own words what can be seen on the right side of the forum page :-) Obviously almost everybody got different Top 6. If having your top top icons would be mandatory you might take advantage of comparing what kind of pictures people who got similar results to yours have.

lisafx

« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2009, 17:04 »
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I agree with your first 4.  I would include Bigstock in the top 6 instead of 123.  My sales there have been stagnant for two years, despite doubling my portfolio.  I still barely make payout there each month, even with 4500+ images.

what's the payout  at BigStock?

I think $30.  Not sure though.  I wait until I have $100 to ask.

« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2009, 17:16 »
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I agree with your first 4.  I would include Bigstock in the top 6 instead of 123.  My sales there have been stagnant for two years, despite doubling my portfolio.  I still barely make payout there each month, even with 4500+ images.

what's the payout  at BigStock?

I think $30.  Not sure though.  I wait until I have $100 to ask.

You're right. It is $30.

For me it goes sorta like this, at least the past few months:

DT
IS
---- separation
SS
FT
StockXpert
---- separation
BigStock
123
CS
CanStockPhoto
« Last Edit: May 08, 2009, 17:18 by Kngkyle »

« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2009, 00:12 »
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Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. In answer to my question about BS, 123, and CanStock, it seems some people are getting decent results with 123RF as a second tier site, but most everyone is doing the best with Bigstock out of these 3. Of course, as a few mentioned, it comes down to your individual portfolio and some types of photos do better on some site than others. The only off-putting thing about BS is the fact that the picture submission process is so slow once you have uploaded your pictures via FTP. I guess if I start uploading there I will get used to it.

Oh, and as for CanStock, it seems that Yuri's better results as of late is not quite the same results that others are getting so I will probably give it a pass for now. 

« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2009, 02:06 »
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My "big4" is SS, DT, FT, StockXpert (close values between them)
Then comes BigStock, 123.

« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2009, 02:56 »
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My big 4 is.......totally irrelevant.  But this list will keep growing ;)

« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2009, 03:30 »
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Everyone is going to answer different, so there isn't one set answer.  Yes Canstock has improved tons the last two months, but they are far from being better than the top 4 sites.  Fotolia is 4th on the list here, but the big sellers like Yuri and Andresr have them as #1.

That is why the poll was created.  The list on the right isn't my or anyone else's random list. It is made up from a poll of well over 100 votes and taken the average.  So what the poll shows is the average ranking of the sites.

You can easily see that there is 5 sites that are pretty well agreed upon to be the top 5.  After that it is reasonably close between 123RF and Bigstock and Canstock and Crestock.

« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2009, 06:29 »
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If you know how to organize your self, you won't see big difference in time spent for microstock between 4 and 10 sites. I personally submit to 13 right now. Most time you will spend on shooting and editing, and you have to do it anyway.
1. Write IPTC data in PS or any other software that can do it, so you won't have to do it online
2. Use FTP for upload, so you can upload your files to multiple sites with few mouse clicks. You can even go to sleep after it, your images will be uploaded anyway
3. Logon to every site and choose categories where it's needed.

Third step is the only step that will take more time for 10 sites than 4 sites.

« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2009, 07:33 »
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IS
SS
Alamy (I sell RF here)
FT
DT

waste of time:
BigStock
123rf (will delete my images soon)
Featurepics
and now StockXpert

delete my images from
Canstock
Crestock
Albumo
Zymmetrical

tan510jomast

« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2009, 13:46 »
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in the past months, my most optimistic would be Fotolia, my newest site (5 months old). My most consistent since beginning in micro almost one year ago today  has been Stockxpert, which also gave me a stellar performances (by my standard) in Feb,March, April, although mostly subs. Followed closely by Dreamstime, and tagging far behind but paying better than subs Big Stock.Giving me a trickle (less than a dollar ) in the past month : 123rf, Canstock, SV.    Scanstock started well with 2 EU then fell into a stupor . I was actually hoping for more after they announced their move into the US market.
But don't judge it by me, my portfolio was very small until last winter (feb, march, april 2009) that I really made any effort to upload more consistently, BUT only to the sites that gave me a sale. Each time I get a sale, I upload to that site .
The only site that hasn't given me a sale but I am in full support is Cutcaster...
simply because John rocks  !
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 13:51 by tan510jomast »

« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2009, 14:02 »
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...
Third step is the only step that will take more time for 10 sites than 4 sites.

That's not entirely true - in order to maximize sales you shouldn't treat each agency the same way. IS has a unique keywording system that you need to address, IS and StockXpert allow you to list similar/related images, 123 allows you to select 'favorites' that will be given priority in searches, and it's important to pay attention to your uploading rate and day at SS.

tan510jomast

« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2009, 14:42 »
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...
Third step is the only step that will take more time for 10 sites than 4 sites.

That's not entirely true - in order to maximize sales you shouldn't treat each agency the same way. IS has a unique keywording system that you need to address, IS and StockXpert allow you to list similar/related images, 123 allows you to select 'favorites' that will be given priority in searches, and it's important to pay attention to your uploading rate and day at SS.


I think Fotolia too, I find that your ranking is linked to your approval and sales. This week I got an Extended Licence Sale and my ranking shot up. I also heard that keywords are vital for the first seven, although others here say that's folklore.
what do you think?

« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2009, 22:20 »
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I think Fotolia too, I find that your ranking is linked to your approval and sales. This week I got an Extended Licence Sale and my ranking shot up. I also heard that keywords are vital for the first seven, although others here say that's folklore.
what do you think?
Fotolia customer service confirmed to me the approval ratio is not in any way related to sales, or ranking of one's images in searches. While our FT ranking can change, it does not affect the sales.
7 keywords used to be relevant before, not anymore.

« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2009, 03:03 »
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7 keywords used to be relevant before, not anymore.

Did Fotolia customer service confirmed that too?

« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2009, 18:30 »
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7 keywords used to be relevant before, not anymore.
No. Not to me. I believe it was announced by Fotolia and posted on forums before.

Did Fotolia customer service confirmed that too?


« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2009, 22:19 »
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There are no big 6, that's what's confusing.

SS
DT
IS
FT

That's the top 4.  Beyond that, you're stretching.

BigStock
123
StockXpert
CanStockPhoto

That's the next level - stuff you can occasionally get money from.

CS, FP, YM, MP, ZM, SV, etc. are all the "good luck" places.  That's just how it generally shakes out.  Everyone's port is different but that's the basics.

Right, except StockXpert. It belongs to Top 5.

In fact the truth is: (in no particular order)

IS
SS

then;
DT
StockXpert
FT

then;
123rf
BigStock
maybe CanStockPhoto

then the rest...

There are no big 6. Theres a big 2 IS SS, big 4 if you add FT & DT, and big 7 with StockXpert 123 BigStock. I dont find CanStockPhoto as one of the big 8 but if it was fored in that would be it.

part 2 of the question which ones are worth the time? either the big 2 or the big 4 after that it might be a waste of time until you have 1000 photos. you can always upload those later to the last 4 and you didn't lose much. Sobody good would have only the big 2 and not waste time on any of the rest. FT & DT are getting hard to work with.

« Last Edit: May 20, 2009, 10:28 by YadaYadaYada »

« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2009, 02:29 »
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i have a big one  :o

i have only about 250 pics uploaded so far. so, my stats might not be very relevant, yet. but i'm usually making more than 50% of my microstock income on SS.

last month for example:

SS 51.87%

StockXpert 18.00%
FT 12.35%

DT 7.27%
IS 5.50%

BigStock, 123, CanStockPhoto together less than 6%


« Last Edit: May 14, 2009, 02:37 by thaimacky »

« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2009, 10:43 »
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Real data are here...

Fotolia will be No.1 soon...


lisafx

« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2009, 19:34 »
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7 keywords used to be relevant before, not anymore.

No. Not to me. I believe it was announced by Fotolia and posted on forums before.

Did Fotolia customer service confirmed that too?




Not sure how these rumors get started. 

This came up on another group in December and Matt Hayward checked into it and confirmed keyword order is still relevant in search results.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/micropayment/message/22349

If someone has different information can you post a link? 

« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2009, 21:53 »
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Thank you for clarifying that Lisa! I'm sorry if I misguided anyone. The less rumors around the better.

cmcderm1

  • Chad McDermott - Elite Image Photography
« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2009, 23:24 »
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I completely agree with this order..........

There are no big 6, that's what's confusing.

SS
DT
IS
FT

That's the top 4.  Beyond that, you're stretching.

BigStock
123
StockXpert
CanStockPhoto

That's the next level - stuff you can occasionally get money from.

CS, FP, YM, MP, ZM, SV, etc. are all the "good luck" places.  That's just how it generally shakes out.  Everyone's port is different but that's the basics.

Right, except StockXpert. It belongs to Top 5.

In fact the truth is: (in no particular order)

IS
SS

then;
DT
StockXpert
FT

then;
123rf
BigStock
maybe CanStockPhoto

then the rest...

« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2009, 15:35 »
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Me: small portfolio, mostly objects, 4 months experience.

Regular sales on SS and FT, DT is third.

StockXpert - some sales early on, then the site esssentially broke in February. New images get no views. Nothing sells any more.

123 RF - a complete waste of time.

IS - too much hassle, for very few sales.  If you want to mess with IS, submit only images that are already selling well elsewhere - expect lots of them to be rejected and don't bother trying to understand why. If you believe they've rejected a particularly good one, wait a couple weeks and resubmit, it may get through.

Dook

« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2009, 17:40 »
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Since you asked for feedback, here is mine.
1.SS and believe it or not, 2. StockXpert. Everything else as usual. BUT, for newcomer IS is not in BIG6 or 4 or anything because of their upload limit. You need a year or two for them to become BIG anything.

grp_photo

« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2009, 04:07 »
0
As a newcomer you can forget about IS and nobody know that is in a year or two.

« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2009, 15:07 »
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I am not a huge player in this but for me bigstock has always been a steady performer. The low payouts are great as well.

I agree that at BigStock the 30.00 use to be a plus however I was told by another photographer that they were being changed. Although I haven't looked into it myself as of yet ... probably email notice in the inbox waiting for me to read.

Aside from that I would say:
#1 SS
#2 DT
#3 iStock     
#4 FT
#5 123rf
#6 BigStock

Notable Mention: MP
Although I haven't had a sale there in 9 months my revenue from multiple sales at MostPhotos surpasses BigStock & 123rf combined. I believe they have dropped the rating system with their new release which just came out.

-Mark


 



-Mark
« Last Edit: September 09, 2009, 15:16 by mwp1969 »

« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2009, 07:27 »
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IS is 42% of sales - SS is 40%. BigStock 7% DT 6% and FT 3%.

CC, 123, and Yay have yet to make a sale. I've been with IS since 2003 with Yay for 1 month. All other sites I've been with for about a year.

« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2009, 07:46 »
0
In fact the truth is: (in no particular order)

IS
SS

then;
DT
StockXpert
FT

then;
123rf
BigStock
maybe CanStockPhoto

then the rest...

Yep.. I agree!

KB

« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2009, 10:29 »
0
I also agree, except that starting next week I'm afraid that StockXpert will drop down to the group containing 123 & BigStock.  :(

lisafx

« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2009, 17:31 »
0
I also agree, except that starting next week I'm afraid that StockXpert will drop down to the group containing 123 & BigStock.  :(

I think you are right.   Hoping to be pleasantly surprised though...

KB

« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2009, 19:26 »
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I also agree, except that starting next week I'm afraid that StockXpert will drop down to the group containing 123 & BigStock.  :(

I think you are right.   Hoping to be pleasantly surprised though...
Optimism is good.

I also hope you are pleasantly surprised.  ;D


 

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