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Author Topic: Microstock tug o' war  (Read 30134 times)

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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2009, 20:38 »
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hoi ha, you make a good point.  As microstock becomes just the newest channel for big producers to sell to big buyers, prices have to move up so that the 'pros' more than recover their costs.  This could in time create a new market at lower prices; however that sort of implies that the Small Players can never actually make any money, just continue to sell at hobby prices.





« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2009, 03:53 »
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however that sort of implies that the Small Players can never actually make any money, just continue to sell at hobby prices.

I think that is true to an extent - of course there are many examples of people who began as hobbyists and had enough time, passion, skill etc to turn into professionals, now making a full time living off microstock - I respect them immensely. But many of us have neither the time nor inclination nor - to be brutally honest - the necessary skill (and alas that would me) to make any kind of a living out of it. Yet (1) I still care enough to keep contributing; (2) I still make a few hundred dollars a month which pays for equipment and even helps fund some of my travels; (3) People still buy my images, albeit in smaller amounts by far than the pros - but I am still "golden" at istock so there is some kind of a market for my images; (4) My downloads have neverthless been going down consistently over the past year and a half because the quality on the micros has gotten better and better and I simply cannot compete against that.

So when the prices start to rise to, say, the vetta level - all the pros will be selling their images at $50 a pop - but nobody is going to buy my images at that price (or at least only very rarely) - so yeah ... the blunt truth is my images are only worth hobby prices ...

« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2009, 09:04 »
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the blunt truth is my images are only worth hobby prices ...
And I am ok with that, up to a point.  I think $1 is fair.  Not 25 cents.


« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2009, 09:18 »
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hoi ha, your posts reflect my sentiments exactly.

And stockastic, I agree. If I am not willing to invest a lot more money and make the leap to professional, I shouldn't expect professionals commissions. BUT, my skills have improved, and my photos are selling. I do constantly upload and try to bring fresh and new ideas to the stock photo market.

Therefore, I think that as pros commissions rise, so should the small players' commissions. Hopefully they will continue to do so, and istock won't give all the small players the boot.

I also think there will always be a market for lower-priced stock photos. Not every company can afford 4 stock photos in their monthy newsletter at $100 a pop.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2009, 09:20 by cclapper »

« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2009, 18:19 »
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I guess I don't need  'validation' of my efforts like I did at the start; now the 25-cent sales just annoy me.

I make far  more sales on SS than on FT, DT or IS; but this month, the SS sales have been 100.0% subs, at 25 cents.  Not a single OD or EL - it looks like those days are over. I believe that you can't opt out of sub sales on SS, so I'm thinking about closing my account there. 

SS is easy to submit to, has quick reviews and has accepted almost all my shots; but if 25 cents is all they're paying, I guess maybe I don't need to bother with them anymore.


« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2009, 02:22 »
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I guess I don't need  'validation' of my efforts like I did at the start; now the 25-cent sales just annoy me.

I make far  more sales on SS than on FT, DT or IS; but this month, the SS sales have been 100.0% subs, at 25 cents.  Not a single OD or EL - it looks like those days are over. I believe that you can't opt out of sub sales on SS, so I'm thinking about closing my account there. 

SS is easy to submit to, has quick reviews and has accepted almost all my shots; but if 25 cents is all they're paying, I guess maybe I don't need to bother with them anymore.
It does get better if you stick with them and build a bigger portfolio.  I have had more EL's with SS than any other site and just their pay per download sales have made more for me this month than BS and 123rf combined.  They also pay more for subs when you reach their higher levels.  $0.38 is one of the highest subs commissions with the micros.  My average commission there this month is $0.57.

« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2009, 03:59 »
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I guess I don't need  'validation' of my efforts like I did at the start; now the 25-cent sales just annoy me.

I make far  more sales on SS than on FT, DT or IS; but this month, the SS sales have been 100.0% subs, at 25 cents.  Not a single OD or EL - it looks like those days are over. I believe that you can't opt out of sub sales on SS, so I'm thinking about closing my account there. 

SS is easy to submit to, has quick reviews and has accepted almost all my shots; but if 25 cents is all they're paying, I guess maybe I don't need to bother with them anymore.

And don't forget that at SS especially is about volume of sales, not individual sales ... in fact microstock always was about volume over all else ... the oft repeated mantra we read so often here ... you can sell your image one time for $100 or 100 times for $1.

lisafx

« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2009, 08:12 »
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SS is easy to submit to, has quick reviews and has accepted almost all my shots; but if 25 cents is all they're paying, I guess maybe I don't need to bother with them anymore.
It does get better if you stick with them and build a bigger portfolio.  I have had more EL's with SS than any other site and just their pay per download sales have made more for me this month than BS and 123rf combined.  They also pay more for subs when you reach their higher levels.  $0.38 is one of the highest subs commissions with the micros.  My average commission there this month is $0.57.
[/quote]

All good points Sharpshot. 

Stocktastic, if you stick with Shutterstock you shouldn't be making .25 for long.  My average is there is .73/DL because of the EL's and the on-demand sales.

« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2009, 10:09 »
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I hear all the good stuff about SS, but how do I reconcile all that with my own experience - which is continually declining sales over the last 6 months?

I now have about 100 images, and I was making more when I had 20.  ODs have steadily fallen off and are now at 0.  I had a single EL in my first week - never got a second.

At least on FT, DT and IS I occasionally sell someting for a couple of dollars. Why should I have the same photos on SS for 25 cents?  

If I just graphed the numbers and drew a line, I'd conclude that if I went from 100 to 200 images I'd have no sales at all.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 11:34 by stockastic »

« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2009, 13:46 »
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Remember that, at some point, the number of files you have online becomes a bit secondary to the quality of your images, their uniqueness, the demand on what you are shooting, variety, being a top player o a specific niche...  All those issues become important, sometimes more than the simple number of pics.  How many "girl with headset" images are out there?  How many handshakes?  Many people still shoot these and other usual subjects and expect to have lots of sales.  Innovate and execute and sales will come.  Take this from a guy that did everything wrong the first time around and, after researching, has found out the hard way...

« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2009, 18:58 »
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 Hi All,

 I have noticed a much greater non accept at SS while all my other agencies in Micro are going the other direction and accepting more of my submissions. I just got back an edit today from SS saying my images are out of focus, they took 7 and rejected 14. Istock and the other sites didn't think so as they accepted all the images that SS said where not sharp. We will repost them again in a few weeks to see if it was just the editor. Crazy though isn't it. We make a great deal of income from them and our sales have not dropped off like many said they might. I would much rather receive a notice that we do not want this image for our collection instead of making up statements like " Focus is not where we feel is appropriate for this image "

Best,
Jonathan

lisafx

« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2009, 19:08 »
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Shocking Jonathan.  There is no way I would believe any of your submitted images are out of focus, much less such a large number of them in one batch.

Definitely sounds like you got a rogue reviewer.  Probably if you wait a couple of weeks and try again they would be accepted.

« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2009, 20:56 »
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Why don't you post a few so we can see and agree with you?

« Reply #38 on: August 30, 2009, 00:46 »
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I doubt IS would have accepted them if they were out of focus.

Why don't you post a few so we can see and agree with you?

« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2009, 04:02 »
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In general, SS don't like shallow focus, istock do.  I have had lots of shallow focus photos rejected with SS for being out of focus, when the main subject is sharp and they are accepted by istock.  But try getting non vector illustrations accepted with istock, SS love them.

« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2009, 10:52 »
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I don't know if this is what your submitting, but I know istock doesn't really want raster illustrations that look like they could have been created in a vector program (which makes sense). Shutterstock doesn't care because everyone submits raster versions of their vectors as well.

« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2009, 10:55 »
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Hi Lisa,

 That is what we do when this occasionally happens, wait two weeks and send them back through. We find they almost always pass the second time. Thanks for the feedback.

Best,
Jonathan


« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2009, 23:19 »
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Yeah I have to say the entire subscription option ticks me off .. it's stupid. What will complaining about it get us? Absolutely nothing !!!!! Not without massive organization that is. Let's say that all the agencies sat down at the table and said .. ok we are going to drop subscriptions completely but you have to drop them and you have to drop them ... everyone drops them at the same time. What would buyers do? They would cry about it. The real question is how would it affect the industry? It would make it better for us and they agencies because those buyers are purchasing a need not a want. They don't want to pay for images. They NEED to pay for images. Dropping subscriptions worldwide would not have a negative affect. Do you think a designer is going to huff and puff and say "Well if I cant get images for .25 I'm just going to shut my business down and get a job at McDonalds flipping burgers !!!" Heck no !!! They will pay for it and go about their business.
We will make more money .. the agencies will make more money .. and you know what .. the designers buying the images will make more money because if they have any business education whatsoever they know that you adjust your price for an increase in expense. Will the CEOs get together and do this? LOL probably not. Not without force and guess what .... we don't have an active union in place to force it. So, we just have to deal with it or get out.

« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2009, 23:44 »
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Quote
SS is easy to submit to, has quick reviews and has accepted almost all my shots; but if 25 cents is all they're paying, I guess maybe I don't need to bother with them anymore.

My question is if you have already produced the images and are selling them elsewhere, why would you throw ANY money away by not submitting to SS? I could understand if it was YayMicro or some other tiny site, but SS is one of the big dogs for a reason! They are one of my top 3 earners (along with FT and IS) almost every month.

It seems kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Just my 2 cents...

« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2009, 09:33 »
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My question is if you have already produced the images and are selling them elsewhere, why would you throw ANY money away by not submitting to SS?
2 reasons I guess:
  1. I feel like I'm helping SS undercut my own sales at other sites that pay more.
  2. The 25 cent sales tick me off.     

« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2009, 14:32 »
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My question is if you have already produced the images and are selling them elsewhere, why would you throw ANY money away by not submitting to SS?
2 reasons I guess:
  1. I feel like I'm helping SS undercut my own sales at other sites that pay more.
  2. The 25 cent sales tick me off.  
  3. I don't want to support a model that is based on providing extremely cheap images. Microstock is already cheap enough, let's make people pay.

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2009, 14:37 »
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My question is if you have already produced the images and are selling them elsewhere, why would you throw ANY money away by not submitting to SS?
2 reasons I guess:
  1. I feel like I'm helping SS undercut my own sales at other sites that pay more.
  2. The 25 cent sales tick me off.  
  3. I don't want to support a model that is based on providing extremely cheap images. Microstock is already cheap enough, let's make people pay.

Yep, I gave up undercutting my own images too. In my opinion the best way to do business, is to set your own price, and never go below a level that is lower than that price. That's why I think the sites where you do set your own price are the best ones at the mo, that, and they don't do subs ;)

« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2009, 16:01 »
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My question is if you have already produced the images and are selling them elsewhere, why would you throw ANY money away by not submitting to SS?
2 reasons I guess:
  1. I feel like I'm helping SS undercut my own sales at other sites that pay more.
  2. The 25 cent sales tick me off.  
  3. I don't want to support a model that is based on providing extremely cheap images. Microstock is already cheap enough, let's make people pay.

Yep, I gave up undercutting my own images too. In my opinion the best way to do business, is to set your own price, and never go below a level that is lower than that price. That's why I think the sites where you do set your own price are the best ones at the mo, that, and they don't do subs ;)

If I only contributed to sites where I set my own prices I would have lost my house by now.

lisafx

« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2009, 16:20 »
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If I only contributed to sites where I set my own prices I would have lost my house by now.

You and me both.  When I look at my sales breakdown each month, other than istock all the top earners contain subscription plans. 

Not saying I like subs.  I don't.  But not going to throw my monthly income out the window in protest either. 

« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2009, 16:57 »
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I'd accept some number of dirt-cheap subscription sales. Last month, at SS, that's all I got.  100% 25-cent subscription sales and nothing else.

Granted my portofolio is very small and mostly off-beat stuff.  Maybe there are reasons why I only sold through subscriptions. But for me, SS is a drag. At FT, DT and IS, at least I get the wild thrill of an occasional sale for $2, $3.  

Your mileage may vary. Fortunately my house is paid for  :)
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 17:00 by stockastic »


 

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