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Author Topic: Selling at different price points across different sites - Does it hurt sales?  (Read 3410 times)

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« on: January 25, 2013, 04:10 »
+1
Does selling across different sites with different royalties cause an overall decrease in royalties?

I'm sure this is a question that many non-ex contributors have already battled with, but I'm currently struggling with it myself and I'd like to know what you guys think. If you have a photo that's on sale for $20 at one agency and $3 on another, would your sales at the former site suffer? When I put myself in the shoes of a web-savvy customer, I believe that the first thing I'd do upon finding a photo I want to buy is to run the preview image through Google Images in hopes of finding the same file on a cheaper site.

That's what I'd do, at any rate. I understand that there are different sorts of customers (many that probably buy exclusively from one site due to various reasons), but I'd like to know what you guys think!


« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 04:21 »
+1
No doesn't seem to.   I have had the same image sell for 400$ on Alamy that can be bought from a sub site. I think the majority of buyers just buy from one or 2 sites that they choose for what ever reason.  If you don't have your images on all the best selling sites then you will miss out on sales.  If somebody always buys at dreamstime for instance they will likely buy the best image they can find  there and not go hunting on multiple sites so if your images aren't there then you miss out on a potential sales.  Of course some will do that but it can't be avoided unless you restrict yourself to one site.

« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 04:24 »
0
Most customers tend to stick to one agency. Price of images are so low anyway, it doesn't worth it to go and surf and waste your time to get a pic few dollars cheaper. Mass buyers have subscriptions, so they also tend to stick with subscription agency.

Poncke

« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 04:24 »
+2
No doesn't seem to.   I have had the same image sell for 400$ on Alamy that can be bought from a sub site.
I had the same thing happen to me. Boy did they fall over each other in the Alamy forum to spew their discontent. How on earth could I justify such thing.

« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 04:30 »
+2
No doesn't seem to.   I have had the same image sell for 400$ on Alamy that can be bought from a sub site.
I had the same thing happen to me. Boy did they fall over each other in the Alamy forum to spew their discontent. How on earth could I justify such thing.
Apparently the Alamy license is more like an EL at other sites so it can be justified like that.

« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 06:00 »
+1
It can be justified because alamy allow microstockers to upload their portfolios there.  I think it's a bad policy, they should have a separate microstock site but that's their choice.  I ended up putting my microstock portfolio on alamy because there's no reason not to now.  They should only have a go in the forum when someone sells an RF microstock image as RM on alamy, as that's against their policy but really alamy should police that.  If the old-timers over there can't accept alamy allowing microstock images in their collection, they either need to make them change the policy or leave the site.

Poncke

« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 06:04 »
0
No doesn't seem to.   I have had the same image sell for 400$ on Alamy that can be bought from a sub site.
I had the same thing happen to me. Boy did they fall over each other in the Alamy forum to spew their discontent. How on earth could I justify such thing.
Apparently the Alamy license is more like an EL at other sites so it can be justified like that.

I justified it by the larger size. Alamy has sizes that I dont offer to other agencies. Anyhoo it banked me 290 dollars. My latest two sales on alamy totaled 3 euros.... LOL

I like the comment of the EL, thats a good one too.

« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 07:25 »
+3
I can buy the same brand name merchandise at walmart as I can at JCPenney or Macys. It's much cheaper at Walmart but that doesnt mean I want to shop at Walmart all the time. I like JCP. If something cost more there, I consider it money well spent for my convenience.


Same with photos. Buyers shop where they are comfortable and if they pay a little more, it's worth not wasting their time surfing to find something less expensive.

red

« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 07:59 »
0
Some large companies buy from wherever their account is set up and nowhere else. A corporate accounting dept purchases bulk credit packages and gives their ad/marketing/art depts the password so they can get images as needed. That's where most of the subs come from. As long as it's not their own money their buyers go in and get whatever they need whenever they need it whether or not they end up using the images they download or not. I worked at such a place and most of the buyers had no clue that any other source of images existed other than the one they had a corporate account at and didn't care to spend time searching elsewhere for cheaper images since their agency of choice had sooooo many images.

We think that every buyer is aware of other options when looking for images but many are not (which is a good reason to get the word out on the getty/google debacle to as many buyers as you can think of). When I filled them in on other possibilities they took a little time to check out other places but were disappointed because they found many of the same images on the other sites so why switch? The company I worked for had a SS account but when their accounting dept. became aware of Thinkstock they also set up an account there. The business side of the corporation thought that Thinkstock was the best place for the types of images that were most often used at the best price. All they saw was money spent, not image quality or variety or fairness to the sources of those images. They didn't care who took the photo or what their cut of the price was and didn't even understand how that worked. The company used images in throw-away flyers, usually broadsheets, that went out all over the US for hardware, grocery, farm and fleet type stores. They purchased lots and lots of simple images often buying the same images over and over (the same isolated orange for a grocery ad each month that oranges were on sale, etc.).
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 08:01 by cuppacoffee »

« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 08:36 »
0
Some large companies buy from wherever their account is set up and nowhere else. A corporate accounting dept purchases bulk credit packages and gives their ad/marketing/art depts the password so they can get images as needed. That's where most of the subs come from. As long as it's not their own money their buyers go in and get whatever they need whenever they need it whether or not they end up using the images they download or not. I worked at such a place and most of the buyers had no clue that any other source of images existed other than the one they had a corporate account at and didn't care to spend time searching elsewhere for cheaper images since their agency of choice had sooooo many images.

We think that every buyer is aware of other options when looking for images but many are not (which is a good reason to get the word out on the getty/google debacle to as many buyers as you can think of). When I filled them in on other possibilities they took a little time to check out other places but were disappointed because they found many of the same images on the other sites so why switch? The company I worked for had a SS account but when their accounting dept. became aware of Thinkstock they also set up an account there. The business side of the corporation thought that Thinkstock was the best place for the types of images that were most often used at the best price. All they saw was money spent, not image quality or variety or fairness to the sources of those images. They didn't care who took the photo or what their cut of the price was and didn't even understand how that worked. The company used images in throw-away flyers, usually broadsheets, that went out all over the US for hardware, grocery, farm and fleet type stores. They purchased lots and lots of simple images often buying the same images over and over (the same isolated orange for a grocery ad each month that oranges were on sale, etc.).

Having worked in a few advertising agencies, I noticed this too and thus wasn't really worried about these group of buyers. I was more concerned over more the typical solo web designer - those who handle all aspects of their business and thus would be inclined to cut costs wherever they can. I'm sure they exist, I'm just not sure how many of them out there as compared to organizations/big buyers who only focus on a single agency. From the way it sounds though, I guess I shouldn't be too worried :P

I'm bewildered though by the example you gave though. If one already has an SS account, why go for Thinkstock? I'd think that it's a given that SS has a way larger collection, and last I checked, they're cheaper too. Curious...

Anyways, thanks for the input everyone! It's good to hear that it's of general opinion that sales on one agency doesn't really affect the rest much. :) As a vector artist I've been contemplating submitting to Vectorstock for a while now - a decision I was apprehensive about as while their sales are great, their price is really way too low. Guess I've made my decision :D

« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 10:42 »
+1
Yes and no. If everyone boycotted sites that sell subs, we'd all get paid more per sale and probably more overall, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon. So, it's business as usual of selling anywhere and everywhere for most contributors.

That said, I've been consciously trying to move my business (images) to higher paying sites and neglect the lower paying ones for the last two years. I eliminated sites like Vectorstock, Fotolia, 123RF and iStock (and family) altogether. The transition was definitely painful, but overall my earnings have gone up.

In the end, I think it is a viable strategy to protect the value of your work. It's tough though because there aren't that many sites out there that will help you do it. The other strategy (selling everywhere) works too. It's really about what you think works best for you. There is always that pesky sustainability question too.

« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 11:39 »
0
the laziness of buyers cannot be underestimated -- besides the reasonable actons of corporate buyers who use the one company account, many buyers just dont bther to look elsewhere.

i see this every day on amazon where i sell vintage classics illustrated comics -- the same comic is often listed multiple times, and a comic may sell for $20 when it's listed on the SAME site for $5 [same seller & condition], just a short scroll away


 

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