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Author Topic: Selling the Same Stock Photos at Different Prices  (Read 23824 times)

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« on: January 26, 2009, 19:20 »
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I found this an  interesting read on microstock diaries.  A few differing opinions from some of the big names in the microstock business.

http://www.microstockdiaries.com/selling-the-same-stock-photos-at-different-prices.html

I don't have a problem with the difference in prices between the various microstock sites and the lower range midstock sites but so far I have resisted uploading my microstock photos to alamy.  They don't seem concerned but I am wary of losing buyers if they see the same images being sold at a fraction of the price.  Perhaps I need to think again.


« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 19:37 »
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I found this an  interesting read on microstock diaries.  A few differing opinions from some of the big names in the microstock business.

http://www.microstockdiaries.com/selling-the-same-stock-photos-at-different-prices.html

I don't have a problem with the difference in prices between the various microstock sites and the lower range midstock sites but so far I have resisted uploading my microstock photos to alamy.  They don't seem concerned but I am wary of losing buyers if they see the same images being sold at a fraction of the price.  Perhaps I need to think again.


Prices for the same item at different business is nothing new or disturbing. Case in point Wal Mart sells an item for $ 3.88 and the little store down the street sells the same item for $ 7.50. Buyers must learn to shop as we do everyday.

-Larry

« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 19:44 »
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I don't see a big problem with a 100% difference in price but what if it is 1000% ?

« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 19:51 »
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Definitely one of the more interesting posts on that site ... kudos, Lee!

« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2009, 19:52 »
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Lcjtripod has a very good point. This is a buyers market. Some will flock to Wal-Mart to get the same thing for cheap, while others will still go to that little store because that's what they've been doing for the last 20 or so years. Old habits die hard. I could definitely see Alamy losing business with buyers opting to purchase the same picture for a cheaper price. The photographers themselves shouldn't lose business though, just their revenue would take a cut because their photos wouldn't be purchased at high prices anymore.

« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2009, 20:09 »
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The important thing to recognise is all of the opinions are just that ... opinions.

You say, I say, he says ... all just opinions. While it is not illegal, sellers have every right to do this. And unless there is a Code of Conduct somewhere that we all have voluntarily signed, it is not unethical or immoral.

« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2009, 20:19 »
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Very often I've seen the same image of mine sold on two different sites just a few minutes or hours apart -- always different sizes. I'm thinking one site might be cheaper on one size or another and the buyer hops around using the contributor search to find the same image cheaper. Just a guess on my part but it really is eerie to see the same image downloaded on different sites so often.

« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 20:23 »
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I think it's different when we're talking about $5 vs $10 and $5 vs $100 or more.  If you see the same image in many agencies at the same price and license terms, prices will vary in a certain range, but not like microstock vs macrostock.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 20:35 »
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Well it definitely makes sense, louoates. I mean, I'm sure most of us here are working with multiple agencies. And I'm sure buyers that are aware of one agency realize that there are multiple agencies that have their own benefits. We are diversifying and so are they. That's why most agencies are offering more incentives for exclusivity, because they're trying to earn buyer loyalty..

« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 21:22 »
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Prices for the same item at different business is nothing new or disturbing. Case in point Wal Mart sells an item for $ 3.88 and the little store down the street sells the same item for $ 7.50. Buyers must learn to shop as we do everyday.

I don't buy that argument, even though I've heard it a dozen times.  There is a difference between a folding chair at Target for $15 and Walmart for $20, and the exact same image for $.20 on SS and $300 on Getty or Alamy.  You're preying on the ignorance of the buyer, and that's all.  There's no added value from the %1000 percent difference that would make it 1000 times better.

avava

« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2009, 21:42 »
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  There must be a value for all three markets or they wouldn't still co-exist. I can say that Micro has hurt Macro RF but it surely hasn't stopped it yet by any means. I make far more money on my Macro RF than my Micro and the shelf life I will bet is a lot longer. I have lots of images in Macro RF that are making great returns still after 7-8 years I don't know if you'll be able to say that about Micro, not yet. The average price per image was actually 118 dollars at Getty before Micro hit I don't know what it is now but it has dropped considerably so I don't think the average has risen to 300 dollars per sale probably more like 70 dollars a sale. Unless I am missing something.

Just my two cents,
AVAVA

« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2009, 22:50 »
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There's two different discussions going on here:
1. Selling the exact same image at hugely different price points
2. Selling different images at hugely different price points

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with the latter.  If you own content, sell it at the price point you value it at. 

But trying to pass off selling exactly the same at wildly differing prices as "buyer value" or something, is just silly, imo.  That's not diversification.  That's just hoping the buyer can't find your stuff at the best price.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2009, 23:14 »
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Very interesting hearing the different points of view. I agree with a lot of both views. I'd like to hear what buyers this of this.

If everything other than price is equal (service, policies, search, etc) I could see buyers feeling ripped off. But, like everything, it's up to the buyer to price shop if they choose to.

But, if the higher priced places offer something the lower priced places don't (like account managers to do the legwork for finding images, buyer incentive programs, etc) then the premium may be justifed.

Ultimately it's the median price at which buyers are willing to pay and sellers are willing to sell.

helix7

« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2009, 23:28 »
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...That's just hoping the buyer can't find your stuff at the best price.

Some buyers refuse to buy from microstock, even if they know they can get the same images for much less. It's not my problem if they have hang-ups about using microstock, and they make the choice to pay more for images that can be had elsewhere for less.

I have no problem with selling images at radically different prices, and I do so myself.



« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2009, 00:16 »
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Although I kind of understand sjlocke's point of view, how it could be a bit dishonest to provide the same image for $3 to one set of customers and $300 to others, I think if I was a buyer, I'd be aware of the fact that the same photo may be sold at a lower price on microstock. Especially given the fact that nothing is really stopping a photographer from making it available in both places.

I guess it depends on each individual photographer and whether they feel ok about it.

Just out of curiosity, has anybody ever have to deal with a pissed off buyer complaining that they bought your photo for 100x more than they could've at microstock?

« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2009, 04:33 »
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Yes very interesting post Lee. The interesting thing is, that the person who might be most negatively affected, James West with Alamy, is amongst the one who is the most open to that option to sell images at different price points. While I naturally see the problem if someone buys an image for $300+ and then sees it for $3 at microstock, I am still undecided but tend to have the opinion it is ok to sell images at hugely different price points. As Yuri pointed out, also the service can be vastly different. The Rf license at Alamy is e.g. also not similar to the Rf license on the micros. I think it is the buyers duty to research what he gets for what price.

I remember reading about one guy who made $800 or something, because he provided a public domain photo to a company or a person who needed exactly that image. In this case however he was not selling that image, but it was kind of a payment for finding that image. That might be a little bit streched, but might this not be applied in the case of Alamy. They have the biggest online library as far as I know. While maybe you cannot find the best images there, you probably certainly have the most variety on Alamy. If you search something, you are most likely to find it there. This I think is definitely something which might be worth a higher price, maybe not 1000%, but as said, the buyer should do his research. I am sure some of the buyers know about micros, why do they still choose images from Alamy?

Another thing, on Getty, Alamy and Corbis are heaps of images which are by far not as good as those on the micros. Take business images for example. It seems for me it can be argued similarly that it is unethical to provide a inferior product at such a high price point if you can get a similar product of higher quality so much cheaper on istock. Would it be so bad if a buyer can also find the higher quality image on Macrostock, even if it is sold at Microstock as well? (Apart from that it can be found cheaper elsewhere the image might be more valueable for the buyer for his project, than the lower quality image which is exclusive). Some customers obviously prefer to know that the image can only be found exclusively on Macrostock and is not sold on microstock. But then again in the end it is the buyers responsibility to research the options he has. I do not think that sellers who sell images at micro and Alamy deliberately want to cheat buyers with a higher price, they just use all options they have.

Just some random thoughts to this.

RT


« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2009, 05:01 »
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The interesting thing is, that the person who might be most negatively affected, James West with Alamy, is amongst the one who is the most open to that option to sell images at different price points.

That's because James West unlike many people is aware of what we sell, and it isn't images it is a licenese to use an image, when people understand what it is they're selling they might be able to understand the different price points.


« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2009, 06:36 »
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Very interesting post. My personal observation is that while there are still some people opposed to selling the same image at different price points (me included), this practise has become more acceptable in recent times than what it was a year ago. 

I think a lot of this is got to do with the fact that micro is gaining more acceptance among serious buyers and photographers alike, resulting in a narrowing of the gap between micro and macro. Micro prices are rising and macro prices are declining. In recent times the difference in AVERAGE prices of micro and macro images are much smaller than some of the examples quoted in this post. My prediction is that this difference will narrow even more in the near future.

Gone are the days that a buyer will have to use a macro agency if he/she is in need of quality images. RT, you are 100% correct. In the end the difference in price will be reflected in the conditions and restrictions of the usage licence and not so much the image itself. The RF licence of a macro agency is quite different than the RF licence of most microstock agencies. The most important domain of the macro agencies will continue to be RM editorial images.

« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2009, 06:55 »
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Another point is, do not forget that the agencies, and not the photographers, are selling the same photo and same license at different prices, even within the same agency.

Some users at Alamy were saying that they got 10% of what it should be, because the buyers are Alamy's preferred or "key" customers. Photographers merely make their photos available and do not set the prices. The prices are set through the negotiation between a agency and a buyer.

« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2009, 07:12 »
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Another point is, do not forget that the agencies, and not the photographers, are selling the same photo and same license at different prices, even within the same agency.

Photographers merely make their photos available and do not set the prices. The prices are set through the negotiation between a agency and a buyer.

Exactly. If anyone is 'guilty' then it can only be the agency who over-prices for their goods or services.

Clearly the 'value' of an image, or any other commodity for that matter, is what it is worth to the buyer. Caveat emptor.

The exponential growth of microstock was only possible because the actual costs of production and distribution (for the vast majority of images) bore no relationship whatsoever to the prices being charged. Eventually it will.

« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2009, 07:23 »
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I don't sell same images with different price tags, I just don't think that it's fair for the customers and it also dilutes the macro market. The photographers "fishing" for some bigger buck RF sales with micro images are shooting themselves in their foot and hurting the whole business.

Thank god we still have RM...

Micro prices are rising and macro prices are declining.

This is the thing that is really bad for the photographers. The total sum of money spent on stock photos is declining and the number of photographers is increasing. That's less money for all of us.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 07:30 by Perry »

« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2009, 07:28 »
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Ok, let's take a look at the Alamy usage guidelines for RF:
Quote
Alamy grants to you a non-exclusive and non-assignable right to Reproduce the Image(s) on a worldwide and perpetual basis solely as part of the following (or as otherwise agreed in writing by Alamy):
   1. advertising and promotional materials (including packaging);
   2. online or other electronic distribution systems (including web page design, but subject to clause 3.8) up to a maximum resolution of 72 dpi;
   3. broadcasts or theatrical exhibition;
   4. any products (including for-sale products) or publications (electronic or print), subject to clause 3.8; and/or
   5. materials for personal, non-commercial use and test or sample use, including comps and layouts. Please note, not all of Alamys Images have Releases. It is your responsibility to check that all necessary Releases have been secured (see clause 8.3 below).

The Image(s) may be shared by creating an image library, network configuration or other similar arrangement so long as no more than ten (10) individuals employed by the same entity have access to the Image(s) This is not a "simultaneous users licence", in other words you may not have more than ten (10) specific people access the Image(s) even if only ten (10) people are accessing the Image(s) at any particular time. For the Image(s) to be used by more than ten (10) individuals you must first contact Alamy to negotiate an extension of the Licence.

Ok, this includes the ability to make products (ie. tshirts and such), to use in unlimited runs, and a multi-seat license.  These are things that, at iStock, would cost you an EL, or several.  So, ok, if these are services you need, then I can see comparing those options to make a sound judgement on price.  If you don't need them, you should buy the regular license at the much cheaper price.

So, in the end, these are not licensing the exact same image at the same terms at different price points, but licensing them at nearly equivalent price points.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 07:38 by sjlocke »

« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2009, 07:46 »
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You still most likely get LESS money from a micro EL sale than from a regular sale at Alamy.
And what percentage of sold licences are EL? Under 1%? I think the whole question EL vs. Alamy RF is so mariginal it's almost irrelevant.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 07:51 by Perry »

« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2009, 07:51 »
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You still most likely get LESS money from a micro EL sale than from a regular sale at Alamy.
And what percentage of sold licences are EL? Under 1%?

Irrelevant.  We're talking about the buyer, not the terms the seller agreed to.

I would assume the percentage of licenses sold are the percentage that actually need it.  So, if you buy the exact same image on Alamy, and don't need what the license offers, you're overpaying for services you don't need.

« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2009, 07:53 »
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I would assume the percentage of licenses sold are the percentage that actually need it.  So, if you buy the exact same image on Alamy, and don't need what the license offers, you're overpaying for services you don't need.

Sounds almost like you are more into RM ;)

« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2009, 08:13 »
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When talking about prices, also bear in mind that we are talking about visual art, and the standards are subjective.

Van Gogh could not make a living when he was alive, now his artworks fetch hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars. The prices vary in various auctions. If a buyer likes it and is willing to pay more or less, who are we to dispute the buyer's choice?

IS prices are higher than other micros, but if a buyer wants to buy from IS, for various reasons, i.e. (1) existing account, (2) the image being right, and unwilling to spend the time to fish for better deals because the designer's time is also valuable, (3) anything else..., don't we just accept that it is a fact of life?

Let's censor our own choices, and worry not the things beyond our control.

In addition, Almay sells at higher prices, but does not sell as frequently as micros. After all, it is just one agency with heavy focus on UK and EU images. So for those who think if you flood Alamy with lots of similar photos, you are bound to be disappointed.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 08:34 by Freedom »

« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2009, 08:20 »
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You still most likely get LESS money from a micro EL sale than from a regular sale at Alamy.
And what percentage of sold licences are EL? Under 1%? I think the whole question EL vs. Alamy RF is so mariginal it's almost irrelevant.

I think that the percentage of El's on the micros should be higher.  Perhaps this is a good argument for putting the same images on alamy, at least we know then that the buyer hasn't paid less than they should.


« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2009, 08:27 »
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I think that the percentage of El's on the micros should be higher.  Perhaps this is a good argument for putting the same images on alamy, at least we know then that the buyer hasn't paid less than they should.

I have a gut feeling that many of our images are used in a way that would require an EL (that was never bought). Most people are too lazy to read through EULA:s and thinks RF automatically means "Use in any way". Especially if the buyer has been used to macro RF images.

« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2009, 08:39 »
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When talking about prices, also bear in mind that we are talking about visual art, and the standards are subjective.

Remember, we're talking about the exact same image being sold here, not different images that people are judging at different prices.

Perhaps this tells us why Yuri says he doesn't sell any on Alamy.  Buyers are using his images for things that don't require a wide license.  Likely, ads and web use.

RacePhoto

« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2009, 09:16 »
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When talking about prices, also bear in mind that we are talking about visual art, and the standards are subjective.

Remember, we're talking about the exact same image being sold here, not different images that people are judging at different prices.

Perhaps this tells us why Yuri says he doesn't sell any on Alamy.  Buyers are using his images for things that don't require a wide license.  Likely, ads and web use.

Yuri does sell RF on Alamy. (unless everything has been pulled from both accounts in the last month)

Otherwise I agree with you. Selling for 25c on one micro and maybe $1 on another or even $5 on another, isn't the same as putting up an identical image for $153 on a larger site.

We can all guess that buyers will be upset if they discover this. Maybe it will drive some customers to search micros first? But in the end, it has more to do with professional and personal integrity. I can't offer to sell the same photo at one price and then rob someone for 600% more, which is pure, selfish greed.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 09:20 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2009, 09:20 »
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Yuri does sell on Alamy. (unless everything has been pulled from both accounts in the last month)

I meant he's said he has no sales there.

« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2009, 09:23 »
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I can't offer to sell the same photo at one price and then rob someone for 600% more, which is pure, selfish greed.


You're not 'selling the photo' and neither is the agency. Agencies sell licenses to use images and the terms of such licenses vary __ so its not 'the same'.

« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2009, 12:48 »
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Yuri does sell on Alamy. (unless everything has been pulled from both accounts in the last month)

I meant he's said he has no sales there.

I don't buy that. I don't see his royalty reports, yet I can absolutely say with all certainty, that he makes sales on Alamy. He has too many images there to not.

RacePhoto

« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2009, 13:36 »
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I can't offer to sell the same photo at one price and then rob someone for 600% more, which is pure, selfish greed.


You're not 'selling the photo' and neither is the agency. Agencies sell licenses to use images and the terms of such licenses vary __ so its not 'the same'.

OK lets argue semantics instead of the point in question. I'm selling the rights to use an image. If I sold it for 25c on SS and then sold it on Alamy for $150 it would still be greedy. It's still selling at a wide spread of prices and still unethical in my personal point of view. If other people are so desperate that they want to head towards the verge of conning people, that's up to them. Only one image of mine is not exclusive on Alamy. Everyone can decide for themselves. This was a question and I gave my personal opinion.

It's not illegal and if anyone followed the link, the last comment on the blog was from James West where he said Alamy had no problems with a free market or people selling the same photos on Micro and Alamy, as long as they were RF and not cross licensed. (paraphrased)

Good point Sean. Listing photos and selling photos are two different things. I'm not going to go through all the Alamy measures and look for something that Yuri may have sold, it's not worth the effort. It's much easier to just take your word for it.  ;D
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 13:39 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2009, 13:57 »
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Yuri does sell on Alamy. (unless everything has been pulled from both accounts in the last month)

I meant he's said he has no sales there.

I don't buy that. I don't see his royalty reports, yet I can absolutely say with all certainty, that he makes sales on Alamy. He has too many images there to not.

Well, I don't see them either, but he's the one who said it.

« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2009, 14:16 »
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OK lets argue semantics instead of the point in question.

It's not semantics, it is exactly the point on which the entire issue hinges.

You personally are selling nothing. What you are doing is simply choosing the outlet(s) which may offer their licenses on your images. The licenses offered by different agencies are often completely different products having different quality standards, image formats, levels of customer service, guarantees, terms of use, discounts, etc, etc, etc.

Different agencies have different business models, staffing levels, cost structures, commission rates, web facilities, etc. Some of these are, IMHO, outdated by modern, industry-leading standards and offer relatively poor value to the customer.

It is the buying customer's job to understand the terms of the license that they are buying and the value or otherwise that it offers in comparison to competing outlets. If they don't then they really should not be in charge of a company account or credit card.

« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2009, 14:16 »
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I remember Yuri once said (correct me Yuri, if my memory fails me), that he would resize the images to make the smaller size available on micros and big one on macros. We can speculate another scenario, say, Yuri went to Haiwaii beach with his girlfrend model in 2006 and shot with his Canon 1D Mark II, and then in 2008 again with the same model, at the same spot, with his new Hasselblad. The photos may appear the same or similar to you, but they are not.

So it seems rather judgemental to jump into conclusions and accuse other people of greed or whatever, when you may only know the half truth and probably untruth. Even if you see the same image on micro and macro, it does not mean that they are the same. Again, let the agencies set the prices and the the buyers be the judges. As photographers, we can decide who we want to deal with or not, for ourselves. If there are universal moral standards for photographers, should fairness, open-mindedness and kindness to our colleagues be included?

It does not seem very ethical, for some forum participants, to offer their colleagues the harsh words and moral trials, while we should really examine our own integrity and moral conscience. Alamy, Getty, Corbis certainly are not for everyone, the same as micro. Personally I offer different photos for macro and micro, it's not because of my high moral ground, it's because each agency has its own niche and I am trying to meet their needs. To each according to its own. It's a free world, or I assume it is.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 21:57 by Freedom »


« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2009, 14:29 »
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The photos may appear the same or similar to you, but they are not.

No, actually, they are the exact same images he is offering.

RacePhoto

« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2009, 15:23 »
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I remember Yuri once said (correct me Yuri, if my memory fails me), that he would resize the images to make the smaller size available on micros and big one on macros. We can speculate another scenario, say, Yuri went to Haiwaii beach with his girlfrend model in 2006 and shot with his Canon 1D Mark II, and then in 2008 again with the same model, at the same spot, with his new Hasselblad. The photos may appear the same or similar to you, but they are not.

So it seems rather judgemental to jump into conclusions and accuse other people of greed or whatever, when you may only know the half truth and probably untruth. Even if you see the same image on micro and macro, it does not mean that they are the same. Again, let the agencies set the prices and the the buyers be the judges. As photographers, we can decide who we want to deal with or not, for ourselves. If there are universal moral standards for photographers, should fairness, open-mindedness and kindness to our colleagues be included?

It does not seem very ethical, for some forum participants, to offer their colleagues the harsh words and moral trials, while we should really examine our own integrity and moral conscience. Alamy, Getty, Corbis certainly are not for everyone, the same as micro. Personally I offer different photos for macro and micro, it's not because of my high moral ground, it's because each agency has its own nitch and I am trying to meet their needs. To each according to its own. It's a free world, or I assume it is.

Again, you are trying to pick at "what if" and create scenarios that are not part of the original premise. Have fun... It was originally stated that people were selling identical images are multiple sites, for greatly different prices. This has nothing to do with what Yuri does or what may happen, or if someone may shoot with two different cameras or downsize. It was a question about identical images, from the start.

If I didn't emphasize enough when I said you can do what you want, but this is my personal opinion. then I give up. Where's the moral trial? Who's that unkind to. Me?  ;D

Some people feel it's OK to use a stolen credit card, download photos and then sell them on other sites. I suppose it's wrong for me to make a moral judgment about that too. Maybe you think it's OK for some unscrupulous vector artists to clone originals and make minor changes and then sell them as their own creations? But I'm not supposed to judge that. I bet you are one of those people who touts diversity and tolerance, except of course when it doesn't agree with your personal view. Then you accuse others of being judgmental and divert from the original points by arguing semantics and creating hypothetical conditions that were not part of the original argument.

I don't care what you do with your photos. It's none of my business. I find it unethical to try to screw people by charging a grossly different price for licensing the same item. I have volume customers who get a different price than someone walking in off the street. Distributors get a different discount. But I don't see someone who needs something delivered next day and I'm the only one with that part in the country, so I jack up the price to six times list price to take advantage of them.

Ethics, like integrity, come from inside and how you were raised, not from someone writing a message on a forum. Nothing I write will change anyone, and it's not intended to.

In fact you are doing exactly what you say you are against.  ???
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 15:26 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2009, 15:28 »
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Another point is, do not forget that the agencies, and not the photographers, are selling the same photo and same license at different prices, even within the same agency.

It's a bit nave saying "it's the agencies' fault, not the photographers'", as we did not know what goes on there...  We decide which sites we contribute to and in which terms.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2009, 15:54 »
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I find it unethical to try to screw people by charging a grossly different price for licensing the same item ....

... But I don't see someone who needs something delivered next day and I'm the only one with that part in the country, so I jack up the price to six times list price to take advantage of them.

Ethics, like integrity, come from inside and how you were raised, not from someone writing a message on a forum.

You must live in a very different world to the rest of us then.

Ever tried to buy one of the last seats on an airplane or a hotel room at short notice? It's called 'Yield Management' and it is standard practice in many industries. Here's an excerpt from our friends at Wiki;

Yield management, also known as revenue management, is the process of understanding, anticipating and influencing consumer behavior in order to maximize revenue or profits from a fixed, perishable resource (such as airline seats or hotel room reservations). This process was first discovered by Dr. Matt H. Keller. The challenge is to sell the right resources to the right customer at the right time for the right price. This process can result in price discrimination, where a firm charges customers consuming otherwise identical goods or services a different price for doing so. Yield management is a large revenue generator for several major industries; Robert Crandall, former Chairman and CEO of American Airlines, has called yield management "the single most important technical development in transportation management since we entered deregulation."

That last quote says it all __ what you call 'unethical' is regarded as an 'important technical development' by others.

« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2009, 15:56 »
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.....We can speculate another scenario, say, Yuri went to Haiwaii beach with his girlfrend model in 2006 and shot with his Canon 1D Mark II, and then in 2008 again with the same model, at the same spot, with his new Hasselblad. The photos may appear the same or similar to you, but they are not.

I don't think he did that for the 10,000 photos he has on alamy :)

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2009, 16:29 »
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Good discussion.   I got caffeinated and dived in: http://www.zymmetrical.com/blog/

« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2009, 17:50 »
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That last quote says it all __ what you call 'unethical' is regarded as an 'important technical development' by others.

globalization, downsizing, deregulation, re-engineering, competitiveness, flexible labour regulations.

Depending on how you look at them, you see good or evil.

Regards,
Adelaide

lisafx

« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2009, 19:15 »
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Seems to me that the way the industry is going these types of discussions are almost moot.  Alamy and other trad agencies are lowering their prices at the same time as the micros are raising them.

For example - my sales so far on alamy range from $48 - $103 before fees deducted.  Considering their RF license is comparable to a micro EL, that is right in line with what the micros are getting for similar usage.  EL's on istock range from $50 to $100, and many people on Fotolia have their EL's set to $100 or more (mine are at $60). 

Getty doesn't accept micro images so its not an issue with them, but I could swear I read that some istock exclusives who have images on Getty have gotten commissions as low as 8 cents(?) for images sold through the photodisk collection, and Getty has also advertised (small size) RF images for $49. 

So where's the big price difference?  I haven't been on alamy long, but so far I haven't seen it. 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 20:22 by lisafx »

« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2009, 21:22 »
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i have a vast range of day rates I charge clients. I still work as hard for each and use what little creativity I can muster for each but there is well over a 50 fold difference in what I will charge a client. As for RM stock, same thing goes. I've had sales of $10K and $10 for the same image. I know there is a lot more usage associated with the higher price but the fact is a lot more was paid for the same exact image in one case compared to the other. I honestly don't think buyers are that naive. Is micro really the "dirty little secret" anymore? I doubt it.

RacePhoto

« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2009, 22:56 »
0
I find it unethical to try to screw people by charging a grossly different price for licensing the same item ....

... But I don't see someone who needs something delivered next day and I'm the only one with that part in the country, so I jack up the price to six times list price to take advantage of them.

Ethics, like integrity, come from inside and how you were raised, not from someone writing a message on a forum.


You must live in a very different world to the rest of us then.



There is nothing on Alamy that says you can't sell the same images there as you do on Micros, for 25 cents. The CEO of the company says he has nothing against it, it's a free market. You can't sell something RF and then later list it as RM on other sites. Once it's RF, it's always RF. You can't sell your RM images RF at the same time in two places.

I think it's in poor taste to offer a photo for a much higher price, say $100 on any site, and then sell it subscription for a quarter. Personal Opinion, I don't do it. That's the point of personal integrity, not the things that people keep popping up with, to start arguments.

What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach...  ;)

I'm taking a vacation. See Ya everyone. You've convinced me to leave behind my personal ethics and morality and turn to the dark side. You win.


« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 05:22 by RacePhoto »


« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2009, 23:01 »
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Wait a minute. I thought there was a new rule that states you can't sell images that you use on other microstock sites through Alamy?

helix7

« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2009, 00:26 »
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...I find it unethical to try to screw people by charging a grossly different price for licensing the same item...

I don't set the prices. I license my images through whatever profitable sites will take them. If you don't like the pricing, take it up with the agencies. Besides, where do you draw the line? Wherever it is convenient for you? One could argue that selling an image for $0.25 at SS and then selling it at istock for more than 20 times that price could be considered "grossly different."

I'm screwing people? Really? Who am I screwing? Do you seriously believe that there are people who think Alamy is the only place in town to get stock images, and they've somehow never heard of istock or any of the many microstock agencies? Come on.

You call it screwing people, I call it offering my images to another segment of the market. You've made the choice not to sell images to Alamy buyers, and that's your choice. But let's not get all high and mighty about it. Ethics have nothing to do with this. It's a business decision. Period. You can't draw the line at Alamy as the "grossly different price" or anywhere else you choose. They market is full of grossly different pricing, and making an ethical argument for one price point over another is ridiculous.


« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2009, 00:36 »
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The market is full of grossly different pricing, and making an ethical argument for one price point over another is ridiculous.

... is the right answer.

helix7

« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2009, 01:29 »
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Just did a little quick math. Some interesting numbers here:

I took my highest sale at Alamy ($189.26) and compared that to my highest EL sale at istock:
$189.26  --> 125 istock credits or around $165.
Or 1.14 times more at Alamy.

Then I compared that top sale at Alamy to my highest priced images at istock on a regular license (15 credit vectors) :
$189.26 --> 15 credits or around $21.93
Or 8.63 times more at Alamy.

Lastly, I compared the comparable value of an SS image sale (commission times 5, assuming an approximate 20% "commission", although it's probably really much less) of $1.90 next to the same istock regular license sale:
$.38 (*5 to reach aprox full value of image) =$1.90 --> $21.93 from above 15 credit sale
Or 11.54 times more at istock over shutterstock.

And remember that $1.90 is a generous estimate. You could also look at sites like vectorstock that sell 1-credit vector images (credits cost $1) and compare that to istock where some of the exact same images are sold for anywhere from 5 to 25 credits. A 15 credit istock file (roughly $21.93) sells for (you guessed it) 21.93 times more there than on vectorstock. Are istock vector buyers getting screwed over when they can get the files so much cheaper at vectorstock? Are istock sellers taking advantage of buyers?

So go ahead and keep bashing the Alamy price differnce, but keep in mind that the percentage difference between Alamy and micros is often less than the percentage differnce between SS and istock, as well as other micros. So where really is the "grossly different price"?

« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 01:35 by helix7 »

« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2009, 02:00 »
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A quote from the Alamy forum:

"I have noticed over the past few months that the average sale at Alamy has, for me, been getting lower. No great concern but never the less a fact. However, yesterday I made two sales for use on a Calendar for sale worldwide. This was an Alamy sale not through a distributor and the "on line" pricing module on Alamy priced each image at 325 or around $433. Each of my images was sold for only $10 each! By my reckoning this works out at around a 97.5% discount."

It turn out that this person was not the only one. There are numerous others with the same experience.

« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2009, 10:15 »
0
Quote
So go ahead and keep bashing the Alamy price differnce, but keep in mind that the percentage difference between Alamy and micros is often less than the percentage differnce between SS and istock, as well as other micros. So where really is the "grossly different price"?

Helix, your point is one I hadn't considered, and a very good one at that, thank you.

Alamy doesn't care, so why should you? Also, there is a difference in the particulars of the RF licensing agreement with Alamy and micros. It may be a minor difference but Alamy's is more encompasing by a degree.

« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2009, 10:39 »
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I think it is stretching the point to the extreme to compare the minimum price achieved at one agency with the maximum at another.

Microstock has never been about individual sales but always about high volumes. Surely the only realistic way to compare is the average price achieved per sale at each agency or $ per image per month?

So far this month my own figures are as follows (about 3500 sales in total);

SS - 0.49

IS - 1.19

DT - 1.29

FT - 1.05

SX - 0.58

BS - 0.90

I don't submit to Alamy or anywhere else.

tbmpvideo

« Reply #54 on: April 15, 2011, 00:08 »
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A very interesting discussion, which is mirrored over on the video side of things where I come from - round and round forever. Seems to reach deep into lots of vendors sense of what is moral, ethical, etc. I just put that aside awhile back and re-priced my non-performing video clips on the two agencies which allowed me to do it - Pond5 & Revostock. Sales jumped by about a 33 percent on Pond5 and somewhat on Revostock (which had never been a performer as a site) and these coming from perviously non-performing clips. They had no sales and few views either. After re-pricing, sales and views jumped up. So by actively re-pricing I was able to maximize the sales on at least one site leading a significant boost in yearly income. My conclusion from this is that lots of buyers, at least in video, are initially shopping/searching by price and subject. Unless you recognize the competitive nature of these different sites, you're not even in the game. The point after all, is to sell these images and make a living. "To Sell or Not to Sell, that is the question?"

« Reply #55 on: April 15, 2011, 00:57 »
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^^^Would be interesting to know your price range on Pond5.  I price most of my clips at $39 now but my time lapses don't sell much, so I price them a bit cheaper.  They sell more than the other sites for me.

This is an old thread, I eventually gave in and started putting some of my microstock portfolio on alamy.  There didn't seem to be much point in not uploading there because they already have lots of microstock content now.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #56 on: April 15, 2011, 04:22 »
0
Another point is, do not forget that the agencies, and not the photographers, are selling the same photo and same license at different prices, even within the same agency.

Photographers merely make their photos available and do not set the prices. The prices are set through the negotiation between a agency and a buyer.
Exactly. If anyone is 'guilty' then it can only be the agency who over-prices for their goods or services.
Conversely, the guilty party could be the agency who undercharges for their goods to the extent that it's unsustainable for them or their suppliers. This can be seen in businesses other than stock agencies too. A company comes along which, by vicious price slashing, knocks competitors out of business then either goes bust themselves when the initial huge investment to achieve a near-monopoly runs out or they are forced to raise their prices beyond what the market will bear to try to claw back their initial losses.


« Reply #57 on: April 15, 2011, 07:26 »
0
OLD THREAD ALERT

« Reply #58 on: April 15, 2011, 09:25 »
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Sorry Sean. Edited.

Didn't realize this was such an old thread.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 09:28 by click_click »


 

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