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Author Topic: Stock Photography Mystery Shopper?  (Read 2326 times)

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« on: October 13, 2011, 15:29 »
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This thread got me thinking http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/fotolia-partner-sales/msg223313/?topicseen#new

Given the lack of transparency in accounting that we face with our agents/distributors and their partners, I think somebody could start a business mystery shopping for individual contributors.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_shopping   for those who dont know about it.)

Ive got a busy day job, so this is beyond me, but I bet a number of contributors would be willing to pay to see how long it takes to show up in the contributors account and how much the agent/distributor actually pays out.  

The big hurdle is getting the agencies/distributors to not object to this when a contributor comes to them with a problem transaction fund this way.  I can imagine some agent/distributors taking the position that anyone buying images on your behalf is seeking to manipulate their system and will close the contributors account rather than work to resolve the issue.

Clearly this would not work on high volume images since it would be hard to identify individual transactions, but most of us have a few more niche images that rarely (if ever in my case) sell.  

Added to note that if you are posting here under your real name that you might not want to state you have/intend to buy your own images, regardless of how well intentioned you might be.  People have had their accounts closed for doing so.  
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 20:37 by Sadstock »


« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 15:48 »
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SS and IS both have issues with people buying images on behalf of contributors - I am pretty sure SS would punish you as severely as they could if they found out someone was buying your images on your behalf. I think IS would probably try to treat it like they did the gangs buying images immediately to boost their rank.

It would be interesting to see how many images are bought that are not reported though - Especially for the sites that seem to play a little loose with other aspects we can see.

« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 15:56 »
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We are on the same wavelength.  I am buying a hosting package in the next couple of days, one of them gives 7 free credits.  If I get that plan I had intended to buy 7 little photos from 7 of us over different days and see how the reporting goes.

Batman

« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 19:48 »
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We are on the same wavelength.  I am buying a hosting package in the next couple of days, one of them gives 7 free credits.  If I get that plan I had intended to buy 7 little photos from 7 of us over different days and see how the reporting goes.

Sounds like a good idea and no way the micros can be upset for checking sale. It's not cheating or raising rank it's verification. I agree secret shopper could be a business, buy one unsold picture and report back to customer then check if micro reports the sale in the month. Could pay for buyer to buy from top agencys for small fees.

« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2011, 13:52 »
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Wonder if the mystery shopper could get agreement from the agencies in advance that sales made by the shopper would be identified to the agencies after 60 or 90 days and then identified to the agencies so the transaction could be voided so no benifit could accrue to the contributor?

60 or 90 days would give partners enough time to report the transaction (or not!) to the agency and them to report to the contributor. 

« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2011, 15:19 »
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I would think that the "Big" guys already have something like this in place to check on their partners. If they found out that the partners are "skimming" off the top they would be gone in a heart beat. If they don't have a check method I would be surprised.

« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2011, 17:48 »
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I'm sure that some do have a system in place, but those systems are there to serve the agent, not the contributor.  I have doubts that some of the agents are able to manage the accounting within their own company, let alone with a whole slew of partners ::)

This is at least a theoretical way to narrow the trust gap between contributors and the agencies a bit. 


 

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