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Author Topic: They are not agencies, they are on-line stores  (Read 6811 times)

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« on: July 24, 2013, 10:58 »
+37
I see in multiple threads that people call the places that sell licences to our images, agencies.

I think we have to realize that they are not agents for us at all.  They don't care about us or our well being ( as an agent should) all they care about is their bottom line ( which is what a store should do)

They are on-line stores and we provide them with merchandise on a consignment basis.

They are the same as Walmart, and their goals and tactics are the same.


« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 11:05 »
0
yep, pure semantics ;D

« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 11:34 »
0
yep, pure semantics ;D

That's kind of how I feel about it, but I can't really complain about the possibility of somebody else joining my little lazy picket line.  ;D

« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 11:36 »
+4
yep, pure semantics ;D

Maybe, but as sooner as we start thinking we are dealing with a Walmart mindset, the sooner we can plan on how to survive.

« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 11:40 »
0
yep, pure semantics ;D

Maybe, but as sooner as we start thinking we are dealing with a Walmart mindset, the sooner we can plan on how to survive.

I've always thought that in the way the contributors relate to "agencies" there is a bit of sentimentality and a bit of "guilt", as if we think we killed the "old way" to sell photos.

« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 11:56 »
+5
It's even worse. I suppose that Walmart's suppliers agree the price in advance and it's not changed unless both parties agree.
If it would be same - the only way how Wallmart's supplier could protect himself would be going fast to store, taking his products out of shelfs and running away.
But yes - they are definitely not agents.

lisafx

« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2013, 13:42 »
+1
It's even worse. I suppose that Walmart's suppliers agree the price in advance and it's not changed unless both parties agree.
If it would be same - the only way how Wallmart's supplier could protect himself would be going fast to store, taking his products out of shelfs and running away.
But yes - they are definitely not agents.

Yes, exactly.  By the time WalMart puts something on its shelves to sell, it has already paid the supplier for it, at an agreed upon price.  They can discount the stock they have, but the discount is borne by WalMart. 

WalMart can always renegotiate for FUTURE orders, but suppliers aren't donating their wares on spec, and waiting to be paid after they sell, at whatever amount WalMart deems appropriate.

(not defending WalMart, BTW.  I haven't shopped there in over 10 years because of their unethical business tactics.  Just making the point how they operate differently than micros) 

« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2013, 13:46 »
+4
So true - the word 'agency' is completely inappropriate.  They're just middlemen making a killing because of the way internet sales evolved.   They add very little value - despite all the hype about their marvelous search algorithms, it's us doing the keywording.  Ultimately almost the entire process - even a good part of the inspections - will be automated, and then it's just a mindless money machine.

I don't know what to call them.  Just 'stock photo companies' I guess.  But we ought to come up with some zingy term that expresses our frustration with the way they currently control the market and exploit creative producers.






lisafx

« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2013, 13:48 »
+10
... we ought to come up with some zingy term that expresses our frustration with the way they currently control the market and exploit creative producers.

Parasites? 

« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2013, 13:51 »
+1
It's even worse. I suppose that Walmart's suppliers agree the price in advance and it's not changed unless both parties agree.


I don't know about Walmart, but I do know that some major retailers I have dealt with in the past expect the supplier to provide the product in their warehouse and depending on the sales and sales volume they will adjust the price, and if it doesn't sell the supplier has to take it back.

« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2013, 14:04 »
0
It's even worse. I suppose that Walmart's suppliers agree the price in advance and it's not changed unless both parties agree.


I don't know about Walmart, but I do know that some major retailers I have dealt with in the past expect the supplier to provide the product in their warehouse and depending on the sales and sales volume they will adjust the price, and if it doesn't sell the supplier has to take it back.

I don't think that is uncommon, then you sell them to liquidators. I don't know a lot about it, but I seem to remember things like that at my last company.

« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2013, 14:12 »
0
It's even worse. I suppose that Walmart's suppliers agree the price in advance and it's not changed unless both parties agree.
If it would be same - the only way how Wallmart's supplier could protect himself would be going fast to store, taking his products out of shelfs and running away.
But yes - they are definitely not agents.

And the suppliers are paid on delivery for each and every product.

« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2013, 14:14 »
+1
... we ought to come up with some zingy term that expresses our frustration with the way they currently control the market and exploit creative producers.

Parasites?

LOL Exploitative Greedy Blood * Parasites

lisafx

« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2013, 14:26 »
+2
... we ought to come up with some zingy term that expresses our frustration with the way they currently control the market and exploit creative producers.

Parasites?

LOL Exploitative Greedy Blood * Parasites

I'd vote for that one ;D

« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2013, 14:36 »
+3
Leeches?

« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2013, 16:48 »
+1
I see in multiple threads that people call the places that sell licences to our images, agencies.

I think we have to realize that they are not agents for us at all.  They don't care about us or our well being ( as an agent should) all they care about is their bottom line ( which is what a store should do)

They are on-line stores and we provide them with merchandise on a consignment basis.

They are the same as Walmart, and their goals and tactics are the same.

I have come to the conclusion you provide as well, but fact is THEY CALL THEMSELVES AGENCIES - thus I'd like them to act as such.

« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2013, 16:58 »
+2
Words like "leeches" and "parasites" don't quite capture the pretentiousness, or the arrogance, of many of these companies.     


Uncle Pete

« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2013, 11:02 »
+4
Correct, Walmart doesn't own all that stock. Some of it can be returned, but since that's a physical product and we are selling electrons, it's different in other ways. Microstock "agencies" own nothing (some have collections, if one wants to nit pick), it's all ours and on consignment. When they sell something, we get some spare change thrown at us. Their inventory is essentially the price of holding it on servers and marketing. Very little is nothing is purchased and stocked in advance.

I've been calling them parasites for years, fine if the rest here join in.  :)

Saw a show the other night about charities and fraud. The people were giving 20% to the homeless and the big objection was, it's less than minimum wage and the other 80% was going to the agency. Hmm, sound familiar? Usury is a nice word too, even if it's for interest, the percentage that the agencies keep, is objectionable.

The promises they made to get people interested have been altered. The growth and increases, for sales and work, are a lie. (they were rescinded) Referral commissions, were ended. The hope for continuing income may have been assumed by artists, but it's a fraud. And now that the companies have 24 million images, they really don't need the people who got them to where they are.

The inventory is so diluted that the wages and earnings to artists are divided into so many different people, that only a few at the top, make any return on their time and investment. Competition has exploded, so have buyers choices.

I don't know if they are stores, and they call themselves agencies. But in the end, they really do not represent us, as they pretended to do. They are only out for their own gain. Hey that's business... People start a business to make money. People shoot Micro to make money.

Both want to invest time and money on product and sell things and MAKE A PROFIT. Agencies are not charity organizations, set up for our benefit. We don't want to work for nothing? Only way I can enjoy Microstock is, because it's a hobby and I have three other income sources. Yet people are critical of me, because I'm not serious enough for their standards. How does "serious" when the agencies lie and use people, make 20% return better?

Does your blood type make a difference to a blood * leach? But people come to Microstock to willingly donate their Blood, Sweat and Tears. Then complain about pay and sales. It's not like the whole market is a secret, and the commission rates are confidential. Not like someone new can't read here and see, that sales are down and income also.

They might be stores, they might be agencies, they could be brokers. Doesn't matter arguing semantics of what to call something. Parasites covered it!


It's even worse. I suppose that Walmart's suppliers agree the price in advance and it's not changed unless both parties agree.


I don't know about Walmart, but I do know that some major retailers I have dealt with in the past expect the supplier to provide the product in their warehouse and depending on the sales and sales volume they will adjust the price, and if it doesn't sell the supplier has to take it back.

« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2013, 12:48 »
+2
Ever read the stock of Vlasic pickles and how their deal with Walmart nearly bankrupt them?  Long story short (look it up for more detail - Wall St. Journal I believe), V wants to get into the Wmart stores. Walmart and V strike a deal to sell a 5 gallon jar of pickle for $5.  V's margin is so razor thin that they are basically looking at the deal as a branding/marketing scheme.

They sell like crazy during this special offer.

Now everyone and their  brother has more pickles than they can ever eat in three years on their counter.  V pickles sales slump.  The next year V officials get their heads to together and come up with a price for this pickle jar that will allow them to at least make a profit.  They approach Walmart with the offer.

Walmart laughs and says "didn't you see our signs?  We promote falling prices.  Come back with a deal that is 10% lower than last years!"

The only one who profits is Walmart.

« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2013, 12:54 »
0
BTW - I doubt that Walmart pays up front for merchandise.  The suppliers probably give them credit. Walmart probably tries to get the item off the shelf before they have to pay for it.

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2013, 13:42 »
0

[]
They are on-line stores []

Maybe we could call them "Photos Hard-Discounts", till they will not become "Hard-Photos Discounts"

« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2013, 13:52 »
0
They are not leaches or parasites.

They are drug dealers: When first everyone get addicted they raise the price.

« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2013, 14:06 »
+4
But we ought to come up with some zingy term that expresses our frustration with the way they currently control the market and exploit creative producers.

How about "sites I no longer do business with"?  ;D

« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2013, 20:01 »
0
Quote
How about "sites I no longer do business with"?  ;D



BoBoBolinski

« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2013, 03:30 »
+1
I love it when people who are first to complain about copyright theft use copyrighted imagery when presumably they have no permission to do so.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2013, 20:36 »
+2
But we ought to come up with some zingy term that expresses our frustration with the way they currently control the market and exploit creative producers.

How about "sites I no longer do business with"?  ;D

I'm on that train for a couple of years. But that's only because I said, "I'd rather sit for nothing than work for nothing." I'm self employed and have other income and pretty simple, I'm not needy and desperate enough for them to take advantage of me. When they pulled the rug out, changed the rules, changed the levels, and dropped commissions... AND told us the business was unsustainable with the original promised contract? For another one it was open treats towards contributors. Sorry, I won't take that.

Yes it is like drugs. Promise of happiness and escape through chemicals.

What Microstock agencies sell (with the help of people on the forums who brag about earnings, and recruited for referral income  ) is H O P E. A dose of reality and looking at financials for each individual might be good. Only you can decide if you are making money or treading water, until you drowned. That means, add up expenses and time and see how it worksvs actual income and what goes into the bank.

Making a profit? Best wishes, go for it.

BoBoBolinski

« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2013, 05:40 »
0
"Words like "leeches" and "parasites" don't quite capture the pretentiousness, or the arrogance, of many of these companies."

But you still sell your work through them? So not that bad.


« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2013, 17:34 »
0
But we ought to come up with some zingy term that expresses our frustration with the way they currently control the market and exploit creative producers.

How about "sites I no longer do business with"?  ;D

I'm on that train for a couple of years. But that's only because I said, "I'd rather sit for nothing than work for nothing." I'm self employed and have other income and pretty simple, I'm not needy and desperate enough for them to take advantage of me. When they pulled the rug out, changed the rules, changed the levels, and dropped commissions... AND told us the business was unsustainable with the original promised contract? For another one it was open treats towards contributors. Sorry, I won't take that.

Yes it is like drugs. Promise of happiness and escape through chemicals.

What Microstock agencies sell (with the help of people on the forums who brag about earnings, and recruited for referral income  ) is H O P E.

A dose of reality and looking at financials for each individual might be good. Only you can decide if you are making money or treading water, until you drowned. That means, add up expenses and time and see how it worksvs actual income and what goes into the bank.

Making a profit? Best wishes, go for it.

Completely agree and nicely put.

I often wonder how the IS exclusives that jumped ship because of those bragging about stellar sales at SS are doing.   

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2013, 06:21 »
+1
I often wonder how the IS exclusives that jumped ship because of those bragging about stellar sales at SS are doing.
I would hope that at the very least they checked with people in a similar topic area. No point in sending my underwater macrame shots to a company which has stellar sales of models in a studio.

« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2013, 17:46 »
0
Hi grsphoto,

 I find this to be a bit of a blanket view, I know some very upstanding companies out there in the stock industry that offer an opportunity to share in the sales 50/50 but without the support of photographers to make those agencies grow then we are stuck with a 80/20 deal for a long time. Keep feeding the companies that will share only 20% with you and the opportunity for change becomes increasingly difficult. Just my 2 cents.

P.S. I agree with your post about retailers selling goods. Many retailers do not pay their suppliers until they have sold their product.

Thanks,
Jonathan
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 15:59 by Jonathan Ross »

« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2013, 18:25 »
+2
...I know some very upstanding companies out there in the stock industry that offer an opportunity to share in the sales 50/50 but without the support of photographers to make those agencies grow then we are stuck with a 80/20 deal ...

Very true and I have my photos at 2 of them. Unfortunately both are still making zero sales.

The heart of the problem is that  companies are changing their terms after we've submitted our work - steadily lowering commissions - secure in the knowledge our path of least resistance is always to simply leave the photos there, having already done the front-end work of submitting them.  So while we give new companies our content to sell on better terms, we never remove it from the old ones, because they have all the sales.  This situation obviously persists indefinitely and I see no simple solution.

There must be a formal economic term for this behavior, which maximizes short-term returns at the expense of future returns.  It's similar to the "sunk cost fallacy" but not identical. 

If I started to see at least 'some' sales at the new agencies, it might represent a light at the end of the tunnel.  Unfortunately, to date they seem to have lost ground rather than gained.





« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 18:29 by stockastic »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2013, 18:38 »
0
^^ so some of us of maturer years may not live to see any worthwhile return.

« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2013, 18:47 »
+1
^^ so some of us of maturer years may not live to see any worthwhile return.

Exactly.  Even if we bit the bullet and moved everything to the agencies paying reasonable commissions - and even if those agencies then started making significant sales - the time frame seems like it would be years.   I'm already retired, by then I'd be interred.

If we saw even SOME small growth in sales at the new agencies, serious change would at least be conceivable.  But it seems like the trend is opposite.


« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 20:46 by stockastic »

« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2013, 15:07 »
0

They are on-line stores and we provide them with merchandise on a consignment basis.

They are the same as Walmart, and their goals and tactics are the same.

Something I accepted from day one believe it or not. I also like to think of it as a giant snow globe. At SS, judging by the number of "regular contributors" announcing their sales have gone to pot, someone has given the globe a shake. I wrote somewhere else if you have 28m assets it makes sense to monetise as much of it as you can; not just the oldest; not just the best selling and not just because someone has put a lot of work into their port - the site owners and shareholders don't care, it is all one big port. One big pot of money.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 15:33 by Red Dove »

« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2013, 15:10 »
0
double post - oops


 

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