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Author Topic: Sales Plummet on GL since takeover  (Read 6140 times)

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« on: June 02, 2017, 04:55 »
+1
GL Stock images have never been a big seller but they have been steady for me, even on a slight upwards trend. I always liked them and their fair treatment of contributors so continued to upload.

I'm sorry to say that sales have shown a very strong downwards trend to near zero since the change in management. Is this just me or anyone else? I appreciate only people with big portfolios would notice any trend as sales were not many compared to the big boys at the best of times but still...


« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2017, 05:53 »
+1
Yep, $0 in January, March and May, and $25 or so in Feb and April.

« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2017, 06:44 »
0
Pretty close to my stats. I wonder if they pulled the plug on ads or something?

« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2017, 06:58 »
0
Few $ a month.
10$ is an excellent month for me on GL

« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2017, 08:11 »
+1
Last sale was in January and it's been flatlining since then

I haven't been uploading, so that might have something to do with it - I didn't like their one price approach and thought I'd see if it boosted sales (in which case I'd have resumed uploading).

Whether it's the pricing or something else, who knows, but I don't plan to upload again until I see signs of life. I don't plan to remove what I have unless they change something about their royalty schemes or do something stupid (like Dollar Photo Club stupid).

« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2017, 11:28 »
0
The owner responded recently in another thread - they're re-doing the site and intend to get back in the air soon.

« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2017, 13:11 »
+2
The owner responded recently in another thread - they're re-doing the site and intend to get back in the air soon.

Yeah, I read that.  Seemed hopeful, but more time has passed and still NO sales at all.  ZERO.   Even Stockfresh and Crestock manage a few sales a month.  In over 8 years and with over 6k portfolio, this site is the only one where I ever went a whole month with no sales, much less 5 months and counting!!!

If they can't manage to start producing monthly sales by the end of the year I'm gonna pull my stuff and not look back.

« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2017, 13:36 »
0
As a former software engineer, I'd always expect a project like this (major site upgrade) to take considerably longer than any initial estimates.  Several months for sure, depending on how deep the changes go.  And you can't really rush it or you'll just end up with a mess. 

« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2017, 01:52 »
+5
I think it's probably too late.  How often do we see a site recover when they have so few buyers?

« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2017, 02:11 »
+1
i am not surprised, you can overhaul your site and make it the best * thing since sliced bread, but without buyers its futile, marketing is key,  if you want grow, you need to spend 10% of your revenue on marketing. the problem is of course is 10% of peanuts is even less peanuts

« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 02:50 »
+3
i am not surprised, you can overhaul your site and make it the best * thing since sliced bread, but without buyers its futile, marketing is key,  if you want grow, you need to spend 10% of your revenue on marketing. the problem is of course is 10% of peanuts is even less peanuts
SS spend about 25%! To more or less shut shop while you redecorate seems madness to me.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2017, 04:32 »
0
GL Stock has never been a big seller but ever since their upload stop and take-over, it's been flatlining for months.

I still like their fair treatment, easy upload and royalty percentage, but I doubt it's ever going to grow into something sustainable.

« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2017, 04:35 »
+2
GL Stock has never been a big seller but ever since their upload stop and take-over, it's been flatlining for months.

I still like their fair treatment, easy upload and royalty percentage, but I doubt it's ever going to grow into something sustainable.
I'd like to see them do well but in the end as much as people might dislike certain other sites money talks

« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2017, 08:27 »
+1
It's been about the same. I like the pricing model better though, so they have my support.

nazlisart

  • I create therefore I AM
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2017, 14:45 »
0
After the takeover I had a high and then almost dead for 2017. Still I will continue to support them for as long as they are alive cause, for me their philosophy represent how agencies owed to be regarding pricing, royalties and the relationship with contributors.

« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2017, 15:04 »
+6
Thanks for the comments everybody.  It's been an interesting process for us.  We have certainly not closed shop while we are revamping our site, we manage uploads daily and are always working to bring on more buyers.

Regarding our marketing strategy, our marketing efforts were not as effective as we hoped, and so we have slowed these efforts dramatically, waiting for our overhaul, where our marketing will surely be much more effective.  The previous owners were not marketers, and our site currently is not converting visitors to paying customers at a rate that we're satisfied.  The new site should produce better results.

It was very important for us to make changes to the philosophy of the site, and the service we provide our buyers prior to the redesign, so that when the redesign is complete, we will have a fully functioning site that has our new strategy implemented within.

We're still working very hard on our redesign, and we are excited to be able to produce results.  It's definitely not pleasant for us to see unhappy contibutors, but I assure you, this is why we are putting in the amount of work that we are.  It's difficult to make everybody happy, but the best we can do is follow through with our plans to make positive change, and we will continue to do so.  We very much appreciate your patience with the process, and we hope and expect that the release of our new design and technology will produce results that make everybody happier with GL.

« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2017, 17:22 »
+4
How much longer do we have to wait?  I don't understand that if the previous owners were bad at marketing, they seemed to be selling more for most of us?  I wish you well but have very low expectations now, hope you prove me wrong.

« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2017, 19:49 »
+4
How much longer do we have to wait?  I don't understand that if the previous owners were bad at marketing, they seemed to be selling more for most of us?  I wish you well but have very low expectations now, hope you prove me wrong.

In defense, the internet seems to have become a lot more rough the last few years or so for the little guys.

« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2017, 11:57 »
0
How much longer do we have to wait?  I don't understand that if the previous owners were bad at marketing, they seemed to be selling more for most of us?  I wish you well but have very low expectations now, hope you prove me wrong.

My questions exactly.  If you could give an estimate of when you expect the site revamp to be finished and the serious marketing push to start, it would be reassuring.

And as bad as you say the prior management was at marketing, I still had regular sales with them. 

« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2017, 16:11 »
+2
How much longer do we have to wait?  I don't understand that if the previous owners were bad at marketing, they seemed to be selling more for most of us?  I wish you well but have very low expectations now, hope you prove me wrong.

My questions exactly.  If you could give an estimate of when you expect the site revamp to be finished and the serious marketing push to start, it would be reassuring.

And as bad as you say the prior management was at marketing, I still had regular sales with them.

It's very difficult to give an exact date of when the process will be completed.   We have internal goals, but there are many factors that can slow down the process.  There is a lot of complicated development work that is being done.

Like I mentioned, we have made philosophical changes to the business so that we can move forward in a manner that we feel will be most profitable for us and our contributors in the long term.

Indeed, some of our changes were relatively drastic, and some have slowed sales down a bit.  Specifically, having one price for all image sizes was an important philosophical change that we feel strongly about for the long term strategy of the business.

While constantly keeping our contributors in mind, we are committed to compensating them fairly.  We gave flexibility of pricing and have honored one of the highest commissions in the industry.  It is very challenging to make both contributors and sellers simultaneously happy, and I think that is very evident when reading through the tens of thousands of negative posts about the top tier agencies, where most contributors generate the majority of their revenue.  Most agencies are buyer-centric, and apparently the contributors here in MSG do not seem to believe they are fairly compensated for their work, despite those being their highest revenue sources.

I've looked back through MSG and noticed that for 7 years, people have been asking about GL; asking if it's dead, why people aren't working on it, asking why they would shut down new contributors, asking if anybody is even reviewing image uploads, etc. etc. 

I think it's important that expectations are properly managed.  We never came here and told everybody that sales will quadruple in 6 months. When your images do not sell with GL, we are the ones who actually lose. We are here to answer questions, and to form a dialogue between GL and members of this forum. 

The larger firms are racing to the bottom, finding ways to offer the cheapest prices to their buyers.  By doing this, they are neglecting the desires of their contributors because they feel that they can do so.  Since they have the largest databases of buyers, they know that their contributors have to accept pretty much any changes that they make, regardless of whose best interest it is in.

We're not sitting here talking negatively about the previous owners of GL.  We purchased a business that was neglected, and on a significant decline.  Reading through MSG, the decline has been documented for many years, prior to us coming along.

The difference now, is that we are holding ourselves accountable to make the business succeed.  To stabalize a business on the decline is very important, and we have done so, albeit at a lower level of sales/revenue than most were expecting.  However, there is no magic switch that we can flip that increases sales.  There is no magic marketing switch that makes all ads and landing pages effective.  There are no magic switches here.  Even if we are the greatest marketers in the world, which we are not claiming by any means, we are still competing in an industry filled with multi-billion dollar companies, with tremendous margins leading to tremendous advertising budgets.  We offer something different.  Our margins are slim because we are providing the contributors with what they want --which is fair royalty rates, and pricing flexibility.  What we have been working on since we acquired GL was laying a NEW foundation for future success.  While sales may be low for some contributors here, GL has always been a low earner according to MSG.  If we want to make it a medium - high earner, we need to do things differently than the previous owners did, and we are committed to the changes we have and will be making.

We care about our contributors, and are not satisfied that many of you are not satisfied.  There are plenty of short term ways of increasing our margins and sales count, but we are taking the long term route, and will continue to work towards long term success.   It is obviously in our best interest, and our contributors' best interest to increase sales. 

If our business were a ship, we purchased an old rusty ship that was taking on water with several little holes in it, and a faulty engine (let's consider the engine the backend technology that runs the ship).   Instead of plugging up the holes in the boat and leaving it rusted, we decided to rebuild the ship, repaint it, and add a new engine.  To keep up with the fresh new look and feel, we're also changing the name from GLStockImages / GraphicLeftovers to GLStock.com.  If we just repaired the ship, it will stay afloat for a while, but would require a lot of ongoing maintenance and may take on water again at any time.  However, ideally by rebuilding it and adding a new engine, the ship will be able to perform at a higher level for a long time.

So to answer your questions, we still cannot say exactly when everything is going to turn around.  We are confident that when our rebuild is complete, overall sales will increase.  We are adding several features to make a better experience for buyers, which will help us be more competitive.  It will enable us to implement a marketing strategy that certainly will produce better results than that of the current site.  The task ahead of us is not small, but we are committed to it and will continue working as hard as we can to acheive better results.  In the meantime, there is no cost to have a portfolio with GL, we do not require exclusivity, nor are there any obligations to contribute work to GL.  However, our data shows that those actively uploading are seeing better results than those who are not.  To reiterate, we stand to lose the most when sales are low, when we have carrying costs regardless of sales volume.  So rest assured, we are working on this, and we are committed to turning it around.  There's just no obvious answer as to the date that any one contibutors sales will increase.

« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2017, 16:35 »
+1
"we still cannot say exactly when everything is going to turn around"

I think they were asking when _anything_ is going to happen.  Aside from the pricing change, I haven't noticed any difference in the site since takeover.

« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2017, 16:43 »
+3
"we still cannot say exactly when everything is going to turn around"

I think they were asking when _anything_ is going to happen.  Aside from the pricing change, I haven't noticed any difference in the site since takeover.

We're not making any new releases until the complete project is finished.  If we give an ETA, and have delays, I can only imagine what the posts will look like ;).  So we are reserving our ETA.  When we have a more clear picture of when we'll be finishing up, we will let everybody know.

« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2017, 20:15 »
0
While constantly keeping our contributors in mind, we are committed to compensating them fairly.  We gave flexibility of pricing and have honored one of the highest commissions in the industry.  It is very challenging to make both contributors and sellers simultaneously happy, and I think that is very evident when reading through the tens of thousands of negative posts about the top tier agencies, where most contributors generate the majority of their revenue.  Most agencies are buyer-centric, and apparently the contributors here in MSG do not seem to believe they are fairly compensated for their work, despite those being their highest revenue sources.

I appreciate it. I'll continue to upload while the new site gets built.

nazlisart

  • I create therefore I AM
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2017, 10:48 »
0
While constantly keeping our contributors in mind, we are committed to compensating them fairly.  We gave flexibility of pricing and have honored one of the highest commissions in the industry.  It is very challenging to make both contributors and sellers simultaneously happy, and I think that is very evident when reading through the tens of thousands of negative posts about the top tier agencies, where most contributors generate the majority of their revenue.  Most agencies are buyer-centric, and apparently the contributors here in MSG do not seem to believe they are fairly compensated for their work, despite those being their highest revenue sources.

I appreciate it. I'll continue to upload while the new site gets built.
+1 Me too!!!

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2017, 12:46 »
0
Thanks GL, i appreciate you taking the time to give your side of things here. While I'm sure many would want more finite answers, at least having dialogue with an agency is a good thing.

Look forward to seeing the new GLStock!


 

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