pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Possible exchange rate problems with istock?  (Read 4176 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: September 16, 2012, 16:54 »
+1
With the new direct credit card purchases at istock being added to buying options, a new question has been raised: Exchange rates and how istock is calculating your earnings. ShadySue posted this in the downtime thread and I think it needs it own thread here:

"For those who don't follow iStock forums, the latest is that not only are they fleecing cash buyers who don't pay in $$$ (I can't find an easy way to change 'method of payment' for cash sales, though it [used to be?] easy enough to buy credits in US$, if your credit card rate was better than iStock's), but they are not sharing the booty with contributors. When it was pointed out that contributors should be, according to the rate schedule, paid at their percentage of the actual selling, iStock posted:
"Royalties for our new standard pricing downloads are calculated using the same logic as credit downloads: we apply your royalty percentage to the net US dollar value of the file. We are going to change that language on the rate schedule to be more accurate."
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=347211&page=3#post6742383
So, not content with cutting the percentage rate of most of us, they are fleecing non-US buyers and not giving us our previously-promised share.
Nothing ever changes.
Worse, it looks like they've never been paying out the rate which was published on their site.
NB: I'd rather they weren't fleecing non-US buyers."

So the official statement for istock is "we apply your royalty percentage to the net US dollar value of the file." but the exclusive ASA states:

"iStockphoto agrees to pay you royalties equal to a portion of the fees collected in respect of Accepted Exclusive Content that is downloaded or otherwise purchased by end-users according to the rate schedule for Still and Flash Content and Motion Content, as the case may be, set forth on Appendix "A" to this Agreement, as it may be modified from time to time (the "Rate Schedule") and the license or sale of Exclusive Content recorded by iStockphoto and the Distribution Partners."

There's no mention of royalties being calculated based only on the US dollar value -  just fees collected. Foreign istock contributors  may be getting shortchanged, some are saying as much as a 20% difference. Thoughts?


« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2012, 17:36 »
+3
This type of underhanded currency manipulation isn't new - see the thread from 2010 about Fotolia doing much the same thing.

It's not right, but other than pressure from buyers to be permitted to make cash purchases in US dollars (where they have to deal with credit card exchange rates and fees) I don't expect much will change. IS has been ignoring a number of issues that enrich them at contributor expense (remember the rounding issue from subscription sales where certain royalty levels were getting shortchanged on every subs sale?), including some currency issues that surfaced a couple of years back - See here and here. There may be other discussions as well.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2012, 17:39 »
+1
It's the 'new kind of trust' that JJRD promised us.

« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2012, 17:48 »
0
Do you have to buy in your local currency?  I buy 3D content always in $ using the $ paypal balance from photo sales - completely painless.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 17:59 »
+2
Do you have to buy in your local currency?  I buy 3D content always in $ using the $ paypal balance from photo sales - completely painless.
This issue has particularly come to notice via Cash Sales, and has no relevance to contributors opting to pay via iStock credits.

The issues are:
Reaming buyers who are not US based (huge price hike compared to the US$ value in other currencies), and have no obvious way of being able to opt to pay in USD
Not paying contributors their percentage of the actual sale value (minus a little for currency converstion), but only on what the sale would have been had the buyer been paying in US$.

It also seems like, for exclusives, they have never been paying us the amount they promised in the ASA.

But of course,the ASA is only binding on us. They can ignore it as they see fit.
And they hide the issues in obfuscatory language - which surely is deliberate policy.

« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 08:42 »
+1
I used to think that at least they were above board about the ways in which they were screwnig us, unlike Fotolia. I guess I just have to forget that idea now.

« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 14:47 »
0
I used to think that at least they were above board about the ways in which they were screwnig us, unlike Fotolia. I guess I just have to forget that idea now.

Why on earth would you have thought that? We see Istock making unannounced price/credit increases and previous exchange rate sleight-of-hand moves on their customers all the time . Of course they are going to treat their contributors in the same way. Strangely, they still haven't learnt that we will find them out, that many of their contributors are also their customers and such actions are not good for their long-term business.

Poncke

« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2012, 15:00 »
0
Its about time you all show IS whos boss. Pull your ports. Everyone. Buyers have to go somewhere to get photos so the sales will pick up somewhere else. Of course it doesnt work like this, but the most threads here are about how IS is ffing the contributors time and time again. And they get away with it because there is nothing you can do about it, other than leave. But no one is going to give up the cash without a replacing income

« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 03:00 »
0
Precisely, Ponke. It's why I don't look as closely at what is going on as Gostwyck does, it would only make me angry. But I had thought they were screwing us so openly that they didn't even bother to make a secret of any of it 'cos they knew we couldn't do anything.

« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2012, 03:09 »
0
Honestly I'm supprised IS has any customers. They lost me a long time ago and even back then I purchased in $ from the UK. I can only assume that current buyers don't know any better, they will wise up in time and the ones that do know better have left already.

I can only advise people not to leave much money in IS as one day we will login to find it closed
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 03:15 by malamus »

« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 04:15 »
0
Ha,  its a wellknown classic. The shops at the border to Germany always did that, so that people when they crossed the border and wanted to pay in their own currency, they could, but the exchange rate was lousy and they did not make a good bargain.

Point is, everybody only did that once, not returning to the shop again.
So the shop had to live on first timers and fools.

Real business is not made by adding financial manipulations to the profit, but by providing value for the buyer.
When I worked with a 150 year old industrial heavyweight, they clearly stated in their business politics...that, no business decisions should be taken on the basis on currency movements or relative gains, but be based solely on one currency, in this case Euros. The company did not want to get involved in customers losses due to currency movements, and certainly not in manipulations of exchange ranges.

Just shows the amateurish approach by Is.
It also shows how desperate they are.
I mean, commision ranges in the 90-80% area and they still cant make the business work.
There must be a lot of people dressing eachothers hair in that company.

Its called profit optimization, and can be wise enough, but it still has nothing to do with the original business where the value and profit originates from.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 04:19 by JPSDK »

« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2012, 05:15 »
0
I'm pretty sure it's not that iS is unprofitable, but look at the debts that have been piled on the business by owners borrowing against the company to give themselves a massive rake-off. They've got to service that debt... kinda like Greece, really.

Poncke

« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2012, 13:12 »
0
If thats the case, they better go bust then and remove the cancer from the micro stock business. Unfortunately and sadly enough thats going to put a lot of people in financial trouble. I started in this business as a part timer 5 months ago. I hold a day job, but I would never ever create a situation where I was depending on micro stock as my main income. Its too risky. But then again, so was working for Polaroid and Fuji when they decided digital photography was never going to be anything substantial.

« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2012, 11:12 »
+3
I love it when people are experts after 5 months.

Poncke

« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2012, 13:08 »
0
I love it when people are experts after 5 months.
Hahahahahahah, where do I claim to be an expert???

« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2012, 13:33 »
0
I would never ever create a situation where I was depending on micro stock as my main income.
That's easy too say when your microstock earnings are just a few bucks!

« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2012, 14:10 »
0
we are all experts or not.
its not the merits but the words that counts.

Poncke

« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2012, 14:14 »
0
I would never ever create a situation where I was depending on micro stock as my main income.
That's easy too say when your microstock earnings are just a few bucks!
Why is it easy to say? That doesnt make sense.

Just dont get depended on your micro income. If I make 2000 dollar a month from the micros, I wouldnt give up my day job. Its far too risky, one bad month and you cant pay your bills.   Many contributors are planning their way out of the micros. At least thats what I read here and on SS.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2012, 14:17 »
0
I would never ever create a situation where I was depending on micro stock as my main income.
That's easy too say when your microstock earnings are just a few bucks!
Why is it easy to say? That doesnt make sense.

Just dont get depended on your micro income. If I make 2000 dollar a month from the micros, I wouldnt give up my day job. Its far too risky, one bad month and you cant pay your bills.   Many contributors are planning their way out of the micros. At least thats what I read here and on SS.

It has to be true; it's on the internet.   ;D

Poncke

« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2012, 14:19 »
0
I would never ever create a situation where I was depending on micro stock as my main income.
That's easy too say when your microstock earnings are just a few bucks!
Why is it easy to say? That doesnt make sense.

Just dont get depended on your micro income. If I make 2000 dollar a month from the micros, I wouldnt give up my day job. Its far too risky, one bad month and you cant pay your bills.   Many contributors are planning their way out of the micros. At least thats what I read here and on SS.

It has to be true; it's on the internet.   ;D

Nope, but whats the point of making such claims if you are not actually planning your way out? I dont see the gain in that.

« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2012, 14:49 »
0
I would never ever create a situation where I was depending on micro stock as my main income.
That's easy too say when your microstock earnings are just a few bucks!
Why is it easy to say? That doesnt make sense.

Just dont get depended on your micro income. If I make 2000 dollar a month from the micros, I wouldnt give up my day job. Its far too risky, one bad month and you cant pay your bills.    Many contributors are planning their way out of the micros. At least thats what I read here and on SS.

How is microstock 'risky'? I'd have thought that building a substantial residual income via any means, including microstock, is about the soundest and most risk-free investment of your time and effort that you can possibly make.

With residual income you shouldn't have to worry about getting fired or being made redundant. If you can't work through ill-health for several months your income should keep on coming in. You could even get thrown in jail for a couple of years and will probably still be covering your bills by the time you get released.

I'd have thought it was much riskier in relying on a day-job to pay your bills. After all, most microstockers could probably go and get a regular job any time they felt like doing so (and still be receiving their microstock income). It would probably take a newbie years of hard effort before he or she could swap places with a microstocker who lives off their income.

I have a theory that however much you have earned in total since you started doing microstock, if you were to then stop producing new content immediately (because you chose to do so, had died or whatever), then your portfolio would probably go on over time to generate the same amount of income you have already earned. It might take another 15 or 20 years to do so but eventually it would get there. That's assuming that microstock still exists as we know it well into the future but, after nearly 9 years of existence, it does seem to have become a fairly stable industry. Some microstock portfolios are literally worth millions of dollars of future income (although not mine unfortunately!).

« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2012, 15:34 »
0
Quote
Just dont get depended on your micro income. If I make 2000 dollar a month from the micros, I wouldnt give up my day job..

Easy to say when you on the sort of income someone with an average portfolio would probably make in their first 5 months. A bit different if you're earning that much and more  a week. This is not an impossible figure to achieve and quite a few earn quite a bit more. You might be persuaded then. Why would you not?


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
4059 Views
Last post March 19, 2009, 12:16
by Rackman
6 Replies
3428 Views
Last post August 04, 2011, 09:59
by Slovenian
23 Replies
4944 Views
Last post December 02, 2011, 03:49
by aeonf
72 Replies
12403 Views
Last post January 04, 2014, 04:21
by Ron
9 Replies
4217 Views
Last post November 02, 2018, 03:48
by MentalReactor

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle