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Author Topic: Clustershot is closing  (Read 14197 times)

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« on: January 21, 2011, 11:59 »
The announcement is on their site. http://www.clustershot.com/
I got a sale once because I used the iSyndica syndication to Flickr, the images then went to Clustershot. It was around $100, so not bad.

« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 12:24 »
That's a shame. I thought they had a pretty nice product, and it's sad to see an alternative model go away.

« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2011, 12:27 »
That's a real shame.  I bought a pro account but never found the time to upload much.  I just never felt they were going to get this to work.  I think this was one possible solution for us to get a much better deal than the other sites but unfortunately most people prefer to stick with sites that are taking nearly all their earnings.  So now we get more commission cuts and another good alternative site closes.  I have given up thinking things will improve.


« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 12:32 »
This stinks...
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 10:43 by PhotoPhan »

« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 12:35 »
That's a real shame, I was just about to start using it properly. :(
It's up for sale though, so one of you could buy it ;)
Very honest of them to refund the pro account difference though, I probably wouldn't have known otherwise.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 12:38 by gill »


« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2011, 13:48 »
If it's failing, who's going to want to buy it?  Unless they see the potential, and also have a lot more money to throw at it, marketing, etc. 

« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2011, 13:55 »
just received the email as well, It is a real shame. I moved from Smugmug to them 7 months ago because I like the simplicity and professional look of their site. Never did get any sale, have 48 images on it, I was using it purely as a place to show my port.

There was a refund of $10 from them this morning and I was wondering why. Now I know.

Wonder if there will be a buyer. They said they are soliciting offers.

« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2011, 13:57 »
This sucks. I made a nice little hunk of change from my sales there, more than enough to cover the pro account price and then some. I think the site needs to be run like a regular agency, plus the added private store front benefit.

« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2011, 18:13 »
How does one determine what to offer for something like this?

« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2011, 20:37 »
Agreed it's a shame, It was a useful place to send people who wanted images that I did not have somewhere else at an agency, there are alternatives, but none of them operate quite like clustershot did, it was more or less unique.

It seems from the announcement that they were covering expenses with the pro accounts, so I guess that their 12% of each sale was profit? or even if not, upping that to a 20%-80% split for the photographer would improve margins?

I guess it's like when I syndica closed down, it's not that money was being lost, more like not enough money was being made(?).

I think like @cardmaverick I had a "nice hunk of change" from clustershot rather than huge earnings (~$100 pa after the pro account), but the input for that was very small. I disagree with the statement that it should be run like an agency, I don't think that is what clustershot was about at all (not with their margin at 12% it makes no sense)

I hope a buyer is found also.


« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 00:26 »
Can not even remember when I registered with them - never had any portfolio on their site (the name does not even appear on my browser shortcuts any more), but I received this final farewell (and another one bites the dust):

The End of an Era
A little over two years ago we launched ClusterShot. We very openly called it an experiment. It was not only a technical experiment but an experiment for our company's cultural and economic models.

The experiment is coming to an end.

We, silverorange, have decided to shut ClusterShot down. This may not be a surprise to some of you; as you may have noticed, our zeal for the site quickly disappeared this summer. There are many reasons for this but the overarching theme is simply: it wasn't quite successful enough.

Right now our plan is:

 (o) We are immediately going to be suspending pro-account sign ups, photo uploading (of all sorts), and new account creation.

 (o) We are going to refund your money. What money will you get back? If you've signed up for a pro-account within the last 2 months, you'll get it all back. If you signed up more than 2 months ago, we will pro-rate your account and give you back what you haven't used (i.e. If you bought a pro-account for $20 USD and used it for six months you'll get $10.00 USD back).

 (o) There is a 0% commission on all photos sold until we shut the site off. Go nuts.

 (o) On  February 21st, 2011  the remaining site functions will be turned off, and no more sales will be possible.

I hate this! I want to save ClusterShot!
Well, you are in luck. If you really, really want to save ClusterShot then please make us an offer. We are open to selling the entire site, brand, and system to someone who wants to take it to the next level [1]. No reasonable offer by a reasonable party will be refused.

There is a lot of technical investment in ClusterShot by one of the better web development firms out there. We have spent over two years working on ClusterShot and have done what we think are some pretty cool things with it.

Why would I buy ClusterShot?
Currently ClusterShot almost sells enough pro-accounts to cover hosting and technical fees. Over the past 6 months this has happened with virtually no input or energy from us. We strongly believe that with some effort and some smart marketing (things we just don't have the time to do), ClusterShot could be a great little business. The interest is there (we have new pro accounts being bought every day) and we believe it will just take a few driven people to take it to the next level.

If you are interested in buying ClusterShot please email [email protected].

Thank You and We're Sorry
As this experiment comes to an end, we want to extend our thanks to everyone who played a role in shaping it. It's been a fun project and we are sad to see it go. To all of those who have come to rely on ClusterShot and whom this will inconvenience, we are very sorry.

Respectfully Yours,
The ClusterShot Team

1. We will not consider any offer that violates our current terms of service or privacy agreement with ClusterShot users.

« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2011, 00:33 »
Didn't see that coming.  How much does it cost to run one of these places?  I thought most people were looking for a turnkey selling solution.


« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 02:07 »
Didn't see that coming.  How much does it cost to run one of these places?  I thought most people were looking for a turnkey selling solution.

So lets say the experiment was a success and proves that a 12% commission and $20 a year, can't support the hosting site? They seem to say, it's close if someone worked at it.

I'd say $60 a year ($5 a month) and 40% may push it over into profitable? :D

Wouldn't people be interested in a site that pays 60%? (reverse of the concept, takes 40%) That seems to be what other threads say?

Yeah, if I had the money I'd do it, and piss off everyone who had the old subscriptions at 20 and 12. So no sale, thank you. Maybe someone needs to start a new site, same software, same concept, and continue the experiment?


« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 04:05 »
This stinks... I have hours upon hours of work into http://store.arenacreative.com and setting everything up.  Time to go with another service, or something self hosted I guess.  Never a dull moment!

How does that work. Once you look at an image, there's no link back to the front page? Just to more individual photos or Clustershot? Am I missing a Home Key somewhere?

Edit: Oh I found it, I'm supposed to guess that clicking on the logo will take me back to the home page. Might be better with a "Home" or "Main" word somewhere for people to make it obvious.

Yes, very efficient. Says what it needs to with out all kinds of extra fluff. Nice design.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 04:08 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 04:50 »
I just merged the two clustershot threads


« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2011, 16:26 »
I just merged the two clustershot threads

So then, this is a ClusterThread? :)

« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2011, 12:38 »
Sorry we couldn't make it work for everyone. Thought you might be interested in more information:


« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2011, 13:00 »
"386 Photos sold"

Wow, it sounds like the contributors weren't doing their job of promoting their wares.

« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2011, 13:03 »
"386 Photos sold"

Wow, it sounds like the contributors weren't doing their job of promoting their wares.

I was kind of surprised by the numbers as well. Maybe, that's part of the reason for closing.

« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2011, 16:54 »
I wonder if Getty will buy them :)  I sold one there with about 60 uploads.  Just deleted all but one of my photos until this auction goes through.  It's almost certain I will close my account but might as well see what happens.

« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2011, 08:38 »
Our (ClusterShot) auction begins in just over an hour. The auction runs until Thursday (Feb 3) at 4pm EST.

We'll be making a post on our blog to update everyone as the auction completes and we know more about the future of the service.

Thanks again.

« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2011, 08:44 »
ClusterShot has been sold in auction and is NOT closing.

More details are available here: http://www.clustershot.com/blog/archive/2011/february/clustershot

« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2011, 12:24 »
I hope we get a lot more information about the new owners and what they intend to do with the site.  As we have all had refunds, I don't thank many of us will pay for another pro account unless there is going to be a big change in direction.  There's so many sites now, I want to see something different that has some chance of interesting buyers.

« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2011, 12:42 »
Good to see the site will continue.


« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2011, 02:34 »
Dominic Ang new owner

Still nothing new, but I expect someday soon, we'll see the site coming back to life.

More information:


Interesting that the rumor is the site sold for $25,000 which means if someone can bring it up, they just got a steal!

« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2011, 04:23 »
Has anyone had any emails from them?  I had a refund for my account, I'm not likely to pay for that again unless there are some positive actions by the new owners.

« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2011, 07:40 »
$25K?  They could have had #onedaywithjeshinstead .


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