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Author Topic: Envato want to be a reseller and makes the contributor to the seller!?  (Read 27823 times)

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« Reply #100 on: February 24, 2015, 16:55 »
+14
...this tax problem is a threat to my business.

I think it's a threat that goes beyond just Envato, too. This is another one of the numerous examples in stock where a company comes up with some new and creative way to save a little money and pass the burden on to contributors. When companies try to pull this junk on us, it's important that people let them know it's not ok to do this kind of thing, and that if they insist on moving forward with it, there are consequences.

I get that Envato didn't get into this business as a stock photo company. They started out differently and brought graphics and photos into the mix later on. They're used to doing things a little different than we're accustomed to, as evidenced by their unique upload system, treating everything as a "product" with buyer comments and feedback, etc. I think they've done a lot of cool things as well. They were (as far as I know) the first company to require vector artists to include a file with editable text still intact (if text was used) and not only provide outlined lettering. Which I think is great and I wish more companies did that. But Envato's uniqueness seems to also have drawbacks. We all know the upload system is painful. And now it seems they're extending this notion of playing by their own unique rules to how they handle payments and tax issues.

Although they didn't start out as a typical stock agency, they are one to some extent whether they like it or not. And there are certain ways that things are done across the board in stock content licensing that should be adhered to always. One of them certainly is that the company is the agency, agencies receive payment from buyers, and agencies pays contributors. No creative accounting should change that and if a company wants to try an pass that kind of complex burden on to contributors they should expect that there will be some concern, criticism, and sometimes loss of contributing artists.


« Reply #101 on: February 24, 2015, 21:04 »
0
(Edited to make more sense :O)So what does Red Bubble do, they act like an "agent" don't they, even though you set your own prices?  Don't both companies originate in Australia?  Has RB had sweeping changes this tax year?
« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 21:06 by Pixart »

« Reply #102 on: February 25, 2015, 04:15 »
+2
2. Even on account closing, they don't pay out your balance unless it's over $50, so I'll watch my balance and open a support ticket at that point and they'll close my account for me.

That's amazing!
Given that they claim to be a platform and the invoice is from author to client and the client has paid, that's theft, right?

How can an invoice be paid on the client side but unpaid on the author side? Is this come kind of Schroedinger's invoice?

+1000

Well, time to e-mail Envato. They contribute only 2% to my overall earnings, it's not worth the hassle if they don't change things.

That is... honestly, what. They didn't even think through their own stupid scheme.

« Reply #103 on: February 28, 2015, 10:09 »
+14
My portfolio has gone.  Annoying that another small bit of income has gone but I couldn't see any other option.

« Reply #104 on: February 28, 2015, 11:12 »
+14
My portfolio has gone.  Annoying that another small bit of income has gone but I couldn't see any other option.

Same here. Just got the email that my final payout is being processed. My portfolio is deleted, I'm out.

Sure I'll miss the extra income but I can make it up elsewhere. Despite the loss I still feel like I had no choice and this is the way it had to be. It's a shame it came to this, really, but what else can you do.

« Reply #105 on: February 28, 2015, 11:42 »
+9
My portfolio has gone.  Annoying that another small bit of income has gone but I couldn't see any other option.

Don't worry about the income. I think the other agencies will compensate the loss of Envato, at the latest when the buyers notice that they can't find the pictures they need ;-)

« Reply #106 on: February 28, 2015, 18:44 »
+10
I didn't hit $50 before month's end, so I will be gone, but not before I make the additional $10 :)

« Reply #107 on: March 01, 2015, 07:06 »
-4
Why are you leaving so fast? The way I see it it's legally impossible for them to claim that the contributors are the sellers. So things will probably change?

« Reply #108 on: March 01, 2015, 10:17 »
+7
Why are you leaving so fast? The way I see it it's legally impossible for them to claim that the contributors are the sellers. So things will probably change?

I would think so but apparently they have made their minds up as Mike, Jo Ann and other have written them. Envanto "considered the concerns" and said bye bye to them. They are moving forward with the scheme (and it is a scheme, but more like a scam) and do not care what the collateral damage is. Why? As usual they have plenty of images to fill the slots of deleted portfolios.  It's crowd sourcing that is putting these companies in the drunken drivers seat.

« Reply #109 on: March 01, 2015, 10:29 »
+7
Why are you leaving so fast? The way I see it it's legally impossible for them to claim that the contributors are the sellers. So things will probably change?
Fast?  This should of been sorted out 2 months ago.  It's an obvious problem for contributors that we don't need and none of the other sites I use has done this.  I don't want to continue with a low earning site that doesn't see that this is a big problem or, more likely, doesn't care.

« Reply #110 on: March 01, 2015, 12:35 »
+4
Why are you leaving so fast? The way I see it it's legally impossible for them to claim that the contributors are the sellers. So things will probably change?

From what I've been told, they have no intention of changing this.

At this point even if they changed the policy I'd have a hard time going back in with them. This wasn't the only reason I was unhappy with Envato.

« Reply #111 on: March 01, 2015, 14:22 »
+15
I have removed my portfolio too. Cannot be bothered with agencies (yes, agencies, not "marketplaces") who shift their responsibilities upon their contributors, and still keep their large share of the sale.

« Reply #112 on: March 01, 2015, 15:11 »
+8
On Feb 22, I requested that Envato delete my PhotoDune portfolio.

On Feb 23 & 24, I got followup replies asking if I really wanted to do that. I said yes.

On Feb 24, I got this message: This is to let you know that Ive assessed your ticket and have assigned it to one of our level 3 teams. Theyll be in touch with you shortly.

Now it's March 1. I've had no further response. Gotta wonder if those Level 3 teams are overwhelmed with delete-my-portfolio requests.

« Reply #113 on: March 01, 2015, 15:40 »
+9
Why are you leaving so fast? The way I see it it's legally impossible for them to claim that the contributors are the sellers. So things will probably change?

This has been going on for many months. There's a massively long thread in their forums (and although I didn't read all of the posts, everything I saw said this was just wrong). I wrote in the forum, I wrote to support; they escalated and the response there was "have you asked our tax center for help" - I don't want help in figuring out how to deal with it and I told them that I was only interested in a change of policy.

They've changed their site to reflect these fictional "invoices" and I just don't want to go further into the 2015 tax year with some vague hope they'll end up saying "oops" and not issue a US 1099. If they were a huge earner for me (someone else said they earned $250 a month there; clearly the more you earn the more you might hope things will change) possibly that might alter my views?

In addition to all of the above, PhotoDune appears to be very much an afterthought at Envato. The business model doesn't really fit (they're an agency, albeit not a very good one, saying they're a marketplace). Sales haven't grown in the 3 years I've been there - they're more like CanStock - nice guys, bumping along at the bottom. But the nice guys became a nuisance with this ridiculous invoicing scheme and they appear to have dug in. Given that they really don't appear to view PhotoDune as important, I can't see any realistic likelihood they're going to change anything even though their new polcies are unlike those of any agency out there.

« Reply #114 on: March 01, 2015, 15:54 »
+1
It's really strange and confusing. Since Envato collects the VAT, handles refunds and are the ones responsible for the license sold, it would seem to me like it's business as usual, which means that the contributors could just ignore the invoices and only keep record of the chunk of money that they withdraw every now and then. And consider that money as in income from Envato, not the actual buyer.

As far as I know (could be wrong here, though) there's no such thing as a "supplier for VAT purposes only" in the EU. And so far I haven't found any information stating that somebody else can pay my VAT. This is why I think they will have to change the system, otherwise it's impossible to follow the rules in the EU (pretty much the same problem in the US I suppose).

Personally I don't even sell there yet. I was just about to start uploading when I read about this change, so I guess I'll wait and see what happens.

« Reply #115 on: March 02, 2015, 03:05 »
+11
I'll pull the plug once i make payout because for sub-$50 a month its not worth it.

All the time wasted reading threads about their plans could have been more profitably used making product to sell with other agencies. And I'm still none the wiser really on what . it all means.

I try to keep my taxes as simple as possible which keeps my accountants bill down and anything like this is just not worth it.

If I want to earn $50 ($31.40 for February!) i can go and mow someones lawn, easier and healthier and a lot less strain on the eyes.

« Reply #116 on: March 02, 2015, 11:17 »
+10
Just got a note from Envato that my port is deleted now.

I left a little money on the table, but at the low rate of sales it would take forever to get to payout. Happy to be done with it.

« Reply #117 on: March 02, 2015, 12:07 »
+2
Since I have a small port (<100), is it better for me to delete the images (one by one) and then request the closure of my account ?

« Reply #118 on: March 02, 2015, 12:20 »
+1
I'd suggest everyone speak to their own tax professional before making any decisions, but the advice I've received from my accountant has led me to ask for my Envato account to be closed. In short, my accountant had major concerns about two parts of the issue: Invoices being written in my name that othr people/companies could then claim as expenses to my business, and money I never received being reported to the IRS by Envato.

Even though I could show that the money that I ended up keeping was accurate, after the overpayment Envato reports minus the authors fees paid back to Envato, just the fact that there would be this big discrepancy in reporting would almost surely trigger an audit. And since I don't make enough with Envato to justify the time, hassle, and cost of going through an audit, I'm better off parting ways with them.

I can deal with the possibility of being audited. Being self-employed and getting paid the way we do, it's probably almost a certainty that it will happen someday. But I'm not going to let one company speed up the process of getting the IRS to come knocking just because they think they've found a new creative way to save money.

I've been on the fence with Envato for a while now. They don't pay particularly well and the prices they set on my images were often the lowest of any company I work with. This whole tax fiasco was just the last straw.

Good post.  Thank you.  I just wrote envato telling them I will be dropping them if they don't get this sorted.  I make good money there.  Will cost me average of $250/month to drop them, but this tax problem is a threat to my business.

And if I am correct it is different tax category for royalties and for other income

« Reply #119 on: March 02, 2015, 13:11 »
+3
Since I have a small port (<100), is it better for me to delete the images (one by one) and then request the closure of my account ?

Envato does a "soft deactivation" when you ask them to close your account, in case you ever want to come back. If you want your stuff gone completely, you can delete images manually from the Edit menu.

You can also do this after soft deactivation. I've been deleting some of mine since being deactivated. I don't plan on going back unless they change the tax policy, raise royalty rates for non-exclusives, and raise prices. And since none of those 3 things are likely to happen (no way all 3 ever will), I know I'm out permanently and I don't mind that my portfolio is just as permanently emptied.

« Reply #120 on: March 02, 2015, 13:15 »
+3
Since I have a small port (<100), is it better for me to delete the images (one by one) and then request the closure of my account ?

Envato does a "soft deactivation" when you ask them to close your account, in case you ever want to come back. If you want your stuff gone completely, you can delete images manually from the Edit menu.

You can also do this after soft deactivation. I've been deleting some of mine since being deactivated. I don't plan on going back unless they change the tax policy, raise royalty rates for non-exclusives, and raise prices. And since none of those 3 things are likely to happen (no way all 3 ever will), I know I'm out permanently and I don't mind that my portfolio is just as permanently emptied.

Thanks Mike for the information. A small portfolio and a non-seller is a easy decision for me to go ahead and delete the images. I am in the process of deleting them and then I will ask them to close my account. Thanks again for the reply and the information that you had provided in your earlier posts  :)

Semmick Photo

« Reply #121 on: March 03, 2015, 09:04 »
+12
They keep pointing me to their blog when asking under what law they have the authority to disclose my personal data. I want them to tell me under what law they are authorized to do what they are doing.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #122 on: March 03, 2015, 17:37 »
+3
I'm not involved in the Envato Marketplace, but I once considered becoming a contributor. However, considering the total lack of clarity on this matter I would now get the heck out of there.

(Edited to make more sense :O)So what does Red Bubble do, they act like an "agent" don't they, even though you set your own prices?  Don't both companies originate in Australia?  Has RB had sweeping changes this tax year?

I was wondering about that as well.

« Reply #123 on: March 03, 2015, 22:07 »
+3
(Edited to make more sense :O)So what does Red Bubble do, they act like an "agent" don't they, even though you set your own prices?  Don't both companies originate in Australia?  Has RB had sweeping changes this tax year?

I could be wrong, but I'd assume that redbubble is in a different category of company since they manufacture a physical product and ship that out to customers. There's really no way they could argue that they're a marketplace like Envato, simply facilitating these transactions between artist and customer. Redbubble ships physical goods.

« Reply #124 on: March 04, 2015, 04:18 »
+9
I fail to see how Envato are simply facilitating transactions between contributors and buyers when they have a payout threshold and will be holding on to some peoples money forever.  If they really wanted to not be an agency, they need to have a system where the contributor is paid automatically as soon as a buyer purchases a license.

Now they are going to have a lot of contributors leaving because they don't want to deal with the potential tax problems and they will be keeping their money under the $50 payout threshold, how can a reseller justify keeping that money?


 

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