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Messages - BigLeague

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1
Shutterstock.com / Re: SS levelling up
« on: January 22, 2021, 07:51 »
ROFL -- comparing Jan 2020 to 2021 as if all things were equal  - US has 400K dead, and a cratering economy from a global  pandemic - might that have anything to do with year to year sales

12+ million unemployed - more than double  2019

Not really when number of downloads remains consistent to last year.

Perfectly possible to compare to last year as a whole, or since June or whatever.

For most of us, sales volumes remain pretty much the same.  Its the commission cut doing it.
Well said, reasonable point but i've no doubt it must have some affect. Big jobs being cancelled so maybe larger commissions are less, certainly ive had many more smaller sale and less bigger ones, regardless of commission percentage.

2
Shutterstock.com / Re: SS levelling up
« on: January 22, 2021, 07:38 »
I averaged mine over much more that 'last year', and it's not fact until the end of month obviously, hence an indication.
Lucky old me though (sarcasm), level 3 already. I wonder how many are on level 6 already. Still looking at 50% down if im lucky. Under no illusions, the more its not worth it (anywhere), the less effort i make, the more i do something else elsewhere.

3
Shutterstock.com / Re: SS levelling up
« on: January 21, 2021, 08:54 »
Just looking at SS, pro rata previous years for fairness im looking like being about 50% down on an average January. Even though actual number of sales might be about the same as usual, i know there are 10 days to go yet, just saying.

4
Shutterstock.com / SS levelling up
« on: January 11, 2021, 06:40 »
yes i've made it!! 11 days to get to level 2 (sarcasm) pretty demotivating. Personally it just means I have to spend more of my time elsewhere. Have you 'made' it yet?

5
how is this portfolio still live, over 2 months ago it was reported? should be down within a few days. Did shutterstock reply to whoever reported it?

6
123RF / Re: Security breach - change your password
« on: November 15, 2020, 04:22 »
I also got the emails from 123 and pwned,
"Please be assured that 123RF is now secure " oh great, NOW its secure, what was it before???!!!!

There seems to be no penalty for these companies allowing hacks to happen, clearly they could have stopped it beforehand, because NOW they have fixed it. Who knows how it happened? could have been a hack, or an internal employee leaking the data, or weak systems.
But its just 'oh were sorry" now weve fixed it. It should be investigated and if found to be a company failure to protect our data, they should be fined.
To be honest, they have gone downhill so much in the last few years, its probably a lack of money. I should really just give up with them.
If this has happened once, then they probably wont be regularly 'on the ball' with system security.


7
All good points, thanks
Another tip for anyone listening, im using brightbook (free accounts software with paid features if you need them).
I gotta say its a great bit of online accounts software worth checking out. The 'real human' email support is amazing. https://mybrightbook.com/ its been around over 10 years so its reliable.

Are you using software or spreadsheet? (or what)



8
@Noedelhap what about if a dollar amount hits your PayPal, and you don't convert and withdraw it to GBP for 2 weeks, you cant account for the actual dollars cant you? you can only
account for the converted amount in GBP?

Correct, I can only account for the converted amount (in EUR, in my case). Almost all of my microstock revenue coming into Paypal is in US dollars, save Adobe and some small agencies who pay me Euro (so no Paypal conversion fees there).
I always make sure to withdraw the same day. Paypal takes off some "hidden" fees for currency conversion (market rate -2.5%, it's not really specified), but that's not relevant for my tax returns. For the tax returns I simply use the net amount that comes into my bank account (so I don't deduct the Paypal fees separately).

And if thats right does it matter that you accounted for it two weeks (or whatever time) later than it actually hit your PyaPal account?

No, not really, but to keep things transparent (should I ever get audited) I never wait two weeks to withdraw it. I withdraw every amount almost immediately, so that the Paypal and bankaccount transaction are in sync.

Thats a good idea, unfortunately im lazy with the withdrawing that quickly, I must follow your good example. Even then, its still going to be different

And that Paypal 'fee' should be claimed back really. Self assessment allows up to 500 of bank fees if you are using the cash based system (that MAY include the PayPal conversion fee, ask an accountant)
https://www.gov.uk/expenses-if-youre-self-employed/legal-financial


9
@Noedelhap what about if a dollar amount hits your PayPal, and you don't convert and withdraw it to GBP for 2 weeks, you cant account for the actual dollars cant you? you can only account for the converted amount in GBP?

And if thats right does it matter that you accounted for it two weeks (or whatever time) later than it actually hit your PyaPal account?

10
great feedback thanks.

1. Ive been trying to clear up the paypal exchange rate hidden fee thing, and I've not got a clear answer from PayPal yet. But im pretty sure its wrapped up in the rate, thats why i called it sneaky. Im asking them that I should be able to see this fee as its possible to claim it back in deductions. I cant see that I'm going to get anywhere with this though.

2. ive done this way of accounting for 10+ years based on HMRC advise, but i much prefer your way, account for what hits your paypal acc. I might just swap to that, starting for this years period, or maybe ill ring HMRC to check.

11
Hi
This is a discussion for more for UK based stock photographers, as its more about UK TAX and accounting.

Im interested in how other UK people organise and account for their stock earnings. No details, no personal info, just outline info. Disclaimer "Im not an accountant"

Heres mine, i'm not saying i'm right, it might help others, I'd love to know what you do.
The TAX office once told me that they wanted me to account for that overseas currency I earn (dollar, euro etc) actually WHEN I earn't it, and not when it arrived in my bank.
This is a very important point as exchange rates and transfer fees vary with time.

So I account for all stock earnings, monthly (not daily), split up by stock site.
This is also grouped by currency, ie all USD sites in one table, all Euro sites in another table etc.
Then I apply the exchange rate GBP to <whatever currency> to that table at the start of each month.
So, yes, I only use one variation in exchange rate per month.
This forms the basis of my earnings, for tax accounting purposes (self assessment)

Now, in reality, this isn't the same as my actual earnings.
In reality this is what happens.
The sites that payout every month, will be similar to what ive accounted for. Not exactly the same as exchange rates change hourly, and different organisations use slightly different rates (don't hold me to this).
Some low paying sites may not payout until for (lets just guess) 12 months.
So that money wont hit my PayPal account until long after i've accounted for it.
That also means the conversion rate (exchange rate) wont be the same as when i accounted for it originally.
But this is how the TAX man wanted me to account for these earnings, so ok, you will win some, you will lose some, as exchange rates go up and down.

Also Paypal (or whatever banking system you use) charges a 'fee' for the conversion.
That fee i haven't accounted for anywhere, and its something I think i need to account for, hence putting my ideas down here.
Paypal don't actually 'charge' a fee, but its hidden in the exchange rate. A bit sneaky I think?

For the type of businesses we are, its quite a complicated accounts process, and i've been doing this for many years.

Look forward to hearing your processes and experiences.

UPDATE
HMRC "Cash basis accounting" states quote "With cash basis, only record income you actually received in a tax year. Dont count any money youre owed but havent yet received." unquote
I was told (gov tax official) that because my stock earning, 'hit' my account, (albeit my account in an overseas stock library before i've been able to draw it down to PayPal or similar), then thats when i account for it.
It's a bit weird because I cant actually get the cash from those sites that don't allow you to draw down before you hit a certain minimum cash value.

 

12
QUOTE
"Apple is facing a sudden public backlash from developers large and small against the tax it imposes on some in-app purchases...."
UNQUOTE

https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-developer-rage-30-percent-app-store-tax-2020-6?r=US&IR=T


13
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: June 12, 2020, 08:14 »
Where on your SS account does it tell you what level your at, and how close you are to the next level. Or do you really have to add up each months total sales?

You'll have to add up the individual months' total downloads.  Go to Earnings -> Earnings Summary and pull each month's download count and earnings (to calculate your RPD).  I made a little spreadsheet to make comparisons easier.  Make note of your prior months total downloads so you can just check and add the current month and see how you're progressing toward the next level.

Oh well, thanks Dis...

14
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: June 12, 2020, 07:59 »
HI

Where on your SS account does it tell you what level your at, and how close you are to the next level. Or do you really have to add up each months total sales?

15
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: June 09, 2020, 07:54 »
What SS should have done is make a big thing about how they have decided to care for their contributors and nurture the creativity and really brag about how its going to support the creative artists that pool their images etc etc. how they can get the best contributors etc etc. make it all about ethics etc etc (i could write pages on how to spin it). Then show that contributors will get fairly paid, ie 50% and how its worth customers paying a fair price to support an industry that will disappear otherwise.
SS play the ethical and supportive tune instead of the corporate cut it to the bone tune that nobody will win in the end. If you have great marketing people, companies will buy into it and support someone doing something ethical.
Sometimes human behaviour just disappoints me again and again, when it needn't be like that. Corporate greed is at the core of many problems in the world.

16
What's the point of this thread?
I don't see any meaningful use.

It looks like trolling, no more, no less.

The point of a thread is a discussion, if you don't see the point, you don't need to read it or contribute.
If you want to make a thread that has a point relevant to you, you can make one.
I might put the same comment on a needlework forum

17
just looking at my sales, 1st June (very early in the day) i had a $70 (ish) dollar image commission.

Ive just realised, i'll never see a sale like that again at SS.

The best you could ever get (on the new rates) is $39.80. Thats a chop at the knees.

18
General Stock Discussion / Re: To start a Microstock Union
« on: June 04, 2020, 04:58 »
I am all for it, but...
The reason it would difficult is the top 5000 will be getting 'special rate' enhanced deals with these agencies. So they wont care about the rest of us getting a lower rate. In fact they will be happier that the rates are dropping for others because people will drop out of the industry, therefore less competition and even more sales for themselves.
It wouldn't surprise me if the top x number of contributor factories already had a 'union' and told the agencies to lower the rates for the lower 95%.
so bearing that in mind, you'll have to forget the top 5000 and get everyone else together to make enough momentum for it to make a difference.
Its not in the interest of the top few to help the rest, they are only in it for the money.


19
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: May 26, 2020, 14:51 »
I cant think of another industry that consistently reduces people pay. Weird, anyone who has a job, nearly always gets an increase at some point.
I would vote for a new agency that is created and owned by the people submitting, and really pushed as the only ethical way clients should by images. We always want this when every pay decrease happens. Is there enough people now to get it going/

20
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: May 26, 2020, 12:42 »
I can see this tip coming. Save some images throughout the year, and dump a LOAD in January to instantly boost your rate. Not good for client and not good for comtributors.

21
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: May 26, 2020, 11:02 »
These 'tips' will be great, and will say "Worker harder, work faster, work smarter"

Its the usual squeeze.

22
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: May 26, 2020, 10:52 »
Well, I can't make any sense of this. Will everyone zero at the beginning of each year (start on 15% and have to rise up the ranks fresh)? that seems insane.

If not, why is my level on the email tied to my downloads so far since January, and not based on my total for last year, which would place me well into the next tier.

I also was wondering that, is January 15% for everyone?

23
I must say, i've not experienced unusual rejections during all this. Had one rejected, in the last 2 months, and after looking at it closer, i agreed with them.

Also Mar 20 sales were above average for the year. Im expecting April to possibly take a hit, i will know by the 15th  April, as i record averages and totals every 2 weeks, for many years.

24
Crestock.com / Re: Crestok has just filed for bankruptcy
« on: April 08, 2020, 01:00 »
Read the same email, not really a surprise. I hope people didn't get caught out with much owing, i was lucky and had a payout in September 2019 and since then nothing much happened. It reminds us all to always take out earnings as soon as you are allowed. Never leave it with another company.

Over the last 10 years of microstock selling, the best CreStock ever did for me in terms of percentage of annual profit was less than 0.5% .

25
iStockPhoto.com / Can you see current month daily sales?
« on: February 24, 2018, 08:56 »
Can you see current month daily sales? or just the previous month?

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