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Author Topic: StockFresh is closing  (Read 3387 times)

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Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« on: September 17, 2020, 06:12 »
0
Received this email:

After 10 years of operation Stockfresh is closing its doors on October 17, 2020.

Why are we closing?

As you probably know, the stock photography market has changed a lot in the last few years, and we don't feel we can make a meaningful contribution any more in the current business climate. The disconnect between what customers need in 2020 and their expectations regarding prices in a market that's been oversaturated for years makes it really difficult to build and grow a sustainable stock photography business. Therefore, for the time being we decided to focus our efforts on other projects.

How does this affect customers?

During the next 30 days, customers will still be able to buy your images using the instant download feature and use up all their remaining prepaid and subscription credits. They will also be able to re-download images they previously purchased for backup purposes, just like before, if the images are still available for sale on the website. After October 17, customer access to all images will be disabled.

How does this affect contributors?

As a contributor, your work will still be available for sale for the next 30 days by default, however you can request us to close your account early and claim your earnings at any time during that period, if you have reached the $50 threshold. During this time we'll not be able to accept any new submissions. On October 17 all remaining images will be removed from our servers automatically, and you will be able to request your earnings no later than November 1. To make this process smooth, please make sure your payment details are up to date.

Thank you very much for your continued support. It's been great working with you and we wish you the best of luck for the future!

Stockfresh
Best regards,
The Stockfresh Team


And another small agency bites the dust. It was one of my lowest earners, so it doesn't affect me. But they were a fair agency, and with the major agencies letting us down, there's now hardly a decent agency left.


dk

« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2020, 06:35 »
0
I've been with Stockfresh since they started and i thought i'd made more but i now see that i only received two payouts from them. Got $49.32 in unpaid eranings hopefullly i'll reach payout before they close.

H2O

« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2020, 07:12 »
0
I rated this agency as one that may break through, it had a well designed interface, with occasional sales, I have $40.85 in sales and used to get a payout once or twice a year.

A great shame that they can't keep going, I guess having also bought on this site it is down to the overall quality of the search and imagery, as both these could be difficult.

Still a site that is going that had quit a bit of potential.

Mir

« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2020, 07:47 »
0
 I am at 47$ and they will not pay me and will hold my money?
Or am I missing something?

H2O

« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2020, 08:40 »
0
I am at 47$ and they will not pay me and will hold my money?
Or am I missing something?

They say they will make a payout in the last paragraph.

« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2020, 09:11 »
+5
I am at 47$ and they will not pay me and will hold my money?
Or am I missing something?

They say they will make a payout in the last paragraph.

I wrote to support to clarify. In the last paragraph, they don't explicitly say that they'll make payout under $50, although that's what I think is likely. I'll post an answer here.

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 10:15 »
+2
I am at 47$ and they will not pay me and will hold my money?
Or am I missing something?

They say they will make a payout in the last paragraph.

I wrote to support to clarify. In the last paragraph, they don't explicitly say that they'll make payout under $50, although that's what I think is likely. I'll post an answer here.

Peter has always been good to deal with, I would imagine he will pay out for sure, but I agree, the wording was a little vague. Interested to see the response you get.

Mir

« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2020, 11:36 »
0
Maybe I read it wrong, I will ask for a clarification too.

« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2020, 20:16 »
0
we don't feel we can make a meaningful contribution any more

Did they ever?  In the poll, they have consistently been below featurepics, Panther, and Yay, which is quite an achievement in insignificance.

The small agency I always liked is featurepics - weird reviewing sometimes, but no subs, mostly OK prices and 50% commission.  But not many sales of course.  Can't imagine they will hang on very much longer either.

« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2020, 21:40 »
+1
Another small turd agency finally glug down after circling the bowl

Hopefully the biggest turd agency (SS) goes the same route, but since its the biggest turd it may need a plunger to finally get it to go

« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2020, 01:21 »
+1
Well, it was nice.

« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2020, 08:13 »
+4
It's a shame to see them close. It doesn't help the market when the smaller agencies get squeezed out.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2020, 06:27 »
+3
Another small turd agency finally glug down after circling the bowl

Hopefully the biggest turd agency (SS) goes the same route, but since its the biggest turd it may need a plunger to finally get it to go

Why is StockFresh a turd? Just because it doesn't have enough sales, doesn't make it a turd. It was a fair agency.

« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2020, 13:10 »
+1
My earnings are stuck at 49.40 at Stockfresh. Is it allowable for me to have my son purchase a photo to put me over the 50.00 limit

« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2020, 13:27 »
+2
My earnings are stuck at 49.40 at Stockfresh. Is it allowable for me to have my son purchase a photo to put me over the 50.00 limit

I have asked support (no answer yet) about whether contributors with a balance lower than $50 at the time they close (Oct 17) will be paid.

The email about closing said that we had until Nov 1 to request payment and made it sound as though that would be regardless of the balance. Mine is $39.95 now, but other than one sale after the closure announcement, I haven't seen other activity (I had hoped perhaps buyers with credits to use up might bring a little boost to the balance).

Perhaps wait just a bit - you have until October 17th to have your son make a purchase (and I can't imagine there'd be any blowback - after all, what would they do? Close your account? :) )

« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2020, 13:49 »
+1
Thank you for your feedback Jo Ann, very good advice. I guess I will be patient for a while hoping someone will do as you say buy another of my images using up their credits

Mir

« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2020, 14:39 »
0
I haven't received an answer too.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2020, 04:05 »
+1
Finally got a reply back:

Quote
"Hello,

Thank you very much for writing.

Regarding the closure of Stockfresh, we are going to pay all contributors who are above the $50 minimum payment threshold, as stated in the Contributor Agreement (https://stockfresh.com/info/ca).

If you are below the $50 minimum payment threshold, you can either
        a) wait for customers to download your images to reach the threshold before October 17 and make a request before November 1, or
        b) contact support to have your images removed from the website without payment at any time, with immediate effect.

If you have any other questions let us know.

Best regards,
Customer support
https://stockfresh.com"

As sales are basically non-existent, there is no way I'll reach $50 before October 17th. Which means that any balance below $50 will not be paid out (if I understand correctly)...Which is very, VERY BAD.

« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2020, 10:03 »
0
Same answer just received as well, I feel  once more that another MS company treat us as we have no rights at all, just making profit with our work.

« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2020, 11:09 »
+4
I received the same email this morning.

It's very disappointing that an agency with an emphasis of being fair to the contributors has decided to take this path. Even if money is tight, offering a percentage (as bankrupt companies do) would be better than nothing.

I completely understand that the normal course of business imposes a wait for $50 before payment, but when they decide to wind up the business - effectively removing the option for contributors of waiting for the next payout - I think the only right course of action is to pay contributors any balance.

An ignominious end for the creators of StockXpert...

Mir

« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2020, 15:03 »
+2
No answer here.
This was going to be my first payout, now I feel I wasted my time uploading there.
I don't mind waiting to reach the threshold but I find it unfair to never receive the money you earned.
Is it even legal for them to keep your earnings?
Very disappointed, not even for the money themselves but just feeling cheated.

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2020, 16:02 »
+1
I received the same email this morning.

It's very disappointing that an agency with an emphasis of being fair to the contributors has decided to take this path. Even if money is tight, offering a percentage (as bankrupt companies do) would be better than nothing.

I completely understand that the normal course of business imposes a wait for $50 before payment, but when they decide to wind up the business - effectively removing the option for contributors of waiting for the next payout - I think the only right course of action is to pay contributors any balance.

An ignominious end for the creators of StockXpert...

Well that is a surprising response and a disappointing one for sure from Stockfresh. Had expected better from them.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2020, 16:52 »
+4
A follow-up email from Peter:

Quote
"Hi Colin,

Thank you for the feedback. Its Peter from Stockfresh here.

In the last few years weve had a rapid decline in sales due to the fact that the entire microstock market has been struggling, meanwhile our costs have been growing to the point that we we were running out of funds. It became clear that despite our best efforts this business has no future, and we wanted to make sure we could still pay everyone were obligated to pay according to the contributor agreement (everyone above the $50 threshold), so we decided to close the site down.

I understand this is very disappointing, but based on the financial situation of the company it is very unlikely we can pay anyone else, and if we kept going on, the situation would only get worse, as the market itself is also getting worse. Im sorry we werent able to crack the code, but I see that its a huge struggle for everyone.

We tried our best and it went well for a while, but unfortunately things didnt work out in the end and the business failed. Theres nothing left to "keep for ourselves from it, all the money will go to contributors and some customers who will be given refunds.

Hope this explains it better, feel free to contact me any time you like."

It's an agency's duty to keep contributor royalties separated from business spendings, so that in case of a shutdown, we can all get paid. But what I understand now is that Peter says that there's not enough funds to pay everyone their outstanding royalties. Well, then they shouldn't have spent all the money that belonged to the contributors. I doubt it's even legal to do that.

Very disappointing to see them make this decision and then blame the microstock struggles. It's just bad financial management.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2020, 17:23 »
+5
And my reply:

Quote
Hi Peter,

Thank you for taking the time to answer me. But your reply is very disappointing and frankly, I'm speechless. I always considered Stockfresh a fair agency towards contributors and I've supported you all these years. I expected more from Stockfresh regarding this matter.

I understand that businesses can fail and the microstock business is struggling. But the money in our balances belonged to us, regardless of the $50 treshold.

It's an agency's duty to keep the royalties for contributors separated from your daily business spendings. Apparently, somewhere during Stockfresh's decline you guys decided to use up the money that was reserved for contributors.
A$50 treshold is fine when the business is operational, but when the business intends to close down, it's a different situation. You can't simply point at the agreement and say that's what we agreed to.
The contract nowhere states that our earnings will be forfeited upon website closure, only confiscated when fraudulent activity occurs or account closure. The contributor agreement also never explicitly states the rules of payment in case of a shutdown, so for you to unilaterally decide not to pay outstanding royalties is simply mind-boggling.

Again, I strongly urge you to reconsider this decision, because it's unfair that contributors are victimized as well because of bad financial management.

« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2020, 17:51 »
+1
Received this email:

After 10 years of operation Stockfresh is closing its doors on October 17, 2020.

Why are we closing?

....
....
Stockfresh
Best regards,
The Stockfresh Team


And another small agency bites the dust. It was one of my lowest earners, so it doesn't affect me. But they were a fair agency, and with the major agencies letting us down, there's now hardly a decent agency left.

fair, but not enough: if you fall in the "under-threshold" range of time until they close, they hold your money entirely. Maybe this is not a huge amount of money given it's under 50$, but that's not the point: they are holding money that they don't own at all. And this is NOT fair, even if we subscribed a contract. It's an unfair contract.
I can accept this condition in standard dimes, but not in closing times: you have to properly pay off contributors and THEN you can close accounts and so on.
This is absolutely an unfair, diffused, behaviour.
And of course, you have to do a simple multiplication to understand how much this is unfair for us and convenient for them.

Totally unfair.
A little thing, of course. But not fair at all.


 

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