A very critical problem is that we are using the word “Support”. There such be no such thing as “support” for cheap stock products. We write thorough documentation to explain how everything works and themes go through a review process to ensure they are working. A buyer should definitely be able to report theme bugs and authors must fix them, otherwise the theme is soft-disabled. But that is the extent of how the system should be.
Couldn’t have put it better myself!
I’d be happy with the program if:
- “72 hours” was changed to “3 business days”
- “6 months free support” was changed to “1 month”
- A public, central support forum run by Envato was included.
- Authors could instantly refund customers at their discretion.
- 1 month “vacation, sick, etc.” time were allowed per year, which could be activated in any increment, at any time.
So, basically you’d be happy with an employment to Envato with no healthcare benefits, right? Sorry, but that’s what it sounds like. 1 month is still mandatory and free in the same low priced template/theme. You earn $3 to $60 per sale and you basically give it up within the first hour or less of support you provide.
And under no circumstances I see any common sense reason for which I would agree/accept to limit my time OFF Envato to one month per year. I’m not doing this full time, nor do I want to do it full time, it’s not what I signed up for, and definitely have no employment contract with Envato. It’s a partnership relationship, not an employer-employee relationship to ask for permission for vacation time / sick leave.
Again, Envato should sell our micro-stock, and not bundle our services with it. For services we have Envato Studio and anyone looking to make money out of premium support should register to provide it there. And even there I don’t see Envato forcing Studio users to declare vacation time or be present with replies in 72 hours and so on.
Please, let’s stop making this confusion between partnering up with Envato and working for Envato. Some people see working on ThemeForest as a job. It is not. It’s a business. Your business and you work for yourself and the one and most important asset you have is your time.
Let me answer you with a question:
Would you date a woman whose hand grows out from her breasts and on the same hand she has 6 fingers?
I understand the concern about fees, and that is always something authors need to consider when selecting whether to sell via Envato Market or any other marketplace.
See Collis, that’s exactly the trouble with this thing. When I submit a theme or template, it is MY CHOICE to sell MY product through the Envato Market. With the mandatory support, it is out of my hands. The rules that I signed up for have changed and Envato is acting against my freedoms as an author, freedoms that have brought me and the huge majority of authors (most probably) here. When you decide to sell MY support against my will packed with a very low priced item, you can’t say that it’s a choice I have made to respect the fee policy of Envato.
I agree that a support tool would be a logical addition to the ecommerce services – and is something we are considering – but that’s not the sole basis for Envato’s fees!
As long as it is the only thing Envato would have to offer in exchange for our support services, it should be the one logical addition. I don’t see authors asking for this change, and I must say that in part I do believe it’s a good concept, but a seriously flawed first approach to it. Biggest issue being packing any kind of free support in the main package. Not at these prices definitely.
Finally, gathering good data is essential I agree. When we say we’ve spoken to authors we’re not referring to people who actually work at Envato. To be clear some people who work at Envato are authors, and in fact one of the developers ON the item support project is an elite author from CodeCanyon! But that’s not who we’re talking about when I said we’d spoken to authors for research purposes.
And I can show you – but would rather not, don’t like to call people out – the comment of a person working at Envato that’s been an 1 year old author stating “established authors and buyers have been approached privately for feedback (myself included).“
I don’t believe it is a good practice and any kind of team member should stay out of this as it has a good chance of being biased.
Also, for the sake of transparency, statements like “based on private surveys we decided to…” should be avoided. Give us data, tell us what your survey’s questions where, what categories of authors/buyers were asked, concrete results… like infographics. Otherwise it just sounds like you took the decision and we might as well accepted believing some people were indeed questioned.
I am sorry if I sound a little bit paranoid or like having a conspiracy theory syndrome, but lately I and other authors have come to take your changes and announcements and promises with a fair amount of salt. There appears to be a HUGE trust gap between the author community and the Envato as an entity and its staff, that needs to be fixed ASAP and only good, sustained dialogue like the one YOU practice now, and transparent measures can fix at this point.
I love Envato and its ecosystem and I truly want it to find its competitive edge again.
Thanks for the link to the letter, I appreciate the time you’ve taken to set out the views and concerns.
You’re welcome! My day time boss gave me a special lunch break to publish it. He’s supportive like that! Thanks for taking the time to read it and would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Kind regards, Alex
It is good that the buzz made enough of a wave to make you take a step back and try to look at this issue in a different light.
All that I am hoping for now is that this whole break to listen will turn into an action that will not endanger authors.
I do have a huge issue with something you’ve mentioned in an earlier comment: You are not considering a support tool as priority because some authors already have their own and they are pretty happy with them. Well:
1. Some authors got to implement their own support systems because you offered not to begin with, nor made support mandatory. That’s just how it is and not a justification for not having your own great functioning support tool.
2. If you put off the support tool or push it down the priority list, then by all means, push off the 70/30% commission plan too. I’m sorry but it would simply be pimping authors out. You’d be selling services that authors are pretty vocal against being forced into, and more, you wouldn’t be giving them the proper resources to offer those services. So what exactly would you be taking 30% for?!
Simpler put: I don’t want YOU to decide to sell MY support services and time while I pay for support resources: time, hosting, personnel and you still take 30% of my money.
I sincerely hope that you gather your data properly, cause I came to know that some of the authors surveyed privately happened to work for Envato and are so established that have 1 year on the market and over +10k in sales. Don’t make this new data look like it’s a family business. Now’s the time to exercise transparency.
Also, hope you’ve given this letter a decent read, quite a few authors seem to agree with the issues I presented there and has gathered 1500 reads as off now.
Enabled, thanks for pitching in and no worries, not taking offence in your reply. We understand you’re doing your job, it’s the policy that’s creating this amount of frustration and generating such reactions from people like doru or myself. I don’t usually rant about Envato’s decisions, my comments are mostly helping hands for other authors on the forums, like yesterday’s explaining in detail how licenses work to a fellow author. So yes, it is frustrating seeing something I’ve put a lot of thought and soul into, being dismissed and thrown in the garbage bin of the forgotten locked threads. This being said, I’ll be getting back on topic and hoping your colleagues will finally treat a major issue with the respect the author community totally deserves.
Thanks mpc and doru, you are absolutely right and it’s becoming a common and utterly frustrating habit!
And as expected, although asked not to lock it, the topic announcing our open letter to Envato, has been locked and dismissed in the name of keeping things “centralized”. Very bad practice! It was the reason I chose to publish on Medium as forum topics get locked and buried while comments get lost in so many pages on hot and important topics like this one. So, fellow authors, please forgive me if I repost this link so that maybe enough people read and share (the link and their own views), enough to maybe actually make Envato finally give up listening and start a meaningful dialogue!
Thank you everyone!
Hi Dream-Theme and sorry for invading your topic, but KingDog got trigger finger happy and locked the other thread (despite being kindly asked not to) and pointed to this one in order to “keep it centralized”. My letter is my letter and represents my opinions and views and I had and have no reason to use Dream-Theme’s topic and their own letter to present mine.
I will have to disagreed with this attitude and King Dog, if you read this I will kindly ask you to reopen the thread. It’s a bad practice. I am sorry but you guys have enough staff to centralize the info yourself and I don’t need to invade Dream-Theme’s topic with what I had to say.
It once again looks like you’re locking inconvenient threads so that people don’t get to keep them alive and they get lost in a few hours. Shady at least and one of the reasons I posted my letter on Medium, so that it’s in a public place where you can’t do more “crowd control and topic locking”.
Want to lock it? FINE by me, but don’t bury it. You want to play fair? Lock it and make it sticky.We can talk wherever you want, on whatever topic, but DO NOT bury the letter. Exercise a little transparency and care for the people that do give enough of a damn about this marketplace’s future to go through the struggle to give you decent feedback.
Until you reconsider the lock or make the topic sticky, i will continue the discussion here and re-post the letter as a reply here.
After the latest (last months) developments on the Envato marketplaces I wanted to take the time and digest the whole state of the marketplace today. Not saying that my views are those of everyone here. They represent me and the people I collaborate with and our views on issues which I noticed to find common ground with many other authors. I wrote them down in a post on Medium which I’d like to share with you the authors, Envato staff and whoever else would like to have a read (8 min read according to Medium)
Thank you for taking the time to read through and looking forward to reactions.
Looking forward to a decent reaction to that letter instead of a lock-and-cover-up.
Joost, thank you! Coming from a person that I respect so much since my Blogsessive days, you support on this matter means so so much! Best wishes!
Everyone, thank you so much for taking the time to read such a long letter and for the amazing support to it that you show through comments and shares. Much appreciated!