Posts by billyf

666 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
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billyf
says



In the past year, from about July 2014 till now, my stats tell me I’m getting 20% requests from buyers who purchased more than 6 months ago. I get customers who actually specify they’ve purchased my items because they love them but plan to use them later on, then they come back with questions.
Well, then it’s good for you (or maybe not good if you think about how many cumulative support cases you have to handle). With paid support, most likely you will get less of these buyers who have the ‘buy-first-and-use-later’ mentality and with that, lesser support requests from buyers who purchased your items 6 months ago.
Unfortunately, even if I provide statistics to your questions, and actually, even if I answer all your questions with solid data, your mind is still made up, and that’s completely fine, that’s your prerogative, I see that since you’re asking a tone of different questions and every answer you receive you still have your the same opinion. That’s completely fine, since you can opt-out when the new Support System goes active! :)

Unfortunately, this is also how I feel about the way Envato handles this issue (that Envato has made up its mind for this plan and won’t change a thing regardless of what us authors suggested). It’s not that I won’t accept others’ opinion. After all these ‘discussions’, I still haven’t changed my mind regarding paid support because I haven’t received any satisfactory answer to the potential problems posed by paid support, and the benefits still can’t outweigh the potential problems.

  1. Is paid support really a ‘burning issue’? I don’t see much complaints regarding this compared to the complaints made for ratings system, so why must it be launched before ratings system is fixed?
  2. Why should authors be forced to opt in to Envato’s paid support in order to get the ‘Item offers support’ tag (or advertise that the item is supported)? Third-party support is still a type of support, it should probably be labelled ‘Item offers third-party support’ (or other labels) instead of ‘Item does not offer support’ and should not have any negative effects on buyers’ search results as long as there’s support offered. Envato claims to be a platform, so authors should have the rights to choose their preferred support method.
  3. What happens if the author removes his item within 6 months from launching it (or removing it while there are buyers with support extension plans)? How will support extension which has already been paid by buyers be handled in these cases? Full refund from author?

You see, these are some of the questions which are yet to be addressed by Envato. I don’t think they have been answered in any of the posts (sorry if they have been ‘answered’ but I couldn’t see these questions being clearly addressed), so when you said ‘every answer you receive you still have your the same opinion.’, it’s not true. I’m still waiting for the answers.

That’s completely fine, since you can opt-out…

How I wish it’s completely fine. Until #2 above is addressed, I can’t opt out without having greater negative impact to my items’ sales. By saying that my item is not supported when it is, in fact, supported, that is actually false advertising by Envato. It should be stated as ‘Item offers third-party support’ (or something in that sense) and I hope Envato will at least listen to this.

666 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
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billyf
says

That’s because some buyers are totally aware of the ‘5 days open job’ policy. They want to keep it open so that when anything goes wrong, they can ask you to fix it.

It happened to me once. I’ve installed everything nicely for a buyer and asked him to approve the job if he’s satisfied with the work. No response till the 4th day, he replied and asked me to reinstall the theme for him because he broke it. Luckily the theme was easy to work with, so I just reinstalled and told him to be more careful and I’m not responsible for his mistakes, and also reminded him about job approval.

Still, he didn’t click the button but the job was finally closed after 5 days. That’s 9 days of work (or delay) for something which could have been marked as delivered within 1 day. There’s nothing you can do if the buyer doesn’t click the button, just wait and pray that he doesn’t come with more problems within the 5 days.

666 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
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billyf
says

It’s only an additional income if it’s purchased, and that’s after the 6 months of mandatory support which is not charged for. We will all be lucky to sell a single one that’s why I am doing the same as many others and not offering this here but rather on my own site, with my own terms and my own price. After all, with the changes made previously these are now my direct buyers and as such I will deal with them directly.

Yes, totally agree and I personally don’t foresee much extra income for myself. However, I’m not sure whether we are still allowed to offer support with our own terms / price after they’ve implemented paid support? From what I read earlier, they’re doing this to ‘standardize support’ so I assume they want the same terms and price to be offered by every author. I would rather set my own support terms and price if I have a choice (while not having my item marked as ‘Not supported’ when in fact I do).


In the past year, from about July 2014 till now, my stats tell me I’m getting 20% requests from buyers who purchased more than 6 months ago. I get customers who actually specify they’ve purchased my items because they love them but plan to use them later on, then they come back with questions.

Well, then it’s good for you (or maybe not good if you think about how many cumulative support cases you have to handle). With paid support, most likely you will get less of these buyers who have the ‘buy-first-and-use-later’ mentality and with that, lesser support requests from buyers who purchased your items 6 months ago.

666 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
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billyf
says

It is not about whether or not we have clients requesting support after 6 months, today. This will appeal to our business customers. They won’t mind one bit to buying support pack extensions along with the product. They also ask less support and do you know why? That is because people that are willing to pay more are actually our target customer. They will ask for less support because they need the product and they know that if something goes wrong i.e. found a bug, they can turn to us to fix it.

Yes, those who are willing to pay for support have never been the actual ‘problem’ with paid support. It’s those who are not willing to pay that will give us 1 star rating once their support plan has expired and we have no way of getting those removed unless they violated the community guidelines in their ratings description. They can say ‘Poor support’ and we’re stuck with that rating forever.

Also, with paid support, authors have to guarantee support for first 6 months of purchase, for free. This is where some buyers will abuse the system because it has been made mandatory. I have to disagree with this statement :
This means you won’t even have to deal with the few problematic clients because they won’t be around asking for support, 6 months later.

We are also concerned about buyers who paid for support and expected more from it. Those who’re not willing to pay have already given us their 1 star rating, whereas those who paid are probably facing complicated problems which might take us a long time to solve. The problems could have been caused by their own modifications to the files and when they’re stuck, they want us to solve their problem.

Now you might say it’s not covered under support but frankly, there will be buyers who would expect us to solve it because they paid for support and wouldn’t want to waste their previous effort working on the item. If we’re lucky, the buyer will willingly accept refund for support (is that possible? I don’t know) but if we’re not, the buyer will get upset and you know how it ends.

Envato should have improved the rating system before implementing paid support / paid updates, I think 99% of the authors are willing to let that come first and delay this plan. Paid updates wouldn’t work because they’re making it really complicated. Many of us have suggested a simple pay-to-download model. People buy items here based on what it is at the moment of purchase, as clearly stated under the market terms :
we and the authors do not promise that any particular item will continue to be available on Envato Market so you should download and save the item as soon as you buy it;

So I don’t see any problems if they have to pay to get security updates after 1 year of purchase because most of existing security problems would have been solved within that 1 year duration. It’s just that Envato is making things really complicated by separating security / bug fixes from additional features updates.

666 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
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billyf
says

I have a suggestion. Isn’t it better to collapse the answer for each FAQ question and maybe show a few more FAQ items, and relocate the contact form to the bottom like the screenshot below? screenshot

I think the proposed new design isn’t exactly user friendly (see how many couldn’t find the contact form, and it adds additional click to perform what used to be a single-click task), nor does it promote ‘self-service before support’ mentality.

666 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
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billyf
says

@billyf The Contact form is moved to a Popup. If we click Contact Author, It will open a Popup.

btw, I have a doubt, how should I know which Support pack they have purchased if sent through email ?

Once they got our email, they will use their email to send new requests. Only the first time they will use Support Tab. So if we keep on sending emails, how do I know whether his plan expired or not?

Thanks, I didn’t click that button, thought it would bring me to my profile page (since it’s a button styled like all other buttons). Since only top 3 FAQ items are shown, I think the button / contact form could be moved below the FAQ. At least buyers would have gone through the most commonly asked questions before contacting author. Envato’s Help Center does this too, ‘hiding’ the support request button at the bottom.

You have raised a good question about buyers contacting us directly using our email address. The verification link should not expire if they implement paid support (or the purchase code should be shown in the email for us to check in the future). It would unnecessarily create frustration and waste our time if we have to force them to send through our profile page / item support tab again.

666 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
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billyf
says
Just a couple of things I noticed :
  1. Why only top 2 FAQ items are displayed on my item support tab when the blog post states 3?
  2. Why has the contact form been removed from the Support tab? Isn’t that more convenient for buyers if we provide support via TF’s email? I think it should be shown after FAQ assuming buyers would read through FAQ – in line with promotion of ‘self-service before support’ mentality without sacrificing usability. Otherwise they would just click ‘Contact author’ button directly.
  3. Where will the definition of support be shown to buyers? It must be shown and highlighted before buyers can contact authors – whether through this tab, comments or other methods.
666 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
+1 more
billyf
says

For me, personally, the extra support revenue will be a small value, but nevertheless a welcomed extra $$$ for services I already provide and I’m sure most of you do since you care about giving the best of the best to your buyers to get higher up the ranks! :)

I’m just wondering, have you calculated (or estimated) roughly how many percent of support requests are made by buyers who have purchased the item over 6 months ago? I personally have probably less than 5% of those, so the ‘extra revenue’ is almost negligible and that comes with potentially getting 1 star rating if the buyer gets angry for asking him to buy a support pack extension before we answer his simple question.

I know we can always report any ratings (as you’ve repeated many times) but let me repeat my view again : what stops a buyer from saying ‘Poor support by author’ or ‘Limited theme features’ as the rating reason? Envato support staff will almost never remove such rating.

I would rather have buyers who blackmail in the ratings than those who don’t because I can’t remove ratings made by the latter although both of them gave the same 1 star rating for the same intention / motive. That’s exactly why so many authors are not happy with the current ratings system.

666 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
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billyf
says


If you try make good money here, you won’t succeed but if you try make good items, you will make good money. Anything is possible with enough time, and focus ;)
I am not sure that is true. Do you think most popular 1st spot items were good items? We have seen couple of 1st spot items in ThemeForest, and I never thought any of them deserved their spot.

While they might not be as aesthetically pleasing as some other themes, but I think they understood well about how to market their items and what the buyers want. Of course timing and luck does come into place but I would say these items are generally considered good. At least they provide good support to buyers.

666 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
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billyf
says

A far as I understood our banker, it has nothing to do with Envato. Envato sends money to our local bank and our bank (as every other bank that does business in USD) has USA intermediary bank that steps into that transaction. Every bank has different fee so the amount that will be charged from you depends on the intermediary bank that your bank has contract with. So for us it works like this: we withdraw the amount $xxx. Envato bank takes $35, intermediary bank takes $40 and our local bank takes $10. The complete transaction costs us $85 every month.

Oh, I thought the intermediary bank is appointed by the bank used by Envato to transfer our money. My withdrawal was charged an additional USD25 by the intermediary bank (same amount as sindevo and digitalscience), didn’t know yours is way more expensive than ours.

I wonder whether anyone has been charged with less than USD25?

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