Posts by billyf

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billyf
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So what does the limitations of support mean?

There is actually no limitation, it’s just worded as such to make buyers pay more ‘willingly’. You can decide whether you want to answer the buyers’ questions after their support expired. They will still be able to download the latest updates you provide as long as they bought your item, even if their support expired few years ago.

The main difference with support package is, authors are obliged to provide mandatory support to buyers within the first 6 months of their purchase, whereas it used to be ‘optional’ in the past (but many authors still provided support of course).

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billyf
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I think HTML and WordPress items have increased by $1? Is it possible to list out all the changes?

Also, where is the WordPress pricing structure that was available previously? I can see that one of the popular WordPress mega theme is now priced $60+ but not others, how was it determined?

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billyf
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Updates are always available to buyers via their download area, the latest version of the file being the one they can always download, this hasn’t changed.

Correct, but paid support won’t change the process of asking questions too. Buyers will still be able to ask questions outside their support period, and it is totally up to us authors to enforce paid support.

Maybe I wasn’t clear in my previous post. What I meant was, paid support does not alter anything at all for support / updates if an author doesn’t comply fully with the terms. Buyers can still ask questions and download latest updates without paying for support if the author doesn’t ask for it because the support tab won’t be disabled for those outside support period.

If the author enforces it (i.e. only answer buyers’ support requests if they have valid support pack), Envato gets the 30% for merely providing the payment method. No new support tools, no enforcement by them, just like what andrew said earlier :
We recommend authors only provide support within the definition and stick to the periods included/purchased by the buyer.
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billyf
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Support packs are for asking questions to the author (support) not for updates which are available always to all buyers regardless of time frame.
Exactly. :-)

No, from the way it’s answered, the whole outcome of paid support is just to get an additional tag beside the ‘Purchased’ tag and it’s totally up to the author to decide whether the buyer needs to pay to get an answer. Look at this post :


Providing support outside the definition of support for free

One of the main goals of the project was to make support more sustainable for authors. We formed our definition of support on the feedback provided by authors and are trying to make this as clear as possible for buyers.

We believe authors should be compensated for the support they provide. We recommend authors only provide support within the definition and stick to the periods included/purchased by the buyer.

Envato will not do anything more than providing the definition and the means to purchase the support pack. Authors have to ‘enforce’ it by ourselves (and we are ‘recommended’ to do so).

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billyf
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I think there is nothing like that. Every author is concerned about the 1 stars they receive for the hard-work they put. So, they just want to be sure if these unfair ratings wont affect their sales.

But, as Envato is going to take care of that as Andrew mentioned, this support pack will be an awesome improvement.
Have you gone through previous 1 star threads, you can check how those have worked out ;) A rating (esp. 1 star) with good words, with any minute reason never get removed.

Maybe not many CodeCanyon buyers give unjustified 1 star ratings but many authors at ThemeForest have such experience. They don’t need to word it nicely. They just need to say ‘Poor support’ and the 1 star rating will stay with the item forever because Envato Support will tell you they believe it is ‘relevant to buyers’ experience’ and authors should ‘keep an open mind’.

So I expect more low ratings due to ‘support’ reasons after 1st September. Maybe what used to be 5 star becomes a 4 star rating because ‘support is below expectation’ for the amount they have paid when it used to be free.

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billyf
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Can I tell buyers that I support my items for free?

One of the main reasons we’re doing this project is so that at the time of purchase, a buyer will know exactly what they are paying for.

What we have today is a world where each author has a slightly different version of support, and where and how they describe their support offering varies greatly. Buyers are obviously confused by this lack of consistency and clarity at the time of purchase and take their expectations of previous purchases with them, often leading to bad author-buyer experiences.

It is for these reasons that we’ve decided to standardise the definition of support and clearly communicate whether or not the item is supported at the time of purchase.

@andrew thanks for clarifying but what is the reason for not having a ‘3rd-party support’ option for authors who plan to give out free support? As you have said, if the author opts in to paid support but never ask the buyer to extend his support package after it’s expired, this particular buyer will take his expectations of free support to another author because both items have the same support terms. This doesn’t solve the problem at all.

What will help to set clear expectations is to have :
  1. Standardized / Verified / Guaranteed Support (or any term which depicts that items with this label have same level of support which complies strictly to Envato’s support definition)
  2. 3rd-party Support (support under authors’ terms / not strictly under Envato’s definition)
  3. No support

I wish to know why, instead of offering the 3 options above, Envato has decided to let author either opt in or out of its paid support but yet allow buyers not to pay for support after it’s expired?

If Envato wants to stick to the current system, then buyers should automatically be prompted to extend their support or remove their ability to request for support after support pack expires (to standardize their experience and expectations). I am sure some authors who opt in will not charge their buyers; and with the current system, this will hurt those who do comply strictly to Envato’s terms (i.e. those who ask buyers to pay risk getting low ratings).

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I agree with @QuanticaLabs. If the purpose of introducing paid support is to standardize the support approach, then people who opt in must adhere strictly to the terms set by Envato. Otherwise, there should be a ‘Support by third-party’ label (or anything with similar meaning) for authors who wish to support their items under their own terms (i.e. free support), instead of showing ‘author does not support this item’.

The current approach is only making things more confusing for buyers. If a buyer visits the author’s own support forum after paying for extended support, and subsequently sees the ‘free support’ sign, I’m sure he will be confused and either request a refund from Envato, or give 1 star rating to the author for not telling him about free support.

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billyf
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This support policy to enforce authors to provide support for a cheap price and limit time, sounds more like a way to reduce the number of active designers/developer selling themes; since the market is saturated. Is just a guess (call me crazy – lol) That is my conspiration theory about this Envato’s update. What’s yours? xD
I think Envato wants to take a bigger slice of the pie. You can see with the support pricing structure its modeled around the top end priced items like multiple purpose themes (because its not really feasible for authors of lower priced items). Envato takes 30% from these top end sellers, but obviously they noticed the huge aftermarket support going on behind the scenes, they just seen the success with Envato Studio, and then a light bulb went off and paid support is happening.

Because 15 authors have been ‘consulted’ before implementing this, and I’m sure authors of the few top selling themes are included. The other 4000+ authors’ (at ThemeForest) opinions are not significant for them. So the whole ‘paid support’ system might work for top authors but not for majority of us.

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billyf
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I like the idea of this approach too. Let’s just find another term from “Trusted Support” since 3rd Party Support should be trustable as well. I don’t think Envato will listen to this though. They make it clear with “don’t confuse buyers with your stuff but only with ours”

+1. Sure, the phrase ‘trusted support’ is just a marketing term to further differentiate between the 2 options (and something a ‘platform operator’ would like to use since it favours them more), so anything is fine as long as there are 3 types of support (support strictly adhering to Envato’s terms, support under author’s terms and no support at all). Even ‘Guaranteed Support’ or ‘Verified Support’ is ok too since they do indicate that Envato has control over it.

However, as much as I hope they will listen, I doubt anything would be done (please prove me wrong). I’ve already mentioned this long time ago in previous discussions but they have just ignored the suggestion. Envato is making things more complicated and confusing for buyers by implementing this.

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billyf
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I have to say that giving free support at author’s own support system while maintaining paid support at the item page is making things more complicated than it already is.

If paid support is really implemented to set buyers’ expectations on support clear (as opposed to implementing it mainly to get additional income), then there should be 3 ‘states’ of support as mentioned by @visualkicks above (and also by many other authors in discussions earlier) :
  1. Trusted Support (paid support under Envato’s terms)
  2. 3rd Party Support (author’s own support terms, since Envato is operating as a platform and authors are considered as ‘sellers’)
  3. No Support

By having those 3 states (and Envato can always alter with the search result based on those attributes), buyers will be much clearer about what they will get. If authors have opted in ‘paid support’ but yet they provide free support at their own support system, I can be sure that buyers will definitely complain about the double standard and Envato would be seen as scamming buyers when they can get the same service for free.

Please, for once, just make things simple and clear for everyone.

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