^^ +1 There we go, in Envato’s own writing.
This is what I’m hearing…
Hi! Welcome to Envato Market, we will sell your work for a few dollars. Don’t forget to stand by for any potential support for the next 6 months, and make sure you log your vacation time so you avoid breaching our terms in case customers can’t get hold of you. We will also let you know if a customer has purchased more of your time in a support pack, which we will make some profit from, we will expect you to honour this agreement, failure to comply will result in penalties. P.S. we might also ask some other guys you don’t know to help customers install your work which will also make some profit from, have a nice day!
I think some of the concerns about pricing are linked to the support volume. How is it economical if an item is $50 and each person asks for a few hours of work? This would indeed be pretty uneconomical. But I don’t believe that it will be anything close to a one-one ratio of people who buy things and people who ask for help.
Over the years my observation of customer behaviour is that they almost always follow some sort of 80/20 rule, where there are some very high volumes, and many quiet customers. We’ll be aiming to make sure our system and policies actually help you deal with the high volume, high expense buyers.There’s lots of factors that we take into consideration when thinking about pricing, including buyer expectations about what’s currently included in the price, the market and competitors, and of course how to deliver value to authors and buyers.
The point you’re missing though is that our time is not yours to sell or to manage. We supply the stock, you are selling it. We’ve already put a large amount of time into the stock, that’s what gives it value. And now you’re making guarantees that we will support our products for 6 months within 72hr response times and bundling it into the purchase?.. we don’t work for Envato, and we’re not getting enough return per sale to make that commitment to each customer.
It may be true that only a few customers will need or ask for support, but you are still selling and managing our time without giving us enough incentive. You’re also giving a lot more power to buyers, since it appears they have now purchased our time too. We’re not here to sell our time, we are here to sell stock items. If customers wanted our time, they must pay for it at a price which is feasible for authors – if they wanted to offer this service.
We sell here because of the freedom it offers, and that we’re not on the clock, that’s the whole point.
If it’s an issue that authors are offering “life time support” or it is unclear what the support terms are then just make it a rule you can’t advertise support as being a selling point.. and also make it more clear that support is not guaranteed to the buyer, however they can purchase dedicated support if the author offers such a service, and then the author will receive more incentive for that commitment.
I wish Envato would explain why authors should guarantee 6 months support, within 72hr response time, if we only made $30 from a customers purchase of a theme which took us a few weeks / months to design & build in the first place.
But thanks for the “author vacation” feature suggestion, that’s generous of you.. haha. The bottom line is, we’re not getting enough incentive to promise 6 months support… we have better things to do, like designing & building themes. The way the support system works now is rightly fair for the return we get per sale – and it works the way it is.
And Envato, you’re forgetting the main reason what made selling here cool – and why so many of us quit our day jobs to do this full time, and that is because we don’t have to work for clients, or put up with unruly demands. We make themes because it gives us total creative freedom and we do whatever we want with our time – we’re not on the clock, that’s the whole point. So what makes you think we will give up that freedom for a few dollars?
I’m guessing most authors have experienced the following:
- Customer writes a book with 10 questions all in pretty bullet points you’re now tasked with answering.
- Customer responds, writes another book.
- A week goes by, another new book to read, and you realize you’ve just had a 30 email conversation with the customer. Time to cut the cord…
Under the new rules, how would we handle something like this? Can we just refund the customer their purchase and be done with it? Because if we can’t ever free ourselves of these type of customers, it directly conflicts with the following objective from the blog announcement:We want to make sure Authors still have time and energy to do what they do best — create great work for sale.And here’s the tricky part—The customer wasn’t asking for custom work, and technically all their questions were completely reasonable. But if you don’t ever cut off communication, you’re going to end up having a 100 email conversation with them, which is completely unacceptable for an $18 sale.
+1 Too much work, not enough incentive. We’re use to occasional demanding customers who think we will work for a few dollars.. but now Envato is assuming we will too which is questionable.
So, how will Envato know if support has been handled in 72 hours? I run all my support requests through my dedicated help center
Good point – they won’t be able to if authors are using their own support systems. But they do have Envato Studio up and running, which has all these features to monitor support time… maybe we will use something similar.
KrownThemes saidThe purpose is/was micro-stock selling, not freelancing really. It’s looking like we’re becoming more like employees in the near future though. Any healthcare options ‘eh?
Most of us offer high quality support to our buyers because it’s the right thing to do and the only way to keep the business running. But to enforce a 72hrs respond period is really crazy and it breaks the entire purpose of freelance.
+1 Seems like the game changed when Envato Studio was born
We know Envato likes bundles.. but this new mandatory support idea is basically bundling 6 months of authors time into already cheap items, as if authors are now a commodity… and if buyers need more support, then they can buy more author time, sorry but I came here to sell my work, not my time.
Authors sell their items here because of the freedom it offers and that we manage our own time, we don’t work for Envato or the customers… but now Envato is changing that, and assuming we will accept it with no price increase or the option to opt out.
I have an announcement for Envato, as of 1st December 2014 if this goes ahead, I will be looking for a new adventure for 2015