I agree in principal that ratings should reflect the items that are currently for sale, but also that we wouldn’t want to encourage manipulative behaviour. A good start will be reviewing the code we have, and what it actually does Thanks for the input.
In my country Department of the Treasury that collects taxes and keeps an eye on businesses has the right to control the last 5 years of company’s transactions. After that time you can get rid of all the past books and information about transactions. Company’s documentation can be permanently removed and tax office has no right to ask for that.
Even if you have cheated on tax or stole a million dollars, you’re a free man if nobody noticed that within 5 years.
How about such compromise? Ratings of deleted items stay for 5 years and then they are removed. Seems fair.
Current rating system is not helping us to improve our items… It is more like a gun in a child hand…
Exactly. I’m also voting for removal of past ratings. Authors didn’t have access to any reviews and comments attached to ratings in the past ~7 years and these ratings are surely lower than they will be when reviews are attached to them.
There was no possibility to improve anything because many authors didn’t know what users actually want. Anonymous sale, 1 star rating, no comment left. This doesn’t help anyone. The client is left disappointed and the author is left doubly disappointed because he has no option to reply back and he has no idea what he did wrong.
Right now, a rating is forever — we calculate the average using every available rating since the item was first uploaded, which means it’s a mixture of historical and current ratings. We’re working with a statistician to explore the impact of ignoring older ratings.
Is there any advantage of this? I can see a couple of disadvantages (mostly to authors that improve themselves over time) but why ratings for items that don’t exist or that existed 10 years ago are kept? Technologies change and what was 5 or 10 years ago isn’t comparable to what is now.
Impatiently waiting for updates as well
I wish that ThemeForest and CodeCanyon introduced strict “item support” policies. Buyers think that they bought customization services as a part of their purchase and I anticipate that many low ratings come from the fact that item authors say “no” to customization requests.
A person buys a theme for $50 and usually author’s work is worth between $100/h and $200/h. They didn’t even cover 15 minutes of author’s time and they don’t realize that it is not possible for an author to customize a theme for 1000 buyers for free. 50% of support request is straight “No, sorry.” message in my case. I feel like the border where the support ends is invisible and it is a huge time-waster for authors.
Instead of replying to custom modification requests I suggest that a system like https://github.com/ was created. It would list just “issues” and “suggestions” and that’s it. No other questions can be asked. Also, if an author fixes a bug then files (single or all) could be made downloadable straight away from the repository by purchasers. It could be called “nightly builds” that users can download between main release versions. That also saves time and enables authors to fix issues in 5 minutes without necessity to re-pack everything and re-submit (which takes 20 minutes).
I think that this update made too many items 4.5 instead of 4 or 5:
Perhaps deleting “1-star” ratings unless they have constructive feedback attached could put that back to where it should be (I visually preferred either full 4 or full 5).
It’s a great feature! Finally!!!
I beg you to go one more step forward and consider what people are suggesting here. All in one post:
- Suggested by @KBRmedia: “view breakdown” instead of showing all ratings opened.
- Suggested by @EladChai, @ShermanJackson, @joiaco and more – possibility to discuss, cancel or create a dispute if someone rates an item 1-star for no constructive reason. It happens on eBay, in iTunes Apple Store, in WordPress repository, YouTube videos and in other places that item has 100 5-stars and 2 1-stars. There are haters for no reason out there. And for me 1-star = completely useless, not working at all. Each item objectively deserves at least 2 or 3 stars because no item on the marketplace is complete crap, right? Envato staff ensures that it meets appropriate quality standards. Ignoring this and allowing them rate 1-star without any constructive feedback is only damaging marketplace and authors. If user bought a theme and he is receiving “missing stylesheet” or is trying to install it on wordpress.com hosting – please kindly advice him that he doesn’t have appropriate knowledge, file him a refund and cancel his rating. If he rates an item for subjective reasons (“I’m unable to install it because it made me mad [= because I have zero experience]” rather than “I’m unable to install it because an item is faulty”) then this shouldn’t be considered because item may be objectively well structured, well documented, well built and 100 5-star ratings are the best indicator. This is probably the most important suggestion here.
- Suggested by @kinzi21, @sanisoft, @vaisnava and more – “provide comment section if a buyer want to rate an item 1 or 2 stars so we know his reason to give the low rating” – this is incredibly valuable marketing tool that allows to fix mistakes. And obviously marketplace globally benefits from authors fixing mistakes right? This is long overdue feature that should be present here for years.
- Suggested by @justinfrench – “Exactly. So this is the first step, showing the data. A buyer can now see if there are some potentially irrelevant ratings that might be dragging the rating down (or up), rather than just seeing a single opaque average rating.” – instead of showing raw stars to buyers, perhaps show that with comment? If a buyer will see some not constructive, meaningless reason to rate an item 1 star then they will be more convinced that the person who rated is actually not experienced and the item is actually not faulty. Actually, I think that such ratings should be discussed/refunded instead of leaving buyer unhappy.
Additional suggestion: kind re-rate reminder (ask for consideration email) for 1-star, 2-star, 3-star raters once item has been improved/updated. The purpose of rating system should be to let authors get constructive feedback, act upon it (fix mistakes) and hopefully be re-rated or at least rated higher again in the future by other people.
Additional suggestion: items are updated but ratings remain. This may not be a valid approach but maybe ratings should refrect current performance period rather than everything from the very beginning (i.e. delete ratings for deleted items?). Authors learn and everyone starts as a noob. Let past ratings not get down and hold back authors that are now better.
Additional suggestion: Scale difference – each user doesn’t know what 1 star refers to – each one defines it subjectively. Some may think that “1-star = just bad item compared to others” and some will think that “1-star = item that doesn’t work”. This simple difference can raise average rating for entire marketplace by ~1 star and perhaps make everyone happier.
1-star | 2-stars | 3-stars | 4-stars | 5-stars
poor | bad | average | good | very good (excellent)
not working at all (can’t happen) | poor | bad | average | very good (excellent)
And instantly, 1-star rating can’t exist It all depends on the definition of 1-star. I don’t know which scale is actually correct but I feel like the second one can make outside/new buyers think/feel/believe/be-prepared-to/be-more-excited-about items on the entire marketplace before they buy them. It’s nicer to choose from 5 and 4 star items than from lower rated ones. Please also note that most people actually already apply scale number #2 unconsciously when rating. That’s why there are so many 5 and 4 star ratings. It makes sense to re-define it (or actually: define for the first time).
Changes that I don’t agree with:
- Suggested by @Godserv – “I do hope Envato implements the email reminder to vote soon, as promised.” – Please compare this to iTunes and App Store. 90% of people don’t like to vote anyone and especially if they don’t think the item is worth 5 starts they prefer not to vote at all. This should be left up to their judgement. I rate Apple Store apps ONLY when I want to really rate them 5 stars. Obligatory rating or rating reminders would piss me off because I don’t want to rate anyone 4 stars, I just leave it unrated then or if I need to complain I send review/feedback without rating attached. I know that everyone is doing what they can and they don’t do mistakes on purpose, right? If they deliver an item of poor quality then they are not educated/experienced enough to see the real value and impact of quality but they should learn and find out soon what’s the difference. I’m happy to buy apps from such people and let them improve themselves thanks to this.
>2) Or delete outdated ratings Isn’t this how ebay works? You can see ratings for last month/year or so. With web technology evolving fast (and many authors/teams skills improving), it would make sense to drop old ratings from years ago.
That’s exactly what I mean – it would be a giant step to satisfy authors.
- 2001 – 2005 – A company (an author) can perform badly or be average. Deserve 1 star.
- 2005 – 2010 – The same company (the same author) can deliver superior products, great support – they may hire new people, new coders, new support staff. This is no longer the same company. Those are not the same products. Deserve 5 stars.
- 2010 – 2013 – The same company (the same author) can fall yet again and start delivering crap. Deserve 1 star again.
As you can see situation changes vastly and adjusting comments/ratings to current performance is a good move. It’s good for authors (past events don’t follow them) and good for buyers (they know what the CURRENT performance and quality is).
I guess the best thing we can do is to make suggestions like quosik made with the first post. From what I remember, there were many posts asking for improvements on the rating system… but this one, because was this well argued, got more attention from staff. Which I think is a good thing.
Good idea. We can at least prepare a complete list of suggestions. A lot of good ones have been already brought up here.
If it’s already known that we will have to wait half an year, an year or more for things to improve – let it be that way BUT ….... from my perspective if you ignore our requests now (or can’t do them because you’re busy with other things) you should at least consider the following situation:
Authors who have registered in 2009 and are now in TOP100 with 4 stars on average would have probably had 5 stars on average if they had enough feedback attached to ratings during past 5 years ( SEE THIS ). I’m willing to wait more – no problem – but as long as you do something about this issue – we don’t want to be left with 1000 stars (4 on average) forever because we got many not objective ones (from inexperienced customers) during first 5 years. As you see – we have no way to do anything about unknown ratings.
I will be FULLY SATISFIED if you consider also the fact that old authors didn’t have access to “rating+feedback” solution during years 2009-2012 and they couldn’t act upon any negative feedback. New author that will register in 2013 (with “rating+feedback” improvement done) will surely have a lot more opportunities to fix potential issues and they will always have 5 stars on average (unless they are really bad) and old authors will be left with 4 stars on average all the time Maybe it doesn’t much matter but I really feel better when I have only satisfied customers that always give 5 stars.
1) You can delete ratings of deleted items perhaps.
2) Or delete outdated ratings (from years before – when technologies were different) and leave only ratings from past year or two of performance.
3) When I registered here comission rates were 40-60% and unfortunately I had to go all the way from 40% to 53% (? Can’t remember ?) and then comission rate have changed to 50%-70% for all authors. That’s quite a bit of money lost for an author but that’s OK. I don’t want the same thing to happen with ratings. I don’t want to be left with poor ratings (that I couldn’t and can’t well prevent) when you do improvements (and let further authors fully benefit from it but not old ones).
I hope you understand I’m just asking to erase past ratings if it’s not really objective in my opinion right now. Ratings will be constructive and objective only after certain changes. Right now they don’t tell anything author nor client.
Hey guys, I appreciate that you’re all frustrated and want improvements to things like ratings/support etc – we (Envato) wants that too, but there are reasons things don’t move as quickly as we all wish that they could. Vahid will be posting his quarterly update very soon (I’ve seen a draft).
I get that this was a joke and I’m certain no offence would be taken, and we all need to have a laugh from time to time – but I’d like to ask that you all be respectful of the dev team and everyone else on these forums for that matter too. The devs work extremely hard, a lot of the time on problems you guys wouldn’t be thinking about. They most certainly are not lying in hammocks on the beach!
That said, I appreciate the frustrations and seeming lack of movement (please keep in mind the behind the scenes work which goes into the operation of sites on the scale of the Marketplaces – and how quickly we’re needing to scale the business to match) and threads like this have great feedback which we do monitor and all take to heart. I can’t wait until the day where we deliver a more robust ratings system too.Jords
Hmm, so authors need to wait next 6 or 12 months, till July 2013 (hopefully that soon) to start getting feedback from customers? And till that time I still have to guess why people are rating items 4 stars and not 5? I still don’t have any tool for tracking what people want, why are they not fully satisfied and it’s frustrating. And I assume thousands of other authors would find it useful (even if they don’t participate in this discussion – perhaps they just don’t know that things can be better and they take what you give them without complaints).
I’m complaining in good faith to improve marketplaces, increase productivity of authors and finally give authors clear feedback from customers. No feedback = wasted time for thousands of authors (especially those starting small businesses thanks to Envato – they need more tools).
The decision we’ve made so far in our small team that works for you: “Don’t care about 20% of people who rate item 1 to 4 stars (because we don’t know why is that) and focus to achieve 80% of happy customers and we are fine with having all items 4 stars (although we could do improvements if we had feedback)”.
And now, let’s say you will add feedback and rating statistics in July 2013. Our items and our account will still remain with 4 stars on average because we registered in 2009 or 2010 and old, poor ratings without feedback will follow us (5 years without “rating tools” = 5 years of decreased ratings because we don’t get feedback from customers). Will we be compensated? Like ratings reset? Perhaps no. So, we will always remain “not that reliable author”. Please consider that, too. At least deleting ratings of deleted items would be a good move for old authors. You can make it “rating per item” only and not global author rating that in our case will decrease our realiability after improvements.
No offence – I’m respectful of the very awesome dev team you have and everyone else here but I’m just suggesting something that thousands of people can benefit from. It’s like upgrade to search engine you did recently – millions of people benefit from it and now thousands of authors can benefit from new rating system. It seems like one of the priority tasks to me.
quosik saidPlease explain me why is that. Why do top authors deserve 5 stars? how ratings are related to the number of files you sale? I can promote very well my items , and still, those items can have poor quality, bugs, and so on. You assume that all the files from Envato Marketplaces are top quality and all deserve 5 stars. As I explained earlier, it does not work like that. Many items have serious bugs, they are not top quality or they are not what the buyer expected, some items have poor documentation, and there are authors (even top authors) who give sh”t support, and most of the times they say: wait for the update and the bug will be fixed. As you imagine, a buyer won’t give 5 stars for something that he had to wait days so it could be fixed. The buyers deserve the right to give 1 star if they feel so, and deleting the ratings that you don’t like is bull”hit. What is the point of the rating system if you delete the ratings that you don’t like? Let’s all have 5 stars and delete the rating system at all!! Would that be fair?
And authors that have “blue steel paw” or “green paw” often fully deserve 5 stars but they don’t get them and major reason is inexperienced client and not faulty item.
I agree that not all items are perfect but top authors usually pay attention to everything. Usually.
If client provides feedback like “I bought theme X and its description said it will work in IE9 but it doesn’t – I give it 1 star then.” – it’s OK. No problem. He should even get a refund (although before purchasing customer should make sure that the item works in IE9 like expected – he has demo for that).
But If customer says “I bought theme X and it doesn’t work because it doesn’t display menu, I give 1 star then.” – it’s NOT OK . The client made mistake by not attaching menu to its location in admin panel and it’s not our fault at all. Very often servers are wrongly configured and customers blame us for that, too.
Not all files are perfect and not everyone provides good support but just reducing number of clients that don’t have good, rational and real reasons to rate item poorly would help a lot.