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ignitethemes says
i suggested a similar system in the author survey; it slightly differed though in the respect that the authors get paid for providing support on the forums .. best answer chosen by the initiator of the thread gets to choose the best answer .. nothing new, already being done in several places .. i just think it would be a good addition to this community ..

Yea some sorta points/recognition system for proving support/answering questions. This forum comes to mind: http://www.jetbrains.net/devnet/message/5259866 the author of the thread gets to say “Yes, this is a question I need answered”. The thread author then gets to assign points to correct and helpful answers.

If the item comments were displayed in a more threaded view, and emphasis placed on asking question (instead of random comments), and other community members could “reply” to item threads the same as authors could (to gain points) then probably get more community involvement in answering eachothers questions.

 * more random ideas *

if $10 = 10 credits, 1 credit per answer, envato takes a cut, $0.90 per back/forward correspondence? Bit less than $5600 per month :)

Maybe that could be a separate forum for other members to help each other out. But the last thing Authors want to do is compete for scraps.
It needs to be something straight forward, and profitable. And I agree with a previous post it should only be for our own files.

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bjornredemption says

I think this is a great idea and definitely worth pursuing despite the obvious real world issues. The biggest issue would be quantifying ‘support’ and if or not the question was answered effectively. Rather than work on a basis of of questions and answers – how about answering the question with an actual working file.

So rather than asking – ‘how do i change the font here’ say ‘i need the font of this content area changed to arial’? Maybe the buyer could see the modified file as a preview before he accepts the transfers of credits to the author? And only get the modified source file after that?

That would be similar to the current model of business anyway so would probably not bee too complicated to implement.

Animated_Creativity
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Animated_Creativity says

This idea is something which will make the authors attract more and more towards AD instead of doing other free-lance work. If this idea is implemented and the authors are allowed to withdraw the money anytime they want, then, I will start working full time for AD from today.

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iamdok says

I think this thread is touching on a very important topic. Like a previous poster mentioned, I too touched on this issue in my author survey. I think there is a real need to help authors in the struggle to get buyers to value our time and work appropriately, because the pricing system here on AD tends to destroy that.

I too waste very much time composing custom work quotations, which will generally be very competitive, but a very small percentage actually go anywhere. Each time I prepare one of these I usually have to drag the requirements out of the buyer before I can put together a tight quaotation which will not hold an surprises for me, etc. This can chew up a lot of hours if these requests are numerous.

I state at the outset what my (reasonable) hourly rate is, which doesn’t get much of a reaction, but when I qoute for say 2 hours of work, then the reaction is shock and horror!! It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t believe that these buyers think it’s an amazing amount of money and that’s why they’re shocked. But rather they think “well for the price of that “minor” customization I could buy 2 full templates here on AD – jeez what bad value that it!” And this is from the buyers who actually realise they would need to get a quote form modification. The other category expect these changes, step-by-step instructions on how to wirte AS code as a favor, because they were kind enough to buy your file and now you owe them. Its like a commentor above said that some buyers think they’ve received a personal slave with every purchase. This again is because of the pricing system on AD and that nowhere are buyers made aware of why the prices are like they are. (usless they post in the forums offering $10 to an author who will modify their file – at which point ChesireCat ususlly pastes the explanation!- and other authors post frustrated responses)

I would like to see the community of authors think about this problem and come up with a solution. There is a definite need for some kind of platform, to introduce buyers to the idea of the real cost of an authors time, be that for many support questions or for customisation work. However I don’t believe that Envato should be the payment platform, but I do believe that Envato has a duty to help it’s authors with this problem. The win for envato in this situation is happier authors. Implementing something to deal with this issue would mean their authors feel they’re time and efforts are receiving their proper value and the compensation would be more fair. This would ensure the author is here to stay and produce continuous good work.

One possibility is to improve on the communication between author and buyer here on the Den. A custom work request form would be a start. In this form a budget would be selected and buyers who are using the form would be briefed on the reason why the price for stock items is low and that custom work is done a freelance hourly rates ..etc This kind of platform could be expanded upon to further strengthen the need for custom work, also perhaps showcase customized files for previous happy clients, testimonials, etc. Once this route was embarked upon it would open up new ideas. The fact that it would be implemented by Envato would make buyers feel that it’s normal and it’s not some author trying to pull a fast one.

So in short, I’m big-time on for this idea, just slightly differently than the “envato payment gateway” proposed in this thread.

Donagh

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Reaper-Media says
I think this thread is touching on a very important topic. Like a previous poster mentioned, I too touched on this issue in my author survey. I think there is a real need to help authors in the struggle to get buyers to value our time and work appropriately, because the pricing system here on AD tends to destroy that.

I too waste very much time composing custom work quotations, which will generally be very competitive, but a very small percentage actually go anywhere. Each time I prepare one of these I usually have to drag the requirements out of the buyer before I can put together a tight quaotation which will not hold an surprises for me, etc. This can chew up a lot of hours if these requests are numerous.

I state at the outset what my (reasonable) hourly rate is, which doesn’t get much of a reaction, but when I qoute for say 2 hours of work, then the reaction is shock and horror!! It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t believe that these buyers think it’s an amazing amount of money and that’s why they’re shocked. But rather they think “well for the price of that “minor” customization I could buy 2 full templates here on AD – jeez what bad value that it!” And this is from the buyers who actually realise they would need to get a quote form modification. The other category expect these changes, step-by-step instructions on how to wirte AS code as a favor, because they were kind enough to buy your file and now you owe them. Its like a commentor above said that some buyers think they’ve received a personal slave with every purchase. This again is because of the pricing system on AD and that nowhere are buyers made aware of why the prices are like they are. (usless they post in the forums offering $10 to an author who will modify their file – at which point ChesireCat ususlly pastes the explanation!- and other authors post frustrated responses)

I would like to see the community of authors think about this problem and come up with a solution. There is a definite need for some kind of platform, to introduce buyers to the idea of the real cost of an authors time, be that for many support questions or for customisation work. However I don’t believe that Envato should be the payment platform, but I do believe that Envato has a duty to help it’s authors with this problem. The win for envato in this situation is happier authors. Implementing something to deal with this issue would mean their authors feel they’re time and efforts are receiving their proper value and the compensation would be more fair. This would ensure the author is here to stay and produce continuous good work.

One possibility is to improve on the communication between author and buyer here on the Den. A custom work request form would be a start. In this form a budget would be selected and buyers who are using the form would be briefed on the reason why the price for stock items is low and that custom work is done a freelance hourly rates ..etc This kind of platform could be expanded upon to further strengthen the need for custom work, also perhaps showcase customized files for previous happy clients, testimonials, etc. Once this route was embarked upon it would open up new ideas. The fact that it would be implemented by Envato would make buyers feel that it’s normal and it’s not some author trying to pull a fast one.

So in short, I’m big-time on for this idea, just slightly differently than the “envato payment gateway” proposed in this thread.

Donagh

Great points, i’m actually warming to this idea and developing some ideas of my own. I can see that providing a platform for better “customer – author” communication would be very good. We could put CheshireCat’s little explination on the form which submits the the question / customisation request. Maybe a sort of ticket system? :)

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ignitethemes says
One possibility is to improve on the communication between author and buyer here on the Den. A custom work request form would be a start. In this form a budget would be selected and buyers who are using the form would be briefed on the reason why the price for stock items is low and that custom work is done a freelance hourly rates ..etc This kind of platform could be expanded upon to further strengthen the need for custom work, also perhaps showcase customized files for previous happy clients, testimonials, etc. Once this route was embarked upon it would open up new ideas. The fact that it would be implemented by Envato would make buyers feel that it’s normal and it’s not some author trying to pull a fast one.

So in short, I’m big-time on for this idea, just slightly differently than the “envato payment gateway” proposed in this thread.

Donagh

Perhaps another tab called “Work Order” next to
Item Details \ FAQs \ Discussion

I still think payment needs to be via Envato for this to be profitable, otherwise we’re back where we started.

Honestly you could talk to buyers till the cows come home about how valuable our skills are, they don’t care. I just think there’s an earnings potential with this idea that we should take advantage of.
And to those worried about buyers getting upset and going elsewhere, honestly where are they gonna go, Envato is number 1, best prices, best quality. And don’t forget support questions only come from a small percentage of buyers, maybe 10%.

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mlando says

Great thread. Support is a very REAL problem for authors.

Answering ANY question, no matter how simple, add up to be a huge drain of time. Maybe getting a small charge would prompt users to spend a little time to try and figure it out before just shooting off an email.

As far as custom work… I avoid it. It just takes too long to go back and forth. I have found that when people buy a $30 template, charging a few $100 to meet their specific needs blows them away. Even if it is a really good deal.

It would be nice to figure some type of payment for support. I hope someone finds a solution for this.

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iamdok says

A small charge for a support question would indeed be a good way to motivate the buyers to read the included documentation/description/FAQ’s etc. Or If they are happier to pay a small charge and skip the reading, then the Author would be happy to provide the answer. Over time this could be a nice accumulative income for the authors.

I have had many nightmare scenarios, in one of which I’ve had 50 emails with a buyer about an issue I had already invested a lot of time documenting.A complete waste of time with aboslutely no return.

I find the amount of customisation work I’m doing these days is a lot less than I was doing in the past. From what I can see, now buyers are expecting the ability to majorly customise a file to be built right into the original! If it’s not built in, then the file deserves a 3 star rating – seems to be the general sentiment.

It would seem that therefore we as author are being pressured into making our files more customizable, in order to get sales, while at the same time cutting ourselves out of the loop as regards income from the customisation work which we once did.

It would therefore seem only fair that the “system” also evolves to ensure that we authors are not the only ones who are progressively losing out. A charge for support queries on our now highly-customizable files would be a pretty reasonable direction to go, IMO .

In the past AD was a place where one could get income from sales, referrals, and custom work with the potential for decent freelance jobs popping up in the forums. Since this the referrals have shut-down, highly customizable files are now the norm, meaning rare custom work, and despite the increasingly high quality of the files the pricing standards are creeping down!- I think things are quickly stacking up againt the authors.

Donagh

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Dom_W says

I agree with Donagh, I’m having to force up my freelance price (I do payment by project, not by time) and I now have to ship out a load of stuff for Themeforest, just so I can actually make ends meet…

Maybe it’s time we all got proper jobs :p

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ignitethemes says
Maybe it’s time we all got proper jobs :p

No way jose, I unplugged from the matrix a long time ago :P

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