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Spnoy says

I’m gonna go off the road here saying this is simply not possible even though the idea is good.

There is no obligation that the author would actually provide quality support or even any support for that matter. The author can simply close account or stop answering customers and there is nothing anyone can do, Because let’s face it, This is the Internet, Now the customers are furious and the Themeforest just lost reputation.

- Mohamad

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Nitro_Themes says

Here is my 2 cents.

No support is mandatory with anything unless it is specified or it’s up the the authors discretion.

How ever I normally do support questions and if it is something simple and makes my customer happy.

There is already support with TF files included in the download files, which are help documents and comments in the code. So in reality the buyer already received support with the files. There are many other marketplaces where even a help document is not a requirement.

Again what does support cover? I would think support is for bugs updates but does not include installing themes and customizing themes for buyers unless there is an agreement between the author and the buyer.

I am also a buyer and i would never expect an author to do any work for me for free because it is not right unless if its something to do with errors or bugs.

So here is my idea. If the customer decides that he needs support with the file he could purchase support with the theme. So lets say a theme is 55 bucks and the support would be 55 bucks. Now here is the catch the author would get 80% of the support and envato would get 20%.

So there is something in it for them too. I mean if i spent 55 buck on a theme and i need help to lets say install the theme i would buy the 55 dollar support package. There should be some highlights what support covers and what it does not cover. The one thing i would say that it is not covered is customization installing extra widgets and so on.

Cheers

Lester

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uouapps says

I’m gonna go off the road here saying this is simply not possible even though the idea is good.

There is no obligation that the author would actually provide quality support or even any support for that matter. The author can simply close account or stop answering customers and there is nothing anyone can do, Because let’s face it, This is the Internet, Now the customers are furious and the Themeforest just lost reputation.

- Mohamad

Salam Mohammad, thanks for sharing your feedback, based on what you wrote above, I would suggest to have a rating per package so that if someone doesn’t provide the right support for the extra amount then people will simply not opt for it + at the same time it helps differentiating between the quality of the item and the quality of the service, I said it previousely that some items are quite robust but have a 1 rating because the buyer got furious because he/she didn’t get proper support so if there’s a way to differentiate between the item quality and the service, buyers will be able to have better transparency + anyway it’s a trend now to sell support in various packages (e.g. amazon ) if you opt for package one (free) you get the basic offer, then package 2 (e.g. $50) you get an answer within 48 hours, package 3 ($500) you get an answer from support within a couple of hours…

after sale service should be a different section of the value chain not mixed together with the product/item it’s not professional & commercially viable on the long term + it’s the biggest headeach for authors

cheers uou

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uouapps says

Here is my 2 cents.

No support is mandatory with anything unless it is specified or it’s up the the authors discretion.

How ever I normally do support questions and if it is something simple and makes my customer happy.

There is already support with TF files included in the download files, which are help documents and comments in the code. So in reality the buyer already received support with the files. There are many other marketplaces where even a help document is not a requirement.

Again what does support cover? I would think support is for bugs updates but does not include installing themes and customizing themes for buyers unless there is an agreement between the author and the buyer.

I am also a buyer and i would never expect an author to do any work for me for free because it is not right unless if its something to do with errors or bugs.

So here is my idea. If the customer decides that he needs support with the file he could purchase support with the theme. So lets say a theme is 55 bucks and the support would be 55 bucks. Now here is the catch the author would get 80% of the support and envato would get 20%.

So there is something in it for them too. I mean if i spent 55 buck on a theme and i need help to lets say install the theme i would buy the 55 dollar support package. There should be some highlights what support covers and what it does not cover. The one thing i would say that it is not covered is customization installing extra widgets and so on.

Cheers

Lester

Hi Lester thanks for your feedback, Allow me to share with you my opinion about your statement regarding envato commission rate this all depends of the involvement/ service that Envato will provide, if they act as a sort of regulator to make sure that the buyer is not exploiting the support option he subscribed for (and vice-versa that the author is not taking advantage of this extra charge..) then yes the commission given to envato is fair

on the other hand, your statement “No support is mandatory with anything unless it is specified or it’s up the the authors discretion” the problem is always the same:

1- buyers still don’t understand that support is not mandatory and they have a lethal weapon which is the rating

2- the rating system of envato sucks because first of all it’s not based on multiple criteria rating (design, quality, flexibitlity…) + there’s no way for the author to claim a review, so if an * hole just rates a theme 1 star without any reaseonable justification then there’s absolutely no way for the author to remove it, i personally would wish that envato could remove the rating system if they’re not going to improve it because it’s a headeach more than anything else

and buyers are becoming every day more and more demanding, if they open a ticket on friday evening in the US then in europe it’s already late and after a couple of hours they rewrite another comment, that they’ve been waiting now 6 hours and no response, so then they send you 3 PM, over the w.e acting like if it’s the end of the world, in the meantime you already got 1 star from this buyer + very bad comments in your item comment section which scared many prospects

in the meantime while you try to enjoy your w.e and try not to open your dashboard, you hear a little voice in your head telling you, come on just have a quick look to see your sales and if there are reply to some comments so that you don’t need to do it on Monday morning, then suddently you see a stampede of claims comments and civial war going on in your comment section….

on Monday when you try to solve this unpleasant buyer’s issue, you figure out that he imported the dummy content before installing the recommended plugins which was clearly illustrated in the documentation file….

so either we should be able to charge for support, or Envato should improve the rating system or remove it completely

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ait says

Anything that could cover support & maintenance costs would help. Here’s my idea: http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/lifetime-free-theme-updates/104160

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uouapps says

Anything that could cover support & maintenance costs would help. Here’s my idea: http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/lifetime-free-theme-updates/104160

recurring yearly or even monthly/seasonal fees should definitely be taken into consideration, especially for items that are regularly updated & enhanced

in a way or another the issue here is that we need a revenue stream to cover the efforts for support so if themeforest is not going to take action in our need then we need to agree between all authors to create an external support service with payment gateway so that it becomes a trend and buyers understand that after purchasing an item they need to subscribe for a support package, but it needs to be properly harmonized & orchestrated among all authors otherwise it will be a commercial mess

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fillerspace says

How about this idea. You make it well known in the item description, on your support page, and the documentation that buyers get support for a limited period of time (e.g. 90 days). Make it clear what types of requests are included (e.g. setup, pointers on using options, etc.) and what is not included (e.g. modifications or new features). Bug reports can have no time limit if you want. After that time ends, if the user wants more support, they can purchase another license to reset the clock. You could even offer enhanced support (e.g. faster response time, higher priority, chat, longer support period) for extended licenses.

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tommusrhodus says

How about this idea. You make it well known in the item description, on your support page, and the documentation that buyers get support for a limited period of time (e.g. 90 days). Make it clear what types of requests are included (e.g. setup, pointers on using options, etc.) and what is not included (e.g. modifications or new features). Bug reports can have no time limit if you want. After that time ends, if the user wants more support, they can purchase another license to reset the clock. You could even offer enhanced support (e.g. faster response time, higher priority, chat, longer support period) for extended licenses.

Whilst that’s a good idea, without any backing from Envato, any author that implements this will be met with a backlash from buyers, guaranteed.

This change needs to come fundamentally from Envato, or you’d need to do it on your own theme shop.

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uouapps says

How about this idea. You make it well known in the item description, on your support page, and the documentation that buyers get support for a limited period of time (e.g. 90 days). Make it clear what types of requests are included (e.g. setup, pointers on using options, etc.) and what is not included (e.g. modifications or new features). Bug reports can have no time limit if you want. After that time ends, if the user wants more support, they can purchase another license to reset the clock. You could even offer enhanced support (e.g. faster response time, higher priority, chat, longer support period) for extended licenses.

if all authors over here would agree on something like this, together then yes it can work but if only few of the the authors adopt this approach then the prospects will simply be afraid of purchasing, so it needs to be done on a collective & transparent basis so that support is seen as a complimentary service not included in the item (as the majority of buyers think it is) + as mentionned previously something needs to be done with the rating system because buyers have too much leverage on it and can impact our sales with unjustified claims (so either a claim review option should be integrated or removing the rating from items)

in any case i feel like all these threads we open don’t have too much influence on Envato they just read them, say that they will take it into consideration then a year later one more author opens a similar thread and the discussion goes on again and again

I’m not saying that envato team is sleeping it’s just that things are quite slow here when it comes to technical changes

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ChapterThemes says

It’s a very difficult thing to achieve for Envato i think.

Envato can’t be responsible for every author in such a big stock market like this. Even though it will be an authors’ responsibility to give the needed support if customers have payed for it, envato could never keep an eye on everything – and to be honest i don’t think they want to either.

Even if some sort of terms are set up etc. – when an author decides to quit, they quit. There’s nothing one can do about it.

Also there are too many non-elite authors that don’t have a complete business running for their themes. They may not even have the possibility to give paid support even if they want to – it might create an unfair position against the bigger authors who can.

At this point is far from a technical change. It’s more likely to be a legal issue and because of that i don’t think it will ever be a part of themeforest ( or any time soon ).

My guess is the best thing you could do is work out the idea for yourself and see if it works. Use themeforest as a selling channel and provide paid support / customization through your own business.

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