384 posts Design Innovation
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designova says

Recurring payments / yearly maintenance charges will spoil this marketplace. Let’s not forget: buyers come to TF because of the low pricing model in practice here since years. If else buyers would have approached agencies or other site builder services for more fee. We do not think a buyer who like to have a WordPress theme just for 40 USD will be pleased if he needs to pay something extra for updates. Even if that ‘something’ is only 2 or 3 USD, things will not be easy for them. (By this comment we are not under-rating any theme buyers, but just saying a true fact – it is such kind of a good ‘low price x high sales’ working system)

So, the current model is very fine. If Envato brings a recurrent payment for future theme updates then lot of buyers will never even consider buying themes from TF.

We guys better stop this discussion here :)

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GravityDept says

@ designova — Hogwash. No agency or freelancer could compete with an item staying updated for $40/year. It’s a completely separate class of services.

Neither do paid upgrades have to be mandatory across the whole marketplace. Like support, this could be left to the author’s choice. WooThemes is a very public example of low price x high sales not being sustainable. It’s fine if you don’t think you can sell that value to buyers, but don’t suggest others stop discussing it.

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aribann says

Buyer here

Give me updates and feel free to charge me for them

Give me reliable authors

Let me get my money back, easily, on crap product

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FinalDestiny says

$40 / year for support and updates is a high price? You’re joking, right? I had many clients that were willing to pay this hourly, for customization. However, it should be clarified that $40 / year includes updates and compatibility with newer updates and NOT whatever the clients expect(like they need a feature, etc, this is up to author’s discretion, whether new features will or won’t be added). Same thing with support. Support, not customization.

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ChapterThemes says

Updates should be as they are now. Simple: want to keep item for sale : keep it up to date. Otherwise remove the item. People still want support or more like customization : contact me. The whole concept of yearly fees still has absolutely no point to excist. I already have my own customization service that is and never will have something todo with envato, even it is for themes sold here.

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Code125 says

Updates should be as they are now. Simple: want to keep item for sale : keep it up to date. Otherwise remove the item. People still want support or more like customization : contact me. The whole concept of yearly fees still has absolutely no point to excist. I already have my own customization service that is and never will have something todo with envato, even it is for themes sold here.

Deleting item because it is easier to delete and it a submit a fresh design, or maintain the current theme and make your customer more happy and get more revenue … Which is better

An author with tens of themes should take care of these themes not to delete them “which is a lot easier for him to delete the current theme and release a new one” we should encourage themes to stay in the marketplace not encouraging authors to delete the theme because it is too old to maintain

I believe buyers wont runaway because of an annual fee for the theme or a support annual fee, few months ago envato increased the themes price and I believe sales were too high the past few months

Buyers need more quality in their current themes more than a new theme

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GravityDept says

The whole concept of yearly fees still has absolutely no point to excist.

See below. That’s why.


Deleting item because it is easier to delete and it a submit a fresh design, or maintain the current theme and make your customer more happy and get more revenue … Which is better

A lot of authors release items with the intention of abandoning them after a year because their earning potential is flatlined. This absolutely bones the customers who invested in that theme, and sours them for the entire marketplace.

Every negative in that situation reverses if authors and Envato have a financial incentive to keep products maintained.

Yes, some buyers will be scream that they’re not getting free updates. Here’s a secret: they’re not the kind of customer you want anyway. They don’t grow your business because their lifetime customer value is likely capped by the initial sale. If they never buy another product from you, every interaction they make with you decreases their value as a customer. Just how much support and goodwill does a $45 WordPress theme buy?

That’s why authors abandon old products. That’s why Envato making support optional is the smartest way to basically require you to eat support costs (because the market demands it) while still selling items for the lowest possible market price.

Envato’s pricing model eventually forces you to treat your customers like garbage, unless you want to be a factory that pumps out whatever the trend is today.

That’s why I’ve been calling this business model unsustainable for years, and why WooThemes is doing a 180. Envato only survives it because most authors are caught up in their monthly earnings and not their long-term potential. It’s okay for you to burn out because there is an overwhelming supply of people to replace you.

Just being realistic. I think Envato is a smart company and gets this. You have to respect the economics of anchoring this corner of the theme market. Even if they wanted to change it’s an uphill battle. I’m not sure they do though.

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CODE9RS says

I agree with the idea of charging a yearly price for updates and support – looks like is the trend to keep this kind of business working.

In the current way we need to always find new buyers – if we don’t release, we don’t earn too much (except if you are in Week Top Sellers) – this way we (authors) can’t just afford for updates and support because month after month the sales are becoming lower and lower but the tickets at support and update necessity keep normal or sometimes growing.

After a year of releases you’ll expend a lot of time updating and supporting items that already sold copies (let’s say 200 sales) – if each buyer pay 50% you’ll have about $3.5k ~ $4.5k back for you what can help the author keep updates and support.

The path we’re following will just saturate the marketplace with the same appearance files & old files that don’t worth support anymore.

Sure this should be added slowly, because the current way of business is too strong yet – but is something to keep in mind.

:)

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designova says

@gravityDept

your point is good when it comes to any well established magneto / Wordpress theme which have hundreds of sales already.

But as you guys know there are other scenarios in this marketplace items. There are very good HTML themes in creative/portfolio category which never get 100+ sales only because they are quickly going out of focus on TF only due to flood of new themes released in every day. Some HTML items get weekly popular and they get more sales. But for HTML themes weekly popular means a theme should get approx. 20 sales on first week. Okay, but what about themes got 17, 18 or 19 sales on first week (they are not bad) but no more exposure. This will cause sales decrease eventually..

So the option is to choose if an author likes to get maintenance fee for his themes should be upon his choice, not mandatory. This will be good in a way that established items get more sales and we can choose paid updates option which will bring great earnings and quality updates for that item. Less established items can be opted out from this as author decides.

Will this be complicated?

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ThemeBeans says

Envato only survives it because most authors are caught up in their monthly earnings and not their long-term potential. It’s okay for you to burn out because there is an overwhelming supply of people to replace you.

SO true.

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