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VF says

I think the current rating system is pretty good actually. I think buyers should have a blackmailing tool in their hands. Some people will unfairly take advantage of this for sure, but if there is no system like this, authors will take advantage of buyers. ...

Just for clarification; In these forums, authors use the word “blackmail” only if the scenario is buyers requesting customization in the hidden form of support question and buyer start speaking about ratings when the author points such work is not the scope of item. On the other hand, if a buyer have to express the deficiency of item through ratings, that’s not blackmail at all – they are fine to do that – they already have that tool.

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familychoice says

Bottom line: some customers are total morons (the ones who post 1 star after seeing preview, buying it, then complaining)

Or maybe as in our case the theme didn’t work properly, security issues caused a site using the theme to get hacked several times, the author ignored the mountain of complaints and support requests until finally absconding altogether at which point TF removed the item leaving it’s customers with an unusable purchase.

Does that make me a ‘moron’, or just someone who bought a pile of crap with no recourse to a refund?

How about the customers who’ve recently bought themes from a popular author, only to discover the huge pile of premium plugins heavily pushed in the authors product sales pitch aren’t actually included after all and have all since been withdrawn. If they reduce their ratings to 1 stars are they morons too?

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robynthomas777 says


Bottom line: some customers are total morons (the ones who post 1 star after seeing preview, buying it, then complaining)

Or maybe as in our case the theme didn’t work properly, security issues caused a site using the theme to get hacked several times, the author ignored the mountain of complaints and support requests until finally absconding altogether at which point TF removed the item leaving it’s customers with an unusable purchase.

Does that make me a ‘moron’, or just someone who bought a pile of crap with no recourse to a refund?

How about the customers who’ve recently bought themes from a popular author, only to discover the huge pile of premium plugins heavily pushed in the authors product sales pitch aren’t actually included after all and have all since been withdrawn. If they reduce their ratings to 1 stars are they morons too?

I could not agree with you more! And as buyers we do need to have a voice in this.

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VF says

Bottom line: some customers are total morons (the ones who post 1 star after seeing preview, buying it, then complaining)

This fits for design based works but when it comes to functionality with adjustments/settings, there is a lot of room for 1 star if the item fails on multiple departments. May be ThemeForest and other design based marketplaces are completely different in terms of buying process!

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graphic4444 says

I guess in buying over 1,000 things here and not having a single major problem, ever, hmm maybe there’s something to be said about carefully checking the feedback, author history, and user comments BEFORE buying. So I stay clear of mediocre content, by just smartly LOOKING at the Comments from users, for those rare problem templates or other products, that all shows up in the comments within a week or so after it gets put on sale.

So it’s a smart idea to wait til something sells at least a few copies before buying, then check the comments. At least as one of envato’s top buyers, that would be my advice.

And right, if there’s something like a problem template with missing features, you’d see it in the live preview, right? But yeah if there’s unknown things like pushing a bunch of other premium plugins, I wouldn’t be happy about it… but still if the template works as advertised, eg as seen in the Live Preview which they all have, I’d have a hard time seeing why a 1- or 2-star comment?

I mean, really – of the 1,000+ things I’ve bought here, I haven’t had any big problem with any of them. Not a single one. From my old flashden (now known as activeden) buying days when that was the start of envato, to currently where I buy a lot of ae projects and occasional themes on themeforest, I haven’t had a single major issue. For some themes I may have a coding question dealing with how to customize, and the authors I’ve chosen to buy from, have been solely those that always respond quickly in the forums, so again I get good projects by good/top authors, to minimize problems. Then again I do check the previews, and comments, before deciding what to buy, maybe that’s part of it.

I think there’s enough negativity in the world, people with 1-star ratings have likely bought from less-than-top authors… check the comments before buying and read between the lines, when in doubt I don’t buy, and instead buy from authors w/great comment history and feedback. Hope that helps.

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bonsaished says

when in doubt I don’t buy, and instead buy from authors w/great comment history and feedback

I think this is the key to it all. Forget about ratings and be nice to your buyers, promote feedback and create great products. This will make sure that you can forget about ratings because you’ll always be near 5.

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bonsaished says

On the other hand, if a buyer have to express the deficiency of item through ratings, that’s not blackmail at all – they are fine to do that – they already have that tool.

I might not have been clear but this is what I meant :) While ratings ARE misused sometimes, overall they provide a good venue for buyers AND authors. Let’s not forget the other side of the story where you can be nice to someone, ask for a rating and you get 5-stars easily.

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familychoice says

by just smartly LOOKING at the Comments from users, for those rare problem templates or other products, that all shows up in the comments within a week or so after it gets put on sale.

And what happens when a ropey update mucks up a previously good theme? Or the complete lack of updates means a previously good theme is now no longer compatible with Wordpress, or worse, has major security issues? Where does your smart looking get you then? What if the purchased files don’t match the demo and have missing features?


So it’s a smart idea to wait til something sells at least a few copies before buying, then check the comments. At least as one of envato’s top buyers, that would be my advice.

And right, if there’s something like a problem template with missing features, you’d see it in the live preview, right?

Thanks for the advice, it’s always useful to have some advice from Envatos top buyer, but how would ‘smart’ buying save you from the following scenario:

Portfolio theme purchased from one of Envatos top authors, good history with previous products, 5 star feedback and excellent comments throughout.

After purchase we discovered the admin didn’t match that in the authors screengrabs and certain features were missing.

When we eventually got the theme set-up (there were a range of bugs which the author provided temporary code patches for) we discovered some of the templates didn’t match the demo, and in fact the stylesheet belonged to one of the authors previous products, so there was no way of getting the theme to remotely resemble the demo.

We spent a whole month on the authors support forum trying to get fixes, but their once-a-morning post checks and lack of technical knowledge meant a simple request would take two weeks.

Eventually, with the theme still broken and unusable, the author banned us from her forum for ‘wasting her precious time’. Basically we were asking for fixes to the fixes she was providing, which weren’t working.

We now had a broken theme, wasted a month of our time trying to fix it, and no support or fixes for the issues.

We posted comments on their sales page to try to get help but like other customers having the same issues these were removed by TF. This is then when we awarded the 1-star (like morons). Eventually we complained to TF who checked the theme, and confirming the issues provided a refund.

The theme was later removed, and the author is now embroiled in a new scandal.

Where would your smart checking of feedback, demos and previous history have got you with that one? What do you do when the files you receive are completely different from those used in the demo and the author is unable to provide you with ones that actually work?


if the template works as advertised, eg as seen in the Live Preview which they all have, I’d have a hard time seeing why a 1- or 2-star comment?

That wasn’t the case with several of our purchases, hence the 1 star rating.


Then again I do check the previews, and comments, before deciding what to buy, maybe that’s part of it.

It’s part, but not all of it. You’ve been lucky, others haven’t.


I think there’s enough negativity in the world, people with 1-star ratings have likely bought from less-than-top authors… check the comments before buying and read between the lines, when in doubt I don’t buy

Exactly, so posting a 1 star rating or bad comments in the case above would warn unsuspecting customers of the problems with that theme/author. Without ‘negativity’ there’s no way of creating ‘doubt’.

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graphic4444 says

sounds like you did have a bad experience, so given what you said with that situation I could certainly understand a 1-star rating… I’d be mad and would expect a refund, if all those problems, sorry to hear that happened to you.

I tend to be super-careful before buying templates here; that’s something I’d put in another thread, is template buyers Need and expect solid customer service and Wordpress-update compatibility fixes, since that’s expected, and provided by other WP theme sites. Most of what I’ve bought has been ae projects, videoclips, flash programs, so that stuff doesn’t need author support like themes do.

I completely agree, envato should look hard at their theme business and REQUIRE all authors to provide timely updates and solid support (within 48-72 hour turnaround max), and delete all themes from dodgy authors or those that don’t support them. I’m with you on that. :)

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familychoice says

sounds like you did have a bad experience, so given what you said with that situation I could certainly understand a 1-star rating… I’d be mad and would expect a refund, if all those problems, sorry to hear that happened to you.

I tend to be super-careful before buying templates here; that’s something I’d put in another thread, is template buyers Need and expect solid customer service and Wordpress-update compatibility fixes, since that’s expected, and provided by other WP theme sites. Most of what I’ve bought has been ae projects, videoclips, flash programs, so that stuff doesn’t need author support like themes do.

I completely agree, envato should look hard at their theme business and REQUIRE all authors to provide timely updates and solid support (within 48-72 hour turnaround max), and delete all themes from dodgy authors or those that don’t support them. I’m with you on that. :)

Thanks!

I’d say 25% of the themes we’ve bought here haven’t been fit for purpose, and we’ve either sent them back or just not used them. Another 50% have been ok, but let down by lack of updates and the inevitable abandonment of them by authors so they can concentrate on new products, so we only get a year or two’s use out of them before they stop working properly. The other 25% have been good, recent purchases, but even now we’re noticing they’re not being updated so they’ll eventually have to be replaced.

Unless something really tempts us we’ve stopped buying themes here – the official line that support and updates are ‘optional’, even when listed as part of the package, along with our recent experiences mean that it’s not a cost-effective solution. Some authors are complaining on here about how little they’re getting for their themes and how customers are getting something for nothing but that’s just not the case – the bad coding we’ve found, bugs, and the amount of time we have to spend setting them up – chasing up authors for information they’ve omitted from their documentation, reporting and trying to get fixes for bugs mean it’s just not worth the hassle.

Actually, I take some of that back – there are some good themes/authors out there – Avada, for example. I think we’d be tempted by that one, and maybe some of the more framework based themes. Other than those though we’ve now gone back to building our own.

We’d be happy to pay more if regular updates and support was guaranteed but it’s not, and authors can simply vanish and take all future support for your purchase with them. We use several higher priced themes from other sources but these actually provide better value for money as they’re regularly updated so they have a longer shelf life.

On the other hand plugin purchases on here have gone well and we’ve found the authors are providing top notch support and regular updates. The authors seem to have a completely different attitude towards their customers. Some of the plugins on here are excellent value, and much better quality than plugins bought from other sources.

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