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Shorti says

As an author I’m trying to put myself in the buyer’s shoes. What do you they want? What are common features they are looking for? What do they expect when purchasing a theme? etc..

Not only do I want to provide a quality theme for their satisfaction, but I also want to maintain 5 starts on every theme as a good support for other potential buyers. Below are a few things I’ve noticed help me get 5 stars for all my themes/templates.

1. If buyers ask for customizations/additions outside the ability of the theme, do it! Especially for us authors who make a living (or more) selling themes, we have the luxury of taking time to do free customizations. I found that the more greedy I am about being paid for every single customization, I lose potential buyers and possibly get a bad rating.

2. Spend that extra 8 hours fine tuning and sharping every aspect of the theme, even if you know it’s ready to upload for ThemeForest. The goal should not exclusively be to get past the reviewers on ThemeForest, but also to avoid every possible hidden bug/glitch that pops up later when the user digs into setting up the theme.

3. Respond within 1 business day to all comments and support questions. Most buyers want to know they will get the help they need fast. If you keep them waiting, they may just give you a 3 star rating, walk off and go find another theme.

So maintaining 5 stars isn’t a piece of cake. It takes loads of time and dedicated effort to maintain happy customers and quality products. Many of you may find point #1 insane, as some of you busy authors get 20+ support requests per day. But really, if you are that busy making alllllll that money, don’t you think you can make this part of your theme business?

I hope this is helpful for at least some .. I came to a realizing this past week as I’m getting mind-blowing comments from all my buyers and maintaining a strong 5 star rating.

Fellow author, Shorti

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Nitro_Themes says

Problem is that some people that buy don’t rate the file. So it’s hard to say what the tricks are. I try to be courteous to my clients but as i said if they don’t rate the file your ratings gonna be crap.

Cheers

Lester

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Siiimple says

I think you have the right idea, but there are some obstacles you may not be considering. The most obvious is that the more products you have available, the more difficult it is to offer “free customizations” – or, for that matter, paid customizations. And very often (more often than not, perhaps) there is no such thing as a single customization. Where do you cut it off? 1? 2? 5 customizations? Certain buyers (obviously not all) will take you for a ride if you are willing to offer personal, free customizations. It’s a very slippery slope. More importantly, your time a developer/designer is very valuable. Customizations cut into that development process. You want to support your items – be professional, certainly – but you eventually will have to come to grips with the fact that you can’t be everything to every one. It’s part of the business, I guess.

Of course, there are other issues you may not have run into. For instance, you will eventually encounter some buyers that are not so honest (hard to believe, I know…). They will hold your rating against you – meaning, they will ask for that free customization and if they don’t get it, they will threaten to rate you poorly. Some buyers know what they can do to manipulate the rating system – and some buyers have no qualms doing that. You have to take a firm stance and sometimes it’s not to the benefit of your rating.

Otherwise, fine tuning, responding professionally and timely – those are certainly great pieces of advice – and will benefit your rating, no doubt, especially in the long run. :)

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KrownThemes says

I’m ok with 4 stars and no free customizations.. :D

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FinalDestiny says

I’m ok with 4 stars and no free customizations.. :D

Me too. I offer fast and top support, but there are always buyers that rate the file 1 star because it doesn’t do magic as they thought before buying. You can’t stop them.

And, in my own experience, the 4-sale rating didn’t affect me at all. In fact, I have a 3 star theme that sells quite constantly, no matter what its rating is.

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Shorti says


I’m ok with 4 stars and no free customizations.. :D

Me too. I offer fast and top support, but there are always buyers that rate the file 1 star because it doesn’t do magic as they thought before buying. You can’t stop them.

And, in my own experience, the 4-sale rating didn’t affect me at all. In fact, I have a 3 star theme that sells quite constantly, no matter what its rating is.

Interesting responses .. although not surprising as this post was for those who want 5 stars, not for those who are content with 4. :)

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Shorti says

I think you have the right idea, but there are some obstacles you may not be considering. The most obvious is that the more products you have available, the more difficult it is to offer “free customizations” – or, for that matter, paid customizations. And very often (more often than not, perhaps) there is no such thing as a single customization. Where do you cut it off? 1? 2? 5 customizations? Certain buyers (obviously not all) will take you for a ride if you are willing to offer personal, free customizations. It’s a very slippery slope. More importantly, your time a developer/designer is very valuable. Customizations cut into that development process. You want to support your items – be professional, certainly – but you eventually will have to come to grips with the fact that you can’t be everything to every one. It’s part of the business, I guess.

Of course, there are other issues you may not have run into. For instance, you will eventually encounter some buyers that are not so honest (hard to believe, I know…). They will hold your rating against you – meaning, they will ask for that free customization and if they don’t get it, they will threaten to rate you poorly. Some buyers know what they can do to manipulate the rating system – and some buyers have no qualms doing that. You have to take a firm stance and sometimes it’s not to the benefit of your rating.

Otherwise, fine tuning, responding professionally and timely – those are certainly great pieces of advice – and will benefit your rating, no doubt, especially in the long run. :)

You have a point there about customizations, definitely a consideration. One thing that I found too, is if they ask for heavy customizations, you write something like “Compensation for my time is much appreciated, as this will take up much of my time.”, 75% of the time they actually give you something. Obviously the other 25% hurts you, but not enough to drain you, especially if you are selling well, which goes back to building quality themes and showing quick activity in responding to questions/comments.

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GravityDept says

I agree with #2 and #3, but not with #1.

Free customizations don’t help anyone in the long run. If you deserve to be compensated, get compensated. Buyers need services, they should pay for services. They have no problem doing this for plumbers, electricians, hair dressers, and doctors. Why not developers?

The key is setting expectations. In my item documentation I make it very clear what is support, what is consulting, and I have a 5 star rating. That’s the result of being fair with people and valuing your time by charging for it.

It’s your rating to lose otherwise.

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gljivec says

I agree with #2 and #3, but not with #1.

Free customizations don’t help anyone in the long run. If you deserve to be compensated, get compensated. Buyers need services, they should pay for services. They have no problem doing this for plumbers, electricians, hair dressers, and doctors. Why not developers?

The key is setting expectations. In my item documentation I make it very clear what is support, what is consulting, and I have a 5 star rating. That’s the result of being fair with people and valuing your time by charging for it.

It’s your rating to lose otherwise.

+1

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Shorti says

...The key is setting expectations…

Excellent point!

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