So, does this mean authors are now effectively 20% slower on reaching the next author fee status?
Would this mean I can’t sell my support anymore? What next, paid customisations, so I can’t charge for customisations anymore?
This is another problem Envato have to deal with if they insist on their policy change. Many authors already offer paid support how can you deal with this.Please guys give suggestions for this situation. If anyone interested in reading my suggestion, it’s in the previous page … http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/item-support-timeout-gathering-more-data/140559?page=21#1109070
We should just remove the term support from the equation, it’s too open for interpretation.
Make some kind of warranty mandatory (item has no bugs – bugs will be fixed, item works as advertised, item will be updated for x months). This will also remove a lot of frustration from authors, as with the term support, of course some people will think you will do a certain degree of customizations for them, or install WordPress for them and so on. Nobody will think of those things if you change the term support to the term warranty.
Then give authors the ability to sell support, customizations and so on on a voluntary basis with their own prices (in a given range – similar to the old elite author price adjustment tool), give us a forum for that and take your 30% off of that.
Here is an idea. Lets just use a 60 dollar theme for 1-12 month support not including customization of the theme. this would only be support for the buyers that actually purchased a support package. We would still support the themes for updates and bugs as basic support which would be mandatory and i think most authors do that to keep their customers happy and coming back. For extra support for people that need help with installation installing widgets and so on the support packages would be great specially if they had a choice on how long they need the support for and they can purchase the package that would fit their needs.
Theme $60+1 month support $30.
Theme $60+2 month support $40
Theme $60+4 month support $60
Theme $60+6 month support $80
Theme $60+12 month support $120
Just an idea but at least this way both authors and buyers get a deal for their work and purchases.
And as for envato taking 30% of the support i am fine with because everyone has to eat right.
Let me know what you guys think.
So if a buyer pays for support and they take up say 7 hours in your week, trust me if they are paying you, they will screw you for every minute they can, I have had these customers (not many granted but if they now have to pay for it they will become more frequent). Anyway if you have a customer who makes you work for 7 hours in a week because of ridiculous conditions or for a poorly written 3rd party plugin is conflicting, do you honestly think that $21 is enough for a whole month.
By your 12 month plan you only earn $7 a month for support, come on your taking the biscuit with that one!I would simply refund the user every time they make a purchase and say ill carry on with free support under my conditions, which will mean not being a slave…
That is why, the problem isn’t support, but excessive support due to unreasonable customers but what is reasonable, needs to be properly definedAlso, if you’re only offering one theme with basic support for that amount, how would you compete with shops that offer subscription and 20 themes or so?
Just to make it clear, i think those prices are too much as well and i wouldn’t want to see them implemented like this.
But just to play devil’s advocate here, i wouldn’t see any problems with the competition part.
Let’s face it, if you just compare prices themeforest isn’t the best deal already, 1 theme for 60$ vs 20 themes for 120$, that sounds like a no brainer. The reason why this isn’t already a problem for themeforest is simply design and features. No other (at least none of the big ones) themeshop comes even close to the level of design you get here. I am not saying they do bad designs, not at all, but none of them really does outstanding design. So if i had the option to get one stunning theme for 60$ or 20 good looking themes for 120$, my choice would be quite clear (especially seeing that most regular people never need 20 themes, they maybe need 1,2 or 3 and the rest of them never get used, which makes that number of 20 much less impressive), and judging from themeforest’s success it seems a lot of people think the same way. And seeing that you bought 50+ items here you seem to think the same way as well . Just in theory 30$ more or less wouldn’t change much about that, especially if they were only optional for support and not for the base item.
Like i said i am in no way for those suggested prices, but i think there are people on themeforest who do outstanding work that you just do not find at most other themeshops and they shouldn’t be compared to them only by price, their level of quality should be included into the equation as well.
I thought the part with the ratings was clear. They will be limiting the rating period. This was mentioned in the previous thread.http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/important-changes-to-item-support/140218?page=25&_ga=1.59843429.932802806.1409214149#1104366
He said they think about it. Huge difference. Support becoming mandatory and the one thing that would help authors prevent bad ratings after 6 months is basically an afterthought right now they aren’t sure about. Wouldn’t you agree this is a bit concerning since the whole change is supposedly being introduced to help authors.
And even if they do it, it doesn’t prevent people from commenting on your item. Good luck making sales with comments warning potential buyers from purchasing this “terrible item from a very bad author” true or not you will lose sales for it and you will want to prevent them.
How come is the support only 20%??!? 665 sales/814 comments.
Where did you get your Math diploma??
Now check the rating. How come are my customers not served and protected with the support not mandatory? How many items on the marketplace have a 100% 5-stars ratings (if they have more than 50 ratings for example)???
Check some of my other old items’ rating while keeping in mind last year I was OUT OF BUSINESS for almost 6 months (this should be easy for you to check) after a severe car accident in which I barely survived. How did I managed to keep the average rating 4,5 stars if I am not protecting my customers with support not mandatory?Which part of these stats you could improve with the new rules? Get my freedom? It’s not for sale! Sorry!
There’s too much noise in the comments, specifically presale and repeat questions by the same customers.
Not sure what all this has anything to do the proposed changes though. In fact, under the proposed changes you will benefit more than the average Joe it seems, based on the activity alone.In 6 months, you will deal with less support and even earn more from the same customer, who currently gets the same support at no cost.
That’s some wishful thinking.
The reality is currently support is not mandatory yet everybody gives it for various reasons. Some of those reasons being the fear of bad ratings, the fear of bad comments and the fear of bad word of mouth. Those are also the exact reasons that allow the small fraction of buyers who make our lifes miserable sometimes to practically blackmail us.
The 6 month rule changes absolutely nothing about that. Here is the reality, one of those customers comes along after 7 months and asks for support. You tell him that he has to purchase additional support time and he will simply threaten to give bad comments and bad ratings. And the chance of envato helping with this is, given their trackrecord with this topic, next to zero. So, you will most likely end up helping this guy anyway without him purchasing additional support time.
So now you did not earn more, you did not work less, but you sure as hell lost your freedom. And on top of that those guys get even more power for blackmail within the first 6 months since now support is mandatory and they can report you to envato for whatever reason, and again seeing with how less regard for authors envato sometimes disables themes i very much doubt this will never end in very dire situations for authors.
The reality is that i am afraid that in the end we will end up gaining nothing from that change, but losing a lot.
digitalscience saidYou’re essentially saying that supporting your items is a bad idea.
mandatory support is a bad idea.
No, he is saying that almost every author here is more than happy to support 99.9% of their customers. BUT that 0.1% that has unreasonable demands, threatens you with 1 star ratings and expects you to answer a support question asked on sunday evening within 5 minutes will get even more power to blackmail us than they have now. I am very happy for you that you never had such a guy, but believe me, while i love to help the 99.9% of my customers who are kind and awesome people i also love to tell that obnoxious 0.1% guy to kindly leave me alone.
I would also be very interested in the question if envato will somehow force authors to sell those additional support licenses.
I am doing themeforest as a little sidegig and am in no way near the amount of support tickets power elite authors get, so i can only speak for myself here.
In the last two years i only had three cases of buyers having a question after six months and those were marginal things which were answered in two sentences. Personally i would never want to ask those buyers to purchase another support license for 5$ (or whatever envato deems worth my time) and risk antagonising those buyers over literally three emails worth 1 minute each. Would envato force me to do so or can i just say “screw it i keep my support free”?
I am absolutely thrilled about these changes. This is most assuredly going to result in less support requests for me (and potentially more money for premium packages). I spend on average 2.5 hours a day on support (7 days a week) and at least a third of that is customers who purchase the theme more than 6 months ago (maybe even half). So right there, less support = more time for me to develop = more money. I already provide outstanding support every single day, so nothing will change for me on that end. Oh, and I absolutely LOVE the idea of being able to tell my customers I’m on vacation. I haven’t taken a vacation without bringing my laptop in over 4 years, for fear of 1-star ratings from customers who have to wait 3+ days for a support response (my average support response time is less than 24 hours). Going to Disney with my two small kids in November… it would be awesome to not have to bring my laptop… just sayin’
I cannot understand the reasoning behind both those arguments.
Currently support is not mandatory, yet most authors do it anyway because they feel its the right thing to do and because they are afraid of losing future business to bad ratings, bad comments and bad word of mouth. Good luck telling a customer who bought a theme 7 months ago that he now has to purchase additional support time, that will result in exactly that, bad ratings, bad comments and bad word of mouth, so after a few of those experiences i guess most authors will just keep doing their support for free and wont even bother asking customers to purchase more support time.
Also, right now when support is not mandatory you take your laptop with you on vacation for fears of bad ratings. Those customers who would give you a bad rating although you informed them about your vacation on your support forum and your item description won’t magically start to care about an official vacation sign, they will just give you 1 star anyway. So you probably will just end up taking your laptop with you anyhow.
And just to make it clear, i have no issue with giving support to customers, i gladly do it because 99% of my customers are kind and honest people i love to help (and way faster than those 72 hours), but that 1% that makes themeforest a living hell sometimes will only get more power to do so.
Yes. Clear guidelines and setting the right expectations with both buyers and authors is crucial. On the topic of 72 hours, our goal is to find a balance and set reasonable expectations with buyers (who sometimes expect instant responses), and we landed at 72 hours because it allowed a day for a response, with another 48 hours to compensate for timezone and weekend issues.
On one hand, authors need to be able to maintain good working hours, but on the other hand, it can be really frustrating for a buyer when their project has a deadline, they’ve spent money on something that contains a bug and they can’t get a response from the author. 72 hours is more sustainable than 1 hour or 24 hours, but we’re open to the idea it isn’t enough.What do you think is a fair balance for the needs of both buyers and authors?
I would remove the 72 hours and make it three business days. I think most authors here are actually way faster than 72 hours, but to have the weekend included doesn’t sound good to me, especially if you think about holidays falling on a monday or friday.
Loving the core idea behind this.
Making support mandatory is a good move and provides clarity for all parties involved.
But the current plan has so many flaws.
First of all, please update the rating system first, 1 star ratings are already used to blackmail authors today, this will only get worse.
I am totally fine with envato taking 30% of the support money, but then you should actually do something for that money, finally give us a builtin support platform. Updating your api with one database query hardly qualifies for 30%.
72 hours is the most interesting thing for me, you guys have a dedicated support team and most answers take a week. Yet you expect authors to answer within 72 hours – and including the weekend into this simply takes the cake.
Also let us decide for ourselfes – at least within a reasonable range – what premium support should cost. The costs of living vary a lot between countries and i am seriously afraid of you guys lowballing us authors with this. I certainly don’t want to end up selling 6 months of premium support for 14$. Because lets face it here, selling premium support is a huge deal and authors who do it will probably end up having an edge over those who don’t. So if you set the prices to a ridiculous small amount you kind of force people from countries like the US, Germany and so on to work for wages way below of their costs of living. I do not want to feel like i work at fiverr.