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pixelentity says

Although standardizing it has a slight risk of allowing it appear like “support is authors duty/part of item”.
Exactly. Do we have “standard” item descriptions ? Nope, then why the support tab must look the same or include the same content ? Support it’s not a standard feature, let authors explain their buyers themselves what kind of post-sale service is offered (if any)
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VF says


Although standardizing it has a slight risk of allowing it appear like “support is authors duty/part of item”.
Exactly. Do we have “standard” item descriptions ? Nope, then why the support tab must look the same or include the same content ? Support it’s not a standard feature, let authors explain their buyers themselves what kind of post-sale service is offered (if any)

Don’t worry, TF and CC already crossed the point of no return in terms of support. Once you upload an item – it is upto you to convince the buyer about support is not mandatory.

Personally that’s why I decided to switch into VideoHive. :D

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pixelentity says

Don’t worry, TF and CC already crossed the point of no return in terms of support. Once you upload an item – it is upto you to convince the buyer about support is not mandatory.
true, still i prefer explaining that myself rather than envato.


Personally that’s why I decided to switch into VideoHive. :D
nooooooooooo! ... come back here!
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CodingJack says

At this point, all the author has to do is tell us what’s missing for them via the survey.

My problem isn’t what’s missing. It’s what’s already there.

Questions or problems regarding the item and its features will be responded to.

Does this mean questions are answered immediately? And what constitutes a “response”? Any response? like “please read the documentation”? Kind of sounds like I’ll be providing support for whatever “problem” they’re having, and “problems” are extremely subjective considering that the majority of them are user-generated.

Bugs and reported issues will be fixed.

What constitutes a “reported issue”? Again, is this any reported issue? Because I simply don’t fix user-generated errors unless it’s on a freelance basis.

The item will be updated to ensure it works with new software versions.

What software versions? What happens when a customer buys a regular jQuery plugin and then suddenly wants to add it to their WordPress environment. Does this mean I’m responsible for the “new software”?

Support does not include code customizations or support for third-party plugins.

Does this mean I don’t support third-party plugins? Or does it mean I don’t support compatibility with third-party plugins. ;)

.........

I get why Envato wants to streamline this. They probably get bombarded with refund requests complaining about the level of support and want to minimize the workload. Sounds reasonable.

Here’s the problem. You’re saying we aren’t required to provide support, but now you’re saying that if we do provide support we have to provide it on your terms. The counter-argument could be: “well you can still provide support and just not opt-in to the new tab”, but that would be sales suicide, because as customers get familiar with the support tab, they’re going to start seeking it out before they buy.

To add some perspective, here’s my support policy. I created it because I was going broke troubleshooting user-generated errors all day, and it’s worked out quite well for me so far. It’s also extremely “jQuery Plugin” specific  —  if my WP plugin business grows I’ll probably write an entirely different policy for that.

The silver-lining with this new tab is even if you let authors customize it completely, it still meets your objective of better communicating support policies to buyers. I don’t advertise my policy in the item description because personally I think it’s bad for sales. But now with the support tab I’ll be forced to add my policy there instead  —  mission accomplished :)

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justinfrench Dev says

If you cannot (or do not intend to) increase its length

Based on feedback like this and many more above, we will :)

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justinfrench Dev says

Probably they want make it standardized format so that it will be easier for buyers understand faster with less efforts.

Exactly. Maybe we can’t, but it’s worth a try.

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justinfrench Dev says

You’re saying we aren’t required to provide support, but now you’re saying that if we do provide support we have to provide it on your terms.

We really don’t want to define the terms, but we were hoping to uncover some common ground on what authors generally agree the terms current are. Please propose alternate wording for the four points you raised if you think you can add clarity.


To add some perspective, here’s my support policy. I created it because I was going broke troubleshooting user-generated errors all day, and it’s worked out quite well for me so far. It’s also extremely “jQuery Plugin” specific  —  if my WP plugin business grows I’ll probably write an entirely different policy for that.

Ignoring the specifics for a bit, at a high level I think your policy says something like “if it’s a problem with my product, how I described it and what I promised it could do, i’ll help you out, but I’m not going to spend hours on stuff I didn’t promise, or problems that are unique to you and your stuff, nor customise it for you for free”.

Forgive the artistic license, but it’s early morning here :) This is basically what we’re trying to describe with the four points above.


But now with the support tab I’ll be forced to add my policy there instead  —  mission accomplished :)

Half-mission, but good point!

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CodingJack says

@justin Thanks for taking the time to respond. It’s always great to see you guys engage the community for important stuff like this.

I was picky when I went over the four points. My intention was to show that canned text may not be the exact communication we want to send to buyers. Maybe as a happy-medium, we could have the ability to expand directly onto canned text. For example:

“Questions or problems regarding the item and its features will be responded to.”

  • All questions will be answered within 24 hours
  • (or) I’m on vacation until April 15th but all questions will be answered as soon as I get back!

“Bugs and reported issues will be fixed.”

  • Please review my policy (link to my support policy) for more information.

“The item will be updated to ensure it works with new software versions.”

  • Specifically, whenever a new version of WordPress or jQuery is released, the plugin will be updated immediately.

By combining the two, Envato gets the uniformity its looking for and authors get the opportunity to add more clarity. Feels like a win-win.

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CodingJack says

After re-reading my last post, an important part I left out is that when you seperate the two parts (full canned text first, author text at bottom of the page), and end up discussing the same topic on two different parts of the page, the message isn’t nearly as clear.

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GravityDept says

Changes to Envato’s proposal:

1. Let authors choose which support bullet points apply to each item.

2. This lets authors disable support terms for old items that they still want to sell, while informing the buyer that support is not included.

3. Conditions that are supported (green check marks) or not supported (red crosses) should be made very clear. Envato needs to make it very clear that the additional services offered by some authors are truly valuable, and that means making it clear which authors don’t do those things. This is basically punishment for them, but if that’s where Envato is heading it must be explicit.

4. Support should not include all item updates forever. This means very different things for graphics, HTML templates, WordPress themes, and Magento themes. It’s not a one-size fits all condition. That’s completely unsustainable, and needs to be addressed with a different pricing model. I’ve asked for this many times over the years, and am working on my own policy driven approach to the problem.

Suggestions for Envato

1. Pricing: From a buyer perspective, these changes will make me think support is included in the purchase price, but the pricing is dirt-cheap because it isn’t. If support becomes a feature Envato promotes then prices need to increase globally (not just WordPress).

Envato is still way underpriced compared to other marketplaces (especially certain categories with high development cost, i.e. Magento). It’s unfair to ask authors to “officially” support their items without giving them the option to receive a price that reflects the costs of giving that support “officially”.

2. Discoverability: The marketplace should be split then between supported items and unsupported items because this is a significant driver of value for authors. If all items are jumbled together and buyers (still) can’t effectively filter down using faceted navigation, then this just introduces another differentiation challenge for authors.

3. Separate Envato’s terms and my terms: If Envato wants to slap a boilerplate list of terms on every TF item, then most buyers will quickly learn to ignore it. Don’t mix the author’s custom terms and notes with this info because they need to be visible for each and every item.

4. Necessarily Envato’s terms will need to be broad (and therefore less applicable). The author’s custom information should be placed first on the support page, followed by how to contact the author, then Envato’s general notes.

5. I have never used the FAQs because the design sucks. I can’t re-order them, I can’t group them under headings, or write complex formatting within answers so it’s easier to read. It’s simply not useful to shove a shoeboxed list at a buyer. FAQs should probably be rewritten, axed, or at least de-prioritized as much as possible.

Bottom Line

Anything Envato puts into place that applies globally is going to be incorrect for some percentage of authors. Support policies have been 100% the author’s decision until now. Envato needs to give us better tools for making our policies clear and consistent — not enforcing a global policy that suits Envato because it’s easier to implement.

This is not something that should go-live in one week from survey to launch.

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