Pro Account increase

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  • DrDavidDrDavid Smugization Master Posts: 1,292Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Light_prod wrote: »
    I just remembered that all my blog post images are hosted on smugmug. This is going to be one pain in the ass to switch.

    Just move down to their basic level.. All the uploads you want, no customization. Just $40/yr..

    In fact, if everyone did that, SM would go bankrupt. Upload *everything*, pay $40/yr and hot-link your photos in your blog, etc.. Decent deal; of course, Flickr is still cheaper.
  • PhotoDavid78PhotoDavid78 Davidweissphotos.com Long IslandPosts: 914Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    The issue here to me is that SmugMug wants to be like Apple in the sense that they like to keep things secret and have a big unveil. The problem is that SM is not apple. They slowly roll out small elements here and there. With Apple, you know that when you spend big bucks, you are going to get a good product in return, and you can count on them twice a year to wow you with something big. SM does not have this credibility. If we were told where our $ was going and what to expect, maybe this extremely large unheard of % increase would be easier to swallow. SmugMug, maybe it's time to stop posting photos of the giant office photos and things the SM chef cooks because that's where we the customer see the money flowing to.
    David Weiss | Canon 5D Mark III | Pentax K10D | iPhone
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  • lensmolelensmole Major grins Posts: 1,548Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    An increase of about 5.5% per month ? I think 3 or 4% would have been more reasonable.
  • jfriendjfriend Scripting dude-volunteer Posts: 8,097Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Light_prod wrote: »
    I just remembered that all my blog post images are hosted on smugmug. This is going to be one pain in the ass to switch.
    You could downgrade your account to standard and your blog images will keep working either until they're no longer needed or until you finally redo them.
    --John
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  • ArkieArkie Big grins Posts: 17Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Wow! Glad I found this! My trial has just 3 days left, and I've spent a week & a half learning and preparing images for my SmugMug account...all in vain, it seems. Glad I didn't spend even more on custom templates like some of you did...so sorry for you! Guess I'll take a more serious look at Zen!
  • Rogue 1Rogue 1 Nothing to see here Here and therePosts: 150Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Arkie wrote: »
    Wow! Glad I found this! My trial has just 3 days left, and I've spent a week & a half learning and preparing images for my SmugMug account...all in vain, it seems. Glad I didn't spend even more on custom templates like some of you did...so sorry for you! Guess I'll take a more serious look at Zen!


    Hi Arkie - of course you need to make the decision that's best for you, but just to clarify, since your trial was initiated before the announcement, you are grandfathered at the old price.

    EG - if you convert your current trial to 'paid,' you'd be charged $150 for the next twelve-months.

    We wish you much success whatever you decide!
  • kenskikenski Big grins Posts: 34Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Completely disgusted.... How are you going to DOUBLE the cost??? I can understand if you doubled it over the next few years but all at once?? Forget it.... I re-newed in August so I have a few months to decide what I want to do. 90% sure Ill be leaving.

    I think a better business approach was to announce your changes, if you plan on making any, along with a blurb that prices will rise. I was ok with the $99 a year with the lack of custom changes that I desired. I run a wordpress blog and use smugmug as the sales and storage for the blog. I loved having the option of using smugmug for my clients to order pictures. NOW, I guess I just run a blog and thats all. If they want pictures, they can order a CD and print their own which the majority of them do anyways. Like I said, I am completely disgusted. Unless there are some SHOCKING changes, Im out....
  • JovesJoves Village Idiot Posts: 200Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Arkie wrote: »
    Wow! Glad I found this! My trial has just 3 days left, and I've spent a week & a half learning and preparing images for my SmugMug account...all in vain, it seems. Glad I didn't spend even more on custom templates like some of you did...so sorry for you! Guess I'll take a more serious look at Zen!
    Smart move. I am paid up for a year so I have time to research a new hosting site. Which for me is a shame since I have been here for 9years.
    I shoot therefore Iam.
    http://joves.smugmug.com/
  • lizstabbertphotolizstabbertphoto I shoot horses. :D Posts: 64Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    The problem isn't so much that you guys are increasing the price. The problem is that you're DOUBLING the price and that is an absolute slap in the face. If you had been slowly increasing the price over time then it would be much easier to swallow, but asking us to pay double for the same product is an insult. I've been a pro user since 2005 and I will not be renewing my pro account.
  • kenskikenski Big grins Posts: 34Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    If someone could come up with a plugin for wordpress for bay photo to send photos to bay photo for printing, that would be the fix for me!
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,853Administrators moderator
    edited September 1, 2012
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    Hi Mark - I'm very familiar with the issue you've outlined, I have a custom domain myself - it's not a 'bug' actually, it has to do with the way web browsers handle cookies - your logged-in session cookie to be precise - and the way they view your actual domain (you.smugmug.com) vs your custom domain (you.com) -
    I'm with Mark, this is very annoying. When I search for photos and land on a custom domain, if I want to comment with the logged-in comment system, I have to refresh the page.

    But unfortunately the browser makers like Google and security experts don't have an answer for a fix, because it would introduce a security hole to the way the web works. I'd love to be able to change this.
  • MontecMontec Waiting for the light... Posts: 823Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    The problem isn't so much that you guys are increasing the price. The problem is that you're DOUBLING the price and that is an absolute slap in the face. If you had been slowly increasing the price over time then it would be much easier to swallow, but asking us to pay double for the same product is an insult. I've been a pro user since 2005 and I will not be renewing my pro account.

    This is what I probably am more upset at. It is an insult to long time users.

    Consider this SM. Many of us made a decision that $150 would be acceptable, within the budget etc. Maybe a little too much but we seen the value and decided we would spend a little more. If it was $200 it would be a no go. Now you change the whole plan on us. You are not going to make ANY friends with this move.

    Have you also considered what percentage of your CURRENT pro user base would NOT have purchased your product if it were say $200, never mind $300? There is a price point that some will not cross...so now this percentage of your loyal users are going to be pushed out because it is now way beyond their threshold.

    I certainly hope you all have done your due diligence here and worked a proper business plan that considers the loss of revenue this decision is going to create, not to mention the bad feelings (which cost you money BTW)

    There are two major areas that you will see loss of revenue. Obviously in current pros downgrading and not as many new accounts being opened. The second, and something you have no control over is the Gigapixels of content that will now be uploaded by power and basic users that cost you the very same as those pro accounts only you get much less in return.

    The fuzzy & warm SmugMug is now gone in favour of this new business model. Good luck.
    Cheers,
    Monte
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,853Administrators moderator
    edited September 1, 2012
    So, instead of a small logical price increase, they have disrespected the member base by slamming them with massive 67% and 100% price increases!!!!
    If I had it to do again, instead of a big increase like we just made after 7 years, I would have increased prices slowly over the 7 years. It seems the competition that has lasted raised prices and the ones who didn't fell into irrelevance or went away.

    Lesson learned and we're really sorry for the big increase.
  • CapturedAbroadCapturedAbroad Beginner grinner Posts: 5Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited September 1, 2012
    ok i have two day left on my trial. after this news i made a new zen folio account. in the 5 minutes tops i've spent with zen, I already have far better impressions of it. Such a brazen move with seemingly excellent competition around, one might be forgiven for thinking smugmug have their head in the clouds. Not so smug now, are we...
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,853Administrators moderator
    edited September 1, 2012
    sellis wrote: »
    While I'm certainly not happy about the increase, I do understand the need to run a business. In the grand scheme of things, $100 extra per year is minimal to a professional photographer who is selling prints. I pay less than that for a park photography permit.
    Considering I have 102,000 photos / 555GB stored on their site which is safely being backed up in three locations plus mine and I've made over $300 in profit the past couple of days...I'm ok with it.

    To me, it sounds like SM is going after the real professionals who want more than what they're getting now. I'll definitely be looking forward to some new features though, increased cost means higher expectations. I'm not paying for a Quarter Pounder anymore, I want a Five Guys. They're more expensive, not outrageous, but worth it. Make it worth it, SM :D
    Thank you. That sounds like a fair proposition.
  • jfriendjfriend Scripting dude-volunteer Posts: 8,097Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Baldy wrote: »
    If I had it to do again, instead of a big increase like we just made after 7 years, I would have increased prices slowly over the 7 years. It seems the competition that has lasted raised prices and the ones who didn't fell into irrelevance or went away.

    Lesson learned and we're really sorry for the big increase.
    What baffles me is why you raise prices BEFORE you release the new stuff you've been talking about for awhile. If it's as good as onethumb seems to think it is, you could have had a very different reaction and explanation if you added groundbreaking features and raised prices at the same time.

    Doing it now makes me think that the new stuff must not be coming for quite awhile (otherwise you would have waited) or your business is in urgent need of new revenue. Neither sound like good news.

    FYI, since I don't attempt to make lots of money off my photos, I'll probably be downgrading my two pro accounts to power (which doesn't exactly help your revenue either).
    --John
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  • MomaZunkMomaZunk pro lurker Posts: 421Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    So after absorbing this info for the last day, and counting to ten a couple of times, here are my thoughts:

    For reference, I have a pro account, I sell prints, and the $250/yr is not a deal breaker. It's a big jump, and will definitely push me to do some serious comparisons before my renewal date next July.

    I will be looking for some of the following which have been on the requested feature list for a while:
    1. Self-fullfillment: On a few of my galleries, I have a not so pretty PayPal implementation. I only use it when I need to self fulfill the orders for a particular event. I will also have it in my fine art galleries, once I have some more time for this.

    2. Expiring galleries: I really would like this for my event work

    3. Integration with google+. The images I post on G+ get more umpf...how can this be leveraged with SM

    4. Customizable licensing agreements for digital downloads.

    So, these are things that I believe your competition has, and things that will influence my decision next July. I am ready to see some bang for my bucks! I like the interface at SM, and I have quite a bit of customization. I would rather not walk away from that, but a custom website front end may be calling my name next July.

    On another note:

    I looked at the Portfolio Level, and I just do not understand it. Who is your target customer here?
    For the $90 over the power, you get to print at the pro labs, get backprinting, printmarking, and watermarking. All of which can be done without SM in the loop. The only time these items are important is when you are fulfilling a sale through SM. I would never sell prints good enough to spend the extra dollars to go to a pro-level lab "at cost" for a "customer". This just does not make sense to me. There needs to be more at this level, like perhaps the events/favorites ability.
  • slpollettslpollett Major grins Posts: 1,078Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    I am also VERY disappointed. I like smugmug for what I need to do. I also don't make a lot of money from prints. I do a lot of shooting for a local high school band and most of my customers are from parents and band boosters who don't have a lot of money to spend. The $150/yr made it worthwhile to me; I'm not sure that $250/yr will be.

    I certainly understand the need to raise prices. I've been expecting one since there hasn't been an increase in the 4 years that I have been a smugmug user. Double is excessive. $50/yr would have been no big deal. I will most likely join the ranks of those who will either downgrade to Power or switch to another provider all together. Sorry, but so far, I don't see anything here worth $250-$300/yr--especially if there are other providers who have a similar service for less.

    Sherry
  • MontecMontec Waiting for the light... Posts: 823Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    One thing I think needs to be added to Basic and Power and now Portfolio accounts is the ability to see how many of your prints have been sold. I have always thought this was a strange self defeating strategy on SM part.
    If you could see that your images were actually selling at the base rate SM sets many would upgrade just so they could manage the sales and maybe make a little profit. As it is now an image could go viral and sell thousands of copies at base price and you wouldn't even be aware of it.

    SM would increase sales too. As well as gain more pro accounts. Win Win
    Cheers,
    Monte
  • ClickerellaClickerella Beginner grinner Posts: 3Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited September 1, 2012
    Where is the economics calculation behind it?
    Cost increases fine, understandable in moderate amounts as the company grows and certain overhead is being added. Cost increases because service and development cost is going up not so much.

    Smugmug must have grown tremendously over the last few years. I was not able to get any number of customers that Smugmug has today. But is is a fair assumption that is has multiplied over the years with the shift to digital, with the popularity of photo hosting and sharing and with so many new amateurs, aspiring pros or pros wanting to show off their pictures and trying to sell also. So economy of scale must have helped to dilute the fixed cost over many more customers.

    You have a certain socket of cost for hosting, storage, bandwidth, etc. This grows as your customer base grows but can be seen as a fix cost per account as it averages out over all customers. Cost for this has however not gone up for years and has rather gone down or has been stable for years and for storage it has definitely gone down (bigger file size - no reason) .

    So the only driver that I can see is that the growth has slowed as the market saturates, and your competition has become stronger. As you struggle to add new customers, price increase is an answer to grow business / profit.

    Or let's assume your profits have indeed taken a hit. Then of course you have to act. But come on SmugMug, be smart about it. You are a good company and apparently have a group of smart people leading the company and more smart people on your staff.

    What you are doing now is deter your bad AND your good (read: profitable) customer base to your competition.

    So here is a proposal: I understand from the communication that it is a certain demanding user base that skews the cost curve. There must be many small or medium semi-pro customers or even amateurs with pro-accounts (like me) that are happy with what Smugmug offers them, certainly have not contributed to cost increases and must be profitable for you - real cash cows. My proposal would be not to deter those customers from Smugmug and rather tackle the problem with the costly "super-users" by being a little more creative and e.g. make a new super-user account with more and new features that appeal to them and have them upgrade.

    Happy reading!

    Clickerella
  • Rogue 1Rogue 1 Nothing to see here Here and therePosts: 150Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Montec wrote: »
    One thing I think needs to be added to Basic and Power and now Portfolio accounts is the ability to see how many of your prints have been sold. I have always thought this was a strange self defeating strategy on SM part.
    If you could see that your images were actually selling at the base rate SM sets many would upgrade just so they could manage the sales and maybe make a little profit. As it is now an image could go viral and sell thousands of copies at base price and you wouldn't even be aware of it.

    SM would increase sales too. As well as gain more pro accounts. Win Win

    Hi Montec - I thinks that's a great idea, and it's been discussed previously... I'll pass this along.
  • Rogue 1Rogue 1 Nothing to see here Here and therePosts: 150Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Cost increases fine, understandable in moderate amounts as the company grows and certain overhead is being added. Cost increases because service and development cost is going up not so much.
    [. . . ]
    So here is a proposal: I understand from the communication that it is a certain demanding user base that skews the cost curve. There must be many small or medium semi-pro customers or even amateurs with pro-accounts (like me) that are happy with what Smugmug offers them, certainly have not contributed to cost increases and must be profitable for you - real cash cows. My proposal would be not to deter those customers from Smugmug and rather tackle the problem with the costly "super-users" by being a little more creative and e.g. make a new super-user account with more and new features that appeal to them and have them upgrade.

    Happy reading!

    Clickerella

    Hi Clickarella - I'm going to start this response with a little acknowledgement - 'millions of passionate customers' is an integral line in our slogan - and the amount of feedback, both positive and negative, that we've receievd simply proves this... we read every post on every forum and media - every single one... so thank you for your passion!

    And no, our profits haven't 'taken a hit.' SmugMug remains strong and growing - and we want to continue to do so.

    As I recently posted elsewhere, price hikes are never easy regardless of how/why/what... but to elaborate, we touched on several reasons for the increase - engineering, expansion, growth...this is not solely about storage (although that does seem to be what most have latched onto) -

    As our CEO and Chief Geek, Don, has mentioned, we've resisted raising prices for seven years... in hindsight, incremental increases every year or two, small bumps, would have been the better option from a customer relation point of view - but again, we're a family business, and we abhor raising prices. Right or wrong, our hearts were in the right place.

    What's happened though is by not raising them for so long, when the time came (now), the necesary jump ended up being significant - but this was unavoidable. We agonized over it...

    In order for us to continue to grow, to continue improving, to continue to offer the best service available on every front (support, features, performance and more), we needed to do this -

    And essentially, we've simply split SELLING accounts from PROOFING accounts - that latter of the two's cost remains the same as it was -

    In direct address of you're suggestion, we looked at this from every angle and option for a VERY long time - Our CEO Don Macaskill said it better than I in another response:

    "We didn't go into this lightly. We asked customers what they would prefer - a per-GB storage fee or an unlimited account at a higher price - and they all said unlimited was vital to the product and one of the reasons they fell in love with SmugMug in the first place. That we had to keep it. So we did."

    We hope in the end you decide you stay with us - and thanks for understanding.
  • ClickerellaClickerella Beginner grinner Posts: 3Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited September 1, 2012
    Well, you comment only on some topics but nevertheless thanks for considering my thoughts.

    And please, it is CLICKERELLA not Chickerella (thank god) mwink.gif

    Clickerella
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    Hi Chickarella - I'm going to start this response with a little acknowledgement - 'millions of passionate customers' is an integral line in our slogan - and the amount of feedback, both positive and negative, that we've receievd simply proves this... we read every post on every forum and media - every single one... so thank you for your passion!

    And no, our profits haven't 'taken a hit.' SmugMug remains strong and growing - and we want to continue to do so.

    As I recently posted elsewhere, price hikes are never easy regardless of how/why/what... but to elaborate, we touched on several reasons for the increase - engineering, expansion, growth...this is not solely about storage (although that does seem to be what most have latched onto) -

    As our CEO and Chief Geek, Don, has mentioned, we've resisted raising prices for seven years... in hindsight, incremental increases every year or two, small bumps, would have been the better option from a customer relation point of view - but again, we're a family business, and we abhor raising prices. Right or wrong, our hearts were in the right place.

    What's happened though is by not raising them for so long, when the time came (now), the necesary jump ended up being significant - but this was unavoidable. We agonized over it...

    In order for us to continue to grow, to continue improving, to continue to offer the best service available on every front (support, features, performance and more), we needed to do this -

    And essentially, we've simply split SELLING accounts from PROOFING accounts - that latter of the two's cost remains the same as it was -

    In direct address of you're suggestion, we looked at this from every angle and option for a VERY long time - Our CEO Don Macaskill said it better than I in another response:

    "We didn't go into this lightly. We asked customers what they would prefer - a per-GB storage fee or an unlimited account at a higher price - and they all said unlimited was vital to the product and one of the reasons they fell in love with SmugMug in the first place. That we had to keep it. So we did."

    We hope in the end you decide you stay with us - and thanks for understanding.
  • Rogue 1Rogue 1 Nothing to see here Here and therePosts: 150Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012

    And please, it is CLICKERELLA not Chickerella (thank god) mwink.gif

    Clickerella

    OMG - DOH! - I hear ya (long day and the pixels are starting to blur) - Please forgive - May I call you Click? /jk thumb.gif

    (edited original post)
  • ClickerellaClickerella Beginner grinner Posts: 3Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited September 1, 2012
    Sure thing - but please make it Click not Chick !!!rolleyes1.gif
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    OMG - DOH! - I hear ya (long day and the pixels are starting to blur) - Please forgive - May I call you Click? /jk thumb.gif

    (edited original post)
  • GRBlizzGRBlizz Major grins Posts: 109Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Montec wrote: »
    Maybe a solution would be to only charge a 'business' rate once you hit a certain level in sales. Say $1000.00
    I do this for fun and like having the pro account for the odd sale. I have only sold a few thousand dollars in prints on SM in the past couple years.

    For me the price just doubled with zero net gain. I will not keep the business level and actually downgrade to Power user as the new Portfolio level is senseless.

    I really hope they go this route. There are too many hobbyists whose sales just about offset their fees. There has to be a reasonable solution to hold us at the $150 level, without making us pay the same prices as serious pros who upload a wedding every week.
  • PlayswithrocksPlayswithrocks Big grins Posts: 15Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    GRBlizz wrote: »
    I really hope they go this route. There are too many hobbyists whose sales just about offset their fees. There has to be a reasonable solution to hold us at the $150 level, without making us pay the same prices as serious pros who upload a wedding every week.

    I'm very much hoping for this too. I'm a hobbyist who hasn't had a single sale, but want that option left available and I'm not willing to allow sales at no profit to myself what so ever. My photos might not be great, but I'm not going to give them away either. I'm learning and growing and trying to at least cover a few costs along the way. Unfortunately, SmugMug is no longer providing a membership option that suits my needs. I did send an email and got a fairly generic reply. Pretty much the same thing they've been saying "sorry, but we had to."

    I also keep seeing "support heroes" saying that if your account renewal is prior to the increase, you renew at the old rate. Well, not me! I've been paying monthly and renewing at the old rate isn't available to me. I'd seriously consider paying for a full year at the old rate right now just to not have to make the switch to another service, but it will only allow me to "upgrade" to the new higher rate. I signed up for a 14 day trial of Zenfolio where I will have pretty much the same features for $120 a year, but I'm busy and don't really want to have to deal with it right now. :cry
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft GWC for hire Portland.ME.USAPosts: 2,977Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    Everybody Calm Down
    It is $8.33 extra per month. Smoke one less pack of cigarettes, drink one less six-pack of beer, if you can't sell one more 5x7.

    Carbonite is $229 for the small business plan, and that is just storage. Zenfolio's premium plan is comparable to SM Pro, and is $250. Yes, they have a $120 pro option, but watch how fast that goes up or disappears after October.
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • kenskikenski Big grins Posts: 34Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    It is $8.33 extra per month. Smoke one less pack of cigarettes, drink one less six-pack of beer, if you can't sell one more 5x7.


    Can I have you sign a contract stating you will buy a 5x7 from me each month?!?!?

    Really it is about principal to me... $100 a year when all I was paying was $100 is crazy.. Double and I see no changes! The changes should of happened first and then I may or may not would of bitched about it.
  • Rogue 1Rogue 1 Nothing to see here Here and therePosts: 150Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited September 1, 2012
    I'm very much hoping for this too. I'm a hobbyist who hasn't had a single sale, but want that option left available and I'm not willing to allow sales at no profit to myself what so ever. My photos might not be great, but I'm not going to give them away either. I'm learning and growing and trying to at least cover a few costs along the way. Unfortunately, SmugMug is no longer providing a membership option that suits my needs. I did send an email and got a fairly generic reply. Pretty much the same thing they've been saying "sorry, but we had to."

    I also keep seeing "support heroes" saying that if your account renewal is prior to the increase, you renew at the old rate. Well, not me! I've been paying monthly and renewing at the old rate isn't available to me. I'd seriously consider paying for a full year at the old rate right now just to not have to make the switch to another service, but it will only allow me to "upgrade" to the new higher rate. I signed up for a 14 day trial of Zenfolio where I will have pretty much the same features for $120 a year, but I'm busy and don't really want to have to deal with it right now. :cry

    Hi Plays - I just shot you an email -
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