Pro Account increase

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Comments

  • JLanterJLanter Beginner grinner Posts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited September 2, 2012
    agallia wrote: »
    As a 'hobbyist' photographer who made the big leap from Power to Pro some time ago, this big price change has caused a big dilemma. The main reason I switched to Pro were the added 'custom watermarks' and 'set prices for profit' for an occasional sale. I have no need for the new $300 Business plan and now the new $150 Portfolio plan doesn't offer what I want.

    Sadly, I will now reassess my needs and probably either downgrade to Power plan or close my account. Big dilemma!

    I'm with you. I'm a hobbyist as well and only sell the occasional sports print to my kids' friends. I don't "earn" enough to even cover the $150 fee. However, in the past that was okay with me because of the customization features of the Pro plan.

    Going forward, I can't justify $300 or $250 per year even though I can easily afford it. I'm not a big space hog at under 8Gb, and don't use the site for storage, just display. Also, a lot of the "new" features don't matter to me as I don't use them. I could probably justify a small increase ($10?), but not that total cost, so at the end of my term I'm outta here.
  • Weather NerdWeather Nerd Big grins Posts: 14Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 2, 2012

    As a matter of fact, one of the reason I did not move to Smugmug Pro earlier was because it was too cheap. That allows too many non-pro or wannabes to use it and affect the level of services I as a pro require.

    Wow, you should probably stay where you are. Those two sentences did not win you any friends here.

    Who said that? Yes they are, but if you cannot afford $100 a year to run your business you are doing something wrong and it is not SMP.

    I am a full time pro and you think my check is steady? lol. I probably has much more expenses than you have. And I am not crying for a $100 increase. lol

    Dude, I am paying $1199 a year for Pictage... So now I will pay $250 a year for roughly the same thing?

    If it does not work for me it does not work and you need to find an alternative that work. Maybe selfhosting is best for you.

    SMPR has an offering. Take or leave it. But stop whinning...

    You're a pro at what? The only thing I've seen you do is call us whiners. Let's get one thing straight, and I mentioned this before, but I think you missed it. I don't blame anyone on my amount of sales, but when sales are slow and SM raises the yearly price, that is a problem.

    Paying $1199 for any photo hosting is ridiculous. If people use it to set themselves apart from the competition they are getting screwed.

    Tell me if I'm wrong here, but your thinking; this is great, because it weeds out the 'lesser' quality photographers? If I am correct that tells me a lot and I will say no more.
  • SventekozSventekoz Major grins Posts: 500Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 2, 2012
    People, people... Stop and take a long breath.... think before writing and making a fool of yourselves.

    I know you are pissed because now you have to pay $100 more a YEAR. Totally understand the discomfort. But I have been reading some arguments that in all honestly are childish and demonstrate that the know very little about running a business.

    Do not shoot from the hip but think before you shoot. Save yourselves from looking foolish.

    Most of you will look back to what they wrote and wonder what they were thinking.

    I was readin what someone wrote. He was very pissed because now, he or she has to pay $100 more a year. Because he is pissed with this outrage he decided to move to Photoshelter. Wait, He is pissed at paying $100 more but is willing to pay $400 more a year just because he is pissed? Don't get it.

    Same with those folks thinking to move to Zenfolio to pay the same to get roughly the same (actually less).


    Smugmug, like myself, we are in the business of making profit. We are not in the giving away stuff. So every company, we included, make decision based in profit.

    Secondly, you need to make a decision based in your business interest and what works for you regardless of price.

    There are thousand of wedding photographers, specially the top ones, willing to pay $1188 a year for Pictage. Why? Because they are foolish? No. Because for them, their business is what work best and what they pay is worth it. It is an investment in their success.

    Both Photoshelter and Zenfolios are great companies and solution. For some they are the best solution regardless if they are more expensive or cheaper than SmugMug Pro.

    As a matter of fact, one of the reason I did not move to Smugmug Pro earlier was because it was too cheap. That allows too many non-pro or wannabes to use it and affect the level of services I as a pro require.

    Your decision HAS to be based on what work best for you regardless of cost. You choose it because it is the best solution for you and you are willing to pay because it is.

    When the dust is settle, you will realize that for a working pro, $100 a year are peanuts and that at $250 Smugmug Pro still a great deal.

    So, do not be a fool, thinck carefully what you will say, and make decisions for your business in what works best regardless of cost.

    The really intriguing thing with your posts is that you don't realise how much of a fool you're being, and how much respect you're losing, by displaying this sort of attitude. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about, so why don't you go and work on your people skills while the adults talk.
    John
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 2, 2012
    WOW! I am not happy with the price increase, who in there right mind would be? But if you have something to say or complain about calling others who may disagree names is not productive or professional.

    If you want to be objective about this and drop the emotion, sit down and make a list of all the features and services that your require, and another list of things you like but aren't an absolute requirement. Now match them up with the photo hosting services commercially available. Compare the features / services of each with their pricing.

    Now you have the facts to make an intelligent informed decision.

    There isn't one service / product in the world that will meet the needs and price points for everybody.

    Sam

    PS: As to the names of the various companies and their perceived impression, who would have thought a company called Apple would have any credibility?
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 2, 2012
    Sam wrote: »

    PS: As to the names of the various companies and their perceived impression, who would have thought a company called Apple would have any credibility?


    The Beatles, but then thats another story, don't cha know!
    tom wise
  • studio12cstudio12c Major grins canadaPosts: 95Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 2, 2012
    Shop around folks, smugmug continues to be the best. You won't get the same support anywhere else. I've been with smugmug for sometime and having nothing bad to say about the service.
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Posts: 1,330Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 2, 2012
    What about hot and cold storage? Smugmug is used for two purposes; online display for customer/family access and backup. Hot storage for online, cold storage via Amazon Glacier for backup that no longer needs to be on line but needs to be archived. Galleries in cold storage could be rotated to hot storage on request if needed, like for a shoot that was done years ago that someone needs few prints from. Glacier is 1/10 the cost of S3.

    onethumb wrote: »
    You nailed this right on the head. We're in active discussions right now, based on all this feedback, about adjustments to the Portfolio account and/or a Hobbyist account, and the only way to make that option viable would be a reasonable, but modest, storage cap in addition to limiting engineering- and support-heavy features like Packages & Event Marketing.

    If such a hypothetical situation were to arise (we've only begun thinking about it today, I'm afraid to admit), what would a reasonable storage cap look like to those who are interested in an account like this?
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Posts: 1,330Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 2, 2012
    Another variation on hot/cold storage. Low res on line for viewing and selection. High res in cold storage sent to printer when prints are needed.
    Dan7312 wrote: »
    What about hot and cold storage? Smugmug is used for two purposes; online display for customer/family access and backup. Hot storage for online, cold storage via Amazon Glacier for backup that no longer needs to be on line but needs to be archived. Galleries in cold storage could be rotated to hot storage on request if needed, like for a shoot that was done years ago that someone needs few prints from. Glacier is 1/10 the cost of S3.
  • DesptachesGalleryDesptachesGallery Grr Despatches Gallery! Posts: 278Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 2, 2012
    onethumb wrote: »
    You nailed this right on the head. We're in active discussions right now, based on all this feedback, about adjustments to the Portfolio account and/or a Hobbyist account, and the only way to make that option viable would be a reasonable, but modest, storage cap in addition to limiting engineering- and support-heavy features like Packages & Event Marketing.

    If such a hypothetical situation were to arise (we've only begun thinking about it today, I'm afraid to admit), what would a reasonable storage cap look like to those who are interested in an account like this?

    I think the main thing to think about here is it would need to be scaleable, so as people's portfolios grow and evolve, they can move to a "next tier" of storage.

    Make sense?
  • DesptachesGalleryDesptachesGallery Grr Despatches Gallery! Posts: 278Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    fbicking wrote: »
    OK so I am a hobbyist that has liked being able to sell photo's. But in all fairness I have only sold about $38 dollars in the past year. I would be fine downgrading to a power account and just selling though a local lab but I have one question. If I go to a power account do I loose all watermarking or just the ability to have a custom watermark? I just don't want people stealing the photo's.

    I would hope that during their rethink, they allow custom watermarking at all levels. We are all online, remember!
  • DesptachesGalleryDesptachesGallery Grr Despatches Gallery! Posts: 278Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    Likewise - digital downloads. Surely that's the way the market is going, so preventing this feature to anyone not on the top plan is a bit strange IMHO. Hope you reconsider this.
  • TalkieTTalkieT Major grins Posts: 491Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    I'm gonna play devils advocate here and say that SM are absolutely right to preserve their e-commerce features for the higher plans only. I define these features as watermarking, sales for profit and all the other things like events, packages etc.

    What's clearly missing is an account between Power and Portfolio. I think they realise this now and we probably have to have a little patience for them to discuss this. Although they have been individually responsive to questions there's every chance they haven't had a chance to sit down and discuss this since they dropped the bomb.

    In my perfect world the following would happen

    Portfolio at $150 would gain the ability to sell for a profit, but drop events and packages.

    Power would either get custom watermarking and stay at $60
    OR
    Power stay as it is at $60 and a new account type at $100 which allows watermarking and digital sales only.

    But what would I know?

    Cheers - N
    --
    http://www.nzsnaps.com (talkiet.smugmug.com)
  • DesptachesGalleryDesptachesGallery Grr Despatches Gallery! Posts: 278Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    N - I guess another option, although probably not preferred from a SM revenue perspective, is a pick and choose - add watermarking for $X, Events for $Y, packages for $Z.

    Difficult to implement I'd have thought, bust Customer friendly, yes. Probably not ideal from a revenue perspective, however.

    Your model sounds promising - I like the digital only - I assume you also mean limited print?

    In order to help them more it would be good to know what their high cost components/services are. I mean, if as existing pros we have access to all the current features, then I don't see breaking this all up would do anyone much good, but it might be something for them to consider for new Customers? That also then runs the risk of multiple offerings across a wide users base.

    A similar discussion is being held on the announcement thread on the SM Blog. A question was just posed along the lines of "Is it about storage or not", and if so, raise the cost of the pros who have high storage use. Seems straightforward - people stay on the old plans in terms of functionality, with an across the board modest increase to cover furutre development costs.

    Occams'z Razor - simplest solution is usually the best.



    Thought I'd toss it in for discussion.
  • darklightphotographydarklightphotography Sad grimace Posts: 45Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    I can live with the increase from a financial point of view, and I think there is enough value in the product to continue, but I am worried about sticking with a company who are giving the appearance of a quick grab for more cash. Everyone can understand a few percent increase each year to cover the myriad costs of running a business, this is in another ballpark, and would not have been done if it were not essential to Smugmug being able to continue. Common sense says that an increase of this magnitude will lose customers, just a question of how many. If the increase paid by the stayers doesn't provide the required cash injection then it's all over. Some may stay for the promised new features, but those like me who waited literally years and years for non $US transactions know that Smugmug have a problem with the gap between promises and delivery. I certainly wont be taking proposed new features into account when making my decision.
  • Light_prodLight_prod Major grins Posts: 127Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    Quick question - If I was to drop down to the basic package, would I love all my current customizations.

    After looking at the price list I can see that the basic doesn't have custom css etc or an easy customizer.
  • jfriendjfriend Scripting dude-volunteer Posts: 8,097Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    Light_prod wrote: »
    Quick question - If I was to drop down to the basic package, would I love all my current customizations.

    After looking at the price list I can see that the basic doesn't have custom css etc or an easy customizer.
    Power has full customizations, but not standard.
    --John
    HomepagePopular
    JFriend's javascript customizationsSecrets for getting fast answers on Dgrin
    Always include a link to your site when posting a question
  • TakeoutphotoTakeoutphoto Beginner grinner Posts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited September 3, 2012
    Features suggestions
    Contrary to users who are thinking about leaving, the price increase made me think about taking better advantage of Smugmug—perhaps attempting to customize it to the point that I could dump my business website to save money there. I've spent all weekend trying to figure out advanced customization tweaks via these forums and the SM blog and I'm still nowhere near what I'd like. I would be thrilled if SM offered some advanced templates for Pro users (i.e. not just the easy customizer tweaks, but the kind of stuff that the non-web designer could cut and paste into the appropriate CSS and Javascript fields). Currently, to get something that approximates what you see on Zenfolio, you have to either pay a web designer or attempt to cobble together code from various tutorials and forum posts. Surely this is something you could provide.

    One other feature that would largely justify the price increase: RAW storage. The ability to store my RAW files in my Pro account (instead of paying extra via Amazon) would further differentiate the top tier Pro level from the Portfolio level.
  • offcamberoffcamber Big grins Posts: 43Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    Just saw the message about the price increase. Just wow. Either they are so bad at running the business that they haven't been keeping up with their costs, or they have just gotten greedy. I've been with Smugmug for more years than I can count, but with the constant service issues they've had over the last year I've seriously been considering switching to something more reliable. I guess I'll spend the next few months before my SM account expires doing some free trials of the competition. I'd expect for serious increases in uptime and stability to be assured with such a price increase, but I see no such guarantees. And as for storage prices going up? Umm, no storage prices are continually going down. They have gone down unbelievably since SM first started their company. The reality is this is G-R-E-E-D and nothing more. It's sad because they have been such a wonderful company up til now. I have sent so many folks there way that have become customers of theirs, at least 6 that I know of since December. Sad.
  • johnlogukjohnloguk johnloguk Posts: 137Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    offcamber wrote: »
    Just saw the message about the price increase. Just wow. Either they are so bad at running the business that they haven't been keeping up with their costs, or they have just gotten greedy. I've been with Smugmug for more years than I can count, but with the constant service issues they've had over the last year I've seriously been considering switching to something more reliable. I guess I'll spend the next few months before my SM account expires doing some free trials of the competition. I'd expect for serious increases in uptime and stability to be assured with such a price increase, but I see no such guarantees. And as for storage prices going up? Umm, no storage prices are continually going down. They have gone down unbelievably since SM first started their company. The reality is this is G-R-E-E-D and nothing more. It's sad because they have been such a wonderful company up til now. I have sent so many folks there way that have become customers of theirs, at least 6 that I know of since December. Sad.

    There are various wonderful conspiracy theories about this, including that Smug are deliberately trying to get rid of a lot of people to reduce the bandwidth costs. To deliberately set out to lose customers seems too mad even for Smug, and they have made some strange decisions in recent years.

    To make such a desperate price increase like this, with the obvious predicted reaction from customers, can mean only one thing, that Smug are in deep financial trouble and desperate for a quick cash injection. They could easily have made smaller increases over the years, but presumably didn't feel the need to. So what has happened recently to change that? Either something totally unforeseen has come up, or someone has messed up big time in the accounts department?

    Whatever, this is just the latest cock-up by Smug. Their once peerless customer service has been going downhill for some time now. The "maintenance windows" have got longer and the site has been down more and more. The much vaunted "great leap forward update" is still a long way away after two years at least of publicity. More and more the wonderful Heroes are unable to solve issues. More and more we're left to feel that problems are our fault rather than Smug's. I can't remember the last update that was even remotely relevant to me, they all seem aimed at techie nerds, not real photographers.

    Like many people I'd just about had enough of Smug before this bombshell, now we're called "cry babies" for not welcoming this insane price increase. OK, the Smug cheerleaders can stay if they want, but those of us that live in the real world will be looking at our options.
  • GRBlizzGRBlizz Major grins Posts: 109Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    TalkieT wrote: »
    I'm gonna play devils advocate here and say that SM are absolutely right to preserve their e-commerce features for the higher plans only. I define these features as watermarking, sales for profit and all the other things like events, packages etc.

    What's clearly missing is an account between Power and Portfolio. I think they realise this now and we probably have to have a little patience for them to discuss this. Although they have been individually responsive to questions there's every chance they haven't had a chance to sit down and discuss this since they dropped the bomb.

    In my perfect world the following would happen

    Portfolio at $150 would gain the ability to sell for a profit, but drop events and packages.

    Power would either get custom watermarking and stay at $60
    OR
    Power stay as it is at $60 and a new account type at $100 which allows watermarking and digital sales only.

    But what would I know?

    Cheers - N

    I like these ideas! I hope that Don and Chris see them through all the complaining and conspiracy theories. May we add a "self-fulfill" option to the request list, hopefully at Portfolio? My customers (parents at church) spend more for postage than either SM or we receive, and I would rather raise our prices a little, have them printed locally, and let them pick up the prints at church - then everyone wins except the USPS.
  • DogdotsDogdots Major grins Posts: 8,777Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    GRBlizz wrote: »
    I like these ideas! I hope that Don and Chris see them through all the complaining and conspiracy theories. May we add a "self-fulfill" option to the request list, hopefully at Portfolio? My customers (parents at church) spend more for postage than either SM or we receive, and I would rather raise our prices a little, have them printed locally, and let them pick up the prints at church - then everyone wins except the USPS.

    I've been hearing people mention 'self-fulfill' ... I don't know what that means in the sense of how that works. Could someone let me know the particulars of the process.

    Thanks :D
  • GRBlizzGRBlizz Major grins Posts: 109Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    Dogdots wrote: »
    I've been hearing people mention 'self-fulfill' ... I don't know what that means in the sense of how that works. Could someone let me know the particulars of the process.

    Thanks :D

    Customers order through your SmugMug site, but you get the photos printed locally and deliver them to the customer. Basically, an easier way of customer telling you what they want than an email. I imagine it's mostly needed by high end wedding photographers who want to check every print and deliver it themselves. But it's also a great option for a sports team, church, or other local organization, where people order 1-3 prints at a time - and where local pickup would be convenient for the customers. Grandparents and other remote customers could still use mail order.

    At least that's my thought. I think those of us who shoot youth sports would sell a lot more if parents didn't have to pay $2-3 in postage for one $2.00 print.
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    Dogdots wrote: »
    I've been hearing people mention 'self-fulfill' ... I don't know what that means in the sense of how that works. Could someone let me know the particulars of the process.

    Thanks :D

    It means just what it says. Self-fulfill, customer places the order with SmugMug through our website, SmugMug collects the money (processes the credit card) and notifies us that an order has been placed. We / I / you then ether print it ourselves or go to a local lab and have it printed. We are responsible for the printing and shipping.

    Sam
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USAPosts: 8,959Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    Dogdots wrote: »
    I've been hearing people mention 'self-fulfill' ... I don't know what that means in the sense of how that works. Could someone let me know the particulars of the process.

    Thanks :D
    GRBlizz wrote: »
    Customers order through your SmugMug site, but you get the photos printed locally and deliver them to the customer. Basically, an easier way of customer telling you what they want than an email. I imagine it's mostly needed by high end wedding photographers who want to check every print and deliver it themselves. But it's also a great option for a sports team, church, or other local organization, where people order 1-3 prints at a time - and where local pickup would be convenient for the customers. Grandparents and other remote customers could still use mail order.

    At least that's my thought. I think those of us who shoot youth sports would sell a lot more if parents didn't have to pay $2-3 in postage for one $2.00 print.

    This is all possible already but SM loses any commission because you have to use PayPal or Google Check out for shopping carts, which means some more code customization but it can be done even with the lowly POWER accounts as they are still completely customizable....You would be able to ship most prints as 1st class or parcel post or even media mail for those shipping disks and such.....a little more work for those that did not come up from the PRE ONLINE ordering day or never used film ... .... ... and it can make the customer feel like they are being given a special treatment as it is much more personal... of course zen already has paypal integration and self fulfillment built in... I probably will be down grading to a
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USAPosts: 8,959Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    Dogdots wrote: »
    I've been hearing people mention 'self-fulfill' ... I don't know what that means in the sense of how that works. Could someone let me know the particulars of the process.

    Thanks :D
    GRBlizz wrote: »
    Customers order through your SmugMug site, but you get the photos printed locally and deliver them to the customer. Basically, an easier way of customer telling you what they want than an email. I imagine it's mostly needed by high end wedding photographers who want to check every print and deliver it themselves. But it's also a great option for a sports team, church, or other local organization, where people order 1-3 prints at a time - and where local pickup would be convenient for the customers. Grandparents and other remote customers could still use mail order.

    At least that's my thought. I think those of us who shoot youth sports would sell a lot more if parents didn't have to pay $2-3 in postage for one $2.00 print.

    This is all possible already but SM loses any commission because you have to use PayPal or Google Check out for shopping carts, which means some more code customization but it can be done even with the lowly POWER accounts as they are still completely customizable....You would be able to ship most prints as 1st class or parcel post or even media mail for those shipping disks and such.....a little more work for those that did not come up from the PRE ONLINE ordering days or never used film ... .... ... and it can make the customer feel like they are being given a special treatment as it is much more personal... of course zen already has paypal integration and self fulfillment built in...

    I probably will be down grading to a POWER ACCOUNT just for the reason mentioned above... ...

    I feel they have not been growing as fast as they were and I base this solely on the use of my discount code......in the 1st 3 yrs the discount code usage nearly paid for my acct renewal but in the past 2 it hasn't even gotten close and this yr there are absolutley no refferal credits waiting to be used.....and with that code being in the Siggy on several of my forum accounts and other places there should be a few, but there are none....so I say they are on a $$$$$$$ decline of income based on this
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • DogdotsDogdots Major grins Posts: 8,777Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    GRBlizz wrote: »
    Customers order through your SmugMug site, but you get the photos printed locally and deliver them to the customer. Basically, an easier way of customer telling you what they want than an email. I imagine it's mostly needed by high end wedding photographers who want to check every print and deliver it themselves. But it's also a great option for a sports team, church, or other local organization, where people order 1-3 prints at a time - and where local pickup would be convenient for the customers. Grandparents and other remote customers could still use mail order.

    At least that's my thought. I think those of us who shoot youth sports would sell a lot more if parents didn't have to pay $2-3 in postage for one $2.00 print.

    Thank you for the explanation. I can see where the self fulfillment would be great for those that sell from events/weddings and such. When ever I have sales off my site they're far away so this wouldn't be an option for me. But then again .. it could be too. Might open up sales closer to home if it was something I could offer. Certainly something to think about.

    Thanks again for the explanation :D
  • DogdotsDogdots Major grins Posts: 8,777Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    Sam wrote: »
    It means just what it says. Self-fulfill, customer places the order with SmugMug through our website, SmugMug collects the money (processes the credit card) and notifies us that an order has been placed. We / I / you then ether print it ourselves or go to a local lab and have it printed. We are responsible for the printing and shipping.

    Sam

    Howdy Sam ..

    Thank you for letting me know smug would handle the money end. I was wondering how that would work. I can see it being very beneficial for local even photographers. For me tho .. it would just cost me more.

    Thanks Sam :D
  • DogdotsDogdots Major grins Posts: 8,777Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    Art Scott wrote: »
    This is all possible already but SM loses any commission because you have to use PayPal or Google Check out for shopping carts, which means some more code customization but it can be done even with the lowly POWER accounts as they are still completely customizable....You would be able to ship most prints as 1st class or parcel post or even media mail for those shipping disks and such.....a little more work for those that did not come up from the PRE ONLINE ordering days or never used film ... .... ... and it can make the customer feel like they are being given a special treatment as it is much more personal... of course zen already has paypal integration and self fulfillment built in...

    I probably will be down grading to a POWER ACCOUNT just for the reason mentioned above... ...

    I feel they have not been growing as fast as they were and I base this solely on the use of my discount code......in the 1st 3 yrs the discount code usage nearly paid for my acct renewal but in the past 2 it hasn't even gotten close and this yr there are absolutley no refferal credits waiting to be used.....and with that code being in the Siggy on several of my forum accounts and other places there should be a few, but there are none....so I say they are on a $$$$$$$ decline of income based on this

    Thanks for the info Art. As mentioned before .. I'll have to think this one out. I don't have paypay or Google Check. I'm way behind the times rolleyes1.gifI laugh, but I do need to learn.

    Never used my discount code. Guess that too is something I should of been doing.

    Hopefully not to many will be upset I got this thread off track for a moment. For those that are .. I'm sorry, but I really needed to know what this all meant.

    Thanks :D
  • florindoflorindo Just a Hack Posts: 11Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    While I do shoot for profit, I do not consider myself a pro in that I do not derive all or the majority of my income from my photography. I am not sure what this increase means to me yet, but for the SM execs who may be reading this, here's my position. But first, I must say that I very much admire the SmugMug company itself - I like the communications from the ownership, I like the thought leadership, and I like the support mechanisms in place. Andy Williams, with whom I've gone shooting and taught me a thing or two, led me to SmugMug years ago and I joined based on his recommendation. I figured if all of SmugMug were like him, they must be good. I sincerely mean no offense, but over the years it seems to me that really smart technical people started the company and designed the service, and there hasn't been enough really smart business influence. The structure, features and overall look-and-feel of the service is more technical-friendly than business-friendly.

    1) SmugMug is like the Linux desktop - powerful, arguably better than the competition in stability and other features, etc., but it is not user-friendly. SmugMug is entirely too complex, and the information I want is not logically presented. I'm trying to find out what date I joined SmugMug and it's not in the most logical place - my profile. How about a centralized master dashboard with tabs for everything I need? The Account Settings dashboard is a good start, but it doesn't present the information in the Tools > My Account menu in a consistent way. Combine everything into one tabbed dashboard.

    2) SmugMug is horrendous for customizing a site. As someone posted earlier, SmugMug does not offer a way for me to customize my site easily enough. Instead, I have to pour through pages and pages of Dgrin to find snippets for what I need, and then I need to master CSS and other HTML stuff. My primary occupation is in technology but I am not a web developer and I can't justify paying a pro developer to customize my site for me. The "Easy Customizer" is not the solution - it seems to me that it tries to dumb down the process too much and therefore doesn't do what I need it to do. How about giving me an interface from which I can customize my site as I see fit? Maybe license a popular web customization tool for our use? Also, I've looked at a bunch of pro sites and in each case the SmugMug framework is evident in some way. I fully support SmugMug branding being included, but it's the gallery structure that bothers me. I don't like it and I want to fully customize my site so that I don't have to see it at the UI level. Underneath the covers is fine, but not where the public can see it. Let me structure it my way. If this is already possible, give me clear directions in one place on how to do it.

    3) I love being able to store my photos at SmugMug. I have 21.1 GB stored right now, and I want to keep and increase it. Give me market pricing for tiered storage (25GB, 50GB, etc.), and I'll pay it. In fact, if the price is competitive I will store the original RAW files of the shots I've printed/displayed at SmugMug. If you want me to use Amazon's cloud for storage, make it seamless for me where I just upload it to SmugMug and you pass it on to the Amazon cloud. This pass-through is not a showstopper as long as you give me some sort of integration. In other words, I like storing my photos at SmugMug because it is not a separate storage service (e.g., Dropbox) I have to use separately. I like the one interface.

    4) I haven't sold any prints since I've joined SmugMug since I've charged my customers directly for CDs of the images. I've been considering using it for selling my landscape prints, since today I don't accept credit cards personally but people have asked me to. But if you don't derive enough profit from my low sales, move me into another tier for lower sales. For example, maybe the top tier is for sales of $25,000 or more, another tier for $10,000 to $24,999, etc., and charge accordingly so that you earn the margin you need. I don't anticipate using any of the features you currently provide (watermarking and all the rest that I don't even know about), so a lower tier than Pro probably makes sense for me.

    One thing I am confident of, SmugMug will do the right thing. The sudden doubling of fees is obviously profit-driven, and having been an investor in a young company I suspect the company's multiple is not where it needs to be for whatever exit strategy SmugMug execs have in mind. The price increase makes sense, but the services currently offered do not justify the new cost structure. It's time for SmugMug to seriously consider a major overhaul of operations and re-think their strategy. Whatever happens, I'm sticking with SmugMug in one way or another.
    _________
    Florindo
    www.bellacosaphotography.com
    florindo.smugmug.com
  • kris10kris10 PROcrastinator Posts: 181Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2012
    I haven't read all of this but I read plenty on my email and on the blog. So disappointed. I'm a creature of habit and I'm not happy about having to go elsewhere. I don't think I've even sold $50 worth of product on my Smugmug and don't believe I'll be able to justify another $100. I have a question though. How do I find out what my renewal date is? I know it's in October but I can't remember what date in October. I am trying to decide if I need to frantically find someone else to go to before my renewal or if I have a little time. I believe my renewal is before October 15th which would mean I should still just be charged the same $150 until next renewal. That would give me plenty of time to get my stuff off of Smugmug and look elsewhere. Man this sucks so bad all around. :-S
    * My Mug *

    ~ * ~ Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young ~ * ~
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