Pro Account increase

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Comments

  • davet01davet01 Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
    edited September 4, 2012
    smugMug increase
    I am a professional and have been with SmugMug for some time. If you are using SmugMug to sell your product, you will have to go with their Pro account because the basic account will only allow you and your customers to purchase prints at cost. You can't markup pricing to your customers now at that level. You only get at-cost pricing and watermarking of your images which is not very useful for someone trying to make income with photography.

    Their*rationale for drastically increased prices, they say, is to provide better services in the future for their*customers.*I think they got it wrong. Why should loyal customers, who have made SmugMug the successful company that they are pay in advance for "Promised" services they may or may not*be able to deliver?*

    Either SmugMug*hasn't done a good job of thinking this through or there is more to this then they are telling us. The people that this really hurts,( i.e. those doing part-time photography or those really struggling to make ends meet) is the smaller customer because they will find it difficult to*absorb*the price increase. And frankly, these people don't use that much of SmugMug's bandwidth and storage anyway. It's the established pros and video providers who are allowed to upload*unlimited*numbers of high-res images and HD video which takes massive*bandwidth*and storage. Why isn't SmugMug charging those users a premium because they use more resources than others who use less resources but still need the ability to have the ecommerce use of SmugMug?

    I'm one of the lucky ones because my renewal date is in less than two weeks, so I can get another year at the existing rates. But I'm really annoyed and disturbed how this was thrown on loyal SmugMug users so I'm not likely to renew with them. There are plenty of other companies that provide similar and even better solutions than SmugMug before their*outrageous*price increase. Several postings have said Zenfolio has been more than happy to give new customers a 20% discount to former SmugMug users. I'm sure SmugMug's competition is having a field day with their recent news.

    In the end, you need to determine what level of service you need and do you buy into smugMug's*promise*of future improvements which you are paying for in advance.*

    My feeling is that for a company to make such as drastic price increase, which*they*must have known would*infuriate*their existing customer base might indicate these possibilities:

    The MacAskill family wants to steak instead of chicken.
    The company is heading for*financial*trouble.
    They don't want to deal with the small customer*because*they don't generate enough revenue so they are changing their business model to provide a higher revenue stream.

    Whatever is going on behind the scenes, if you are using SmugMug now or in the future, you might want to make sure you have your original material saved somewhere other than on their servers. If you don't you might want to consider downloading to a safe place in case the family-owned company becomes a thing of the past as so many others before them. From your SmugMug gallery go to Tools drop-down, This Gallery, Download All setting to save your pictures to your hard drive.
  • PhotoPsychPhotoPsych Big grins Registered Users Posts: 14 Big grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    Downloading Current Smugmug Galleries and Images
    Here are two questions regarding Downloading/Transfering current galleries to another service:
    I have spent the last 7 years captioning countless images, and describing my many galleries, sometimes in great detail. I am strongly considering moving to Zenfolio by using a service such as "Upload Junction."
    Question #1: Are ONLY my images downloaded, or are the captions also included?
    Question #2: Do the gallery descriptions download/transfer, or is there a way to do this so I don't have to re-write all of them? Any help or advice is greatly appreciated......
    Karl Tepfer :(:
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,330 Major grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    They seem to transfer. It won't cost you anything to try it out on a trial account at Z and see if it works for your galleries. My images have caption data in the image so I don't know if the transfer software was picking up the SmugMug caption or it was just Z grabbing it from the metadata.

    The transfer is progressive, that is you don't have to wait for the entire transfer to complete to see the results.

    PhotoPsych wrote: »
    Here are two questions regarding Downloading/Transfering current galleries to another service:
    I have spent the last 7 years captioning countless images, and describing my many galleries, sometimes in great detail. I am strongly considering moving to Zenfolio by using a service such as "Upload Junction."
    Question #1: Are ONLY my images downloaded, or are the captions also included?
    Question #2: Do the gallery descriptions download/transfer, or is there a way to do this so I don't have to re-write all of them? Any help or advice is greatly appreciated......
    Karl Tepfer :(:
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft GWC for hire Portland.ME.USARegistered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    Dogdots wrote: »
    Please know I'm saying this in the kindest tone and with sincerity. Those that know me .. I know you know that :D

    Ouch .. I think that question hurts a lot of us Pro account users. We're hobbyist, photographers tying to get a foot in the door or seeing if we can actually sell any of our photos. Testing the waters so to speak. So we're not selling a lot nor making a lot of money.

    I get the whole just-starting-out thing and the hobbyist/part-timer thing. I am a part-timer myself. But I didn't get a pro account until I figured it was possible it was going to pay for itself. I agree we have identified a gap in services that needs to be filled with a limited account at the $150 level that can set prices and make profit.
    I didn't know that I had to be a Pro or event photographer to have that account. I thought I was able to look over the services they offered and chose which I would like to purchase based on what I wanted.

    Of course, if the novelty of selling a few photos and making about $50 (per kris10) is worth paying $150 for the chance, that is your prerogative. But if that is the case, then a $100 increase over the course of a year seems like it shouldn't be such a big deal to someone who was already willing to lose $100 on hosting.

    Whatever, it seems everyone has acknowledged the gap in services, including SmugMug, so I think it will be addressed. We shall see if the $250 or $300 price point is sustainable. I bet it is.
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft GWC for hire Portland.ME.USARegistered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    PhotoPsych wrote: »

    I have spent the last 7 years captioning countless images, and describing my many galleries, sometimes in great detail. I am strongly considering moving to Zenfolio by using a service such as

    So let me get this straight... you have been using a service which you have been satisfied with and which has supported you and given you a quality product for 7 years with never a price increase, and now that they need to charge you another $8.67 a month, you are going to kick them to the curb? I don't get it.
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • daylightimagesdaylightimages Major grins Registered Users Posts: 130 Major grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    As fate would have it, I got an email from Mpix/Zenfolio today, and so I checked them out. My SmugMug sales are very hit-and-miss. One year I might do a few thousand dollars, most years I don't even get a 1099 generated. Does it pay for itself over the long haul? Yes....

    So it comes down to staying with SmugMug at what will ultimately reach $300/year or going to Zenfolio at $250/year (if they don't spring a price increase on everyone). $50 a year... So here's what I know --1) I get superior customer service at SmugMug. 2) Time is money. If I value my own free time at $25/hr (I do all my website work on my own time) and it takes me 20 hours to rebuild my portfolio over at Zenfolio, that means my time would be valued at $500 (or roughly ten years worth of price differential). Do I want to spend 20 hours on a project whose expenses I won't recoup for ten years? Not really.

    So, bottom line is I'm probably going to stay at SmugMug. The only way I'd get the investment on my time back from a move to Zenfolio would be if they gave me my first two years for free...

    If the customer service was bad here, the story would be substantially different.
    Steve Barry
    The Railroad Photographer
    www.railroadphotographer.com
  • PilotBradPilotBrad Major grins Registered Users Posts: 339 Major grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    I am simply a hobbyist who occasionally sells a print and don't really *need* all the features of a Pro level account, so I will be downgrading to the Portfolio level. However, there is one thing about all of this that I am confused about and I have written SM to request a feature which might help with the transition.

    For people like myself who will downgrade from Pro to Portfolio, SmugMug seems to have made it more difficult for me and in the process they have potentially cut themselves and their printing partners off from a potential source of revenue.

    As I understand it, if Portfolio level account holder wants to sell a print for profit, they will need to have it printed at a lab of their choosing and fulfill the order themselves. That's fine, but why not make it easier on account holders by providing us with the capability or choice to turn on printing (display the "Buy" button) only for ourselves.

    This would allow us to order our own prints at the default pricing (shipped to ourselves), then sell those physical prints on our own at whatever markup we feel appropriate. This would make it a lot easier on account owners and would allow you to keep the printing at a SM partner lab (and allow them to earn the revenue). If I have to have to upload and order it myself, I am likely to select a different lab altogether (e.g. Mpix, Adorama, etc.).

    Yes I know you can do this today (sort of), but you have to upload the photos to a second private gallery which only you have access to and where printing is turned on, or you must go direct to Bay Photo for example. It would just be easier to have the ability to order anything I want right from my site (as owner) without having to activate printing for everyone or upload the same photo elsewhere.
  • Rogue 1Rogue 1 Nothing to see here Here and thereRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 150 Major grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    PilotBrad wrote: »

    Yes I know you can do this today (sort of), but you have to upload the photos to a second private gallery which only you have access to and where printing is turned on, or you must go direct to Bay Photo for example. It would just be easier to have the ability to order anything I want right from my site (as owner) without having to activate printing for everyone or upload the same photo elsewhere.

    I'll pass that on, Brad - sounds like an 'owner buy' button, similar to the 'owner share' button might be a good option...

    In the interim, you do have an in-between on the way you presented the issue.

    No need to upload to another gallery OR make purchases available to all -

    SImply LOCK the gallery temporarily, add the items to the cart, remove the password. I agree, not as elegant as an owner-buy, but it does work.
  • shniksshniks The Light Explorer Registered Users Posts: 937 Major grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    Totally agree...
    oh man...

    You don't have to go elsewhere. You can drop to an appropriate level of service.
    Then why were you paying $150/yr for a Pro account in the first place?

    I don't understand this sense of entitlement that is dripping all over this thread. Guess what, SmugMug is a business. In order to operate, they need to make a PROFIT. Contrary to popular ignorance, that is not a dirty word. If they do not make more money than it costs them to run the business, your SmugMug galleries are all going away. They should have done it differently, yes, but we have all been getting a free ride for several years. There is no reason to expect it to continue.


    For the past 7 years, all of use have been getting a free ride. Some people are saying that SM should have increased prices by a little annually so the sticker shock wasn't so great. By that logic they would still be at the same price they want to charge us. But we benefited by having a flat rate for the past 7 years.

    I also agree that if someone finds an additional $100 a year too much, then they need to re-organize their business or just drop the pro account (or if they want, move to a cheaper alternative). I am quite certain that other sites like Zenfolio etc are going to have a price increase very soon to be at parity with SM.

    From my perspective, $250 a year is still a steal for what SM offers. My site is fully customized (you would not know it's SM) - this level of customization, support and features are not available anywhere else at this price. I definitely am staying with SM. mwink.gif


    Cheers,
  • PhotoPsychPhotoPsych Big grins Registered Users Posts: 14 Big grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    False Assumptions
    Originally posted by jmphotocraft
    So let me get this straight... you have been using a service which you have been satisfied with and which has supported you and given you a quality product for 7 years with never a price increase, and now that they need to charge you another $8.67 a month, you are going to kick them to the curb? I don't get it.
    __________________

    Jack...let me help you "get this straight." You appear to be making a number of assumptions which are clearly, in my case, false. First of all you state I have been "satisfied with the service for the past 7 years." Yes, the one or two instances when I contacted service they were of assistance.

    The assumption of "quality of product" is inaccurate. Actually, I had no intention of switching to any other service provider, but have found, over the last few years, that Smugmug was appearing extremely "stogy" and I have not been satisfied with the appearance of my particular site, and have been told by a number of potential customers that it was not user friendly regarding both navigation and purchasing. Unlike many others on this forum, I am NOT at all well-versed in "<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:stockticker>CSS</st1:stockticker>" nor "HTML" therefore early on, in Smugmug, I barely taught myself enough to format my site as best I could....have a look...bulky navigation bars up top, etc.

    For a few years I have wanted to re-do my site so it would have a full page opening slideshow. Unfortunately, even a brief glimpse at jfriend's instructions were overly intimidating and I was fearful of totally destroying my entire site, since, as stated, I know virtually nothing about coding, etc.

    Unlike many others here, who appear to devote a great deal of time and effort posting/helping/criticizing others I devote every spare moment to actually capturing what I consider high quality images. (Feel free to have a look at my gallery, the link IS listed...simply watch the opening slideshow for an overview of my work.) I also sell images in a number of retail shops, etc. but am hoping to increase my online sales.
    Your most flawed assumption is the monetary aspect where you announced that I was kicking Smug "to the curb" for $8.67/month. Since I want to waste no additional time in this discussion I will not bother to do the math but assume you factored in that I am "grandfathered" in so the price increase is actually LESS for me/year.

    Ok Jack....sit tight for this one: I donate every penny I make from my modest photo sales to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I have been doing so for a number of years, but recently have been telling some of my "fans" and posted online (elsewhere) that a I was going to be making a "big announcement" regarding my photo sales-i.e. announce the donation aspect. When the Smugmug price increase came out and I kept hearing about this "Zenfolio" I had a look out of curiosity. They appear to provide pre-formatted, full page slideshows, as well as much more modern appearing and user-friendly opening pages. Based upon this, (and NOT THE $8.67/month) I have been strongly considering switching. I did look into some of the site "customizers" recommended by Smugmug, but their costs appear to start at nearly $400! Since you appear to be a math whiz, perhaps you will realize that simply switching to Zenfolio will result in a net $$ gain for me (not having to pay for a customization which already exists and is waiting) and therefore more money available to donate to the cause I have selected.

    In closing, let me re-state the initial question: Does anyone know if/how to move my galleries/captions/keywords to Zenfolio without re-doing each and every gallery separately? Any help/guidance is greatly appreciated.
  • NikonGirlNikonGirl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 204 Major grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    For me, it's OK
    When I first read the email about the increase, my initial reaction was mild compared to how I felt after reading the comments on the blog. I admit I got swept up in the drama and started feeling the same outrage as everyone else. But once I stepped back and really analyzed the situation, I felt differently. Smugmug is a business and, as with any business, they are entitled to increase their prices. Customers can then decide whether the value of the services a business provides is worth the cost.

    It's so simple, it's scary.

    Rather than get caught up in all the outrage, the drama, etc., I felt it made more sense to simply decide if the cost of the services Smugmug provides me is worth it.

    I'm an average photography, but a lousy business person. I give away my pictures all the time, to family and friends. My Smugmug pictures were priced at barely above cost; my main goal initially was just to determine if I could sell any pictures. Without the Pro account, people could buy my pictures and I would never know. And darn it, I wanted to know! So I kept my Pro account for that one little feature. Yep, that's the truth. Stupid, huh?

    Anyway, life happens and even though photography is still my passion, I had to set it aside for other things. I have hundreds of photos on my computer which I have yet to upload to Smugmug.

    Still, I kept paying the $99 for the Pro account and every once in a while, a picture would sell or someone would make a positive comment on my picture. It made me feel good, and sometimes during a down time, it was just what I needed.

    I know I'm rambling, and I apologize. But the recent price increase made me reassess everything. I can't pay an extra $100 to "feel good". So I made the decision to downgrade to Power and I may even downgrade to Basic. The only thing stopping me right now is the few Christmas videos I've uploaded. If I downgrade to Basic, I probably have to remove them. Smugmug is making less money off of me, and that doesn't really make sense to me, but I do think they're okay with that.

    I guess what I just want to say is I'm okay with the price increase because it was actually a good thing for me. I'm saving $40/year and I'll use it to buy my mom lunch (she's been cancer-free for 2 years, now that's something to celebrate!).

    Meanwhile, if I thought Smugmug was providing me with a value product, I would have paid the price. They're a business, they can make a profit. I can't get hurt feelings over it, they don't owe me anything other than to continue to provide a product, which I can decided at any time if it's worth it.

    I think they knew people would leave. They're expecting an exodus of customers to competitors. That's their problem, they have to deal with it. For me, I just need to decide what's best for me. And I did. I'm staying, but I downgraded.

    And I'll ask one more time, Smugmug, I don't need to make a profit when I sell a picture, but it sure would be nice to just know when I do. Can you make it happen? :)
  • Rogue 1Rogue 1 Nothing to see here Here and thereRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 150 Major grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    NikonGirl wrote: »
    So I made the decision to downgrade to Power and I may even downgrade to Basic. The only thing stopping me right now is the few Christmas videos I've uploaded. If I downgrade to Basic, I probably have to remove them.

    And I'll ask one more time, Smugmug, I don't need to make a profit when I sell a picture, but it sure would be nice to just know when I do. Can you make it happen? :)

    Hiya NikonGirl -

    First, if you decide to downgrade to BASIC, no worries, your current videos will be fine, you just won't have the option to load more of them. thumb.gif

    And I'll pass your suggestions about sales notifications for consumer accounts up the line.
  • renstarrenstar loading... Registered Users Posts: 167 Major grins
    edited September 4, 2012
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    Hiya NikonGirl -

    First, if you decide to downgrade to BASIC, no worries, your current videos will be fine, you just won't have the option to load more of them. thumb.gif

    And I'll pass your suggestions about sales notifications for consumer accounts up the line.

    To everyone requesting this, I wouldn't count on anything. That feature request is at least 6 years old: http://dgrin.com/showthread.php?p=230049#post230049

    (Side note: man was I naive back then...no way was I ever going to "randomly" sell anything...)

    (Side side note: If I was notified, it would have spoiled a large print my wife (then GF) bought of one of my photos as an anniversary present. I'm actually glad I wasn't notified.)
  • nigelbbnigelbb Major grins Registered Users Posts: 26 Big grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    shniks wrote: »
    From my perspective, $250 a year is still a steal for what SM offers. My site is fully customized (you would not know it's SM) - this level of customization, support and features are not available anywhere else at this price. I definitely am staying with SM. mwink.gif
    That really is a great looking site with some great photography. You wouldn't know that it's SmugMug at all unless you view the source HTML. How much effort went into creating that site? Did you do it yourself or hire someone.
  • rainforest1155rainforest1155 SmugMug Support Hero Registered Users Posts: 4,526 Major grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    pgman wrote: »
    For example: Both Firefox 14 and 15: the HTML5 uploads work on Windows 7 but for the same versions HTML5 does not work on Linux/Ubuntu. Why? Because you are enabling HTML5 only for specific browsers/OS combinations. I thought the the Internet (remember the Information Super Highway created by Al Gore) was supposed to OS and browser independent.
    I downloaded the latest Ubuntu 12.04 live cd, booted it up in my VMWare and in the Firefox 14.0.1 that came with it, the html5 uploader worked fine right out of the box.

    I suggest that you contact our HelpDesk for troubleshooting.
    Include details on what addons / extensions you use in your Firefox.

    Can you try Google Chrome to see if the issue might be limited to your Firefox?
    Sebastian
    SmugMug Support Hero
  • rhommelrhommel Major grins Registered Users Posts: 306 Major grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    I have a business account until April of next year.. I have 3 choices.

    1 Stay with SM and pay for the Business
    2 Stay with SM and downgrade to portfolio
    3 Leave Smugmug
  • RKnechtRKnecht Major grins Registered Users Posts: 366 Major grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    shniks wrote: »
    For the past 7 years, all of use have been getting a free ride. Some people are saying that SM should have increased prices by a little annually so the sticker shock wasn't so great. By that logic they would still be at the same price they want to charge us. But we benefited by having a flat rate for the past 7 years.

    I also agree that if someone finds an additional $100 a year too much, then they need to re-organize their business or just drop the pro account (or if they want, move to a cheaper alternative). I am quite certain that other sites like Zenfolio etc are going to have a price increase very soon to be at parity with SM.

    From my perspective, $250 a year is still a steal for what SM offers. My site is fully customized (you would not know it's SM) - this level of customization, support and features are not available anywhere else at this price. I definitely am staying with SM. mwink.gif


    Cheers,

    Well said. BTW, your site looks fantastic! Well done.
    A few Nikon bodies and some fast Nikon glass

    www.richknechtphotography.com
  • EEFASEEFAS Photographer Registered Users Posts: 23 Big grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    I have read a bunch of this - here & elsewhere. I do not get how this is a "huge" increase for the services SM provides. Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited uploads, unlimited galleries, FULL HD streaming w/ full IOS capability, flawless embedding, and they can handle volume views. My clients download 52"x78" images from the unlisted galleries every day. Have been here since April and have over 5k photos/vids with over 45k views, 95% are in unlisted galleries and are approaching 50GB of storage - we will double that before the end of the year. Streamed & embedded HD is the future IMO - and it's a HUGE part of my business. Has anyone actually looked at real costs for this elsewhere? BrightCove cannot even stream full HD and IOS is yet another charge (they stream standard def). Go over your allocated bandwidth and everyone else screws ya for major coin. I have never sold a print thru SM - nor do I intend to. If clients need prints we have 2x 44" imagers for that. Print used to be a large part of the operation - but streamed Media & embedding is the future IMO/E.

    I see a lot of bashing but not a lot of price comparison. Please look @ BrightCove, Sprout, Rackspace etc - look at their fee structure, the fact that they suck & be happy SM is such a kickin deal. I am & I'm staying put.
  • shniksshniks The Light Explorer Registered Users Posts: 937 Major grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    nigelbb wrote: »
    That really is a great looking site with some great photography. You wouldn't know that it's SmugMug at all unless you view the source HTML. How much effort went into creating that site? Did you do it yourself or hire someone.


    Hi Nigel,


    Thanks for the feedback. I created this site myself. I did not have an iota of knowledge about CSS, HTML etc. I would conceptualize what I wanted for each page (like the gallery icons) and then ask in the Dgrin forums how I could achieve that. The awesome volunteers like Allen, John (jfriend) etc would guide me and then I would do it myself. It really is not that hard.

    I would say it took me around 60 to 70 hours of total work to get it to where it is now. One could argue and say that is my time spent, but I did enjoy doing it myself as it gave me a certain level of satisfaction. :D


    Cheers,
  • ThreeGuysPhotographyThreeGuysPhotography Big grins Registered Users Posts: 65 Big grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    shniks wrote: »
    From my perspective, $250 a year is still a steal for what SM offers. My site is fully customized (you would not know it's SM) - this level of customization, support and features are not available anywhere else at this price. I definitely am staying with SM. mwink.gif


    Cheers,

    This post sums up how I feel. I'm pretty sure I would have a hard time finding a host with the same features on the backend and the ability to customize my UI as much as I have done with my site. I just renewed so I don't have to decide for a year, but even if I had to renew at the new price now I still think I would stay.
  • Weather NerdWeather Nerd Big grins Registered Users Posts: 14 Big grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    It appears to me that everyone making money has no problem with the price increase, and the talk of Gig caps are a touchy subject. For those of us trying to get established (lesser, ignorant photographers, shitty business persons as some of you want to call us) we, at least myself, use all the tools and am very grateful for them. The coupons are great for promotion! I don't make my own prints and rely on SM and Bay Photo. Call me ignorant, but that allows me to not have as much over head. We all know that in the end, SM is by far the best. I really want to stay, I've put a lot of time in the two short years I've been a customer too.

    I had a long conversation with a friend last night about this. The best logical idea to me, IF in fact that storage is an issue; make gig tiers for the pro accounts. Price each tier accordingly. Example: Start the first tier at $150 and say a 10 gig max. If you go above 10 gig then you jump to 20 gig max and are charged $50 extra (These are just numbers thrown in, I don't know what numbers would be cost effective). Does that make sense? I mean for those of you making money hand over fist it shouldn't be that big of a deal (tax write off), and it also works for those trying to break into the business, because we still have the options/extras. I'm not saying that having the coupon options are a make or break thing. What I am saying, is every little extra helps a budding business.

    I also ask that the successful members (you know who your are) stop lumping everyone as lesser/ignorant/bad at business etc...that's not a very good way to set an example. You know college only goes so far and a lot of this stuff we have to learn as we go. We have to budget and allocate funds by priority. Remember you had to start at the bottom once, and I'm sure your business wasn't booming right off either.
  • shniksshniks The Light Explorer Registered Users Posts: 937 Major grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    This post sums up how I feel. I'm pretty sure I would have a hard time finding a host with the same features on the backend and the ability to customize my UI as much as I have done with my site. I just renewed so I don't have to decide for a year, but even if I had to renew at the new price now I still think I would stay.


    Very nice Wayne. Really like your homepage and the gallery icons. Definitely not a run of the mill site.


    Cheers,
  • Rogue 1Rogue 1 Nothing to see here Here and thereRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 150 Major grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    RKnecht wrote: »
    Well said. BTW, your site looks fantastic! Well done.

    Agreed - thumb.gif Great design and layout!
  • PilotBradPilotBrad Major grins Registered Users Posts: 339 Major grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    I’ve been thinking about this for a few days since receiving the announcement, and while I understand SM’s reasons for the change I can’t help but feel that there is a market segment that is being overlooked here.

    I am a hobbyist/amateur/enthusiast/part-timer/non-pro who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles a full blown pro-account provides; I don’t need oodles of storage space, I don’t need the full breadth of the products in the catalog, and I don’t need features such as assistant logins or event tools, but I would like to be able to sell online for a profit.

    I justified the expense of a Pro account over the Power level because even though I knew I wasn’t going to use all of the features, I felt I could sell a few prints (at a profit) and offset the cost of the upgrade to Pro, but even if I didn’t I was OK with $150/yr. However, with this most recent change SM has removed* the one feature that made me want to upgrade to Pro in the first place… online sales for profit. Even though I’ve barely used the pro features, I’ve been happy to pay $150 a year for the space I utilize (<10GB) and for the features I have used, knowing that it got me a start in selling online.

    While I understand SM’s reasoning behind the changes, I really think they should consider a change to the Portfolio level account to allow limited sales for profit, but perhaps without some of the other advanced features. I realize that this is not easy, but I feel like SM would be missing a large portion of the entry-level-sales-for-profit market by not doing so.

    If SM had simply said they were increasing their Pro account subscription to $179 or $199/yr, I probably would have just accepted it and renewed my pro subsrciption, but increasing the cost $100-$150 has caused me to contemplate my next steps. At this point I cannot financially justify the expense of the full Pro account, so I have to evaluate whether the Portfolio level without sales for profit justifies itself. If not I will likely step down to the Power level and in doing so SM will loose $90 a year from me instead of gaining $100. I certainly don't think that SM would change it's features for me, but based on the feedback I think there are many others who feel similarly.

    Just my $.02.

    EDIT: * In case it wasn't obvious, by "removed" I meant removed from the $150/yr account level (now Portfolio).
  • jfriendjfriend Scripting dude-volunteer Registered Users Posts: 8,097 Major grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    PilotBrad wrote: »
    I’ve been thinking about this for a few days since receiving the announcement, and while I understand SM’s reasons for the change, I can’t help but feel that there is a market segment that is being overlooked here.

    I am a hobbyist/amateur/enthusiast/part-timer/non-pro who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles a full blown pro-account provides; I don’t need oodles of storage space, I don’t need the full breadth of the products in the catalog, and I don’t need features such as assistant logins or event tools, but I would like to be able to sell online for a profit.

    I justified the expense of a Pro account over the Power level because even though I knew I wasn’t going to use all of the features, I felt they could sell a few prints (at a profit) and offset the cost of the upgrade to Pro, but even if I didn’t I was OK with $150/yr. However, with this most recent change SM has removed the one feature that made me want to upgrade to Pro in the first place… online sales for profit. Even though I’ve barely used the pro features, I’ve been happy to pay $150 a year for the space I utilize (<10GB) and for the features I have used, knowing that it got me a start in selling online.

    While I understand SM’s reasoning behind the changes, I really think they should consider a change to the Portfolio level account to allow limited sales for profit, but perhaps without some of the other advanced features. I realize that this is not easy, but I feel like SM would be missing a large portion of the entry-level-sales-for-profit market by not doing so.

    If SM had simply said they were increasing their Pro account subscription to $179 or $199/yr, I probably would have just accepted it and renewed my pro subsrciption, but increasing the cost $100-$150 has caused me to contemplate my next steps. At this point I cannot financially justify the expense of the full Pro account, so I have to evaluate whether the Portfolio level without sales for profit justifies itself. If not I will likely step down to the Power level and in doing so SM will loose $90 a year from me instead of gaining $100. I certainly don't think that SM would change it's features for me, but based on the feedback I think there are many others who feel similarly.

    Just my $.02.
    Well said.
    --John
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  • nikrayenikraye Big grins Registered Users Posts: 35 Big grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    I'm a monthly subscriber and for my monthly rate to jump from $20/month to $30/month is effing obscene -- a 50% increase. To continue my pro account will cost me $360 a year! I don't make enough sales off my site to justify paying that much annually, so i am taking the site down and closing my galleries come October 15th. Auf wiedersehen, folks.
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USARegistered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    nikraye wrote: »
    I'm a monthly subscriber and for my monthly rate to jump from $20/month to $30/month is effing obscene -- a 50% increase. To continue my pro account will cost me $360 a year! I don't make enough sales off my site to justify paying that much annually, so i am taking the site down and closing my galleries come October 15th. Auf wiedersehen, folks.

    dO LIKE A LOT OF OTHERS AND LOOK AT zENFOLIO OR DOWNGRADE TO A POWER account and use paypal to collect money and self fulfill ....if you sales are local then self fulfilling shouldn't be too bad if you have a decent lab close by.....
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • Rogue 1Rogue 1 Nothing to see here Here and thereRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 150 Major grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    nikraye wrote: »
    I'm a monthly subscriber and for my monthly rate to jump from $20/month to $30/month is effing obscene -- a 50% increase. To continue my pro account will cost me $360 a year! I don't make enough sales off my site to justify paying that much annually, so i am taking the site down and closing my galleries come October 15th. Auf wiedersehen, folks.

    Hi Nik - I'd actually reached out to you privately earlier today about just this issue... as a monthly subscriber, you're paying $240 annually now - - - you could switch to annual billing at the Business level and pretty much keep the status quo! We'll be happy to help with that transition if you wish - super simple. Get back to me if you're interested - We'd hate to see you go.
  • Paul (France)Paul (France) Big grins Registered Users Posts: 30 Big grins
    edited September 5, 2012
    Pro price? Then Pro license for rights managed digital downloads!
    I like Smugmug very much and probably go with them into the doubling of their pro price, because I like the visible beauty of what is offered, the great customer service and the idea to keep Smugmug out of the hands of investors.

    By doubling the Pro pricetag Smugmug cannot allow itself however to have amateur licensing for digital downloads.

    It cannot be that hard. Smugmug has very clever programmers. Offering professional licensing is just a simple database with "if - then" questions. Have a look at Alamy. Smugmug is MUCH better, but Alamy has rights managed licenses that work. You can choose things like region, circulation, duration, etc. of the license. Smugmug should look at it and copy it; it is one day work for good programmers.

    I earn a living from selling rights managed photos to magazines and book editors (I hardly do sell any prints). I would DREAM doing that from my Smugmug website (and some of my clients would like it as well, since their workflow would become simpler). But it is impossible, because the "Commercial Photo Licence" is rubbish. I had one sale via Smugmug this year, because a client wanted to pay by credit card, but I had to sign a contract that the license my client had to sign at Smugmug (to be able to download the picture) was non-valid.

    It is un-professional for me to have to say to clients that if they want to buy online they have to ignore the license they have to agree to ... and sign another license with me. So I do all of my sales outside of Smugmug, and that way it misses its 15% of the cake. The pro account price hike seems to show Smugmug needs money, so get this right and you have my 15% each time...

    If you agree with me, please vote for a better rights managed license here.
  • mr peasmr peas Drag that shutter! Registered Users Posts: 1,393 Major grins
    edited September 6, 2012
    Hey there Dgrinners and SmugMuggers. I wanted to put my own input.

    I think what separates SM from other online photo services are: outstanding customer service, ease-of-use for upload/organizing/displaying images, and lastly (most importantly) the unlimited storage.

    The customer service is absolutely stellar:

    Any problem regarding prints or basically anything, a SM-hero is always there to fix it until that problem is resolved; try that anywhere else, I'd doubt you'll find something just as good and dedicated as SM.

    Ease of use:
    When I first started displaying my photos online, I used to use PHP-addons on my webserver and it sucked. It wasn't reliable nor was it practical. When I started shooting car-events, I needed a place that I could upload/store hundreds of images at a time and having the ability to organize them into galleries with a simple interface made it so easy to do, so I jumped on the Pro-account without hesitation. I don't sell that many prints online but when I do, its great because SM does all the work for me, for a fee (totally worthwhile).

    Unlimited Storage (of jpegs and short videos):
    This is what sold me to SmugMug. Most webservers today have unlimited online cloud storage for ~$100ish a year, but without something to handle the organizing, or if you're not willing to make/code/design your own gallery system on your server; then you're like me, its too much work. I understand that new cameras/technology are coming out and storage requirements for users have been increasing over time, but there's gotta be a way to work something out that you can keep this feature alive. What I hate doing is choosing which photos I want to keep/show or limit how many images from an event I can upload because there's a limit to the storage capacity. Call it greed from our own end, but its what brought most of us to SmugMug; changing that by utilizing caps on storage will most definitely turn away a huge number of users, including myself.

    When I stopped/slowed-down in covering races and weddings this past year, I downgraded my account from Pro -> Power. I miss the watermarking feature because that was so darn useful, but I just didn't sell enough prints to keep it that way. Currently, I'm still super happy being a Power user. I love retaining the ability to customize my website and custom-domain. I have a Flickr (free), I believe Flickr-Pro has unlimited-storage, but the ability to make galleries in my own style is what separates it from SM; thus why I pay for SM and not Flickr (plus SM looks more professional). Yeah, there's Zenfolio and others out there, but the customer-service and continuing upgrades to features and unrivaled customer-service, keeps me here. I can suggest ways to make SmugMug as a company more profitable, but that's SM's job. I'm just here to give the reasons why I came here in the first place. That's my $0.02.

    Note: The Power-user features priced at $60 is perfect for me. However, I'd love to have the watermarking feature on my Power-user account that I had from Pro though. :)
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