The New Gap in SmugMug Services

jmphotocraftjmphotocraft GWC for hirePortland.ME.USARegistered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
edited November 28, 2012 in SmugMug Pro Sales Support
I've been following the Pro Account Increase thread. It seems overwhelmingly obvious to me that a resounding consensus has risen in that thread - that there needs to be a semi-pro service at the $150 to $200 level with the ability to set prices and make profit. I am reading this over and over from many users in that thread. This solution would please every part-time pro or well heeled hobbyist who rightly believes their photos have monetary value, but who cannot justify $250-300 a year. The opportunity for SmugMug to turn this situation around has presented itself clearly, and the solution seems easy.

However Baldy and any decision makers seem to have exited that thread. Now we just have a support hero running interference. I think everyone deserves an official response to the general consensus that this service gap is clear and needs to be filled.

As for that easy solution I mentioned, looking at the feature comparison chart, I would just take the Portfolio level, and add just three checkmarks: "Set prices and make profit", "Sell digital downloads", and "Option to adjust photos after receiving orders". Increment the price or limit the storage if you must, but I really do not see how this can't be done.

If SmugMug won't do this, looking at that chart I see no reason for me and many others not to drop to the Power level. If I'm not making money off my photos at SmugMug, I certainly don't need custom watermarks, custom print marks, custom back printing, or multiple labs. Instead of SM making an extra $100/yr off me, *poof* they will be losing $90. Or worse, they will lose these semi-pros to "certain other" services who already offer a semi-pro service near the $150 level right now.
-Jack

An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
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Comments

  • zacHer0zacHer0 Support Hero Registered Users Posts: 655 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    Zac Williams
    Support Hero
  • DotaDota 1st time businessman Registered Users Posts: 258 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    Okay from the 32 -52 second segment about the renewal rate. For example my renewal is in Janurary as he is stating...so is he saying if I renew by Oct. 14 I can renew at $150? If so will the renewal of time be added to the October pay date or my renewal date in Jan.?
  • zacHer0zacHer0 Support Hero Registered Users Posts: 655 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    Dota wrote: »
    Okay from the 32 -52 second segment about the renewal rate. For example my renewal is in Janurary as he is stating...so is he saying if I renew by Oct. 14 I can renew at $150? If so will the renewal of time be added to the October pay date or my renewal date in Jan.?

    Your renewal date is in January so we charge you nothing in October. In January you will pay the increased yearly rate of $250. I'm sorry but you can't renew early.
    Zac Williams
    Support Hero
  • mbellotmbellot Major grins Registered Users Posts: 465 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    zacHer0 wrote: »

    After watching that I guess the question needs to be asked again.

    All the new "features" listed towards the end apply to all SM users with the exception of customization (with still applies to Power users).

    Why isn't the cost being spread among all account levels if the two main reasons for the price increase are storage costs (all users have unlimited storage) and engineering costs since most of the new features will be available to all users?
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft GWC for hire Portland.ME.USARegistered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    mbellot wrote: »
    After watching that I guess the question needs to be asked again.

    All the new "features" listed towards the end apply to all SM users with the exception of customization (with still applies to Power users).

    Why isn't the cost being spread among all account levels if the two main reasons for the price increase are storage costs (all users have unlimited storage) and engineering costs since most of the new features will be available to all users?

    That question is directly and clearly answered in the video. They have the data, it is quantifiable, Business users use 4x as much storage as Portfolio, and Portfolio use "dramatically more than both Basic and Power".

    My question in the OP is acknowledged in the video with a humble "we die a little bit inside when we hear this ... we just haven't figured it out today." Well, I've given a suggestion as to how you might be able do it, so I'd appreciate a response to that. I'm sure others would too, as I'm sure many people have thought of it too. I also have a couple other ideas. Would it be better for me to post this question and my suggestions on the blog?
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • mbellotmbellot Major grins Registered Users Posts: 465 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    That question is directly and clearly answered in the video. They have the data, it is quantifiable, Business users use 4x as much storage as Portfolio, and Portfolio use "dramatically more than both Basic and Power".

    Right, but that's only half the reason given for the increase, the other half (engineering costs) will benefit all user levels in large part.

    BTW - The storage "reasoning" is going to go sideways after October 15th when current Pro users start converting to Power accounts and leaving their terabytes online.

    I'm honestly torn between dropping to Power and figuring out a custom PayPal cart solution, or just dropping SM altogether unless they come up with a reasonable alternative for us middle grounders.

    EDIT: I'm very curious how they are already quantifying Portfolio users since that category doesn't currently exist.
  • jasonscottphotojasonscottphoto (I'm not Jason...) Registered Users Posts: 710 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    mbellot wrote: »

    EDIT: I'm very curious how they are already quantifying Portfolio users since that category doesn't currently exist.

    I think they looked at Pro memberships without prices set and categorized those as Portfolio. Pro memberships with prices set became "Business."
    Posts by Allyson, the wife/assistant...

    Jason Scott Photography | Blog | FB | Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr | Instagram | YouTube
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft GWC for hire Portland.ME.USARegistered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    mbellot wrote: »
    Right, but that's only half the reason given for the increase, the other half (engineering costs) will benefit all user levels in large part.

    As a software developer myself I can tell you there is a lot of engineering cost in developing features like coupons and packages and other Pro-only stuff. There isn't a ton of engineering necessary at the basic level.
    BTW - The storage "reasoning" is going to go sideways after October 15th when current Pro users start converting to Power accounts and leaving their terabytes online.

    Possibly. I really only needed the Pro account when I was shooting little league (over $12,000 in SM profit in 3 years). I simply don't have time to do that anymore*, and ALL my other photography revenue of any significance is paid outside of SmugMug via flat session fees that I invoice directly. The Power account is looking very attractive - not that I am the least bit ticked off by the price increase, I understand it completely, it's just that $250 vs. $60 is undeniable.

    Or maybe they've done the math and they know they have enough Business users who do enough sales to absorb $250/yr, AND have too many photos to move elsewhere. Maybe the semi-pros are the minority, who knows.

    *I may do little league again if I can rearrange some things, but even then it might make more sense to only step up to the Business account for like 4 months and then drop back down.
    I'm honestly torn between dropping to Power and figuring out a custom PayPal cart solution, or just dropping SM altogether unless they come up with a reasonable alternative for us middle grounders.

    If you need to sell online, I would stay with SmugMug, and figure out a way to set $20.83 aside each month, and hope that they come up with a semi-pro solution. If ZF doesn't raise prices automatically in response to SM, I think they will have to eventually for a host of reasons - including the weight of all the new users who jumped ship from SM.
    EDIT: I'm very curious how they are already quantifying Portfolio users since that category doesn't currently exist.

    Maybe they estimated it by counting the number of pro users with obviously semi-pro levels of revenue. shrug.
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • TalkieTTalkieT Major grins Registered Users Posts: 491 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    Most of the video response is clarifying VERY basic questions.

    The meat of the problem (alienating hobbyist customers with the huge gap between power and portfolio) is flippantly dismissed with "We die a little each time" but NO CHANGES ARE PROPOSED!

    Guys, this whole response is disingenuous - you made a MASSIVE change announcement, people revolted, you waited a week and said you'd consider all feedback, and not a F&(*&(KING thing has changed.

    Listen to your customers MY FOOT! You even claimed in the video you have a great record of delivering features.

    Deluded, and ignoring what's clearly an unimportant customer segment to you.

    I've lost just about all respect for you guys - I would be WAY happier if you just said "Sorry guys, price is going up as specified, we know a lot of you now don't have an account level that suits you, but it suits us - tough".

    Regards, a VERY disillusioned customer
    Neil Gardner
    --
    http://www.nzsnaps.com (talkiet.smugmug.com)
  • Weather NerdWeather Nerd Big grins Registered Users Posts: 14 Big grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    TalkieT wrote: »
    Most of the video response is clarifying VERY basic questions.

    The meat of the problem (alienating hobbyist customers with the huge gap between power and portfolio) is flippantly dismissed with "We die a little each time" but NO CHANGES ARE PROPOSED!

    Guys, this whole response is disingenuous - you made a MASSIVE change announcement, people revolted, you waited a week and said you'd consider all feedback, and not a F&(*&(KING thing has changed.

    Listen to your customers MY FOOT! You even claimed in the video you have a great record of delivering features.

    Deluded, and ignoring what's clearly an unimportant customer segment to you.

    I've lost just about all respect for you guys - I would be WAY happier if you just said "Sorry guys, price is going up as specified, we know a lot of you now don't have an account level that suits you, but it suits us - tough".

    Regards, a VERY disillusioned customer
    Neil Gardner

    Where is the like button?
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2012
    Where is the like button?

    20120908-f32p6bt95n72misd12u8hi58w7.jpg
  • mbellotmbellot Major grins Registered Users Posts: 465 Major grins
    edited September 8, 2012
    As a software developer myself I can tell you there is a lot of engineering cost in developing features like coupons and packages and other Pro-only stuff. There isn't a ton of engineering necessary at the basic level.

    I've done both hardware (mainly) and software (when necessary), so I understand (at some basic level) the costs.

    However, if you listened to the features that they are touting in the video (deeper "levels", more/better customization and further social media integration - ugh!) NONE of them are pro specific features. If SM is really financially solid (as Baldy says) then they shouldn't need to justify the increase with features that have already been released, and since the features benefit more than just pros it seems sensible to "spread the pain".

    I really only needed the Pro account when I was shooting little league (over $12,000 in SM profit in 3 years).

    Congratulations, I've managed a little over $6k in 5 years myself so the extra $100 / year cuts into my profits a good bit deeper, especially when you realize SM has pulled over $1000 in profits from my sales in addition to the $150 annual fee.
    The Power account is looking very attractive - not that I am the least bit ticked off by the price increase, I understand it completely, it's just that $250 vs. $60 is undeniable.

    If you need to sell online, I would stay with SmugMug, and figure out a way to set $20.83 aside each month, and hope that they come up with a semi-pro solution. If ZF doesn't raise prices automatically in response to SM, I think they will have to eventually for a host of reasons - including the weight of all the new users who jumped ship from SM.

    I'm not so sure about ZF. They already have the two tiers we are looking for from SM. The $120 account is IMHO all I would need, the $250 SM price seems to be targeted at competing with the higher tier at ZF (but at nearly double the "profit sharing").

    I don't do heavy customization and don't use most of the high end stuff (events, coupons, "smart" galleries, etc). I didn't even bother with a custom domain since there are headaches associated with that "feature". Heck, by all accounts I don't even have a large amount of data stored here (for a typical Pro), right around 44GB (46k photos) collected over 5 years. Unlike some (many, most?) users I only upload images that are high enough resolution to allow ordering and then replace as needed once an order is placed.

    Dropping to Power and figuring out the custom cart would save me the headache of moving everything and also drop my cost to $60/yr. Moving to ZF would save me $30/yr and avoid having to dig into the really serious customizing, but with the pain of uploading and organizing all my photos again.

    Tough call, hopefully SM comes up with a third option before the end of the year that allows me to continue using their infrastructure for taking orders at a price closer to what I'm paying now. Otherwise I need to start moving in one of those two directions so I'm totally cut over before my renewal in May.
  • RookyStudiosRookyStudios Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 3 Beginner grinner
    edited September 8, 2012
    Ack! I am half way thru my free trial and Finally getting things figured out specific to SM, then tonight I stumbled upon this price increase! I could have sworn that when I signed up just last week, I saw the ability to sell prints, downloads and merchandise for the $150/yr fee....Now I AM just totally loosing my mind, but did I also see that correctly last week?

    My photography has gotten to a point where I can not keep up with all aspects of customer needs, I need someplace to set my prices after uploading and not worry about anything else.

    Excuse me while I think outloud.....ZF did come highly recommended from a photog friend....I only have a few days invested here....well, maybe my brain won't explode from learning a Whole New site.....This is just all very unfortunate news at this time.

    Did I see the plan prices correctly last week?
  • MomaZunkMomaZunk pro lurker Registered Users Posts: 421 Major grins
    edited September 8, 2012
    Yes Rooky..., the plan was $150 for the pro level. The price change announcement came out the Friday before labor day weekend to go into effect Oct 14, 2012.
    I do not have to make a decision until next July.
    I have been with SM for 5 years, and will stay for now to see how things change until my next renewal. Even at the $250 level, Zenfolio has some features that are important to me that SM does not, like paypal integration, self fulfillment, customizable licensing for downloads, and a cheaper cut in profits. I have a customized site that I can add paypal to drop to the lower level, but I want coupons and events for my little league customers. I will probably stay at the $250/300 level in SM, assuming the rollout for some of these features gets traction before next July.

    If I were you, I would look at Zenfolio at this point since your decision is a shorter time frame than mine. I expect SM will have to offer more at the $150 level at some point, but not for now.
    But I believe you would be able to get the $150 pro level at SM, if you sign up before the Oct 14th date.
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft GWC for hire Portland.ME.USARegistered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited September 8, 2012
    Everyone should keep in mind that next to SmugMug, Zenfolio is relatively new. They are at a place where SmugMug was several years ago. They can afford to be a little freewheeling and to buy business with cut rates. They will experience growing pains like this too, and then watch their prices rise right in line with SmugMug's.
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • rainforest1155rainforest1155 SmugMug Support Hero Registered Users Posts: 4,550 Major grins
    edited September 8, 2012
    Ack! I am half way thru my free trial and Finally getting things figured out specific to SM, then tonight I stumbled upon this price increase! I could have sworn that when I signed up just last week, I saw the ability to sell prints, downloads and merchandise for the $150/yr fee....Now I AM just totally loosing my mind, but did I also see that correctly last week?
    We'll honor the price from when you started your trial. After paying for the Business level, wait a day before contacting the HelpDesk and we would be able to issue you a partial refund for the difference.
    Sebastian
    SmugMug Support Hero
  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited September 8, 2012
    Where is the like button?

    Ditto!
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • DreadnoteDreadnote Unwanted Customer Registered Users Posts: 634 Major grins
    edited September 8, 2012
    TalkieT wrote: »
    Most of the video response is clarifying VERY basic questions.

    The meat of the problem (alienating hobbyist customers with the huge gap between power and portfolio) is flippantly dismissed with "We die a little each time" but NO CHANGES ARE PROPOSED!

    Guys, this whole response is disingenuous - you made a MASSIVE change announcement, people revolted, you waited a week and said you'd consider all feedback, and not a F&(*&(KING thing has changed.

    Listen to your customers MY FOOT! You even claimed in the video you have a great record of delivering features.

    Deluded, and ignoring what's clearly an unimportant customer segment to you.

    I've lost just about all respect for you guys - I would be WAY happier if you just said "Sorry guys, price is going up as specified, we know a lot of you now don't have an account level that suits you, but it suits us - tough".

    Regards, a VERY disillusioned customer
    Neil Gardner


    The problem, Neil, is that SmugMug doesn't really believe you. They figure in a couple of weeks this will all blow over and things will go back to business as usual. If you want to get real action you and I and others of like mind will actually have to downgrade or switch providers. Until the dollars start making a mass exodus out of the SmugMug accounts, nothing will change. The sad thing is that by the time that happens SmugMug might be permanently damaged. Oh well, like they say, "you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette".
    Sports, Dance, Portraits, Events... www.jasonhowardking.com
  • MomaZunkMomaZunk pro lurker Registered Users Posts: 421 Major grins
    edited September 8, 2012
    I agree Jim, Zenfolio may follow SM in its pricing strategy or limit its storage, or Zen may not be around later, and SM may add more to its Portfolio level, but for now the middle level of Zen beats what SM has to offer after October 14th.
    It is a gamble either way.
    Before Oct 14, $150 is still a good deal for the SM Pro level, but a new customer has to be ready to step up to the $250 next year or bail.
    With Zen, you can go for the $120 level, then step up to $250 later if the features are needed, assuming Zen keeps its current features/pricing, and stays around.
    I try to make decisions based on what the facts are now, not what may happen with SM or Zen. Right now I would just go with Zen at the $120, unless I needed the additional features anyway.
    If it was between Zen and SM at the Pro feature level, I would go with SM and get grandfathered in for 1 yr at the $150 now >>$250 later.
    The cost of the gamble is time spent learning a system, and the 1 year worth of google indexing and linking related to SEO.
  • Weather NerdWeather Nerd Big grins Registered Users Posts: 14 Big grins
    edited September 8, 2012
    Andy wrote: »
    20120908-f32p6bt95n72misd12u8hi58w7.jpg

    HAHA! I opened myself up for that one.
  • David EvertsenDavid Evertsen Regular Grin-Orama Orlando, FLRegistered Users Posts: 524 Major grins
    edited September 8, 2012
    Actually if you read the responses on line and in the video you will see they sound the same as any problems they have had in the past.. Especially if you go back and read their responses to the Price List Changes and having to use %of Profit. I have heard it all before especially after 5 years on here. I am not going anywhere for the next year but, I am not nearly in like as much as I used to be. Looking for some great improvements, they are seeing it die down and will move on business as normal..
  • Pedro AliceaPedro Alicea Snapping one shot at a Ti Registered Users Posts: 72 Big grins
    edited September 8, 2012
    Sign up now and you are locked into the old price until your renewal next year. Simple.
    Ack! I am half way thru my free trial and Finally getting things figured out specific to SM, then tonight I stumbled upon this price increase! I could have sworn that when I signed up just last week, I saw the ability to sell prints, downloads and merchandise for the $150/yr fee....Now I AM just totally loosing my mind, but did I also see that correctly last week?

    My photography has gotten to a point where I can not keep up with all aspects of customer needs, I need someplace to set my prices after uploading and not worry about anything else.

    Excuse me while I think outloud.....ZF did come highly recommended from a photog friend....I only have a few days invested here....well, maybe my brain won't explode from learning a Whole New site.....This is just all very unfortunate news at this time.

    Did I see the plan prices correctly last week?
    Pedro Alicea
    "Taking One Shot at a Time"
    [url]Http://PedroAlicea.smugmug.com[/url]
    [url]Http://www.PedroAlicea.com[/url]
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,711 Major grins
    edited September 9, 2012
    Everyone should keep in mind that next to SmugMug, Zenfolio is relatively new. They are at a place where SmugMug was several years ago. They can afford to be a little freewheeling and to buy business with cut rates. They will experience growing pains like this too, and then watch their prices rise right in line with SmugMug's.

    I downgraded smugmug in February and went with Zenfolio. I have found the layout at Zen much more intuitive in regards to having control over my layout. I also got tired of the smug attitude at smugmug. If Zenfolio has a price increase I will pay it. However, Zen also has an upper tier service so hopefully they saw this issue before SM did.
  • RookyStudiosRookyStudios Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 3 Beginner grinner
    edited September 9, 2012
    Just stopping in to say Thank you to MomaZunk, rainforest1155, and Pedro Alicea for your replies. After giving it some serious considerations, I have decided to set up shop elsewhere, they have the services that are critical to my business, so it really just makes the most business sense for me at this time. I am one of those that needs a middle ground plan, and while smugmug was starting to really grow on me, I just can't justify that cost even if it is delayed for one year.
    Best of luck to all of you photogs and smugmuggers!
  • TalkieTTalkieT Major grins Registered Users Posts: 491 Major grins
    edited September 10, 2012
    Dreadnote wrote: »
    The problem, Neil, is that SmugMug doesn't really believe you. They figure in a couple of weeks this will all blow over and things will go back to business as usual. If you want to get real action you and I and others of like mind will actually have to downgrade or switch providers. Until the dollars start making a mass exodus out of the SmugMug accounts, nothing will change. The sad thing is that by the time that happens SmugMug might be permanently damaged. Oh well, like they say, "you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette".

    You're right of course - the SM people aren't dumb enough to NOT expect the reaction they have had... They've just gone to ground and are weathering the storm.

    They can afford to lose a LOT of customers by doubling their pro prices... Remember, only Pros are impacted so if they lose less than about 40% of pros, they will retain the same revenue and drop their ongoing storage and support costs significantly.

    They're proved by their actions that they don't care about the hobbyist photographer that likes to play with selling images for profit. I don't care what they say anymore - judging by their actions and inaction, that market segment can go jump. Charging $90 for the watermarking feature is great evidence of this - and the deafening silence about the gap between the $60 power and $150 portfolio accounts should be embarrassing.

    But what's going to happen is they are going to lose less than 40% of pros - heaps less, maybe 5% will leave and perhaps another 5% will drop to portfolio or power. Smugmug win, $$$wise.

    However, I'm telling everyone I know that the great company I host with just alienated me and lost my trust - and I would recommend that they NOT consider Smugmug for their photo hosting or (especially) sales. I'll do this passionately, logically, clearly and honestly. I'll relate how the feature development is glacial, how the US centric nature of the site is crippling for many international pros and how the unmatched customisation is the ONLY reason I am reluctantly continuing to host with them myself.

    It's going to take an AMAZINGLY honest and frank response from SM to change my mind - I really really really hope they do make some concessions, but earning back the trust they built up over 7 years and lost in 14 days is nearly inconceivable.

    Did you hear that Baldy? OneThumb? Heroes? You burnt 7 years of trust in 14 days.

    Regards
    Neil G
    --
    http://www.nzsnaps.com (talkiet.smugmug.com)
  • sapphire73sapphire73 Major grins PennsylvaniaRegistered Users Posts: 1,762 Major grins
    edited September 10, 2012
    I am a hobbyist photographer who opted for the Power account originally and then won a one year pro account when I (somehow) won a dgrin challenge. I renewed the pro account, thinking I might try selling some of my photos soon because I have had some specific requests for them. But life keeps intervening - most recently with some family trauma and remodeling the kitchen in the offing - and I wanted to order some prints myself to check the processing before moving forward. Not sure whether I'll manage to explore this whole setting of prices thing before I have to choose whether to renew at the Power, Portfolio, or Business level come April 2013.

    It really doesn't make sense for me to opt for the business level unless I get busy and experiment with selling.... Based on my current use of my account, the Smug Mug family is assuming that I might wish to renew at the Portfolio level. Since existing customers will renew at one level and new customers at another, does that mean that if I choose to set prices I need to hurry and change my account setting from portfolio to business before Oct 2012? Hmmm....

    One of the reasons I chose SmugMug originally was the ability to password protect some galleries and keep some unlisted and/or unseen by search engines. I have some galleries showing schools, orphanages, churches, etc. in Africa and other parts of the world for a non-profit. It's been great to have some public galleries, others that are hidden and can be made available to a specific audience, and an easy way to safe-guard treasured family photos and the best of my portfolio should my external hard drives fail. I'm not going to leave SmugMug but I do wish we had more lead time on this change.

    I hope the folks at SmugMug will consider offering an intermediate option that allows people like me to set prices for photos without paying for a full business level account - restricting volume of sales or some other features. This would help some of us test the waters with selling photos.

    Gretchen
  • carolinecaroline Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,302 Major grins
    edited September 10, 2012
    Dreadnote wrote: »
    The problem, Neil, is that SmugMug doesn't really believe you. They figure in a couple of weeks this will all blow over and things will go back to business as usual. If you want to get real action you and I and others of like mind will actually have to downgrade or switch providers. Until the dollars start making a mass exodus out of the SmugMug accounts, nothing will change. The sad thing is that by the time that happens SmugMug might be permanently damaged. Oh well, like they say, "you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette".

    I think it is permanently damaged, but really in the scale of things it's just a tiny speck on the wall of life, and apart from those here who are miffed it's not big news in the photography world. I'm not holding my breath that anything will change or be added and won't be renewing my account. I have no trust in the company ever delivering on any of it's promises about the new design in the foreseeable future and have serious doubts about it's future viability.

    The departure of Andy as COO coincided with the release of the price increase info - he would surely have been aware of SM's plans for this, and likewise stepping down as 'head honcho' here on Dgrin, surely more than just coincidence?

    Caroline
    Mendip Blog - Blog from The Fog, life on the Mendips
    www.carolineshipsey.co.uk - Follow me on G+

    [/URL]
  • Ann McRaeAnn McRae SmugMug BizDev|Educator Registered Users Posts: 4,584 Major grins
    edited September 10, 2012
    sapphire73 wrote: »
    does that mean that if I choose to set prices I need to hurry and change my account setting from portfolio to business before Oct 2012? Hmmm....

    One of the reasons I chose SmugMug originally was the ability to password protect some galleries and keep some unlisted and/or unseen by search engines.

    Gretchen

    Hi Gretchen

    Nothing will change for you in October - the change in pricing is effective on your next renewal date. The time that change comes into effect is Oct. 15. So, if your renewal were Oct. 16 a Business account would cost $250 whereas if your renewal were Oct. 1 it would be $150 for the Business account.

    So you have the time from now to your renewal to decide which account level you will renew at.

    All of our accounts offer the ability to password protect galleries and to keep galleries unlisted, and also to keep them from search engines with the Hello World settings.

    The new portfolio level account not only provides the same image protection settings as the previous 'pro' account but it allows you to place print orders from any of our labs, as opposed to the Consumer accounts that are limited to ordering from EZPrints. This gives you access to many more products and color correction services by lab technicians.

    I hope that helps,

    ann
  • sapphire73sapphire73 Major grins PennsylvaniaRegistered Users Posts: 1,762 Major grins
    edited September 10, 2012
    Ann McRae wrote: »
    Hi Gretchen

    Nothing will change for you in October - the change in pricing is effective on your next renewal date. The time that change comes into effect is Oct. 15. So, if your renewal were Oct. 16 a Business account would cost $250 whereas if your renewal were Oct. 1 it would be $150 for the Business account.

    So you have the time from now to your renewal to decide which account level you will renew at.

    All of our accounts offer the ability to password protect galleries and to keep galleries unlisted, and also to keep them from search engines with the Hello World settings.

    The new portfolio level account not only provides the same image protection settings as the previous 'pro' account but it allows you to place print orders from any of our labs, as opposed to the Consumer accounts that are limited to ordering from EZPrints. This gives you access to many more products and color correction services by lab technicians.

    I hope that helps,

    ann

    Thank you, Ann. I am glad that I'll have some time to figure this all out.
  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited September 10, 2012
    TalkieT wrote: »
    You're right of course - the SM people aren't dumb enough to NOT expect the reaction they have had... They've just gone to ground and are weathering the storm.

    They can afford to lose a LOT of customers by doubling their pro prices... Remember, only Pros are impacted so if they lose less than about 40% of pros, they will retain the same revenue and drop their ongoing storage and support costs significantly.

    They're proved by their actions that they don't care about the hobbyist photographer that likes to play with selling images for profit. I don't care what they say anymore - judging by their actions and inaction, that market segment can go jump. Charging $90 for the watermarking feature is great evidence of this - and the deafening silence about the gap between the $60 power and $150 portfolio accounts should be embarrassing.

    But what's going to happen is they are going to lose less than 40% of pros - heaps less, maybe 5% will leave and perhaps another 5% will drop to portfolio or power. Smugmug win, $$$wise.

    However, I'm telling everyone I know that the great company I host with just alienated me and lost my trust - and I would recommend that they NOT consider Smugmug for their photo hosting or (especially) sales. I'll do this passionately, logically, clearly and honestly. I'll relate how the feature development is glacial, how the US centric nature of the site is crippling for many international pros and how the unmatched customisation is the ONLY reason I am reluctantly continuing to host with them myself.

    It's going to take an AMAZINGLY honest and frank response from SM to change my mind - I really really really hope they do make some concessions, but earning back the trust they built up over 7 years and lost in 14 days is nearly inconceivable.

    Did you hear that Baldy? OneThumb? Heroes? You burnt 7 years of trust in 14 days.

    Regards
    Neil G


    Well thought out and written.
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
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