I’ve been in several stock agencies now for a bit over a year and although it’s been slow and far from making me rich, it’s made me a nice little extra. But the chunk of commission that the agencies take out of your sales is handsome. It hovers between 40% and 60% (and no, I’m not talking about those thieving microstock agencies where you get a penny and they keep four). Sure, they do the marketing and everything, but still. Ever since I started this whole photography business I’ve been wanting to be able to sell straight from my website, but the solutions just weren’t good.
I signed up for Photoshelter, but after they took the stock selling out of business and it basically just turned into a portfolio with a commercial back-end where you have to do your own marketing, it didn’t really do anymore what I hoped. It’s got a hefty price tag for storage space AND they still take 20% off any sales you make through their website. It is, at this point at least, the only thing that really works as a commercial outlet as an extension of your own website.
And then a while ago I came across the name PhotoDeck. I think I read it somewhere on a forum, I can’t even remember. First thought: oh, another one of those. I went to check it out anyway, but found that they were in BETA testing and I needed to put my email address in just for the hopes of getting through to the stage where I could actually test and use it. And -initially just for the “what the heck” of it- I put my name in. Didn’t hear back for a week or two, came across the name again, and read up on it some more. I put my name in the hat again and promptly received a mail back that I was now part of the circle of people with a BETA account and I was welcome to try it out. Which I did immediately.
And guess what…? First impression? I can’t say anything else than WOW!
I got a gig of space to start with, uploaded my pictures and started fiddling around with the application and I’m totally impressed, I’m totally sold. Oh, and then they added 5 gig without me asking (seriously, hook, line and sinker 😀 )
The ease with which everything is customizable is just SO relieving! No more hassle of trying to find the right positions and right coding in a stuffed php template, but just a simple, effective user friendly WYSIWYG user interface. Straight-forward, easy to adjust pricing profiles, auto-watermarking upon upload, galleries, collections and a lot more features still to come, if we may believe the rumors.
And even if you’re a complete idiot (like me) and have some problems with a few things here and there, the response to the question is quick and helpful.
It’s in BETA still, and you can sign up for an account, but things should be going all live in a month and a half or so.
I don’t know what the prices are going to be like, and I assume they will have different types of accounts. I’ve been so rude as to ask what level of pricing I’m going to have to expect and without naming any numbers they said it will be more affordable than the direct competition.
I’m not paid for advertising (unfortunately) and I’m not working for them (unfortunately), but I would seriously recommend giving this a try.
To check out how the visual implementation works seamlessly with the rest of my website, go have a look at my shiny new web store at http://stock.arnoenzerink.com. Oh, and while your there, don’t forget to buy a picture or two! I’ll give the first 100 people buying a picture a 50% discount if you contact me for a quote! *LOL*