Author-Driven Pricing Coming to ThemeForest

2015 was a big year for Envato. As the sun set on our first marketplace ActiveDen, we embarked on a new adventure overseas. We released a bunch of new products and features, and celebrated our first author team to reach $10 million in sales!

These were all massive events, but perhaps none so significant as Collis’ announcement way back at the beginning of the year that Envato Market would stay a platform. Our vision of Envato Market as a platform is of one that empowers creative entrepreneurs through more meaningful customer connections and greater decision-making control. We want authors to learn more about their customers and feed this into everything from item development to marketing to support, creating better products and experiences for all.

In opening up the discussion, Collis asked you to brainstorm what this might look like. Among the many great ideas raised, three big themes emerged:

  1. Reviews: Publicly viewable as well as the option for authors to respond
  2. Refunds: Authors reviewing and approving/rejecting refund requests
  3. Pricing: Authors deciding their own prices

We agree greater author control in these areas is key to achieving our vision and last year took some steps in this direction with author-driven pricing on GraphicRiver and functionality enabling authors to reply to reviews.

This year, we are building on GraphicRiver’s successful migration to author-driven pricing, with today’s announcement that in a couple of weeks, author-driven pricing is coming to the following categories on ThemeForest:

  • HTML
  • Muse
  • Marketing
  • PSD
  • Sketch
  • Courses

What is Author-Driven Pricing?

Historically, pricing was the sole responsibility of our content and quality teams. Their prices aimed to reflect item quality, complexity, potential demand and license type. They also took a variety of external factors such as competitor pricing, supply and demand into account.

In the new world of author-driven pricing, authors set the item price, and in doing so effectively choose the price they wish to sell at. Alongside the author’s item price, Envato charges buyers a fixed buyer fee based on the item’s root category. See the full list of fixed buyer fees.

Why Are We Doing This?

At the heart of this change is our vision for an Envato Market that empowers authors to make the most important decisions about their businesses.

We’ve also come to understand that fixed, Envato-controlled pricing works as a disincentive for many authors and limits the community’s ability to respond to market trends. By moving to an author-driven model, we expect to see a greater range of high quality items, more creative pricing strategies, increased responsiveness to trends and happier customers.

We know a lot of authors will be concerned about a race to the bottom (a situation where strong price competition pushes down prices to the point that some authors can no longer afford to sell), but the GraphicRiver results tell a different story. Since we first launched author-driven pricing there (almost 12 months ago now), we’ve seen more and more authors experimenting with pricing, tailoring pricing to their work, and, most excitingly, achieving better results overall.

We’ve also thought long and hard about the various commercial and community impacts for the specific ThemeForest context and we’ll be closely monitoring results.

Is this Coming to All of ThemeForest and/or Other Marketplaces?

Based on what we know today, our current plan is to gradually transition all of Envato Market to the author-driven pricing structure. We haven’t locked in any dates at this stage, however, and will only move on to the next category/marketplace when we’ve collected enough data and feel comfortable with the results.

We’ll continue to announce any future changes here.

Information for Authors on How to Price Items

When the changes go live in a couple of weeks’ time, authors will be able to enter item prices for all available license types for their item into the price text box on the upload page, or on the edit item page. Price recommendations will be shown alongside the item price field as a guide only. Once you’ve submitted your edits, the price change will take effect immediately. Item price changes will also immediately and automatically update item support prices based on current rates. Read more about how to price your items in our help center.

For this release, we’ll be leaving all list prices as is. Although we won’t change the list price during the release, in some cases the new structure may cause a decrease or increase in the item price. If your item price changes and you wish to return it to what it was pre-launch, you will be able to do so on the edit item page.

IMPORTANT Information About Pricing Discussions

There are strict laws governing pricing conduct. In particular, it’s strictly prohibited to have an agreement, arrangement or understanding between competing businesses (such as two authors) about what price point to sell at. How to price your work is a commercial decision you will need to make for yourself. Read more about this in our [help center](

Over the coming week, the community team will be around to answer any general questions you might have (using the daily batch reply approach we’ve taken in the past). Please help them out by keeping the discussion on track, checking first to see if your question has already been answered and avoiding any discussion on the specifics of how you’re pricing your item or what you think item prices should be (posts of this nature will be deleted immediately).


This is great news :heart_eyes::birthday::wink::relieved::birthday::tada:
Hopefully, we can see this too soon on the most popular category, WordPress themes.
And of course, I can’t wait to see this change also on codecanyon! Cheers!

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I found no better question then this: “How often will authors be able to change the price?” ( Is there something to prevent changing the price multiple times? )


good news…

I think this is a great move but WordPress themes aren’t included? It only applies to the worst selling product categories…doesn’t make much sense.

Why do you think they will risk this move on the most selling category at first place?

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My only suggestion would be to make a minimum price above which people can increase the price but not decrease it below that. Simply to avoid “Race to the bottom” situations we saw in freelancer marketplaces.

The prices on an average are already too low and most people won’t be willing to dip it below that.
(If already included in OP, good.)


@VikramVerma +1
Yes Make Min and max item price
we dont want themeforest to be like gr



I am afraid that will open up a price negotiation conversations and comments between customers. Which i don’t think that will be helpful. But still i am not against that idea, I think w still can test that once its there.

Hope that this change will be better for us as authors and envato as community.

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As we have said millions of times… Not each country’s living is the same. Each country has different living conditions and prices to live… For example,i you can live with 200 DOLLARS in Cambodia(including the rent) but with the same amount of money you may got a split on your face in USA.

So, AUTHORS MUST ONLY BE ABLE TO PLAY BETWEEN ONLY A 2 OR 3 DOLLARS’ RANGE at most, WHEN IT COMES TO PRICES. If the same item can be priced by an author for $7 and some other author prices the same item $20, then it means you killed us!!! You can 't leave this totally on authors! A lowest and highest TRESHOLDS MUST EXIST and the range between those should only be between 2 or 3 dollars at the most…

There are already a lot of NonResponsible authors here who continuously upload copyCat items, items even doesn’T work as they should (comments sections tell enough, just check them, or if you wish I can also post them here)… But you also close your eyes on those so called “authors” (copycats, nonWorking items) and yet now announcing “author driven prices”??


And then, guess what? An other author decides to sell an item in the same category for $9 dollars, who is never did anything closer to our hardwork with their item, and kills our sales???

Really, how do you think that those “so called authors” will handle this, handle their prices?
I see They’re releasing new items each day with their non-Ethical abilities…
Why are you forcing your authors to PRICE Their items, price their hardwork of months according to some other author’s pricing strategies? Now we also have this new reponsibility?
You think authors’ work is too easy enough so now we have to deal with those kinds of strategies???

Overall a very bad idea, especially in a place like ThemeForest!
Please don’t do this.

Can’t you see this?
What you call “we will monitor the changes” is a FAMILY paying bills!!!
I am really, reall sick and tired of being a lab rat.
Really, why are you doing this, you hit authors with TAXES already and now this??? Why your authors must continuously work harder and harder and yet get smaller and smaller portions of dollars? @BenChan @natman @collis


Excellent stuff! Can’t way to see some data after you’ve run with these categories for a while. Please send us some before/after conversion numbers, I love that stuff.


Not a good idea, Do you guys wants to make it a cheap marketplace like others where one good author put price of $59 and other cheap rated author offer the same for $29. I totally agree with “Bedros” Every country has its own living cost so if the price range is fix with few dollars change range than its ok else it will make this market a shit place


I think this is a terrible idea and I think it will most certainly promote the race to the bottom situation.

Not to bring again what @Bedros and @Jthemes mention, not all countries living costs is the same…This will mean huge advantages for some people in some areas of the planet. Envato people should know that, since most are sitting in Australia.

This might mean the end of themeforest for a lot of people. I hope considering reverting this is an option if it does not end well.

Comparing themeforest to Graphic River where there are a lot of items for 1$…There will be themes for 3$ and 4$. Experienced authors that like and are passionate about their craft will not suggest themselves to that in an area so filled with excellent opportunities.


We need to be with Bedros here (partially…you did go a bit wild over there buddy), this change must be done in a controlled way.

There are already hundreds of product-creators (theme authors, etc) that sell 100 themes for $100, and that’s definitely something that must be avoided at all cost.

price ranges must exist! We can’t have a $10 multipurpose theme and a $90 one!

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+1 @VikramVerma
me too…i think will be a race to bottom. a minimum price should be fixed

@Envato @collis @BenChan All this is great, you you really need to think about one major thing.

The difference between living in the US and living in India/Pakistan.

This is the main reason why many marketplaces like Freelancer, Elance went bad. With no discrimination in mind, whereas a guy in India/Pakistan is a rich person with $1000/month in earnings, somebody in the US/Australia/UK is living on the streets with that money amount.

there must be top and bottom limits!


new items should be restricted to fix amount, after that the author price should kick in


Hi @BigBangThemes
One a side note, I would like to correct you. Yes earning 1000 USD in India and Pakistan considered as good earning compared to others earning here. But that’s not the definition of rich here at all :). Definition of Rich is quite complex here.
I belongs to India but I can comment for Pakistan as well.


Thanks for correcting me buddy. I didn’t mean any harm with my comment. I was purely speaking about life standards, not the deeper understanding of being “rich”. Truth be told, somebody from India, Pakistan, etc can live a great living from $1000, somebody from Eastern Europe (like us) can probably live well from $2500 or so, but somebody from the UK, US, Australia need at least $4000 to live a decent life. This is (unfortunately) something nobody can control.

Bottom line is : Everybody wants to earn a decent living off Themeforest, and it would be a shame if some less successful authors than you guys (you’ve been doing great work competing with us for a long time in the email category btw), choose to have 100 sales worth $5 on an item rather than the usual 25 sales they were getting for a $20 item.