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:
- Reviews: Publicly viewable as well as the option for authors to respond
- Refunds: Authors reviewing and approving/rejecting refund requests
- 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:
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).