I had a bad experience today with a theme I recently bought. The theme freezes, crashes browsers, and when you go to the author’s website there is hardly any support. The documentation is in very broken English, and is not relevant at all to the theme. When I left a bad review I finally got a response after a while saying “I don’t want to provide support to you” when I paid for support. This was the first time I’ve had a bad experience with Envato Market!
On the flip side, over a year ago I bought a theme that was meant to be a travel blog. I didn’t make a travel blog. I used it to do postcards! The author was kickass, and answered my questions. The documentation was amazingly detailed. He even added my website to his description to show a unique take on his theme. I absolutely loved that.
Every author I’ve had so far on ThemeForest & other Envato sites have been very thorough with their work. For the first time, I was completely thrown off. It’s very upsetting. But, on the other side, there are some absolutely amazing and supportive authors that love to see what ended up being done to their work.
Have you had a bad experience? What about a positive experience?
It’s a bet, some author give great support, documentation and have great products, many others not have good documentation, zero support and very bad items under admin, performance, usability, simplicity etc… but sell anyway due look good on design.
The cause of this problem is Envato that by years not bring any innovation to this marketplace. Envato should add search filters and new areas on item page that show the quality of every important feature of a theme or plugin:
- Documentation quality (offline, online, static PDF or dedicated website etc…)
- Support quality (average response time, percentage of solved/not solved)
- Admin usability and simplicity (builder or not, composer quality etc…)
- Customization power (Is a small site with 5-6 components and 10 pages or a big one with 100+ components and 90+pages)
- Performance (back-end and front-end)
- Unique feature (booking system for hotels, portfolio engine for business, photo albums,lightbox etc…for photography etc…)
- Premium included plugins
These are simple updates that bring great improvements to the marketplace and solve the bigger problem ever: saturation. Unfortunately Envato not only did not did any improvement or innovations by years but actually it’s truly encouraging authors to downgrade the quality of the items for improve instead the quantity.
Currently the marketplace is focused only on design and to nothing else. So my advice is to find 2-3 good authors and buy only their products.
Indeed. It is a bit frustrating. There are some absolutely amazing authors. There was an item I bought recently, everything worked 100% flawlessly. This was a surreal experience.
It sucks that if you get a refund, your review disappears. This item, I got a refund on, I’ve been watching it. There has been over 30 negative reviews, and refunds issued on all of them. So the item rating still shows 5.0.
It’s good feedback, @ashkir.
The rating system is a really difficult one to get right. It’s also one of my (personal) favourite subjects to talk about.
The initial idea was that a customer who actually uses the product should be the customer who gets to rate the product. The issue is that if a customer has a truly unworkable experience, they typically ask for a refund!
The flip side of the coin is that if ratings remain with refunds, it basically becomes free to leave a rating, which opens the floodgates to trolling. Not that the system as it currently stands is troll-proof, but it wards off some of the worst offenders.
I’d love to have a system where customers can do something to acknowledge support or a product that’s genuinely above and beyond. Any ideas?
How about a Refund ratio listing? When clicking on it, you can see the reasons for the refunds?
I do understand that point. I have seen Envato authors on other sites ask people on Reddit, etc, to please rate their items, and they pay them back the amount they paid on Envato. Just to get positive ratings. Gaming the rating system is hard, I fully understand that.
I think if you create a system that can be gamed, it will be gamed if there is an incentive for a person to do so.
The main thing I’d like to see is that our authors are gaming the right things. Like, gaming through the provision of outstanding customer service