Is too little too little ?

I had zero sales after payment and first sale this month showed me glaringly clear how little I earn from a song sold.
Yesterday I sold a song and my balance went from $0 to $2.28.
Well that’s painful and humiliating.
A customer from USA bought a song for $19 and I got $2.28 from it… It is not slavery because I’m not forced to sell on audiojungle but otherwise it is worst payed job in the world. (except it is not really a job i know).
I think there should be some decent minimum that authors earn for their work.
I’m not exclusive (but do i have to be punished for that?)
And my country doesn’t have tax agreement with USA.
I believe if the CEO or the owner of envato new this little fact they would be ashamed and did something about it.I mean imagine situation where he or she is sitting with his friends,familly or business partners and they ask him or her casually ‘how much your authors earn again?’. Well ’ 11%’ says he or she.
I’m sure he or she is not aware of this number.

You aren’t punished for being non-exclusive, you’re rewarded for being exclusive.

And you’ll have to talk to the US government and IRS regarding their tax laws. Envato didn’t invent those.

How much tax do you pay in your country?

In many countries with tax treaties, you end up paying 50% of earnings from your own business, which selling at AJ counts as. If I lived in Hong Kong, I would have to pay 0% in tax on AJ income.

No, it isn’t fair, but different countries have different laws. You live with it, or find something else to do.


You missed the point of my text.

“Form W-8” It doesn’t help?

I did? It wasn’t that you’re earning too little?

I think the CEO is well aware of what you earn.

They want exclusive content, so they will continue to reward it, and they have to follow US tax laws. They also want to make a profit, so what do you think they should do?

Start your own site and make 100%. Then you will realize that getting thousands of buyers to your site is not easy, or cheap. And then you will realize that Envato’s cut actually pays for something.

What would you suggest be done to fix this?

So you think the price of items should be raised? I don’t see any other way to accomplish this, and raising prices could potentially ruin earnings for thousands of authors as buyers will simply not be interested in such high prices.

As @Flumen mentioned, you’re not being punished. There’s simply a bonus incentive for exclusivity. I don’t think it can be considered a punishment, either, when you willfully chose to accept those terms.

He can comfortably say many authors receive 50% to 70%, and he is surely aware that some authors in certain circumstances are receiving $2.28 from a $19 item - but what do you suggest he do about it?

Also, to clarify:

If your country doesn’t have a tax treaty with the United States, then you’ll be charged backup withholding tax on all sales to US buyers, with no way to get the money back. It’s an unfortunate reality of international trade.


I don’t suggest anything (nor does it matter).
I just asked do you think it is too little,and if it is not than what is too little: $0 or even going to negatives-in such cases we should pay if some of our items are sold.

I think $0 is too little, yes.

There you go! Now you are talking :slight_smile:

Yes, I agree that $2.28 is too little profit from a $19 item, but it’s sustainable because not all your sales will yield such a small amount (only US sales). And you can always increase your profits by selling exclusive tracks.

On non exclusive account? Is that possible? exclusivity per item?

Unfortunately not – you would need a separate account, which is allowed.

This is scandalous! Period. No justification for such a rip off. The non-exclusivity agreement is abusive, plain and simple. And those saying you getting rewarded for being exclusive are in denial.

@collis is indeed aware of how little you can get when you sell on Envato. He’s been called out when an author reported negative earnings (yes, negative!!!), but he never bothered to react or even acknowledge the issue, other than saying “selling on Envato might not be worth it for some authors anymore”.

hum… what about getting rid of the abusive 30% cut for non-ex? Too radical? Ok then, what about not create an inexplicably complicated pricing system with author fees and “buyers fees” (whatever that means) which result in author having to pay taxes on income they never had in the first place?

Damn right!

The United States tax code is inexplicably complicated (I would know, I live there!) and when Envato moved to the United States, it reflected. I’m not a fan of how they report income either, but they have tax professionals who helped them with this transition and I’m confident they made the best choices they could.

Let me explain how I see it:

With the old commission system:

  • They would need to report the full item price as your earnings, and you’ll write off the portion you did not receive as expenses.
  • The backup withholding tax will take more money per sale, because the total sale value is higher.
  • Envato pays no taxes.

With the current system:

  • They report the full item price, minus the buyer fee, as your earnings. You still must write off the portion you did not receive as an expense.
  • The backup withholding tax will take less money per sale, because the total sale value is less.
  • Envato pays taxes on buyer fees.

So the current system, though it may be confusing, is actually increasing the amount of money that @MetroMusic made on this specific sale. And at the cost of Envato. I think they do care, but it’s a hard problem to solve without negatively impacting someone else.

I don’t see this changing any time soon. It’s in Envato’s interests to encourage exclusivity, and this model has worked for them well over the last 9 years.

Personally, I was in favor of a flat 50% commission rate for non-exclusive authors back before the tax changes (and today with the new system in place I support a flat author fee of 37.5% rather than the current 55%).

I think you have it the other way around. With the old model, Envato was the seller and authors were payed a commission.

Really? 70% compared to 36% is close to a 100% reward. You make double. If you’re at 50%, it’s a 39% reward.

I agree with most of the other things you pointed out, but the reward is quite crystal clear.

I’m not denying the percentage for exclusive is higher than for non-exclusive. I disagree however on the qualification. You say it’s a reward compared to the non-ex deal which is abusive in the first place.