Pain being a Envato Author


I could not stop myself so I’m sharing my thoughts/pain. After the ADP being introduced, believe me it ruined the market for me and many other authors. Many authors reduced thr item price to nuts and Im really not sure how can I survive in this situation. I also had to reduce pricing to get some sales so I’m not sure if that was really needed or Envato could have done this in a better way. Here is my suggestion which could be done

Envato could have atleast put a minimum price for WordPress theme, Site templates, or other CMS templates. I know thr is a limit but that’s actually the bad limit you have given, Min price for WordPress is $13, are you really serious guys. Many Power Elite authors have reduced thr old theme prices to $13 and now they have started getting sales and few are in Popular category.

You can also check the Top 5 sales, Avada sales are down, 2nd slot is replaced by another theme because they reduced thr price and I just noticed that they have rolled back the price to older one. Thr is a shit all around. Such pricing by medium level and few top level players are spoiling the market but authors have no choice because everyone is forced to reduce price.

Just imagine, We made a multipurpose theme, worked for at least 3 months with 2 developers and once approved item is not getting sales on old price ($59 / $54 / $49) because top themes, many old themes are being sold for $13-$25. In this case why would a customer will buy our theme when he is getting something popular for $13, Come on Envato, You have been a great source and you had some USP with pricing and thats why no other market was ever been able to reach you but now your own authors are going away. I have seen @ProteusThemes whom I follow for thr niche themes have started thr process to move away and this is a start.

I know almost 1000 authors from Envato in different categories and I spoke to 65% and almost 85% of them are concerned with that and planning for something else so not sure how the future is going to be in this market

Author driven pricing is good but a fair minimum limit should be applied, Isn’t it? You could have make it $30 or $35 as minimum for WordPress and authors can increase the price as they needed.

I don’t know how long will I be able to stay in this market but I would certainly Cry if I have to because you guys have given a lot to us but last one and half year was so challenging and now its getting hard to survive.

I hope my fellow authors also agree on this and support my statement

jThemes Studio


You are absolutely right, sir. Thank you for posting this. I thought I was the only one with a bad feeling about what’s going on in the marketplace recently but I can see I’m not. In addition, we just got a new landing page for “hosted” themes opened to provide even more exposure for the top selling themes, isn’t that nice?


In my country, we have a law to protest against the Most powerful corporations who have dominating the market from killing young companies known as “Unfair Competition Law”.

This states “The sellers/service providers are not allowed to sale off greater than 50% and cannot do it more than 90 days in a year, no more than 15 days/month for all of their products/services”.

This law should be applied here to protect all authors and then the buyers will benefit as authors should only focus on product quality than gaming the system by playing with the price adjustment.

This will save Envato from being known as cheap market nowadays, as far as I knew Envato market is for quality theme, not cheap theme.


There’s similar laws I most countries, including the US and Australia. However, there’s a difference between a sale and and price reduction, so it’s not hard to get around that one.

And as there’s no real monopoly when it comes to authors (yes, there are some big sellers here, but does any one author make the majority if all sales?), and each author has the same freedoms and limitations, I don’t think such laws would really change anything.

Thank you for your comments, Appreciate your support. I got positive response from few other authors and I wish envato people can check and do something for us so we can stay longer

So whats your call? Do you think current situation where authors making thr price to almost nothing is good?

Envato has to regulate it by implementing a bottom price limit, basta, end of story, there’s no other way. It’s a marketplace on it’s own, but it can’t be threated neoliberately. The only one who profits this way is Envato, the long time Authors who spend years of building up their portfolio and their % of share are threated like workforce, while in fact they are not. In any ordinary company which is producing goods the workforce doesn’t own the product - here on Envato, we Authors own our items. We build this company up, some of us more and some of us less. Yes, we should be able to set the price, but we should also call for a regulation so our work won’t get devalued even more.

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Envato can’t set a minimum price if they want you to sell on their platform (which is what they have changed too). Amazon can’t even do it, you don’t offer to sell your product but then tell them you have to sell at a minimum of $70, the pricing should be upto you e.g.

You can buy books on Amazon marketplace for 1c but with $5.99 postage or you can pay $6 and no postage.

One looks better as the price is the biggest indicator but when you look closely they are the same.

ADP is being abused by authors, they believe they have to be cheapest to get the sales but their items were selling before at $59 so why are you reducing to $20, yes because a few authors decided their crappy item from 3 years ago needs sales so they jumped it down to $13 so they can generate extra sales, rather than be content with 20 sales a week, they wanted 50 but have now added a lot more support to their workload which ends up costing them more time and money.

I would rather have 20 sales at $59 than 50 at $13 but the Envato popular lists are generated by number of sales and not income total so authors are abusing the ADP to try and get “popular”.

Envato would get their knuckles rapped if they set minimum prices e.g. $40 for a WP theme so itn’t going to happen, authors will have to learn quick sales via price reductions isn’t a good way to get sales as customers will be mightily annoyed if they see your item at $20 and jumps to $60 the next day.

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No one here is talking about short discounts, we’re talking about the elephant in the room: The race to the bottom. As mentioned in another thread, greed can be bottomless and I guarantee you, a big chunk of customers aswell as Authors will go very low on Audiojungle. Even if just 20% (and that’s a optimistic assumption) of customers will go for the 10$ instead of the 30$ item, then this will be sadly enough to generate an advantage over other authors - regardless of the item quality/originality - to get faster to the top authors list. Once you’re there, the exposure with an 10$ item is 10 times more worth than the same item at 30$ without the exposure.

Only one thing that you can not compare Amazon books with Envato products. Your example is good but does not fit here. Amazon Books does not use a same framework, story can be same with different authors and those can be sold at any price but here in the market where we had a same pricing from start and all of sudden Envato changed the policy and only secured thr own bread n butter without caring of anyone else. This is not good.

You are probably not active and thats why you can made such statement but if you have spent months in development and your item just got disappear because of cheap pricing thn Im sure you will definitely change your words here.

Trust me mate, Its making authors crazy, Just check the popular WP theme section, Avada fortunately still on Top but X theme which was also on 2nd for long time is pushed to 3rd or 4th place. Thr are many examples,

I just hope next year will be better for all of us, good luck and envato, I still Love you a lot

I don’t know how can I survive, i don’t talk about reduce price to 13$ or 15$, if i keep price for shopify theme is 56 but if US client buy it, I only get 20$, my team have 4 member and i don’t know what happen in next year, may be i will do another work, not selling themes :frowning: What happen if I earn only 1k$ for 4 member and 35% for design ? So tired, seem Envato want to destroy this market

It’s due to anti-trust law. It’s illegal for envato to exercise any sort of price fixing (min/max, agreements of a price and so on). There’s no $13 min. limit either - consider that an artificial limit imposed due to the buyer fee.

If you haven’t noticed, the power elite author you mentioned have left ThemeForest and setup their own shop. Just like many others are planning to do. Also, the item in question is unsupported.

Oh, sure it’s illegal. :slight_smile: Envato states the we are and were the sellers for 10 years (sure we all know it’s simply not true). They prices was fixed for 10 years and it was ok, but now it became suddenly illegal. The key is the fixed author fee here, they get the same amount after each sale. It’s combined with ADP driven dirty low prices = they earn much much more money than ever, period. Authors lose. Who care? Everything else is bullshit.
They should set a reasonable minimum price e.g. 30-35$ for a WP theme. But then they would will earn less… so it won’t happen.
This all may destroy this whole marketplace. It became a huge risk to put months in a good product. When others can easily stole your work and sell it for cents. That’s the biggest issue.
This whole place became a crap this year. You can see changes every week, elements, photodune changes, etc. However they cannot respond a support email in reasonable time, you cannot upload or update your product in reasonable time, sometimes you cannot upload at all, so they cannot even maintain neither the existing system.

I send them a DMCA letter a week ago and nothing happens. Unfotunately it’s a joke, a bad joke. :frowning:

Something went terribly wrong last year.

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If ADP is causing mayhem because authors are dropping prices in a rush to reach the Popular Files list, then I support the suggestion I’ve seen others mention: change the Popular Files list (and other ranking lists) to reflect total revenue and not total sales.

It seems to me that switching to revenue-based rankings would be a great equalizer/stabilizer for ADP.


Maybe there is a solution for this as Envato have a huge group of brains. The biggest problem they are only focus on new things now, letting the old things slowly die. It seems that there in no any intention to investigate the problems.

There was a legal loophole when the price was set by the platform. When it’s authors (individual sellers) setting the prices - with the introduction of ADP - the antitrust laws do apply. Envato cannot impose any restriction anymore if they give authors the right to set prices.

We all agree with the issues being discussed, but a price floor isn’t legally possible here. Envato may have to think about incentives of having a decent priced product - such as popularity being determined by overall sales revenue rather than sales counter.

If that were to happen (and I would definitely support a move like this), Envato would probably need to hide any kind of metric related to revenue from the popular files list (eg $ made per week). I know I wouldn’t be comfortable having my earnings figures for my tracks on the popular files list broadcast to everyone on the site.

I guess the disadvantage of this would be that no one would be able to see the relative gap between each track on the list, but perhaps a simple numbered system could be added in place of the sales count.

Ok, but is that legal that the platform has a fixed fee while the auther has none? Is that legal the authors who own the rights of the product and put a tons of work of it can much less earn than the platfrom? I know it’s not correct, but legal?
Intersting that everyone have rights (buyer, Envato) except authors.


I agree. I don’t think the revenue should be listed. But the ranking order could reflect revenue. The sales numbers could even still be visible as another metric.

I second a revamp of the Popular Files pages. If sorting by earnings isn’t the answer a third option could be to split the page into different price segments, e.g. “$1-$9, $10-$19” etc.

Most of all I’d like to see a division into different genre/style/mood categories, and upload date scopes. As much fun I’d have landing a top spot myself some lucky day, it’s basically and fundamentally humiliating how many days, weeks, months and YEARS a successful item will hog the big sales and leave the rest of the market looking for crumbs just by virtue of being in the spotlight at one point.

I’ll even go so far as saying an AJ ADP scenario with bottom-racers collapsing the Popular Files pages will be a long-awaited, refreshing experience. If it ultimately leads to more buyers heading to Search instead, it really can’t be that bad.