Please stop ADP madness

Author driven pricing is turning into the most ugly thing that happened to markets.

Dumping prices, false advertising, ignoring sale timelines, changing price every few hours, etc. This is what we see now every day.

Competition should be about the quality and not about the price. Authors just want to create great products and feel protected from discounted items that steal exposure. I am sure most authors do not want to participate in these ridiculous price wars, but they are forced too. Envato, please let your authors create!

From buyer perspective this is even worse. For example, new themes (or other products) start with some 35$ stating the limited time deal, then authors who do not get desired sales lower price to 19$… and you just fooled every buyer who bought it before for 35$, this is just so bad.

No one wins here. Authors do not earn anything from these discounts and buyers are just getting fooled.

Envato, please set some real rules (not just a sentence in T&C) or if your are not able to control it, stop it completely.


They won’t. There is only one winner here is Envato. :frowning:


@Granth Hmm I don’t think so, it will ruin Envato too

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Its going ugly day by day and now witnessing a wordpress theme with unlimited features is just $17 !!! Shame on Envato!!!


I think Envato just create a ADP (to solidify their earning, of course, do-not deceive yourself this is Envato Community, they built Envato market and it is under the control of a privately hold company).
Author can choose either to turn left or turn right. Unfortunately, some authors think that their works are cheap and should get that cheap price.

@miyachi_hikari You are wrong.

Lets say you bought item for 50$, tommorow its 15$, and your friend buy it for that price. It’s not fair.

Also lets say you live in America, standard is high ( you have to earn for life, have to sell item for bigger price ), and some guy from India (just example) have low standards, and he can to put 50% smaller price than you. It’s not fair again. Envato has to set their own price for every item.


I fear the day that ADP hits audiojungle.
You can allready see the cheap tactics used now to gain attraction of customers, so if ADP kicks in, you will see a price war like never before… Taking the prices and standards to a new low.

and i’ve covered wars you know. :wink:


Firstly, please take note that I am with you. And I’m against with the ADP in too. Since it was born, it was used to game the system rather than stabilize the price system.
But just remember that the one that did this is the author not the Envato, they choose to sell it with cheap price as it equals with their effort.

Let say the buyers really don’t care how much you need for a living.
Same category, same functions, buyers will buy the cheaper. (let say it is Xiaomi & Huawei smartphone, you will buy the cheaper).
Xiaomi & Huawei targets to low budget buyers and that still brings profit to them.

However if you tattoo those phones with an Apple, the price will be 5x but people still buy.
And guess what Apple is still the winner.

So for ADP, if your product is good, you can price it at 100 and get sale, why not?
ADP can allow you toset the sale price that equals to your effort.

Let say Avada, do you think it should be on Top for such a long time for its design, I believe NO.
Sorry for being rude but to me Avada is now one of the worst design on the popular items list. It is good in terms of backend, builder… they build a lot of partners, affiliates, agency…and they return to buy it.

So 2cents, please accept my apology if it is not correct or not with yours, just focus on building good products, good brand.
Envato is not a market where you can earn with design as a hobby anymore.
To work with it you, you have to build a serious business here, from branding to marketing…
But that is if you still want to work here. If you don’t, please forget it.

What I’m concerned is Envato Elements when it comes to allow WP CMS in coming time, it is run by Envato and it will knock us down with their unbeatable echeap price ($29 for thousands theme). This is the ultimate opponent, not ADP.

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Sadly yes, exactly this will happen. Another race to the bottom like never seen before.

Audiojungle Authors right now are standing in lines to give their items away for free or for 50%. I can absolutely understand the motivation behind this kind of thinking - in short terms, but in the long run it’s incredibly damaging to the marketplace and the whole industry. Take a look at Envato Studio. Customers right now are not willing to spend even 100$ per minute of custom work (which is incredibly low) if they can have a track that might fit for 19$.

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There is nothing wrong with ADP, some authors kept asking for control on the pricing as they felt their items were too cheap for the work they had to put in, ADP has allowed authors with quality items to change their pricing to reflect the value the author wants to set.

ADP fails when you have new authors who don’t have a following / portfolio and are trying to build that so they believe the only way to do that is to try and outdo the other authors by being the cheapest, unfortunately that doesn’t work.

There is no middle ground here, either Envato loses some top notch authors because they want to set a higher price for their items (so they go elsewhere) or they keep ADP and get the bottom feeders who feel the only way they can compete is on price.

Those who sell the cheapest “tat” rarely last, look at mobile phones, Windows and HTC were generally the cheapest brands available, both are struggling but the higher end phones (Samsung, Google, Apple) sell really well.

Envato can’t tell authors what to set their prices at but there needs to be some education from Envato (or authors) on why you need to focus on quality and not price. The majority of buyers will want a quality item at the right price, hence why at $60 items were selling like hotcakes, there are buyers who want to pay less and will grab the $17 WP themes but more often price isn’t the first factor, design and functionality is.

I would rather sell 10 items at $100 each then 100 at $10, less support (less time wasted) which means more time on other items to make even more money, unfortunately a minority haven’t realised that the numbers will not add up in the long term, they are after short term gains and after a while they will soon bump their prices upto a proper level.

One thing I would like to see changed is the option to change your price willy nilly, e.g. Monday it’s $10, Tuesday it’s $12, Wednesday it’s $14 as that pisses off buyers who go to buy and the price has changed. Not sure if Envato can do it but would like to Envato restrict price changes to every 2 weeks.


@miyachi_hikari The problem here is that you can’t really call it an author’s “choice” to lower the price on their items. Most of them are forced to do so.

The concept on markets was that Envato creates a great environment for authors, advertises, sets prices according to your work quality (Yes, lower quality themes were priced lower and better themes were priced higher and it was an achievement to have a theme priced more), so authors can focus on creating products of quality available only on Theme Forest. Now authors lose motivation to create a genuinely good product, because you can spend so much time on it and once you hit the market with a fair price set (let’s say standard 59$), buyers will be already used to 13$, 19$ prices for WordPress themes, even the top selling ones. You just won’t get far, even if you product is super cool.

I 100% agree that product itself is the main factor, but ADP has lowered product quality factor dramatically.

@Gareth_Gillman I was thinking absolutely the same as you when ADP was first launched, but how I was wrong. Almost no one has set the price higher, those who tried quickly got burned and lowered price back. Authors who considerably increased prices can be counted on fingers, and no one was going to leave due to controlled prices, because they knew that only Theme Forest can generate such income for them, we all know lots of stories of those who left and returned.

I was following developments closely and can say that ADP has crippled the market badly. Buyers are now going to new theme category for discounts, not for a good theme.

I have seen so many cases since ADP with really good theme launched at normal price point -> got low sales -> decreased price -> got some sales -> put normal price back after the end of promotion -> sales stopped -> lowered price again -> item is now on 3rd or 4th page, because of huge amount of lower quality themes released for very low price -> exposure is lost -> buyers won’t find the product anymore.

So now even if you created a good product, you would need to set ridiculously low price to get to the weekly top sellers list, but even when you get there, you will face the same problems. There are authors on top sellers page who sell their themes for pennies, authors who still continue to sell for Black Friday sale price, while they advertised the sale to last only for couple of days. Why? Because everyone else does, and if they put their price back now, they will lose their spot in top list (if you still think that price does not matter and only quality does, check out how some authors dumped price and got 5x sale numbers, and those who did not lower price lost their positions), and they are so afraid of it.

What ADP did is it made authors afraid to sell their product for a fair price and made a market look like some backyard sale.


I just posted a topic and one of the stand out numbers from Themeforest WP themes is the average price is $50 so the pricing hasn’t changed with ADP, some have gone low, some have gone hgih but the majority have stayed around the same price.

ADP was primarily realeased for Envato’s benefit, but us authors need to look at the numbers in detail, work out how much we want to earn from our theme e.g $2500 a month, work out how many sales I would need at $30, $50, $70 and then decide which I would prefer,

$2500 / 70 - 35 sales a month
$2500 / 50 - 50 sales a month
$2500 / 30 - 83 sales a month

Would you rather have 35 customer, 50 or 83 customers to support a month? I know which I would prefer. Once you decide your price point then do your utmost to hit that numbers which includes marketing your product.


Most of you are not businessmen or data scientists so you can’t think like them. but I will paste something from a source I don’t think I am allowed to link - you can google it:

During the past year, an average of 230 new WordPress themes was listed on ThemeForest every month. That’s an incredible growth of 34.5% of the WordPress themes inventory. This growth is great for the buyers because it means there are a larger variety and more competition, but it’s bad for the authors because the marketplace is becoming saturated.

If Envato wants to sustain the same amount of sales per theme, either they will have to increase their buyers’ community by 34.5% while keeping the same conversion rates. Or, they would need to find a way to increase the annual spend of an average buyer by 34.5% (or any other combination in between).

Based on Envato’s website, there are 7,627,950 community members. Assuming the average annual spend of a member on WordPress themes remains the same, Envato will have to acquire an additional 2,631,643 members to sustain the same revenues per theme.

ThemeForest’s current average annual GMV is $138,600,378. With current community size, it means that an average member in the database spends $18.17 a year on WordPress themes. The average price of a theme is around $50, which means that on average, every 3rd person on Envato purchases a WordPress theme every year – that’s insane!

So theoretically, if all of the WordPress theme prices were to increase by 34.5%, that would be another way of sustaining the revenues. And maybe that’s one of the reasons why Envato decided to make the pricing more flexible for the authors. If the prices are not going to change, the average annual spend on WordPress themes will have to go up to $24.43, which means that on average, every 2nd person on Envato’s database will need to purchase a theme during 2017.

  • Envato can’t get 2.6 million additional buyers to get same old revenues for authors.
  • Their managers have several metrics to meet to show to the upper management. Overall revenue, GMV and so on.
  • As more buyers can’t be easily acquired to show consistent growth, the best solution by their data scientists is ADP.
  • ADP has created discounts. Just google “Leveraging the Psychology of Discounts” to know how discounts increase the average spending of buyers … even though they’re buying lower priced products, they buy more.
  • Envato itself is encouraging discounts. First by cyber monday week long sales and then actively asking authors to join their near future campaigns.

To sum it up: Nothing personal, just business. Gotta show the boss that growth targets were met.


It all looks good on paper, I would rather have one customer for $1 million then :smirk: . Sadly, in reality it does not work this way. Once one misses the best exposure time as a new item or loses the spot on top seller page, he can say goodbye to all the calculations. This would work only if your item was always visible to the same amount of buyers all the time, in reality it is not.

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this is the key, there is more items than buyers, and that divide will continue to grow, what should Envato do. stop new items? hell no, you have to realise that the exposure for each item on Themeforest will decline unless you do something about it and get your item found via alternative means e.g. marketing. The more popular something gets, the less their is to be shared between everyone… the piece of the pie gets smaller.

As soon as your item is released you should be banging out the marketing, landing pages, social networking, blogging… get exposure to the item as soon as it lands… you realistically need a marketing plan to survive unless you get a lucky break.

Low price now is the best marketing tool for new themes that has become much more important than anything else you mentioned. How realistically is it for a new theme author to do all the marketing, blogging and promoting, it costs money & time that probably won’t ever be returned with competitor themes being sold for 3x lower price, this is why they will choose to just lower the price too. This is a sad reality.

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Lower prices is the easy way out but realistically it only works short term, unless you keep your item really low and generate a lot of sales to sustain it, but most will die off as the buyers will move onto the newer classier cheaper theme. If you do your marketing right you can sustain an items sales over many months generating a good revenue but you have to put effort in.

Most marketing can be done quickly and cheaply, tweet once your item live, build a landing page, set up a facebook page and update with customers sites which use your theme… 3 items which will give an impression of a well used theme. Theme selling is a business, treat it like a business and it will reap the rewards.


This is very precise. But that’s a path markets have taken, lower the quality and increase item number. But we all know it did not work out for Photodune in the end, so where are they going now? Right, higher quality standards and less items. IMO you can’t do the same thing again and expect a different result.


I totally agree, but no one educates authors about this and people tend to go the easiest way and repeat what others do. Until Envato adds control or at least educates authors about impacts of lower prices, we will continue to witness the race to the bottom and authors will be punished financially.