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Beketoff

Sale not cleared due to customer's non-payment

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Hello all,

 

A bit new to this kind of situation, seeking your knowledge. I have a number of sales that aren't cleared since several months, i.e. well beyond the 45-day notional deadline (one of the sale has been made  five months ago and still uncleared). Alamy support informed me that this is because they haven't received a payment from the ultimate customer and that their "credit control team actively chasing the client".

 

My question is: does it mean that Alamy won’t clear my sale (and make the payout, if the minimum threshold has been reached) for as long as it doesn't receive the payment from its client? If yes, then this means that the agency shifts the risk of client’s non-payment to the contributor, correct? I wonder if there's a provision in contributor's agreement with Alamy that would allow this..

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Perhaps we should try to get into the habit of calling reported items "orders", and not "sales", until they clear.

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We don't get paid until Alamy do- that's what having an agent means.

It's in the contract, term 12.3. See also the definition of "cleared funds".

Edited by spacecadet
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2 hours ago, Beketoff said:

Hello all,

 

A bit new to this kind of situation, seeking your knowledge. I have a number of sales that aren't cleared since several months, i.e. well beyond the 45-day notional deadline (one of the sale has been made  five months ago and still uncleared). Alamy support informed me that this is because they haven't received a payment from the ultimate customer and that their "credit control team actively chasing the client".

 

My question is: does it mean that Alamy won’t clear my sale (and make the payout, if the minimum threshold has been reached) for as long as it doesn't receive the payment from its client? If yes, then this means that the agency shifts the risk of client’s non-payment to the contributor, correct? I wonder if there's a provision in contributor's agreement with Alamy that would allow this..

 

I find it can take several months (up to 6) for payment. If the sale is via an Alamy distributor then the delay often seems to be longer as the customer has to pay distributor, then distributor has to pay Alamy. If you feel the delay is excessive you could try contacting contributors@alamy.com, but they will probably just tell you they are already chasing and you just need to be patient.

 

Mark

 

Edited by M.Chapman
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I'm afraid not.

 

You are quite correct that if the end user doesn't pay then we don't get paid.  However the risk is shared in that Alamy likewise don't get paid.

 

I've got one distributor sale date to the first quarter of 2018 which has not cleared.  It was a distributor sale and no doubt I'll never get the money even though Alamy credit control are chasing the money.

Edited by David Pimborough

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4 hours ago, spacecadet said:

We don't get paid until Alamy do- that's what having an agent means.

It's in the contract, term 12.3. See also the definition of "cleared funds".

 

With due respect, Article 12.3 of the contributor agreement, and in fact, the whole article 12, does not specify what you have mentioned, i.e. that Alamy pays out only once it received the payment from the customer (and provided other conditions are met such as minimum cleared amount of 50 USD). It only specifies that the agency pays at after 30 days provided the threshold is met and in which currency. I still don't have a relevant provision.

 

5 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

You are quite correct that if the end user doesn't pay then we don't get paid.  However the risk is shared in that Alamy likewise don't get paid.

 

For risk sharing, I guess that's a specific feature of Alamy, since I haven't come across with anything similar with other agencies. Is this possible only for a distributor sales channel under Additional revenue options section of the Dashboard? 

 

3 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

If you feel the delay is excessive you could try contacting contributors@alamy.com, but they will probably just tell you they are already chasing and you just need to be patient.

 

Exactly what I did before posting here and exactly what they replied (chasing the client). Quite demotivating, I must admit. Not only the sales are very rare and not always for a price as much higher as on microstocks, but you also may end up being hand-cuffed by the end-customer willingness to pay.

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No you also have to wait for magazine, newspaper and TV sales to clear as they usually have quarterly payment terms.

 

Its not unusual to find some that should have been reported as a sale being used on a website or in a newspaper being reported as a sale some months later.

 

I had a photo used by  a well known travel and lifestyle magazine which was not reported until I prompted Alamy.

 

And no I have not come across another agency (that I use) that operates in this way.

Edited by David Pimborough
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8 hours ago, Beketoff said:

 

 

My question is: does it mean that Alamy won’t clear my sale (and make the payout, if the minimum threshold has been reached) for as long as it doesn't receive the payment from its client? If yes, then this means that the agency shifts the risk of client’s non-payment to the contributor, correct?

The risk is shared between us and the agency.

I got an email today telling me a decent-for-me-for-2019-on-Alamy sale from May was unrecoverable due to the company becoming insolvent. So we share the loss 50-50.

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11 hours ago, Beketoff said:

 

With due respect, Article 12.3 of the contributor agreement, and in fact, the whole article 12, does not specify what you have mentioned, i.e. that Alamy pays out only once it received the payment from the customer (and provided other conditions are met such as minimum cleared amount of 50 USD). It only specifies that the agency pays at after 30 days provided the threshold is met and in which currency. I still don't have a relevant provision.

 

 

 

Is there a language barrier here? It's quite clear that Alamy pays out "cleared funds", which are precisely defined- money which Alamy has received.

From the definition: " Sales on account will be deemed cleared on day 45 if we have received payment from the Customer. "

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18 hours ago, Beketoff said:

 

 

 

For risk sharing, I guess that's a specific feature of Alamy, since I haven't come across with anything similar with other agencies. Is this possible only for a distributor sales channel under Additional revenue options section of the Dashboard? 

 

 

 

 

what other agency tells you as soon as they billed the client? 

 

obviously if all you sell are subscription you have the advantage your 33 cents is prepaid 

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On 22/10/2019 at 22:00, Beketoff said:

My question is: does it mean that Alamy won’t clear my sale (and make the payout, if the minimum threshold has been reached) for as long as it doesn't receive the payment from its client? If yes, then this means that the agency shifts the risk of client’s non-payment to the contributor, correct? I wonder if there's a provision in contributor's agreement with Alamy that would allow this..

 

Until Alamy receive payment, I'd argue there has been no sale (regardless of the terminology Alamy or individual contributors use). This is standard business practise amongst photo agencies as far as I have ever seen. From the perspective of running a business, I can't really see how it could be otherwise?

 

What risk has been shifted to contributors? If Alamy report 100 "sales" before they receive payment, and they subsequently never receive payment, what actual loss have I incurred? I believe none, other than a "sale" that has not happened not happening.

 

The other agencies I am with, in particular a big huge low-commission-paying-but-almost-everywhere-you-look one of some variable repute, only report "sales" once they have received payment. Alamy choose to report much earlier, with the disadvantage being the assumption from some that once reported a "sale" will definitely be concluded. Whenever this exact topic comes up, as it does regularly, I wonder why Alamy don't just throw in the towel and only report when the sale is finalised in full. Perhaps ignorance can be bliss, or at the very least a lack of frustration/angst/confusion from some?

 

As someone who checks in here spasmodically and not daily (or more . . . ) I don't care if "sales" are reported before or after Alamy receives payment, but I know many here prefer the current arrangement.

 

Sometimes, la vie est dure.

 

DD

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

Perhaps we should try to get into the habit of calling reported items "orders", and not "sales", until they clear.

 

There is some merit in this suggestion I think, if for no reason other than less confusion and lower expectation :)

 

DD

Edited by dustydingo

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2 hours ago, dustydingo said:

What risk has been shifted to contributors? If Alamy report 100 "sales" before they receive payment, and they subsequently never receive payment, what actual loss have I incurred? I believe none, other than a "sale" that has not happened not happening.

 

When a customer gets my asset physically by purchasing/downloading it from Alamy's platform, but never pays for it (and Alamy subsequently writes that off), it's a loss for me, no matter how you frame it, because there were certain time/money/efforts etc. invested in that asset but it was eventually given away for free. Normally a service/agency/shop will have it covered by itself and either reimburse the amount to the seller (contributor in this case) or try to alleviate it somehow in a different way (think of Amazon or other similar platforms), in which case it's a 100% loss for that shop and a 0% loss/risk for me. But if Alamy has nothing to give to me if they never catch a customer, then this is 50%/50% risk. After all, it's not a direct sale by myself to a final customer somewhere in the street, in which case I bear the full risk; it's Alamy who is authorized, for a fee, to sell my asset. That's how I see it.

 

Of course, it's my mistake that I didn't read the contributor contract very carefully nor investigated that on forums prior to subscribing to the service, so no one to blame except myself. But the way the business is organized here seems to be wrong to me. Also from a microstock perspective, because no matter how low the subscription-based fees they have (a notional "33 cents"), Alamy also doesn't always sell my assets for double or triple digit amounts, and the sales are much more seldom. So in the end, the financial gain of the two platforms may be the same, with the only difference that the other platforms pay you no matter what.

 

1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

Perhaps we should try to get into the habit of calling reported items "orders", and not "sales", until they clear.

 

Indeed, probably the best way to look at it, thanks.

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47 minutes ago, Beketoff said:

 

When a customer gets my asset physically by purchasing/downloading it from Alamy's platform, but never pays for it (and Alamy subsequently writes that off), it's a loss for me, no matter how you frame it, because there were certain time/money/efforts etc. invested in that asset but it was eventually given away for free. Normally a service/agency/shop will have it covered by itself and either reimburse the amount to the seller (contributor in this case) or try to alleviate it somehow in a different way (think of Amazon or other similar platforms), in which case it's a 100% loss for that shop and a 0% loss/risk for me. But if Alamy has nothing to give to me if they never catch a customer, then this is 50%/50% risk. After all, it's not a direct sale by myself to a final customer somewhere in the street, in which case I bear the full risk; it's Alamy who is authorized, for a fee, to sell my asset. That's how I see it.

 

 

You are comparing pineapples with cherries. You suffer not one iota of loss if someone downloads an image but doesn't pay for it for the simple reason that the asset (the image) remains. This is totally different to selling say a used lens and not being paid for it by way of the used lens now no longer being in your possession. The image on the other hand remains. QED.

 

DD

 

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1 hour ago, dustydingo said:

it's Alamy who is authorized, for a fee, to sell my asset. That's how I see it.

If that's how you see it, you see it incorrectly. That's not how an agency contract works in law. Alamy deducts commission, it does not charge a fee.

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1 hour ago, Beketoff said:

 

When a customer gets my asset physically by purchasing/downloading it from Alamy's platform, but never pays for it (and Alamy subsequently writes that off), it's a loss for me, no matter how you frame it, because there were certain time/money/efforts etc. invested in that asset but it was eventually given away for free. Normally a service/agency/shop will have it covered by itself and either reimburse the amount to the seller (contributor in this case) or try to alleviate it somehow in a different way (think of Amazon or other similar platforms), in which case it's a 100% loss for that shop and a 0% loss/risk for me. But if Alamy has nothing to give to me if they never catch a customer, then this is 50%/50% risk. After all, it's not a direct sale by myself to a final customer somewhere in the street, in which case I bear the full risk; it's Alamy who is authorized, for a fee, to sell my asset. That's how I see it.

 

Of course, it's my mistake that I didn't read the contributor contract very carefully nor investigated that on forums prior to subscribing to the service, so no one to blame except myself. But the way the business is organized here seems to be wrong to me. Also from a microstock perspective, because no matter how low the subscription-based fees they have (a notional "33 cents"), Alamy also doesn't always sell my assets for double or triple digit amounts, and the sales are much more seldom. So in the end, the financial gain of the two platforms may be the same, with the only difference that the other platforms pay you no matter what.

 

 

Indeed, probably the best way to look at it, thanks.

 

 

how do you find out about other agencies sales where payment bounced, but you still got paid?

 

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explained more clearly in next post :)

Edited by dustydingo

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9 minutes ago, spacecadet said:
1 hour ago, dustydingo said:

it's Alamy who is authorized, for a fee, to sell my asset. That's how I see it.

If that's how you see it, you see it incorrectly. That's not how an agency contract works in law. Alamy deducts commission, it does not charge a fee.

 No, I didn't say that :)

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19 minutes ago, dustydingo said:

 No, I didn't say that :)

Sorry, I quoted from your quote- the OP said it.

You covered the point better than I did anyway.

Edited by spacecadet
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32 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Sorry, I quoted from your quote- the OP said it.

You covered the point better than I did anyway.

:)

DD

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From what I know, Alamy is one of the few (if only) that lets you know when an image has been "purchased" before it is paid for.  Other agencies only let you know when it is time to pay you, so you may have many images that have been "purchased" but then not paid for on other agencies; you just don't know it as unpaid purchases are not revealed.

 

Jill

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