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How do I see my actual earnings?


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On my dashboard, there is a number for "sales to date". 

 

That's nice, but I know that number is not my actual earnings, because Alamy always has to do it the confusing way. 

How do I see what My actual earnings have been?

 

I'm trying to decide if I want to continue with Alamy.

 

I find their accounting distressing, and it may not be worth the anxiety to continue.  I really do try to just ignore it, and pretend it's all okay, but every time I see a sale, I have to mentally backtrack and tell myself "that wasn't really a $20 sale, it's probably more like $8, I need to look it up" and then see the confusing report... I can't make any real assessment of my earnings.  Maybe I can live without the earnings, and not have the stress. 

 

I have no expectations that Alamy will make their accounting less opaque.

 

I have worked hard on my portfolio.

 

It's hard to decide, and knowing my actual earnings over the years will help.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

On my dashboard, there is a number for "sales to date". 

 

That's nice, but I know that number is not my actual earnings, because Alamy always has to do it the confusing way. 

How do I see what My actual earnings have been?

 

I'm trying to decide if I want to continue with Alamy.

 

I find their accounting distressing, and it may not be worth the anxiety to continue.  I really do try to just ignore it, and pretend it's all okay, but every time I see a sale, I have to mentally backtrack and tell myself "that wasn't really a $20 sale, it's probably more like $8, I need to look it up" and then see the confusing report... I can't make any real assessment of my earnings.  Maybe I can live without the earnings, and not have the stress. 

 

I have no expectations that Alamy will make their accounting less opaque.

 

I have worked hard on my portfolio.

 

It's hard to decide, and knowing my actual earnings over the years will help.

 

 

 

Where are you looking at your sales that you do not see the net amounts?

If you go here: https://www.alamy.com/alamycontributorreports/Reports.aspx?Rep=2

(you have to be logged in) you can set it to Date of invoice and the date up to the current day. It will then give you all the details you need.

If you hit the download button, you'll get the sales details as well.

The link to this page is the Download sales report button on your dashboard page.

 

wim

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1 minute ago, Hanna_Fate said:

So, there's no way to just get a total?

 

okay... I'll start adding it all up... 

 

Just download it and say total to your spreadsheet.

 

wim

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Go to your Dashboard, click the Balance of Account tab, and select All for Time Period. In the summary the line Total Payments to You will give you the amount you have received from Alamy to date. This does not include any balance that remains unpaid as it is below the threshold, and is also subject to reduction by any future refunds. This will also not take account of bank charges, conversion rates, etc. so to get the true figure you need to add up the amounts you used for your tax returns.

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18 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

On my dashboard, there is a number for "sales to date". 

 

That's nice, but I know that number is not my actual earnings, because Alamy always has to do it the confusing way. 

How do I see what My actual earnings have been?

 

I'm trying to decide if I want to continue with Alamy.

 

I find their accounting distressing, and it may not be worth the anxiety to continue.  I really do try to just ignore it, and pretend it's all okay, but every time I see a sale, I have to mentally backtrack and tell myself "that wasn't really a $20 sale, it's probably more like $8, I need to look it up" and then see the confusing report... I can't make any real assessment of my earnings.  Maybe I can live without the earnings, and not have the stress. 

 

I have no expectations that Alamy will make their accounting less opaque.

 

I have worked hard on my portfolio.

 

It's hard to decide, and knowing my actual earnings over the years will help.

 

 

 

Alamy's sales reports aren't "opaque". You can see what the buyer paid, Alamy's cut, and what is due to you. Not sure why it should be "stressful"...

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There is an easy way.

 

In your dashboard click on"account balance" when the page comes up click on "all" in the dropdown box asking for the time period.

 

wait a moment for alamy computer to gather its thoughts and it will show your earnings gross and actual to you after deductions.

 

Allan

 

Damn! beaten to it by DJ

Edited by Allan Bell
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1 minute ago, John Morrison said:

Alamy's sales reports aren't "opaque". You can see what the buyer paid, Alamy's cut, and what is due to you. Not sure why it should be "stressful"...

 

Haha all accounting is always stressful.

 

wim

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21 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

I find their accounting distressing, and it may not be worth the anxiety to continue.  

 

Hi Hanna,

Sorry that  it's so stressful. I look at it a completely different way. For anyone with a portfolio as small as we've got, this is nothing more than a hobby; you can't live off of the income. I do it because I enjoy photography and it's nice to make some money on the side doing what I enjoy. If you look at the time you spend taking photos, editing, uploading, keywording etc. then the income per hour definitely doesn't come in anywhere near minimum wage. But as I said, I enjoy doing it and that is my primary driver.

 

If you've got multiple hobbies where you make an income, then yes, I could see that you might want to work out how much you make an hour compared to other hobbies. I concentrated on my picture painting last year and made a lot more money doing that. But it's all pocket money compared to my day job. The questions is, what do you want to do with your spare time? If it's earning money similar to a regular job, then stock photography is probably not worth it unless you're spectacularly more successful than people with similar sized ports. If you do it because you enjoy it, then look on the money as a welcome bonus.

 

Steve

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1 minute ago, wiskerke said:

 

Haha all accounting is always stressful.

 

wim

 

I find it quite easy but then I used to run a sub post office which was contained within the convenience store (shop) tobacconists and newsagents that my wife (god bless her) and I ran for eight years. I used to have to do the PO accounts as well as our own shop accounts.

 

Remember once having a visit from the VAT people to go through my accounts and receiving advise on how to make it so we could actually put more money in our pockets. They did not find anything wrong either. We parted best of friends.

 

Those were hard and long days with only 3 weeks holiday in the eight years.

 

Sorry I am rambling on again.

 

Allan

 

You can have your thread back Hanna.

 

ITMA

 

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22 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

 

Alamy's sales reports aren't "opaque". You can see what the buyer paid, Alamy's cut, and what is due to you. Not sure why it should be "stressful"...

 

Well, John, it's nice that you can not worry about money.

 

On my dashboard "sales to date" is one number.

Going to "balance of account"  as directed by DJ Myford, is a different number.

I can't find uncleared sales that account for that difference.  That's why I call it opaque. 

 

I know fans of this agency are proud of their ability to decipher the reports.  However, some of us are mere artists who aren't so clever.  Every other site I have EVER worked with makes it easy for us not so smart people.  They report what they owe me.  If I want to know what they charged their customers, I can look it up.  They don't clutter my account with it unnecessarily. It's nice and clear.  If my commission on a sale is $10, that's what my account shows.  I get a nice clear list.  Sales pending, sales cleared, payments made.  

 

When there is a refund on Alamy, it gets even weirder.  It looks like they refunded more than I got paid.  This can happen months after the sale, which makes it more work to see what's going on. (support has never been any help on any of this)

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

 

 

That's nice, but I know that number is not my actual earnings, because Alamy always has to do it the confusing way. 

How do I see what My actual earnings have been?

 

I'm trying to decide if I want to continue with Alamy.

 

 

 

 

 

If telling us in the most obvious way how much they charge for the service is the confusing way, i wish more places were that confusing.  

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9 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 But it's all pocket money compared to my day job.

 

This IS my day job.  It's not something I do in my "spare time".  It's what I do.

 

That's why I'm having such a hard time deciding whether I should drop Alamy. 

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2 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

Well, John, it's nice that you can not worry about money.

 

Oof... My point was simply that Alamy's way of reporting sales (and the occasional refund) is transparent, not opaque.

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2 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

 

 

I know fans of this agency are proud of their ability to decipher the reports.  However, some of us are mere artists who aren't so clever.  Every other site I have EVER worked with makes it easy for us not so smart people.  They report what they owe me.  If I want to know what they charged their customers, I can look it up.  They don't clutter my account with it unnecessarily. It's nice and clear.  If my commission on a sale is $10, that's what my account shows.  I get a nice clear list.  Sales pending, sales cleared, payments made.  

 

 

 

 

 

but it's not your commission on sale that they show, it's how much you got after  THEIR commission.  They are the ones providing you a service, and you are fine not knowing how much they charge you?  

 

so would you rather an employer not tell you what your base salary was, just what it is after all taxes and deductions?  Not knowing how much each components were and where they went.  

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9 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

 

This IS my day job.  It's not something I do in my "spare time".  It's what I do.

 

That's why I'm having such a hard time deciding whether I should drop Alamy. 

I see. But you have such a small portfolio, are you on multiple agencies? I'm not aware that there is an easy way of extracting your net income without doing some calculations. But you can download your sales report and get your net income there and just stick it in an Excel spreadsheet to add it up for each month, very quick and easy to do.

 

Kudos for trying to live off of stock photography though. You must be very successful selling your illustrations.

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15 minutes ago, Steve F said:

Hi Hanna,

Sorry that  it's so stressful. I look at it a completely different way. For anyone with a portfolio as small as we've got, this is nothing more than a hobby; you can't live off of the income. I do it because I enjoy photography and it's nice to make some money on the side doing what I enjoy. If you look at the time you spend taking photos, editing, uploading, keywording etc. then the income per hour definitely doesn't come in anywhere near minimum wage. But as I said, I enjoy doing it and that is my primary driver.

 

If you've got multiple hobbies where you make an income, then yes, I could see that you might want to work out how much you make an hour compared to other hobbies. I concentrated on my picture painting last year and made a lot more money doing that. But it's all pocket money compared to my day job. The questions is, what do you want to do with your spare time? If it's earning money similar to a regular job, then stock photography is probably not worth it unless you're spectacularly more successful than people with similar sized ports. If you do it because you enjoy it, then look on the money as a welcome bonus.

 

Steve

 

 

but even on a regular job i want to know how much was gross earnings, before all deductions.  

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2 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

Well, John, it's nice that you can not worry about money.

 

On my dashboard "sales to date" is one number.

Going to "balance of account"  as directed by DJ Myford, is a different number.

I can't find uncleared sales that account for that difference.  That's why I call it opaque. 

 

I know fans of this agency are proud of their ability to decipher the reports.  However, some of us are mere artists who aren't so clever.  Every other site I have EVER worked with makes it easy for us not so smart people.  They report what they owe me.  If I want to know what they charged their customers, I can look it up.  They don't clutter my account with it unnecessarily. It's nice and clear.  If my commission on a sale is $10, that's what my account shows.  I get a nice clear list.  Sales pending, sales cleared, payments made.  

 

When there is a refund, it gets even weirder.  It looks like they refunded more than I got paid.  This can happen months after the sale, which makes it more work to see what's going on. (support has never been any help on any of this)

 

I agree that looking at how the competition is doing their business is not the strongest point here.

 

The refunds can be higher because of the exchange rates going up and down all the time.

You're not stating your whereabouts, but my guess is that you're foreign like me. Foreign to the UK I mean 😎

There is a NYC desk. And payments do go through a US bank.

 

wim

 

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2 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

but even on a regular job i want to know how much was gross earnings, before all deductions.  

Agreed that it's good to know. I would also like to see net income somewhere though as a single figure (unless Alamy is worried it would make us depressed!)

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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

but it's not your commission on sale that they show, it's how much you got after  THEIR commission.  They are the ones providing you a service, and you are fine not knowing how much they charge you?  

 

so would you rather an employer not tell you what your base salary was, just what it is after all taxes and deductions?  Not knowing how much each components were and where they went.  

 

What I'm saying is more equivalent to expecting the dollar value on my paycheck to be the actual amount of money I can cash the check for.

 

If I want to know the "base salary" I can look it up. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Steve F said:

I see. But you have such a small portfolio, are you on multiple agencies? I'm not aware that there is an easy way of extracting your net income without doing some calculations. But you can download your sales report and get your net income there and just stick it in an Excel spreadsheet to add it up for each month, very quick and easy to do.

 

Kudo for trying to live off of stock photography though. You must be very successful selling your illustrations.

 

I get by.  Not lavishly, but well enough. 

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40 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

So, there's no way to just get a total?

 

okay... I'll start adding it all up... 

 

I keep a spreadsheet for all stock earnings month by month and just record the nett amount from Alamy.

 

To be honest they really should just provide a chart showing nett earnings rather than the "gross" figure

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8 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

 

What I'm saying is more equivalent to expecting the dollar value on my paycheck to be the actual amount of money I can cash the check for.

 

If I want to know the "base salary" I can look it up. 

 

 

American banks always take a huge cut is my experience. Here in continental Europe that's forbidden. Probably why the UK wants to leave.

It used to be here as well though. Now it's only allowed for cashing checks, which is like from the stone age here. (I used to live in DC - now in Holland -and not Holland Michigan)

 

wim

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9 minutes ago, Steve F said:

Agreed that it's good to know. I would also like to see net income somewhere though as a single figure (unless Alamy is worried it would make us depressed!)

 

Y'know, I think you've touched on why this bothers me so much.  It's disappointment. 

 

On all my other sites, if I log in and see a $20 sale, it's a $20 sale.  Yay!   I log in to Alamy and there's $70!.... no wait... I haven't earned $70.   I've earned $20.   Oh.

Maybe all I really want to be different is what they show me first.  Show me the net on the main page, show me the details elsewhere. 

 

I'll admit I'm much more sensitive to stressors this year (aren't we all?)  Maybe I should wait until next year to decide about this.   Sometime after it's safe to do my own shopping again.

 

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2 minutes ago, Hanna_Fate said:

 

Y'know, I think you've touched on why this bothers me so much.  It's disappointment. 

 

On all my other sites, if I log in and see a $20 sale, it's a $20 sale.  Yay!   I log in to Alamy and there's $70!.... no wait... I haven't earned $70.   I've earned $20.   Oh.

Maybe all I really want to be different is what they show me first.  Show me the net on the main page, show me the details elsewhere. 

 

I'll admit I'm much more sensitive to stressors this year (aren't we all?)  Maybe I should wait until next year to decide about this.   Sometime after it's safe to do my own shopping again.

 

Sometimes it's good to take a deep breath and... take stock 🙃

I have to admit that it would be nice to see the net earnings, that's more important at the end of the day than the gross figure...

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