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Should Alamy make contributors wait indefinitely for payments?


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A strict application of the $ 75 plus rule could result in some contributors waiting indefinitely for payments due from sales. In some cases contributors could never receive a payment. In my own case I achieved my first sale in October last year, and my second in March this year. If that pattern continues it will take four years, from the date of my first sale, before I am paid. That cannot possibly be right.

 

Then we must ask what Alamy is doing with all the money it is witholding? Given the number of contributors it has world wide we must be talking serious money.We can only assume it has wisely invested the money and is drawing income from it.But the point is Alamy does not own that money, it belongs to the contributors who are waiting to be paid 

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It's no different to stock sales at most, if not all, agencies. I've never contributed to one that didn't have a minimum payout. The Alamy one is lower than a few that I deal with.

 

No matter how low the threshold there will always be someone who is just under it. Since payouts cost money/time to process, there has to some line drawn.

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Then submit more pictures and make more sales.

A couple of years ago the threshold was $250. It took me nearly 2 years to reach it but by then I had about 1500 images on sale.

Of course, you don't have to wait 'indefinitely'. You can close your account and get your money that way.

Edited by spacecadet
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Not that long ago that limit was $250.

 

The $75 limit was settled about a year ago after a long forum discussion during which Alamy changed their, at that time, newly introduced fees and limit to a more contributor friendly scheme. A compromise most contributors finally could agree to and Alamy showed that they had listened to the contributors and changed the already introduced scheme.

 

Search for the discussion on the forum from that time - perhaps you should use Google.

 

I don't think many contributors will support the idea of asking Alamy to change the limit again and make contributors pay more of the more numerous money transfer expenses.

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As Spacecadet has stated, it used to be $250 before payout and this subject was raised very often on the forum. Alamy obviously listened to its contributors and addressed the issue and the payout barrier has substantially decreased to its present $75.

I suspect that to lower this even further would not be beneficial to Alamy because of commercial banking fees etc, also it sets a target for contributors to aspire to and encourages uploading more new photos.

I don't see a problem with the $75 payout, after all, whats the point in transfering sums of $3 dollars!

 

Andy

 

Niels just beat me to it. (must learn to type faster).

Edited by AndyMelbourne
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Niels just beat me to it. (must learn to type faster).

 

:)

 

Me too.

 

When I started there was no reply to the post. After an incoming phone call and the little extra time it takes to type in a foreign language - I found that some of my information was redundant.....

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The threshold was set to $75 last November.  

 

http://www.alamy.com/Blog/contributor/archive/2013/11/04/5545.aspx

 

 

@Brock, it shouldn't take you 4 years to get past the threshold.  As for me I ended having a nice textbook sale for my second one and that pushed me over the limit.  You have some lovely bear and bird images.

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At one stage the threshold was set lower but the contributor was asked to pay a fee to receive what was owed. Stick with the $75 and no fee. Just load more images and sell more.

 

In fact you are doing very well to have had two sales with your low count portfolio. Double or triple it for double triple sales. You must be doing something right, my sales did not start until I had over 1000 images with Alamy.

 

Good luck.

 

Allan

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Don't forget that back in the day, Alamy used to charge an $11 transfer fee plus a foreign exchange fee - that was when it was $250 minimum. Just looked back and it changed Jan 2009......ironically with my biggest payout from here.

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It also used to be 10 shots for QC and submissions sent on CD by post. So take advantage of how easy Alamy make things for us today. Look at the 'Have you found any images ' thread, look at All of Alamy and get shooting. Get 2-3000 images up and you  will see there is nothing indefinite about it. Shooting stock is a job, and like any other you have to put in the hours.

Col

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If I understand your details correctly you have been a member of Alamy since April 2011. If in this time you have uploaded 284 images and have only realised $75 of income in over 3 years then maybe Alamy is not the appropriate site for your aspirations.

 

 

dov

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Brock, I was surprised when Alamy lowered the payout amount to $75. I very much doubt that they will lower the amount further. But that's not really your problem. Your problem is the problem of most new contributors: the mistaken idea that stock is a quick, easy way to make money. It's Tai Chi, not Kung Fu, and there is a lot of work involved. 

 

LOL I was about to type exactly what dov and Mark just posted, but now I won't have to. But I agree that their point is the main point for you. You simply have not given this much effort. I have just under 1,500 images -- which these days is nothing.  So that advice can be aimed at me too. I won't get into the subject of best subjects to shoot . . . because that is far more complex than is usually expressed in this forum. 

 

Good luck.

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One of my agencies payouts is $5 for Paypal payment.When I had my agency it was always a payout no matter what was due. For me,just easier like that.Then again I had under 1000 photogs and only 2 agencies I repped.

 

L

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I initially balked at the lowering of the threshold to $75, but it has worked out fine, especially since Alamy decided to cover PayPal fees. Lowering the threshold any further doesn't make much sense to me. However, a "payout on demand" system might be a good option IMO. There would probably be a minimum threshold with that type of system as well, though.

 

Looking back, I started uploading to Alamy in 2007 and had to wait almost one year -- even with the 35/65 Alamy/contributor split and sales right from the start-- before I had enough cleared funds to meet the then-$250 payment threshold. Theoretically, it should now only take a few average sales to reach the $75 mark, but I'm sure it's a totally different ballgame for new contributors these days.

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Possibly what Alamy should do is have an option payment that if 6 months go by without a $75 payment, you can have your balance paid out. I have a few images on micro and at the rate they are selling at .25 or .35 each it will be about 5 years before I get a payout.

 

Or at the end of their fiscal year, clear out all balances with no payments during their fiscal year.

 

Jill

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Possibly what Alamy should do is have an option payment that if 6 months go by without a $75 payment, you can have your balance paid out. I have a few images on micro and at the rate they are selling at .25 or .35 each it will be about 5 years before I get a payout.

 

Or at the end of their fiscal year, clear out all balances with no payments during their fiscal year.

 

Jill

Both sound like good ideas to me. They would give new contributors some incentive.

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I like the idea of Jill Morgan, i.e. to have a balance clear out at the end of the fiscal year. Quite frankly I don't see why this should not be possible. Nor do I think it would infringe in any way on those who claim to be doing well.

 

Brock

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I like the idea of Jill Morgan, i.e. to have a balance clear out at the end of the fiscal year. Quite frankly I don't see why this should not be possible. Nor do I think it would infringe in any way on those who claim to be doing well.

 

Brock

 

Sounds fair to me. After all, the money is owed to you.

 

BTW, you have some really nice wildlife/nature images, but this must be a highly competitive field. Have you thought of adding some different subjects?

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I just received a cheque today from Photoedit (another stock agency based in the US) for $67.50.  My Sydney bank will deduct $30.00 from this princely sum and return the cheque (via airmail) to the States for clearing and I will receive the balance in about seven weeks!  I emailed Photoedit (who appear to be in the last century in relation to uploading and payment systems) requesting they cancel the cheque and arrange either a direct debit or PayPal, both of which they advise they cannot do.  They advised that it would cost them $45.00 to arrange a direct debit with their bank.  I pay all my accounts and bank transfers via my home PC and rarely ever step inside a bank these days.  Rarely are cheques used in business in Australia and Europe these days.  

 

So if Alamy and other stock libraries don't have a problem using direct debit and/or PayPal, why is Photoedit still in the dark ages :(

Edited by Sheila Smart
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I just received a cheque today from Photoedit (another stock agency based in the US) for $67.50.  My Sydney bank will deduct $30.00 from this princely sum and return the cheque (via airmail) to the States for clearing and I will receive the balance in about seven weeks!  I emailed Photoedit (who appear to be in the last century in relation to uploading and payment systems) requesting they cancel the cheque and arrange either a direct debit or PayPal, both of which they advise they cannot do.  They advised that it would cost them $45.00 to arrange a direct debit with their bank.  I pay all my accounts and bank transfers via my home PC and rarely ever step inside a bank these days.  Rarely are cheques used in business in Australia and Europe these days.  

 

So if Alamy and other stock libraries don't have a problem using direct debit and/or PayPal, why is Photoedit still in the dark ages :(

Cheques/checks still seem to be the preferred method of payment for publishers in the USA. The situation must be better here in Canada, though. I have a USD account, and cheques in US funds do not go into collection -- i.e. my Canadian bank honours them straightaway with no fees. This probably has something to do with the fact we are joined at the hip economically with the US.

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I just received a cheque today from Photoedit (another stock agency based in the US) for $67.50.  My Sydney bank will deduct $30.00 from this princely sum and return the cheque (via airmail) to the States for clearing and I will receive the balance in about seven weeks!  I emailed Photoedit (who appear to be in the last century in relation to uploading and payment systems) requesting they cancel the cheque and arrange either a direct debit or PayPal, both of which they advise they cannot do.  They advised that it would cost them $45.00 to arrange a direct debit with their bank.  I pay all my accounts and bank transfers via my home PC and rarely ever step inside a bank these days.  Rarely are cheques used in business in Australia and Europe these days.  

 

So if Alamy and other stock libraries don't have a problem using direct debit and/or PayPal, why is Photoedit still in the dark ages :(

 

I don't think most American businesses realise that checks are being phased out across the world. The only time I see a check is with a birthday card, they just are not used in the UK very much and will be completely gone in a few years.

 

I was sent a USD check from one of my US agencies when they stopped using wire transfers - a logistics issue. Not only do we not use the USD in the UK, it also takes four to six weeks to see it honoured by a bank...and at a significant cost. This came as quite a surprise to the management of the agency. I now get echecks to Paypal but the fee is much easier on the bank balance.

 

I can't remember the last time I was in a bank...

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I just received a cheque today from Photoedit (another stock agency based in the US) for $67.50.  My Sydney bank will deduct $30.00 from this princely sum and return the cheque (via airmail) to the States for clearing and I will receive the balance in about seven weeks!  I emailed Photoedit (who appear to be in the last century in relation to uploading and payment systems) requesting they cancel the cheque and arrange either a direct debit or PayPal, both of which they advise they cannot do.  They advised that it would cost them $45.00 to arrange a direct debit with their bank.  I pay all my accounts and bank transfers via my home PC and rarely ever step inside a bank these days.  Rarely are cheques used in business in Australia and Europe these days.  

 

So if Alamy and other stock libraries don't have a problem using direct debit and/or PayPal, why is Photoedit still in the dark ages :(

 

I don't think most American businesses realise that checks are being phased out across the world. The only time I see a check is with a birthday card, they just are not used in the UK very much and will be completely gone in a few years.

 

I was sent a USD check from one of my US agencies when they stopped using wire transfers - a logistics issue. Not only do we not use the USD in the UK, it also takes four to six weeks to see it honoured by a bank...and at a significant cost. This came as quite a surprise to the management of the agency. I now get echecks to Paypal but the fee is much easier on the bank balance.

 

I can't remember the last time I was in a bank...

 

Cheques are still common in Canada, but they aren't used as much as in the USA, which tends to be more resilient to change. For instance, pennies (cents) were recently phased out in Canada with very little public backlash. This move would probably have sparked a revolution -- "from my cold, dead hands" -- south of the border, even though it now costs more than a penny to produce a penny.

 

P.S. I don't mind getting cheques from US clients because my filthy rich Canadian bank charges $15 US for incoming international wire transfers, so I'm hoping that cheques/checks stick around.

Edited by John Mitchell
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If they lower the minimum monthly amount further, I would like the option to set your own threshold if you want it to be triggered at a higher amount. I can't be bothered receiving a couple of $'s here and there..... especially after the exchange rate etc.... not worth the bother!

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I don't think most American businesses realise that checks are being phased out across the world. The only time I see a check is with a birthday card, they just are not used in the UK very much and will be completely gone in a few years.

 

I was sent a USD check from one of my US agencies when they stopped using wire transfers - a logistics issue. Not only do we not use the USD in the UK, it also takes four to six weeks to see it honoured by a bank...and at a significant cost. This came as quite a surprise to the management of the agency. I now get echecks to Paypal but the fee is much easier on the bank balance.

 

I can't remember the last time I was in a bank...

 

 

 

Checks aren't all that common here in the US. I think the last check I received was from a book publisher several years ago. I write them so rarely that I'm still have checks from the last century because it doesn't seem worth the cost of having new ones printed. What's not done electronically is done with plastic. My bank, Chase, has a service that allows you to transfer funds to friends and family members instantly, for free, with a cell phone. Bank statements are paperless and all we get is an electronic image of cleared checks.

 
If an agency is still writing checks then maybe they're keeping their books on paper too.
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