Selling items on Code Canyon

by Rob | March 26, 2015 9:01 pm

When I began looking for a place to sell our RoVIDX plugin for IPTV devices, the #1 place that was suggested was the Envato marketplace.

It has been a 4 month journey of selling our plugin on Code Canyon[1] and I finally caved and deleted my item.

I had initially planned on going a full 6 months but after the last month, it was time to call it quits.

The Good

The good part of selling on Code Canyon was the support staff.   Each email or support ticket was answered promptly and they generally try really hard to help out their authors.

I think this is the end of the “good” parts.  It’s all down hill from here….

The Bad

Judging from their “Infographics” one would believe that you are getting 60% of the “take home” from the total price.   This couldn’t be farther from the truth.   The real number is 50% and Envato seems to go out of their way to cover this up until you sell your first item.   After my first sale I was shocked to see I made a measly $9.50 per sale of a $19 item.

That brings me to the next big issue I had… The Price.

They do not allow authors to set your own price, instead making those decisions for you.   I had planned on selling my plugin for triple that price, and had spent a lot of time to make it a $60 item. Instead it was priced at $19 which was infuriating to me.  It became even more glaring when customers would contact me and ask me to RAISE the price because it was severely under valued.

I emailed Envato support and requested a price change.  They emailed me back to let me know they had submitted it to the “pricing committee” but they do not have to raise the price if they feel the current price is fair.

The raised it… to a blistering $27.  I was fuming at this point and began strategizing my departure from Code Canyon.  I decided that when the end of May rolled around I’d pull the plugin from their platform.

The Ugly

Dealing with the customer interaction was a nightmare.   Due to the low price point, people were buying the plugin expecting it to be the end-all be-all plugin that would magically allow them to open a fully fledged Internet TV station for the wonderfully low price.   I spent way more time dealing with irate customers that were upset they had to actually do some work to build a ROKU & FireTV app.

The first real annoying customer (and the first one to leave a rating) opened a support ticket.   We responded that the information he was seeking is laid out clearly in the documentation, even providing the exact section that he was looking for.

He responded that it still wasn’t working.   We asked him if he could provide the debug log from Eclipse.   He said “What is Eclipse?”, meaning even though our tech support person told him initially where the problem, he had no interest in actually reading the documentation.  He then proceeded to leave 5 messages in the span of 2 minutes calling my support staff names, mentioning that the competition was better (there is none for our plugins currently) and finally left our very first rating.  1 star.

And he wasn’t the only one.   Each “problem” customer was the exact same, for $27 they wanted the world.    I would try and explain why the price was the way it was and how that was limiting the resources we could invest. Each time they would start hurling insults and acting aggressive.   While I expect bad customers occasionally with every business venture, it seemed Code Canyon was providing more than usual.  Generally our ratio in other products is 1 bad one in every 400 or 500.

I really do think their pricing structure is the real problem.   When you are pricing premium plugins at such low rates, you won’t have the greatest clientele.   I personally don’t want customers that aren’t willing to spend what it costs to run a Internet TV network.

I’m a big believer in building products I would use and RoVIDX Pro is no different.  When I initially built the foundation of the software it was due to

I also don’t want to sound like all of the customers were bad.   Most of the sales brought in some really good customers who understood that it was still going to cost at least a few hundred dollars to get up and running if they had no experience building the various apps.

Conclusion

As of 9pm tonight, RoVIDX Pro is no longer being offered on Code Canyon.  After yet another “asshole” customer doing their best to provoke a negative response in the comments section I pulled the plugin and will now be selling it on my own website for $97.   With the higher price I can curate a better clientele as well as be able to put a lot more work into the plugin for those that purchased it.   Because I value our customers from Code Canyon, we are also giving them each a license for a free copy of the $97 plugin.

Envato really needs to do a lot of work on their relations with sellers (or “authors” as they like to call them) because there is a massive rush of plugin & theme makers moving to other platforms or starting their own.   If they would just let us set the price and gave us a way to deal with reviews from unreasonable customers we would still be offering RoVIDX there.

 

Endnotes:
  1. Code Canyon: http://codecanyon.net/

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