This morning Collis Ta’eed announced on the Envato Notes blog that their price adjustment tool, previously available to Envato Elite authors on their marketplaces that reached $75,000 in sales, is no longer available. Normally prices on the Envato marketplaces are set by Envato during the product review process, and not by the author of the product. The price adjustment tool, announced last year, allowed certain authors to test out different prices for their products beyond what the marketplace would set for them.
The change, Ta’eed said, comes to prepare for the next major change to Envato’s pricing strategy. The introduction of variable pricing for certain elite authors was Envato’s first step toward dynamic pricing. “While it has had some success,” he said, “it’s become clear to us that it’s not the long-term solution.” The updated pricing solution — while what it is isn’t exactly clear yet — is slated for release “later this year”.
With the pricing tool removed, any marketplace products with modified prices will be left at the last price their author left them at. This affects 160 current authors who have already reached the $75,000 Elite level.
As a replacement for the price adjustment ability, which was the main draw at the $75,000 Envato Elite level, authors will be given an Elite badge on their products and the ability to give themselves a custom forum title. Each author will also 12 months of Envato’s Tuts+ Premium membership.
Ta’eed recognized in his post that this news could disappoint authors. He said:
In the meantime I wanted to give a personal apology for the inconvenience of not having access to the price adjustment tool. I know many existing and new Elite authors were warming up to the tool and increasingly using it. And I realize that in those cases, our new additions will likely not make up for the removal.
Responses to the announcement in the ThemeForest forum are mixed, though some are disappointed at the change and, sometimes, lack of communication. Orman Clark, who has quite a sales record on ThemeForest, responded in disappointment at the news:
As someone that operates their entire business through ThemeForest, and has managed to grow a small team around it, substituting one for the other is not going to wash. And while everyone can always learn something new, 12 months access to Tuts+ is hardly a worthy replacement or incentive based on the assumption that Elite authors have already got some skills to pay the bills.
Ta’eed did join the discussion in that forum thread, answering questions and responding to suggestions. It’s an interesting discussion if you’re interested in some of the dynamics and thought process behind the largest WordPress theme marketplace in the world.