Obox joins ThemeForest, assortment of their themes join the marketplace

25 Comments

David Perel has announced that Obox Themes will be introducing a number of their themes into the ThemeForest marketplace. Actually, they have: four Tumblr themes and six WordPress themes are already available from Obox’s ThemeForest profile. The decision seems to come after a proposition from Collis Ta’eed, co-founder of Envato and by extension ThemeForest:

In December we got an email from a certain Collis Ta’eed, the co-founder of Envato. To say we were excited is an understatement, I loved his design style when I was still learning how to push pixels and often looked to his designs for inspiration.

To cut a long story short the idea was to become an author on their ThemeForest network. It took a bit of consideration but we eventually decided to give it a go. With a650,000 strong membership it can only benefit our business.

Obox WordPress themes are available on ThemeForest for $30, and 2-for-1 deals will not be honored there. This is in contrast to the typical $50 costs on Obox proper. Support will also only be provided for one site when purchased from ThemeForest, it seems.

Obox making their themes available on ThemeForest seems a bit like a boutique shop beginning listing their products in a franchise store, doesn’t it? There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. It may just be a part of theme shops growing up and reaching new audiences. In that sense, do you think that the potential customer visiting a “boutique” theme vendor is distinct from others who might be more inclined to purchase through ThemeForest? Share your thoughts in the comments.

25 thoughts on “Obox joins ThemeForest, assortment of their themes join the marketplace

  1. I admire Obox’s themes, in fact a while ago I played with the selecta theme (I am tight with cash!) and really like the design and layout.

    I think it’s good and bad news (I am a paying user on Themeforest good news for me!) Bad news: it seems another theme provider (woo themes anyone?) is moving a portion of business to Themeforest how long before all of it is moved across??…

    As a user of Themeforest I can honestly say getting support from some theme designers is like pulling teeth language barriers or just lack of support etc. I have had several refunds on dodgy PHP scripts and themes not working etc.

    Obox may find it a bit of struggle as reading through comments on ‘some’ themes the questions are often asked by border line morons. Although TF may have a 650k strong user base, that is a huge potential headache of support questions that will no doubt ensue. I just hope loyal existing customers who have purchased from the main site do not get pushed to the wayside as a result

  2. I understand doing this will get more eyes on the themes – but is it worth it?

    ThemeForest is going to take anywhere from 50%-30% (which means you they get $15-$21/sale) IF they make sure and only sell those themes on TG. Otherwise they’ll only get 25% – a mere $7.50.

    Guess it’s a smart move to try all the options and see what works best, I just don’t think I could ever hand over that sort of cut.

  3. ThemeForest is the TemplateMonster of WordPress. Shiny looking themes that entice you to buy them because they are so damn cheap, only to find out it’s crap under the hood and the support is provided by some guy who can barely speak the same language as you who doesn’t really know WordPress development anyway so he isn’t going to be of any help.

    ThemeForest themes might as well be sold as is with no support, because their support is worthless. Which is a shame because you need support because the themes tend to be shoddy.

    I view OBOX and WooThemes selling on ThemeForest as them slumming it for more sales. Trolling the slums selling their wares on the cheap to the cheapskates of the WordPress community who frequent ThemeForest.

    Just like in the consulting world, Cheap clients are typically the worst clients. They want the world for $30. For that reason I’m surprised OBOX and Woo are bothering with ThemeForest. They should know that from their time doing client work.

  4. If you putting your themes on ThemeForest now you missed the boat. Theme Markets are not as strong as they used to be, too much competition and everyone is trying to get rich quick. ThemeForest 650k members and most themes can’t even do 100 sales now. Back to the drawing board. Start Innovating!

  5. I actually agree with both comments from Marios & George Burley.

    Although probably would’nt have put it as blunt as George, nonetheless he does have a point. I have viewed themes nay purchased themes on Themeforest well over a couple of hundred dollars throught a year or so and have found a majority save for a few, to be quite frankly junk.

    Sure they look pretty but they are as George put it ‘junk under the hood’ what we need is a marketplace with stronger verification checks, and better forums for support. Half the time your redirected to another website for the owners own support, having to register at several different ‘support forums’ is a pain.

    Read the documentation clearer next time read the features you idiot will probably be the cries from avid Themeforest users. However I do believe better transparency is needed for purchasing of themes.

    @Marios it does seem to be a last ditch get rich quick scenario, although Obox really do not (or woo themes for that matter) need to list themes on a site or indeed be associated with it. I quickly going off of Themeforest, v.quickly.

    Maybe we should all club together and build our own!

    • Ben I do agree, Obox and woo themes are quality and they don’t need to be on Theme Market, some exposure and few sales will not help them, it can only put their names down.

  6. I guess it’s working out for Obox, from their short time there, they’ve pulled in c. $1200-$-1400. So if they need more money, why not.

    I just can’t bring myself to move over to Theme Forest, even registered my username once. It doesn’t blend with my niche theme store and I rather support one client well at full price ($100), then 5 clients at 70% of $30 (c. $20, depending on the rate). It’s also my plan to move from Split-GPL to GPL within the next couple weeks (which again wouldn’t be in line with Theme Forest).

    Good luck to Obox though!

    • Don’t get me wrong I wish them all the best, but I have to say as a customer of Themeforest’s service I am now starting to look at moving to a proper theme provider such as WooThemes, AppThemes et all.

      Just because of support, not that I am a moany old so & so, it’s just that sometimes you need a little help and for that reason alone I think my buying habits will change.

      Sure it might be a little bit more expensive, but you get what you pay for. I am currently using a theme at the moment from themeforest for my blog on http://fuzzly.co.uk I already have had to hack it due to the fact the meta tags were linking back to the original theme creator on themeforest.

      Not a happy bunny.

      @ Marios – love your themes dude, great work!

      • He hardcoded the metatags? That’s great 😉 It’s reinforcing hearing information like though. Personally, I believe there’s plenty of price dumping going on and quality is oftentimes directly correlated (unfortunately, though the market still hasn’t matured).

  7. It’s important to think of ThemeForest in the same way that you might think of Amazon. So to make an all-encompassing (and incorrect) statement, like “ThemeForest author support is awful,” is similar to saying “All Amazon items stink.”

    ThemeForest is a marketplace of authors — all who provide varying levels of quality and support. Some — typically the top authors — provide exquisite documentation and support, while others may provide little to none. Note that providing support is not required on ThemeForest. It’s purely optional, though admittedly, the best WordPress authors on the site understand that it’s a necessity.

    I think this is one of the primary aspects of ThemeForest that confuses people. Rather than comparing ThemeForest to, say, WooThemes, you should instead compare a specific author/team on ThemeForest to WooThemes – like Kriesi or GoThemeTeam.


    Good luck to you, Obox. You’re going to do very well! 🙂

    • Jeffrey, There need to be rules in every Theme Market place, every theme comes with full support. If people complain about author support then you just pull their theme off the market place, its very simple, No support no money.
      If I can stay till 3am and answer every support email on my free themes, then there is no excuses that any author who gets pay should have problem with support .
      As you can see support is big issue, don’t ignore it.

      • And there are rules. But support is not measurable. That’s why it’s important on ThemeForest to look at author ratings, sales, documentation, item page comments, etc.

      • I think the point Jeffrey was trying to make is that ThemeForest is not a theme shop. We’re a marketplace where individual theme shops (authors) can sell their work to a large and established audience. All themes sold on ThemeForest must come with some level of documentation, which is rated on the item page. Potential buyers have the ability to leave comments, or contact the author directly to determine how much support the author is able to provide.

        As Jeffrey mentioned we don’t require authors to provide support, but most authors do. And our top authors realize that without support, it’s almost impossible to become successful on the site. Which is why many of our authors have dedicated support pages, with linked forums, and knowledge bases.

    • Hi Jeffrey,

      Thanks for lending your voice I assume from the URL you entered that you are indeed from Envato?

      Please do not think that we are tarnishing everyone with the same brush for every theme that was junk on ThemeForest there are some authors who go above and beyond they truly do.

      However (there is always a forever)

      Simple things are not being done if English is not the first language of the developer then perhaps you would do well state that on theme itself (sorry but a tiny flag just don’t cut it), this might alienate the individuals themes from strong English speakers. But would have a positive impact on sales from that authors respective country and lend itself to being forewarned is forearmed. If you know the theme is not in English from the get go or the author is going to have issues about answering support questions then no one is to be blamed for poor support.

      In terms of support instead of your comments section and having to sift through every page to find out if someone else has asked the question to your query (and got an answer) is a pain. Perhaps you would be better off creating a forum for each individual theme/script. Sounds like a lot of work but hey it’s your marketplace you need to give clear visibility to potential customers on what is wrong and being rectified etc.

      Some themes go through ‘updates’ read this as you will, updates sometimes offer great new functions however can be for correcting errors with the theme etc. Do you rush through the theme criteria check to maximise sales? How stringent is your checking process?

      What you seem to be forgeting buy stating “to make an all-encompassing (and incorrect) statement, like “ThemeForest author support is awful,’ is similar to saying “All Amazon items stink.” the two are quite obviously unrelated. Amazon sells physical goods and downloads granted. However they are not selling themes/scripts, themes/scripts which I believe is primarily what your site sells requires documentation and support.

      Your next statement ‘Note that providing support is not required on ThemeForest. It’s purely optional, though admittedly, the best WordPress authors on the site understand that it’s a necessity. ‘

      Well quite frankly I cannot believe you made the first part of the statement, providing support is not required on themeforest. OK so if we go buy your rationale, thats a bit like a DVD player being sold on Amazon without a plug. It’s a necessity, as is proper support for themes/scripts.

      I think you need to severly readdress your support ethos, a lot of people read WPCandy, and I for one am shocked that support is not a prerequisite of your marketplace. Truly shocked

      I use Themeforest, and I was happy with it to a certain degree but after reading your reply I am actually feeling quite aggrieved

      • Ben – As I noted, we don’t specifically require some unenforceable level of support upon authors. Frankly, I’d find such a requirement to be disrespectful to the authors’ skill sets. Again, the authors who do well on our sites are well aware that quality support is a must. Further, as Mark noted, we do require documentation for every theme available on ThemeForest.

        Also Ben – I think you might be confusing our stance on author support with our stance on refunds. If it turns out that an item is buggy and doesn’t work as expected, of course we’ll absolutely refund the purchase, and ensure that the item is either removed or fixed.

        P.S. Yes, I’m aware that ThemeForest offers themes, and Amazon offers physical goods. But the model is similar.

    • Sorry Jeffrey, but if a customer has a bad experience the blame is going to go to ThemeForest in most situations… and frankly it should. The Marketplace does have a responsibility to the customer they are marketing these products to.

      There is a trust relationship that occurs between the buyer and the seller. The user, ThemeForest is the seller. Not the author of the theme. If the author of the theme screws up that relationship, he is screwing up ThemeForest’s relationship with that customer in the process.

      Ultimately if ThemeForest wants to avoid these issues they need to be more selective with who they allow to sell themes, and they need to be more stringent with their quality control, coding standards and requirements to sell on the marketplace.

      If not, then ThemeForest will ultimately have to deal with the bad press and comments that come from selling shoddy products.

      As with anything, the minority typically ruin it for the majority. Poor theme developers have the same impact on ThemeForest and deflecting that blame is a tiresome response. Fix the problem, kick the poor theme developers to the curb, become more stringent with your standards and requirements and that will improve ThemeForest’s reputation.

      Then again, ThemeForest probably isn’t concerned about quality. They want quantity. More themes, more sales. Quality? Who cares. So maybe everything I outlined above isn’t applicable.

      • George,

        I doubt very much that ThemeForest isn’t concerned with quality. I think any decent business understands that success can only last so long on sub-par quality. Envato is a very successful business, and I imagine the quality struggles have more to do with handling rapid and accelerated growth than with a lack of desire to offer quality themes.

        The comments, ratings, and even public sales numbers (which is admirable to publish IMO) are all ways to inform a buyer on quality, and I’m sure they are actively looking for new ways. In the last big discussion about ThemeForest here, the Envato guys said they are working on a framework to help theme authors create more consistent, higher quality work.

        I think, personally, that theme marketplaces are far from dead, and more, I think that there will be continued growth (Woo and Obox are not dumb either) and we will see more shops providing themes both independently and on theme marketplaces. The massive audience alone is reason to put your themes there.

        • Hey Brian,

          Drew here from Envato 🙂

          Just wanted to add onto what you mentioned about us working on frameworks etc to help authors. We’ve released quite a few of these already, one can find our open source contributions related to WordPress at http://wp.envato.com/

          We are indeed always concerned about quality, and we’re always open to feedback. We’ll be keeping an eye on this post and taking any notes we need to in order to try to continually improve.

          Cheers!

    • That’s actually not what he was saying. He’s saying that it should be better marked so that people know what they’re getting into when they’re looking for themes. If , as a native English speaker, you ask for support on a theme from a developer that is just beginning to learn English, knowing that beforehand will allow the support seeker to be better prepared for, though not always the case, a more difficult process. The same can go for people that don’t speak the developer’s language at all. Not being able to understand what someone is saying makes encounters with them much more difficult. If you’re paying for support and can’t understand them, you’re left to someone else’s, or your own, devices to solve any issues that arise and are paying for something that is of no use to you.

      • OK, but what “should be better marked”, theme author’s command of English or the country of origin?

        Of course, I understand that all you really want to know, is that you will get quality support when you need it. However, you and @Ben have aimed at the wrong target: non-native English speakers. You fail to acknowledge that people can actually learn the language.

        Talking of support in general, to be able to provide quality support, the author must posses 2 distinct traits:

        1) The ability to speak English
        2) The ability to communicate clearly

        Being native English speaker doesn’t automatically make one a good communicator, and vice versa, communication with someone who learned English as the second language doesn’t have to be difficult.

        ThemeForest is a pretty large place. Some authors provide great support, while others, well, not so great to put it mildly. Sometimes the reason can be lack of English, but in many cases it will be other deficiencies.

        Saying that the issue of low quality support is dealing with non-native English speakers is generalisation.

        It would probably be helpful to buyers if ThemeForest could indicate the level of seller’s English, and even better, the actual quality of support. But how exactly could this be done? Should they introduce language tests for the authors? This still wouldn’t show the style and lever of support, as it is hardly measurable.

        But there are some measures you can take yourself. If you are about to purchase a theme and you want to know what kind of support the author provides, a quick scan through the theme comments should reveal what you can expect.

  8. Firstly @guest this is not a question of race an you implying that it’s a bit racist is quite frankly juvenile.

    @michal considering the sites leaning to the English language as it is predominant geared towards English speakers I find it strange that some theme authors when answering support queries have stated sorry my english is not good.

    I am not so ignorant that I expect everyone to be able to able to speak English. If themeforest was a german site and non german speakers I. E English speakers were unable to provide support to german speakers because of their inability to speak the lingo we would still have the same problem. In fact this thread would probably all be in german.

    I think people are getting caught up in the fact we think themeforest is rubbish and a rip off. As I have mentioned previously it is only a few who do not provide support a majority of themes etc offer support etc.

    However a select few are not and it is for me ruining my experience of the site and I am sure others would agree.

    Better support and a criteria to meet for theme authors would ensure a smoother process for purchasing and a better experience all round for customers to ensure they keep coming back.

    I believe a stricter criteria in author approval needs to be in place. Perhaps taking a leaf out of elance’s book in terms of tests to check a uses ability would help and posting there scores to allow theme buyers build a picture of their skill sets. Themeforest is massive and any serious theme author willing to sell themes would more than likely go through the tests as the end results certianly would yield more results.

  9. This discussion really is showing some negative aspects of themeforest which I think isn’t true for the most part. I’m also an author at themeforest. i understand some authors don’t speak english as their main language and their support might not be top notch, but atleast some of them try. Some top ranking authors offer superb support. So I wouldn’t be so quick to jump the gun on themeforest saying that authors don’t give support. I try to offer support to the best of my abilities and it’s been working out great so far.

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