Download "Costs" Rising

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Download "Costs" Rising

Is it just me or has everything on PS suddenly gotten a lot more expensive? I used to be able to download bundled pieces of each kit without using very many of my regular download credits and now everything is costing all of my daily credits PLUS more, as many as 18 more! Alphas that used to be 4 credits are now 8, paper kits that were 8 are now 16. Element bundles are 28!? I donated, I'm happy to be a supporter, but at that rate my extra credits are going to run out really, really fast. I can't donate over and over and over just to keep getting the kits. Just wondering what is the reason for the increase. I feel like I'm being driven away. smiley

Hi Kristen, thanks for the note. First off, I just want to say thank you very much for your donations, and I'm very sorry that you feel like you're being driven away: that's certainly not how we want anyone to feel. smiley

It is important to realize that the download credit "pricing" on the site is in flux. We are in the (constant) process of trying to balance our two goals of 1) being as generous as we can with downloads, and 2) allowing the site to exist, without going bankrupt. This is something that's going to continue to take experimentation and adjustment for some time. That being said, we try not to change the DC costs too frequently, and we will always announce any changes that we make. To date, we have only changed the DC costs a couple of times, and we have lowered the costs as often as we have raised them.

The current change, along with our motivations, was announced on March 3rd. At that time we raised the price of kits from a 70% discount to a 50% discount over individual item downloads (kit prices are determined automatically based on the number of items in the kit, via an equation that needs to be improved). At the same time, we introduced full bundle downloads, which are available at a 75% discount over individual item downloads. No other costs were changed. As you can see, kits should not have doubled in price... if you are seeing kit prices doubled, please point me to the kits in question, and I will certainly look into that: there may be an error in the code.

Please realize that what we are attempting to do with this site is a challenge: we want to let people choose their own freebies every day, to inspire people and give them freedom in licensing and attribution requirements, and at the same time not go bankrupt. We are currently serving thousands of free downloads every single day, and the unfortunate truth is that currently the percentage of people who are donating to support the site is too low, relative to the number who are taking advantage of all the free downloads. Part of the problem until the recent change was the kit downloads: too many of the kits were available at DC prices that allowed people to download them without donating... adding hundreds of free kit downloads (much larger file sizes than individual items) to all the free individual item downloads was just too much strain on our resources. So we've been trying to tweak and adjust--and we're still trying to do that smiley. The basic idea behind our free download system has always been to provide a certain number of "choose your own freebie" downloads to everyone every day, and then have kit and bundle downloads, with their larger file sizes, as bonuses for those who donate.

That being said, I do think that the system is currently a bit out of whack: a lot of people get a lot of stuff for free, but the rewards for supporters such as yourself are perhaps not high enough. Your feedback is very much appreciated, and please realize that we are dedicated to tweaking, adjusting, and changing the site until we find the best possible balance that we can. So please don't be driven away: if something seems wrong, let us know, like you've done. I guarantee you that we will always listen to your feedback, and do our best to adjust. It's just Marisa and I working on the site, there's a heck of a lot to do, and it's a bit of a bumpy road here at the start, but I do hope that you will stick with us.

So all of that being said, we will be thinking of how to try and fix our donation/credit system. One option that we've considered is a subscription system--again, intended to be as generous as we can make it. What would you think of a system that would allow unlimited downloads (of everything, including full kits and bundles) for a monthly subscription of say, $10? That seems like it may offer a better return on donation than you are currently getting...?

Hi Jordan although I already knew about the changes in the DL system/cost I appreciate your full explanation.

I don't want you all to short change yourselves. My question would be regarding the monthly subscription would you pay in advance? Is there a limit to the number of months you would have to keep the subscription? It seems to me that $10 a month may not be advantageous to you and Marisa.

I personally donate $20 usually at least every other month. I am able to use my 10 DCs and then if the kit costs 15 DCs then I use 5 of my purchased DCs. It works quite well.

I would rather you keep the donation costs as they are so that you don't have to eventually close the site down. It is unusual in this day and age to get so much for so little and I would hate to see it end because enough people were not donating.

Just my opinion....

Funny, hard as I try, I miss the really important announcements! Thanks for the clarification. I hope you can find a way to meet a good balance with your system and keep the kits coming, they are amazing!

As for me, I don't know that I would be interested in a subscription. I'm more the type to pay once and then stretch it out as long as possible because sometimes I work, sometimes I increase my stash, but I always have to justify spending the money. I love your system because I'm fairly patient about daily downloads and I don't mind coming back every day to get the goodies. I guess what I'd rather see is the same thing that I wish restaurants would do. Give me the option to purchase a smaller portion at a smaller price. Instead of all the elements bunched together in a huge kit that costs 28 DCs, separate it into two that only cost 14 or three that cost 7. Then I'd be able to use more of the free DCs and not so many of the regular ones. I realize, though, that that really is only a service to me. I have no idea if that's a reasonable system for you to run and I certainly don't want you to go broke and out of business...maybe make the smaller kits available only to those who donate a certain amount? Just a thought.

And as for the kits going up in price, I guess it was just part of that rolling out system that caused the shock to me. I just remember that when the color basic kits first came out the individual colors were about 11 or 12 DCs per and I was totally out of anything but free daily credits. I remember thinking, "well, I guess It's time for a donation again so I can get those" so I donated again, came back a day or two later and they were up to 18. So, needless to say a "what the hey?" went through my mind. Suddenly the credits I just purchased lost a lot of value. It threw me off so bad I didn't even use the daily DC's from yesterday! Maybe I should have taken the time to explain that in the first place, sorry.

Thanks for the amazing site you run. I love the kits, the inspiration, and I drool with envy a little at the travels you take. It really is a great site. Thanks for listening. Good luck working it all out and not breaking the bank.

I feel the exact same way as you, Kristen. And unfortunately, I would not be able to afford a monthly donation, as much as I would like to!

I, too, noticed the great increase in DC required to dl once the changes were made.

I recall when this site was 100% free, no donations, no credits, etc. How was that possible then and impossible now? Too bad I never had a chance to dl anything back then (due to severe illness)!

I thought the "rolling out" method was going to create more affordable bundles, but it is jut the opposite.

Also, I just have to ask, what is the point of community credits once you've reached the max. There is no reward for that, so what is the point of it?

Thank you!

Hi Cindy. I'll try to answer your questions as succinctly as possible:

Cindy wrote:
I recall when this site was 100% free, no donations, no credits, etc. How was that possible then and impossible now? Too bad I never had a chance to dl anything back then (due to severe illness)!

The old Pixel Scrapper site started out as a small hobby site, with relatively few visitors. Everything on the site was free, but there weren't nearly as many items available, and there were no kit or bundle downloads available. The short answer to your question is that it was not possible to keep the site 100% free in the long run... which is why we made the changes that we did (specifically, introducing the download credit system) to help meter downloads.

Cindy wrote:
I thought the "rolling out" method was going to create more affordable bundles, but it is jut the opposite.

As stated in the announcement, kit DC prices were increased, but at the same time full bundle downloads (groups of kits) were made available at a huge 75% discount.

Cindy wrote:
Also, I just have to ask, what is the point of community credits once you've reached the max. There is no reward for that, so what is the point of it?

We have plans for making community points more valuable in the long run... we're working as fast as we can smiley.

As I said to Kristen, please be aware that this site is still in beta: nothing is final. We are working to find the best possible balance that we can to allow the site to exist while providing as much as we can for free.

Is everyone aware that you can still download a kit paper by paper? It is what I have been doing (as I had insufficient credits for a pack or a bundle) and it really does not take much time to download the whole kit. You would certainly end up with far more items per month than any other site offers in their "download a day" free kit.

@Dawn: that is the intention, and thank you for the encouragement smiley

Do you have any clue when the new subscription will be rolled out if it's gonna be rolled out? smiley

Hi Jessica: I'll try to get back to you shortly on that. We're trying to figure out if we can have subscriptions be even cheaper than we were thinking previously...

Exiting, exiting can't wait smiley Looking forwards to it smiley

"We have plans for making community points more valuable in the long run... we're working as fast as we can .
As I said to Kristen, please be aware that this site is still in beta: nothing is final. We are working to find the best possible balance that we can to allow the site to exist while providing as much as we can for free."

That sounds wonderful! BTW, I wasn't implying the site should be free...I understand you need to earn money like most of us! smiley It's just that when something isn't affordable to some of us, it's kind of frustrating or disappointing is probably a better word!

Thanks for your response!

@Jessica: it looks like, at the soonest, it will probably be a month or so before we can get subscriptions up and running. Unfortunately there are some complications with introducing a new system smiley .