Microstock Bidding Wars? Now You Really Need To Think Before Selling Microstock

I wandered across a new beta site today, SpiderPic. SpiderPic may be a consumer’s best friend – and a photographer’s worst nightmare if you’re not careful.

determining how to price microstock images for online sales

I know that feelings on microstock vary across the board with the photography community. I’ve always been a fan of selling microstock on the side, and letting it help you build up a residual, or second stream of income while you do whatever else you love.

When you sell to a microstock house like iStockPhoto or Fotolia, you make anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars, depending on your level of authority within the community.

And if you play the microstock game correctly, you’ve sold images to multiple sites. Some sites reward you if you sell exclusively to their company; and others allow you to sell the same image currently listed on other sites.

Where the danger lies is selling for different prices to different microstock sites. And that’s where SpiderPic comes in. With SpiderPic, search for images based on keyword or URL, and it will find everywhere an image is listed, and give you pricing in every location. Consumers can instantly find the lowest price for their image, instead of purchasing from a preferred microstock location. And in today’s difficult economic times, who isn’t looking for a way to cut costs any way you can?

Moral of this story: If you do sell microstock, make sure you are pricing your images the same in every location. It may also be better to build up your reputation with fewer stock houses, and use more exclusive content per site, especially as you gain a larger portfolio, and have a larger following.

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  1. SpiderPic is certainly an interesting development and potentially useful tool. However I don’t think it should concern microstock contributors overly, who, by the way, don’t sell their images to the sites but make them available to license through the sites. Most microstock sites do not offer much control over pricing to the contributors and variations are often dues to different pricing models and subscription deals etc.

    This service would be a concern for stock photographers who place the same images on micros and traditional agencies if it started to cover outlets like Alamy, for instance.


  2. alyssawarsen@yahoo.com' Alyssa Warsen says:

    Loved ur post. U seemed to have depth knowledge in stock photography, and that’s why i want to ask about the following. hear it goes, i was introduced to this site, http://www.isyndica.com by a friend. we would like to join in it, but we are kind of in a thinking if they could really do what they promise to do, from the info from their website it appears as if they can really make the life of photographers easy. but I would like to have a user review or a experts opinion about the website, and its effect on the photographers. I guess it will be nice of u, if can take a look at it. Hope to get a reply or see a post soon. Please focus on the benefits that i could get out of the service rendered by the webpage. Thanking u in Advance.


  3. Hi Alyssa

    Thanks for your question – I just posted my review.


    If your serious about stock, I would say this is one of the ways to go. Anything that can cut your time down and make you more efficient is a plus in my books.

    Good luck!