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NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13 (Read 38293 times)
Mindy
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NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Jul 1st, 2013, 11:07am
 
Together we have done great things! Overall GCU has grown each and every year and hand in hand, more artists are getting paid each quarter and are growing their earnings more than ever before. GCU is proud of and grateful for the best artist community in the industry!
 
To keep focus on growth, GCU continues to invest heavily in many areas of our business that hold great promise for us all like: paid search engine ads (Google, Bing, and Yahoo), paid product feeds (Google Shopping and Amazon Product Ads), SEO optimization, promotions ("always available" free shipping), and forging & supporting key partnerships to better serve and expand into new markets (the UK printing partner and Kodak/Target partnership).  
 
Starting out with one of the highest commissions in the POD industry, GCU has been conscious to not impact artists' earnings until completely necessary. However, as we continue build our brand through advertising, SEO and strategic partnerships we need to ensure that the company maintains a level of financial integrity that will allow for continued growth.
 
Effective 7/01/13, we are announcing the following modification to artists' earnings that will address some necessities:
1. Rebalance GCU's earnings and investments
2. Incent artists to take an active role in self-promotion driving traffic and sales
3. Reward those artists that engage in self-promotion to drive traffic and sales with continued premium earnings
4. Allow us to keep GCU storefronts 100% free
 
Here are the details. In a nutshell, a two-tiered quarterly earnings structure:
1. Earnings per card will be reduced by 50%. EX: 20% commission on a $3.00 card will now be 10% (30 cents vs 60 cents), and so on
2. Artist's earnings ($) will be measured against quarterly earnings thresholds
3. Artists that meet or exceed the threshold, each quarter, will double their earnings - earning the full premium earnings (100%)
4. This measurement is done at the end of each quarter as part of payment preparation
5. The thresholds are the same for all artists
6. The quarterly earnings thresholds are based on historical data and are realistically achievable, even for part-time, hobby artists
7. Single Card Price Increase - the majority of GCU's sales transactions is comprised of single card sales (1 card). We will be increasing the single card price from $3.00 to $3.50. This means that artists will earn more on these transactions - 10 cents more for premium earning artists (70 cents vs 60 cents), 5 cents more for standard earning artists (35 cents vs 30 cents) - helping artists reach the thresholds faster.
8. Total Quarterly Earnings Thresholds are: 1Q = $150     2Q = $150     3Q = $150     4Q = $300  
 
Examples to help you guess-timate (forecast) your future earnings.  Imagine your 3Q earnings are the same as your 2Q earnings ...
Meeting Threshold:  
- If you earned $355 in 2Q2013 these earnings would be 50% less, $177.50 standard earnings
- The $177.50 meets the 3Q earnings threshold of $150 so you'd earn your double, premium earnings of $355 in the 3Q
 
Not Meeting Threshold:  
- If you earned $75 in 2Q2013 these earnings would be 50% less, $37.50 standard earnings
- The $37.50 does NOT meet the 3Q earnings threshold of $150 so earnings remain standard of $37.50 with no additional premium earnings for 3Q
 
The key takeaway is that for many GCU artists it will be business as usual with the added benefit of earning even more on single card transactions. Additionally we have plans to make it easier and more effective for artists to self promote. Lastly, do not despair, meeting the quarterly thresholds is realistically within reach for artists who are willing to put in the extra effort.  
 
Please know we realize that no matter how we present this change for many it will not be favorably received. Some artists will be upset and leave. That is not our intent. We have explored many alternatives and in order to continue investing in our growth and GCU's future this is a necessary change.
 
Thank you for your continued contributions, commitment and understanding through all of our growing pains as we continue to adjust in order to move forward and thrive.  
 
===========================================================================
CLARIFICATIONS (as of 7/1/2013):
1. These changes are effective with earnings beginning 7/1/13 and moving forward - future earnings
2. Artists with multiple storefronts will be measured against the thresholds based on their combined storefront earnings.    
3. Using your available earnings to pay for cards will not reduce your quarterly earnings amount used to measure against the threshold.  
4. Quarterly payments will be made as usual, within 30 days of the end of each quarter
5. The new artist discount will set the card price to $1.70 (lower than the prior $1.89).  For artist not meeting the quarterly threshold these cards will effectively cost artists $1.60.  For artists meeting the quarterly threshold these cards will effectively cost $1.50, ... compared to the prior effective cost of $1.61
 
MODIFICATIONS (as of 7/9/2013):
1. As a courtesy for the short notice of this announcement and to allow for transition we are reducing the 3Q2013 quarterly threshold by 50%, from $150 to $75
 
PAYOUT CLARIFICATIONS (as of 10/01/2013):
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/forum/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1380672644/0
 
IMPORTANT UPDATE (11/17/13):
Important Correction - Rollover Earnings & Threshold Measurement
ONLY earnings earned within the current quarter will be used to meet the current quarterly threshold.   Rollover earnings from prior quarter(s) will still get rolled over, as they are earnings due to you, however they will NOT be used to meet that current quarter’s earnings threshold to achieve premium earnings.
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« Last Edit: Nov 27th, 2013, 3:52pm by Mindy »  
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Terry_151326
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #1 - Jul 1st, 2013, 11:16am
 
Mindy, you have been a big help in the time I have been in GCU but I wonder how you would feel if you were just an artist getting you pay cut like we are. I enjoyed trying to come up with ideas for cards using my photography but the next pay day will be my last.
 
Are you employees getting a big pay cut??
 
Bye, Terry
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Mindy
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #2 - Jul 1st, 2013, 11:25am
 
Quote from Terry_151326 on Jul 1st, 2013, 11:16am:
Mindy, you have been a big help in the time I have been in GCU but I wonder how you would feel if you were just an artist getting you pay cut like we are. I enjoyed trying to come up with ideas for cards using my photography but the next pay day will be my last.

Are you employees getting a big pay cut??

Bye, Terry

 
I'm sorry to hear that Terry.
 
To be quite transparent to your direct question, yes GCU has made some significant reductions in staff (= lost jobs) and other cost cutting measures.  No one is lining their pockets over here.
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Penny_134243
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #3 - Jul 1st, 2013, 11:28am
 
Hi, Mindy,
 
Thank you for posting this.  I have a question concerning the artist discount promo code, please:
 
When we use the promo code to buy our own cards, we currently receive a commission of 15%.  In the light of this new commission structure (reduced by 50%) does this mean that we will now only receive 7.5% -- which would increase the cost of buying our own cards -- or could there be an adjustment made in the pricing of our own cards and/or the commission to keep the price for artists at the same rate?
 
I realize that I'm talking about a few cents per card.
 
(As a note for artists who are not familiar with the promo code, please look at your "manage store" page and you'll see the info on the right-hand side.  We should not post the dollar amounts or actual code here in the forum.)
 
Thanks!
 
And for anyone thinking about closing your store, why not keep it open and see what happens?  You have nothing to lose by staying, and possibly a lot to gain.
 
Penny Smiley
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Lois_138267
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #4 - Jul 1st, 2013, 11:32am
 
I'm sorry to have to say this, but this action of GCU's is harsh.  Very harsh.
 
Looking at it from a purely business point of view, it appears GCU is deliberately culling the herd.  The top producers will stay and all the little guys will leave.  That lessons the burden on the reviewers, which has, as we all know, become a giant problem over the years.  GCU obviously doesn't want to hire or can't afford to spend any more money on more reviewers.  Now, the top producers will get their cards through sooner, GCU won't have to be bothered with sub-par artwork flying into their offices, and the artists who are left and the reviewers and the owners will be happy.
 
It's survival of the fittest.  
 
It's a jungle out there!!!
 
And oh by the way, I'm NOT one of the top producers.
 
 Huh
 
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Paul_133086
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #5 - Jul 1st, 2013, 12:06pm
 
Translation of original message:  
 
"Thanks for helping to make GCU the outstanding success it has become. To reward you, we're gonna cut your earnings in half. Some of your earnings may have already been reduced when we started arbitrarily mass-eliminating cards about a year ago, including some of those that were selling well. Why? Because we can.
 
For those with just the occasional seasonal sales, don't quit your day job. I know we sure aren't.
 
Your good friends at GCU."  
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Mindy
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #6 - Jul 1st, 2013, 12:36pm
 
Quote from Penny_134243 on Jul 1st, 2013, 11:28am:
Hi, Mindy,

Thank you for posting this.  I have a question concerning the artist discount promo code, please:

When we use the promo code to buy our own cards, we currently receive a commission of 15%.  In the light of this new commission structure (reduced by 50%) does this mean that we will now only receive 7.5% -- which would increase the cost of buying our own cards -- or could there be an adjustment made in the pricing of our own cards and/or the commission to keep the price for artists at the same rate?

I realize that I'm talking about a few cents per card.

(As a note for artists who are not familiar with the promo code, please look at your "manage store" page and you'll see the info on the right-hand side.  We should not post the dollar amounts or actual code here in the forum.)

Thanks!

And for anyone thinking about closing your store, why not keep it open and see what happens?  You have nothing to lose by staying, and possibly a lot to gain.

Penny Smiley

 
Hi Penny,
Good question.  We are working on the details of this but yes, we will be making an adjustment to the artist discount so artists not meeting the threshold will still be able to buy their cards for a similar price as before ie: $1.60.  Stay tuned for an update on this thread for details.  Thank you for bringing it up.
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Penny_134243
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #7 - Jul 1st, 2013, 12:44pm
 
Quote from Mindy on Jul 1st, 2013, 12:36pm:
Quote from Penny_134243 on Jul 1st, 2013, 11:28am:
Hi, Mindy,

Thank you for posting this.  I have a question concerning the artist discount promo code, please:

When we use the promo code to buy our own cards, we currently receive a commission of 15%.  In the light of this new commission structure (reduced by 50%) does this mean that we will now only receive 7.5% -- which would increase the cost of buying our own cards -- or could there be an adjustment made in the pricing of our own cards and/or the commission to keep the price for artists at the same rate?

I realize that I'm talking about a few cents per card.

(As a note for artists who are not familiar with the promo code, please look at your "manage store" page and you'll see the info on the right-hand side.  We should not post the dollar amounts or actual code here in the forum.)

Thanks!

And for anyone thinking about closing your store, why not keep it open and see what happens?  You have nothing to lose by staying, and possibly a lot to gain.

Penny Smiley


Hi Penny,
Good question.  We are working on the details of this but yes, we will be making an adjustment to the artist discount so artists not meeting the threshold will still be able to buy their cards for a similar price as before ie: $1.60.  Stay tuned for an update on this thread for details.  Thank you for bringing it up.

 
Thanks, Mindy!
 
Penny Smiley
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Donna_137698
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #8 - Jul 1st, 2013, 12:57pm
 
to aid in sifting through the heated discussion I started on another thread, here are my questions regarding this new obstacle GCU has set before us.  And just for the record, Mindy, I am sorry GCU has cut staff.  I don't get how in one breath GCU can say its a huge success and then get rid of a portion of the staff either by direct lay off or making life harder that artists who fuel this business leave:
 
Am I now going to be penalized for not making a certain amount of money for GCU on a quarterly basis?
 
What is the exact set threshold for quarterly earnings that GCU has set?  Is it based on the historic data of the company or the individual artist?  And it was unclear to me if the $150 per quarter/$300 Q4 is set in stone for every artist.  I'd like to know what goal I am shooting for.  
 
Why can't artists who are making this threshold already be "promoted" and leave the rest of us at status quo - let this new thing be phased in???
 
What if my big selling quarters are the third and fourth with next to nothing in the first two quarters each month?  For example, I only sell maybe a dozen cards in quarter one and two dozen in quarter two but over a thousand cards between quarter three and quarter four.  I'm sorry if this is all clear to you - I need to have it spelled out more precisely - my apologies for my being unclear on this.
 
Why is each artist now responsible for all traffic to GCU if we are not paid employees?  Doesn't GCU have a marketing staff?  Yes, I know I need to help but I've done all I can at the moment.  Yes I know I can do more but again - looking for goals to set if I can.
 
Will purchasing our own cards be part of our sales or the quota must be made by purchases by strangers?
 
Will we still get a quarterly earnings check or will this all be paid up at the end of the year when assessments of our quarterly "reports" are done?
 
Frustrated, anxious to hear, and trying to decide what is best for me.  I do get that business needs to deal with the obstacles but this is a rather big hurdle dumped on us with only 24 hours to digest it.  I am sorry for my tantrums but really, this was not nice to do to people who ARE working hard to try to do what GCU wants.
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Betty_136243
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #9 - Jul 1st, 2013, 1:18pm
 
I am not a top producer but hope to be one in the future even with these changes in the earnings scale. As I see it, GCU provides a FABULOUS outlet for ANY budding or professional artist whereby they can create greeting card designs for the worlds enjoyment. This industry can be fickle, subjective and very competitive as is with anything remotely considered creative. GCU is a business and needs to be profitable in order for EVERYONE TO WIN, and I view these changes as a business decision that they most likely pondered for quit some time. The fact that I, as an artist, can create greeting cards which then can ultimately be purchased and enjoyed all over the world never ceases to amaze me. Also being able to participate in this kind of card creating service at no monetary cost to me is indeed a rare luxury as well.
These changes only remind me how fortunate I am to have found such a terrific outlet for my creative endeavours. That being said it also reminds me that being creative and or clever is only half the battle. Self promotion and working the available social/PR media souces for visibility and viability are all essential to a sucessful card line.
THANK YOU GCU for your transparency. I think I'll stick around!  Smiley
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Sandra_133229
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #10 - Jul 1st, 2013, 1:25pm
 
I agree Betty! Well said!  
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DENISE_132110
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #11 - Jul 1st, 2013, 2:20pm
 
speaking for myself, maybe it would have been an easier thing to deal with if one, it had not been as big a cut and two, if many of us were not already dealing with our cuts at Z starting today.  
 
i am also amazed when someone finds my cards amongst the many tens of thousands etc. and i know if i were to step down, there are many more who could take my place. I am not a huge seller, i do not have a big following and none of my family purchases my work. i think it is just a very discouraging time for us as online artists, sales are already low and then to be cut by this margin, its a hit we were not prepared for.  
 
i, for one, stink at self promotion/referrals and now both of my main venues are going to rely heavily on it for sales. so its just a little scary and frustrating after just starting to feel i have my feet under me.
 
please don't tell me to stop whining and create.  i am trying to formulate a strategy for myself and it will take time and attention.  meanwhile, i will hush and go try to wrap my head around these changes.
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Mindy
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #12 - Jul 1st, 2013, 4:00pm
 
Answering your specific questions below in caps for clarity (not shouting):  
 
Quote from Donna_137698 on Jul 1st, 2013, 12:57pm:
to aid in sifting through the heated discussion I started on another thread, here are my questions regarding this new obstacle GCU has set before us.  And just for the record, Mindy, I am sorry GCU has cut staff.  I don't get how in one breath GCU can say its a huge success and then get rid of a portion of the staff either by direct lay off or making life harder that artists who fuel this business leave:

SUCCESS AND TRIBULATIONS ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.  WE ARE GROWING AND REINVESTING.

Am I now going to be penalized for not making a certain amount of money for GCU on a quarterly basis?

What is the exact set threshold for quarterly earnings that GCU has set?  Is it based on the historic data of the company or the individual artist?  And it was unclear to me if the $150 per quarter/$300 Q4 is set in stone for every artist.  I'd like to know what goal I am shooting for.  

THE EXACT THRESHOLDS AS LISTED ABOVE ARE:
Total Quarterly Earnings Thresholds are: 1Q = $150     2Q = $150     3Q = $150     4Q = $300  

WE CAME TO THESE THRESHOLDS BY RESEARCH AND FORECASTING OF BOTH INDIVIDUAL ARTIST'S AND COMPANY WIDE DATA AS TO WHAT WAS FAIR AND ACHIEVABLE AND AT THE SAME TIME WOULD PRODUCE THE NECESSARY RESULTS IN THE FUTURE.

ALSO LISTED IN THE ANNOUNCEMENT IS THE FACT THAT THE THRESHOLDS ARE THE SAME FOR ALL ARTISTS.

Why can't artists who are making this threshold already be "promoted" and leave the rest of us at status quo - let this new thing be phased in???

WHAT DOES "PROMOTED" MEAN, PAY MORE?  THAT IS NOT AN OPTION.

What if my big selling quarters are the third and fourth with next to nothing in the first two quarters each month?  For example, I only sell maybe a dozen cards in quarter one and two dozen in quarter two but over a thousand cards between quarter three and quarter four.  I'm sorry if this is all clear to you - I need to have it spelled out more precisely - my apologies for my being unclear on this.

THE THRESHOLD MUST BE MET EACH QUARTER, INDIVIDUALLY, TO RECEIVE THE PREMIUM EARNINGS FOR THAT QUARTER.

Why is each artist now responsible for all traffic to GCU if we are not paid employees?  Doesn't GCU have a marketing staff?  Yes, I know I need to help but I've done all I can at the moment.  Yes I know I can do more but again - looking for goals to set if I can.

EACH ARTIST IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL TRAFFIC TO GCU.  NOTHING HAS CHANGED.  WE WILL CONTINUE INVESTING HEAVILY IN DRIVING TRAFFIC FOR CONTINUED GROWTH.  ARTISTS WILL CONTINUE TO BENEFIT FROM OUR INVESTMENTS.  AS WE KEEP GROWING, YOUR SALES WILL KEEP GROWING.  WE ARE JUST FORMALIZING THAT FOR ARTISTS WHO CONTRIBUTE MORE, THEY WILL EARN MORE THAN THOSE WHO DO NOT.

Will purchasing our own cards be part of our sales or the quota must be made by purchases by strangers?

ALL SALES OF YOUR CARDS REGARDLESS OF WHO THE PURCHASER IS WILL BE INCLUDED IN YOUR QUARTERLY EARNINGS USED TO MEET THE THRESHOLD.

Will we still get a quarterly earnings check or will this all be paid up at the end of the year when assessments of our quarterly "reports" are done?

BUSINESS AS USUAL.  QUARTERLY PAYMENTS WILL BE MADE AND ISSUED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE END OF EACH QUARTER.

Frustrated, anxious to hear, and trying to decide what is best for me.  I do get that business needs to deal with the obstacles but this is a rather big hurdle dumped on us with only 24 hours to digest it.  I am sorry for my tantrums but really, this was not nice to do to people who ARE working hard to try to do what GCU wants.

WE APPRECIATE EVERYONE'S WORK AND UNDERSTAND SOME ARTISTS ARE ABLE TO DO MORE THAN OTHERS BE IT TIME, KNOW-HOW, DESIRE, ETC.  THESE CHANGES FOLLOW A BASIC PRINCIPLE - WORKER HARDER (& SMARTER), EARN MORE.  

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Mindy
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #13 - Jul 1st, 2013, 4:16pm
 
Quote from Lois_138267 on Jul 1st, 2013, 11:32am:
I'm sorry to have to say this, but this action of GCU's is harsh.  Very harsh.

Looking at it from a purely business point of view, it appears GCU is deliberately culling the herd.  The top producers will stay and all the little guys will leave.  That lessons the burden on the reviewers, which has, as we all know, become a giant problem over the years.  GCU obviously doesn't want to hire or can't afford to spend any more money on more reviewers.  Now, the top producers will get their cards through sooner, GCU won't have to be bothered with sub-par artwork flying into their offices, and the artists who are left and the reviewers and the owners will be happy.

It's survival of the fittest.  

It's a jungle out there!!!

And oh by the way, I'm NOT one of the top producers.

Huh


 
These changes have nothing to do with the review process nor based in any desire or intention to have artists close shop.  We realize and appreciate that each artist brings something different to the table and that is one of the many beauties of community content.  Professional, self-taught, full time and hobby artists alike are all welcome and are provided the same opportunities.
 
You are correct, it is survival of the fittest.  You will see other similar companies making similar changes to thrive and stay competitive.  It is a necessary evil.
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Cori_146275
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #14 - Jul 1st, 2013, 4:50pm
 
As I have my artwork on many sites my income comes from many sources.  I work the sites that bring me more sales than others.  There is the old saying "don't put all your eggs in one basket".  
 
I will live with the price cut but what I really have a problem with and Mindy they are related is that if we are to increase our sales and help both your business and our business grow, we need to put up more inventory.  Taking 7 weeks to review cards is way to long.  I just had 8 cards approved today that were put in May 9th.  That is not a good sign for keeping your artists or encouraging new artists to join.  
 
When you take away something, in this case cut our commissions you need to give something back in return.  That would be faster turn around in approval.  
 
Mindy you commented in a post, "THESE CHANGES FOLLOW A BASIC PRINCIPLE - WORKER HARDER (& SMARTER), EARN MORE."   We can work harder by getting more inventory out for the public to see but if it is not approved faster it defeats part of the purpose to work harder.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #15 - Jul 1st, 2013, 5:42pm
 
Quote from Cori_146275 on Jul 1st, 2013, 4:50pm:
As I have my artwork on many sites my income comes from many sources.  I work the sites that bring me more sales than others.  There is the old saying "don't put all your eggs in one basket".  

I will live with the price cut but what I really have a problem with and Mindy they are related is that if we are to increase our sales and help both your business and our business grow, we need to put up more inventory.  Taking 7 weeks to review cards is way to long.  I just had 8 cards approved today that were put in May 9th.  That is not a good sign for keeping your artists or encouraging new artists to join.  

When you take away something, in this case cut our commissions you need to give something back in return.  That would be faster turn around in approval.

Mindy you commented in a post, "THESE CHANGES FOLLOW A BASIC PRINCIPLE - WORKER HARDER (& SMARTER), EARN MORE."   We can work harder by getting more inventory out for the public to see but if it is not approved faster it defeats part of the purpose to work harder.

 
Very well said Cori!  
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Nancy_142840
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #16 - Jul 1st, 2013, 7:45pm
 
I agree, the turn around time HAS to be faster than 8 or more weeks...
We are promoting , creating, uploading,  etc. We need our inventory
to grow in order to have more business and if we have to wait so long
to get our new cards in , thats very discouraging!      undecided
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Mindy
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #17 - Jul 1st, 2013, 7:58pm
 
Overall the message we’ll share is this is a necessary change, one to stay competitive in the industry and keep up our continued growth.  With the continued investments GCU is making in driving traffic and growing sales every artist will benefit more and more each year.  This growth will continually help artists close the gap to reach the quarterly thresholds.  
 
To answer your questions and concerns in other forum threads we provide a summary here:  
 
1.  Announcement Email:  this was sent to ALL artists, no one was excluded nor specifically targeted.  It is likely there were some deliverability issues (bounce backs) or you may have unsubscribed from GCU emails (via our unsubscribe link).
 
2.  Our intent is not to weed out artists and only keep the top artists.  There is still a valid opportunity here for lower selling artists.  And with GCU continued growth year after year, the gap you’ll need to close to reach the quarterly threshold should get smaller.
 
3.  Meeting the Thresholds:  
    a. Effective with earnings beginning 7/01/13 and forward.  The books are closed on 2Q13 earnings which will be paid at the prior rates – we are NOT adjusting prior earnings.
    b. The thresholds were not set by arbitrary means, they are attainable even for part-time, hobby artists  
    c. This is a quarter by quarter measurement, measured and paid at the end of each quarter  
    d. Sales from the private gallery will be included in your earnings as usual and will be taken into consideration when meeting the thresholds
    e. If you do not reach the quarterly threshold AND have not met your minimum payout amount (typical is $25) you do NOT lose your earnings.  They will continue to be held until you do reach your minimum payout amount.
    f. 4Q Threshold Challenges – We realize this will raise more challenges for artist that do not create holiday cards.  We are aware of that and respect your choices and viewpoints.  It does not however change the fact that GCU’s investments to boost sales during this competitive season is much larger than during other quarters.
 
4.      Self-Promotion Guidance:
    a. GCU has provided many tips and suggestions on how artists can market their stores – Many of these resources are shared generously by other GCU artists who share what they have learned to be successful, primarily on the GCU Community BLOG which will continue.  If you are not already subscribed to this BLOG this would be your best first step to making a positive change:  http://gcucommunity.com/
   b. GCU will continue to support artist self-promotion with easy to use and more effective tools.
 
5. Increased price for single card transactions, $3.50.  Although shoppers are price sensitive there are a few factors here that make the single card price increase attractive:
    a. The majority of GCU cards, especially customizable cards, cannot be found in stores, let alone for 99 cents
    b. Customizable and niche cards justify a premium which most shoppers are willing to pay to find the “perfect card”
    c. There is a value to be appreciated for the convenience of cards ordered, addressed, personalize, mailed all online
    d. According to the Greeting Card Association the average card price ranges between $2 - $4
    e. With price sensitivity, shoppers also like bargains.  If 2 – 5 cards are purchased the price per card drops to $3.00 so there’s an incentive to buy more than 1 card.
    f. If buying behavior indicates that this does not perform the way we predict we will make necessary adjustments
 
6. We are continually making changes / improvements to the card review process to shorten the turnaround time.  This will continue.  Our goal however is 4 weeks.
 
7.  It was mentioned that the GCU community of artists is not a friendly atmosphere.  GCU has one of the most friendly community atmospheres.  I’m am always amazed and delighted by how helpful, supportive and sharing artists are with one another when in reality you are competitors.
 
Randy is absolutely correct.  GCU was built upon and grows upon our invaluable community of artists.  For them we are ever grateful, appreciative and respectful.  However it is important to not overlook or minimize the contributions of the earliest artists of our community, most of which are our top performers today, who started with a single card like everyone else.  These early adopters became the foundation for our growth from day 1 back in 2006.  They forged the way for policies, practices and were inspiration for the vast number of our unique categories that we all reap the benefits of today.  They weathered the early storms and learned the ropes the hard way, before there were any ropes!  It is easy to ridicule them as seemingly untouchable but it is those very artists that you should be thankful for and deserve your respect.  
 
Your feelings of anger, frustration and doubt are understandable.  There is nothing more that can be said to ease these emotions other than the fact that we have belabored over this decision for months and it is rooted in true business need vs greed.   You’ll have to put trust in the fact that we’ve employed sound business know-how - book smarts, street smarts and start up business experience.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #18 - Jul 1st, 2013, 8:22pm
 
Hi Mindy - I understand the new terms and will strive to achieve the thresholds GCU has set. My one problem is the same basic thing that Nancy said.  
 
My daughter just joined GCU. At the rate it's taking for card to be approved, 2/3 of the 1st quarter will be over before she begins to have any cards in her store. That's very defeating for a newbie. Is there anything that can be done to help newbies get cards in their stores quicker?  
 
Seeing the $150 threshold will definitely play a part in whether newbies stay or go. At least if they knew they could get cards in their stores quicker than 7-8 weeks it might encourage them to at least try to make the threshold.  
 
Just a thought. Maybe there's some way GCU can help them.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #19 - Jul 1st, 2013, 8:28pm
 
Quote from Mindy on Jul 1st, 2013, 12:36pm:
Quote from Penny_134243 on Jul 1st, 2013, 11:28am:
Hi, Mindy,

Thank you for posting this.  I have a question concerning the artist discount promo code, please:

When we use the promo code to buy our own cards, we currently receive a commission of 15%.  In the light of this new commission structure (reduced by 50%) does this mean that we will now only receive 7.5% -- which would increase the cost of buying our own cards -- or could there be an adjustment made in the pricing of our own cards and/or the commission to keep the price for artists at the same rate?

I realize that I'm talking about a few cents per card.

(As a note for artists who are not familiar with the promo code, please look at your "manage store" page and you'll see the info on the right-hand side.  We should not post the dollar amounts or actual code here in the forum.)

Thanks!

And for anyone thinking about closing your store, why not keep it open and see what happens?  You have nothing to lose by staying, and possibly a lot to gain.

Penny Smiley


Hi Penny,
Good question.  We are working on the details of this but yes, we will be making an adjustment to the artist discount so artists not meeting the threshold will still be able to buy their cards for a similar price as before ie: $1.60.  Stay tuned for an update on this thread for details.  Thank you for bringing it up.

 
Per your request we have just updated the site to adjust the artist discount code.    
 
The new artist discount will set the card price to $1.70 (lower than the prior $1.89)
For artist not meeting the quarterly threshold these cards will effectively cost artists $1.60
For artists meeting the quarterly threshold these cards will effectively cost $1.50  
... compared to the prior effective cost of $1.61
 
The old promotion code will reflect these new changes however by the end of this week we will update the artists' admin page (sidebar) with a new code.  Either will work.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #20 - Jul 1st, 2013, 9:09pm
 
Oh boy, I really have to think about this one. The user agreement that we all agreed to when we signed up goes out the window again. I really hate the words, "We reserve the right to............"  
I am really glad that I did not put all my eggs in this basket. You want us to work harder or we won't get paid as much as we have been getting paid? Is that the message here? I worked a little over time when you guys were trying to get the kiosk thing going. Did that pan out? I will wait until my next payment. If I do not meet the "Required" minimum. I'm out of here.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #21 - Jul 1st, 2013, 10:04pm
 
Mindy,
 
You still have not addressed the issue that goes hand and hand with the cut, the time it takes to get cards approved.  
 
In your last email you state, " You’ll have to put trust in the fact that we’ve employed sound business know-how - book smarts, street smarts and start up business experience."
 
I come from a background of business as well as art.  Good business smarts and experience is to get the product out there as fast as possible for both the customer and in this case the artist.  With the commission cuts a good way to keep your artists happy is to have the approval time short.  I think you will find more artists accepting the pay cut and producing more work if they know that their cards are approved in a timely manner.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #22 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 3:28am
 
It does look like card prices have increased across the board, not just the single card pricing as stated in the announcement.  
 
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/help/card_shopper_help.asp#pricing
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #23 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 5:42am
 
Quote from Cori_146275 on Jul 1st, 2013, 10:04pm:
Mindy,

You still have not addressed the issue that goes hand and hand with the cut, the time it takes to get cards approved.  

In your last email you state, " You’ll have to put trust in the fact that we’ve employed sound business know-how - book smarts, street smarts and start up business experience."

I come from a background of business as well as art.  Good business smarts and experience is to get the product out there as fast as possible for both the customer and in this case the artist.  With the commission cuts a good way to keep your artists happy is to have the approval time short.  I think you will find more artists accepting the pay cut and producing more work if they know that their cards are approved in a timely manner.

 
Precisely.  And as I now said in a very lengthy reply on the thread I started, if we knew about this coming down the pike a while back, WE artists could have ramped up efforts to be prepared for the changes effective with Q3.  Now, even if I dump 200 new cards into the system TODAY, none will get looked at until at least 2 months from now effectively defeating any attempt by me to meet the new thresholds and as I now understand it takes at least a year for search engines to pick up new creations.  So, I am very curious as to how GCU responds to getting our products quickly so we at least have a better chance of meeting this new threshold.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #24 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 6:47am
 
And Mindy, for the record, I take offense to the comment of us being angry with the top sellers.  I think many of us are indeed VERY GRATEFUL for their encouragement, their offers of advice, the GCU Community Blog, the websites they direct us to, the links to clip art and resources and copyright information, etc etc.  Even the time they take to post individual responses when people have questions or to the point of having a separate very usable forum The Critique Clinic. But lets face facts here too - they have weathered the storms, they have made their presence known, they HAVE reached to top levels with a lot of hard work and what not, but on the other hand, this change really does not affect them at all if they are already easily reaching these set thresholds at this point in time.  The transition will not be as hurtful as it will be for those of us struggling at this point.  And let me make this clear - I AM NOT asking for pity or anyone to hold my hand and lead me exactly to the point of being a top seller.  I am a hard worker, but it does take some respect for what I do too as I learn, fret, scream, shout and grow.  I'd like to think I have since first starting here in 2009.  What hurts is that GCU has given none of the rest of us any inkling that this change was coming nor any time with which to try to transition into it.  Here it is - lump it or leave it.  That's the tone I think many of us are getting.  Although I respect the fact that GCU is trying to survive like any other company, so are we artists fueling this business.  I came here and eagerly responded to the community feeling - I'm not feeling the love with this new change - even though very necessary - I take this negatively because you (collective you, not you directly, Mindy) didn't bother to let us know things were going on.  I honestly believe many of us would have felt better if you (again general "you") included us that things were going on - I know for myself, I might not have liked it, but I might have been more eager to find ways to ease into the transition and not having to wait until the last minute to ask myself "now what do I do".  I am hurt and saddened that GCU didn't really consider the "community" factor that has indeed kept me here and most likely MIGHT keep me here just because of that feeling of community - I AM grateful to the people who certainly don't have to do what they have to help us along.  They certainly could leave us all hoofing it for ourselves but they don't because of that community factor.  Perhaps GCU management could consider this for the future - keep us in the loop - let us know what's going on.  I can cite one company I worked for where we had periodic meetings - ALL of us, communicating what was going on and how each of us could do our part to make things happen.  People liked being able to have that link to all factors of the company so we could all do our little bit to see the company try to thrive - even when things became precarious.  It is that factor that is indeed a prime consideration I do keep in mind at this very moment as I look to see how this will help me make a decision.  Sure, I have the right to leave here - but maybe I won't find another venue that does keep community first and foremost.
 
EDIT:  And that community factor was something I was incredibly proud of.  Yes, I've made the C.A. comments because that's just how this feels.  I want to believe this company can be different - keep "community" alive from top levels down.  I think you'd see a great deal more in the positive even through hard times.  I might be old school but it certainly worked even through the worst of times.  The health and viability of the company doesn't need to be a secret.  Stuff is not working to keep it on top or change needs to be made - tell us!  Maybe WE could help - even if just a little bit.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #25 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 7:14am
 
Quote from Donna_137698 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 6:47am:

What hurts is that GCU has given none of the rest of us any inkling that this change was coming nor any time with which to try to transition into it.  Here it is - lump it or leave it.

Exactly- I did not get an email and only knew about this when another designer mentioned it elsewhere. Even those who did get an email indicated it came in Sunday- effectively zero notice - which is why I've deleted all my images and emptied my shops.  
 
It appears this forum ID is not tied to the shops but if GCU wants to delete it fine; my blood pressure will be better served by my moving on.
 
"Thanks for the memories"
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #26 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 9:52am
 
Out of curiosity, is it possible for the commission to go back up in the future?
 
Also, just a suggestion, is it possible to keep the commission rate that artist are use to and maybe apply the new commission rate to anyone who signs up after July 1?
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #27 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 12:20pm
 
Quote from Tom_133317 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 3:28am:
It does look like card prices have increased across the board, not just the single card pricing as stated in the announcement.  

http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/help/card_shopper_help.asp#pricing


 
Hi Tom, it's actually just the price of one card that has changed.  Everything else remains as it has been since January of 2011.  You can still view the old pricing structure here in the wiki:
http://www.gcuwiki.com/earnings.html
 
Shaun
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #28 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 1:07pm
 
Quote from Shaun_131054 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 12:20pm:
Quote from Tom_133317 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 3:28am:
It does look like card prices have increased across the board, not just the single card pricing as stated in the announcement.  

http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/help/card_shopper_help.asp#pricing



Hi Tom, it's actually just the price of one card that has changed.  Everything else remains as it has been since January of 2011.  You can still view the old pricing structure here in the wiki:
http://www.gcuwiki.com/earnings.html

Shaun

 
 
Looks like the 2-4 card level is now $3 each.  Yes?
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #29 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 2:08pm
 
Quote from Shaun_131054 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 12:20pm:
Quote from Tom_133317 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 3:28am:
It does look like card prices have increased across the board, not just the single card pricing as stated in the announcement.  

http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/help/card_shopper_help.asp#pricing



Hi Tom, it's actually just the price of one card that has changed.  Everything else remains as it has been since January of 2011.  You can still view the old pricing structure here in the wiki:
http://www.gcuwiki.com/earnings.html

Shaun

 
If this is the case, why does the GCU home page still have $3 on it?  This is misleading to consumers.
Jay and Susan
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #30 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 2:40pm
 
The banner ads need to be updated too I believe.
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/community/card_banners.asp
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #31 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 2:52pm
 
Quote from Tom_133317 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 1:07pm:
Quote from Shaun_131054 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 12:20pm:
Quote from Tom_133317 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 3:28am:
It does look like card prices have increased across the board, not just the single card pricing as stated in the announcement.  

http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/help/card_shopper_help.asp#pricing



Hi Tom, it's actually just the price of one card that has changed.  Everything else remains as it has been since January of 2011.  You can still view the old pricing structure here in the wiki:
http://www.gcuwiki.com/earnings.html

Shaun



Looks like the 2-4 card level is now $3 each.  Yes?

 
Previously 1 to 4 cards was $3.  Now 1 card is $3.50 while 2 to 4 cards remains $3.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #32 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 2:53pm
 
Quote from Tom_133317 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 2:40pm:
The banner ads need to be updated too I believe.
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/community/card_banners.asp

 
Correct, these will be updated very soon.   Thanks Tom.  
 
Shaun
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #33 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 3:03pm
 
Quote from Sherry_205423 on Jul 1st, 2013, 8:22pm:
Hi Mindy - I understand the new terms and will strive to achieve the thresholds GCU has set. My one problem is the same basic thing that Nancy said.

My daughter just joined GCU. At the rate it's taking for card to be approved, 2/3 of the 1st quarter will be over before she begins to have any cards in her store. That's very defeating for a newbie. Is there anything that can be done to help newbies get cards in their stores quicker?

Seeing the $150 threshold will definitely play a part in whether newbies stay or go. At least if they knew they could get cards in their stores quicker than 7-8 weeks it might encourage them to at least try to make the threshold.

Just a thought. Maybe there's some way GCU can help them.

 
Some type of quick start for newbies is in the works.    A good idea, thank you  Smiley
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #34 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 3:47pm
 
Quote from Cori_146275 on Jul 1st, 2013, 10:04pm:
Mindy,

You still have not addressed the issue that goes hand and hand with the cut, the time it takes to get cards approved.  

In your last email you state, " You’ll have to put trust in the fact that we’ve employed sound business know-how - book smarts, street smarts and start up business experience."

I come from a background of business as well as art.  Good business smarts and experience is to get the product out there as fast as possible for both the customer and in this case the artist.  With the commission cuts a good way to keep your artists happy is to have the approval time short.  I think you will find more artists accepting the pay cut and producing more work if they know that their cards are approved in a timely manner.

 
I whole heartedly that agree faster review times will increase artist satisfaction.
 
I have addressed card reviews here:
We are continually making changes / improvements to the card review process to shorten the turnaround time.  This will continue.  Our goal however is 4 weeks.  
 
A few recent items to note:
1. we added a new part time reviewer in June, #937 who's just shed her training wheels Wink
2. we've made several technical changes to the tools to make reviews more efficient
3. more artists have achieved Star Submitter status
4. we've allowed Concept designs to be FastTracked
 
Although I do not see these going hand in hand.  Although getting pending cards out in the marketplace is key, to apply additional resources to get them reviewed "faster" is not the best use of our limited resources when compared to other investments.  That's the key, we have to make choices.
 
We have chosen not to sacrifice the quality of reviews for quantity or speed.  However I will share that we are considering providing less detailed feedback in returns and declines.  Even providing less feedback on ways to improve elements on an approved card like more descriptive card title or Artist's Notes.  
 
The artists that have taken the time and attention to detail in their submissions suffer with delays as we spend more time fixing / suggesting how to improve cards where artists have not been so meticulous.  I'm referring to elements like descriptive card titles, keywords, artist's notes.  Elements that strongly impact SEO.  We will always ask for a fix of something that is incorrect, but if it's less than stellar we can begin to let them stand on their own merits, or lack there of.
 
This will be a sacrifice for many artists who have come to rely on the review team for help and suggestions on how to improve elements of their card in the name of SEO.
 
If artists are ready for this (with the exception of new artists who should be afforded more time and assistance to learn) then we can do so.  
 
It will be sink or swim.  This will certainly speed things along.
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #35 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 4:10pm
 
Quote from Shaun_131054 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 2:53pm:
Quote from Tom_133317 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 2:40pm:
The banner ads need to be updated too I believe.
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/community/card_banners.asp


Correct, these will be updated very soon.   Thanks Tom.  

Shaun

 
The banners are now updated though you may need to refresh the page to see the changes.  The file names remain the same so any banners appearing on other sites will now show the price change as well.  
 
Shaun
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #36 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 4:27pm
 
Quote from Ed_138263 on Jul 1st, 2013, 9:09pm:
Oh boy, I really have to think about this one. The user agreement that we all agreed to when we signed up goes out the window again. I really hate the words, "We reserve the right to............"
I am really glad that I did not put all my eggs in this basket. You want us to work harder or we won't get paid as much as we have been getting paid? Is that the message here? I worked a little over time when you guys were trying to get the kiosk thing going. Did that pan out? I will wait until my next payment. If I do not meet the "Required" minimum. I'm out of here.

 
Ed to keep the door open to change is a necessity.  We either stand firmly and obstinate in our roots and fall against the winds of change or we remain flexible and nimble to adjust.  
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #37 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 2:47pm
 
I'm not sure what a "top seller" is, but I have about 8,000 cards in my shop and I make daily sales. I worked my butt off to get all these cards up and now you're telling me you've INCREASED the price per card and are cutting the royalty by 50%?! I have to work twice as hard for the same pay, essentially. Like other artists on here, that does not sit well with me.
 
As artists, our images sell your cards. No one's going to order a blank white card, which is all you are selling without us. I'm a business person and I don't understand why you've increased the cost per card by .50 and you can't pay our full "old" .56 royalty per card. I understand this increase is for only a single card? Why don't you raise the prices across the board and keep royalties the same?
 
Most of my sales are for single cards, which is what you are charging more for and I'm getting a 50% pay cut for.
 
This cut is very harsh, I am going to think about whether it's worth it to keep my cards up with you, or go elsewhere. A lot of artists on here — like myself — do this professionally, for a living, and can't afford a 50% pay cut. This is a BIG pay cut. If we take our designs and leave, what do you have left? Fewer professional designs and a loss of business because of it. That won't help you "grow" any.
 
You could have increased the price per card without touching royalties, that would be more reasonable. I was recommending you above other online POD stores to my artist friends, now I really can't rave about you and have it be convincing. Sorry.
 
I sincerely hope you reevaluate this change. Thank you.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #38 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 3:19pm
 
HOLD THE PHONE ... folks ... I just saw something on the FaceBook GCU page that has me scratching my head.  Are you guys telling me that the $150 for the first three quarters that's being looked at is what OUR NET COMMISSION has to be ... or is that $150 for the first three quarters the total GROSS DOLLAR AMOUNT generated by our sales ... in other words, the total amount brought into the company by the accumulated sales from one seller in that quarter? 'Cause, bad as this is ... I ASSumed GCU was talking about GROSS, baby, not NET ...
 
 undecided
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #39 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 3:22pm
 
Lois, I believe it is net.  Shocked
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #40 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 3:25pm
 
I think it's net, too. All our .25 per card royalties need to add up to $150, as I understand it.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #41 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 3:36pm
 
No, it's based on your actual earnings.  And yes, that means you will have to sell twice as many cards to make the same you did before and HOPE that you surpass the $150 for the first three quarters and $300 for the fourth so you get the 'bonus' payment which is basically a 5 cent raise on what we USED to get assuming it is an individual card sale. Of course, all this depends on how many a customer orders, etc. as always.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #42 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 7:43pm
 
Quote from Mindy on Jul 2nd, 2013, 4:27pm:
Quote from Ed_138263 on Jul 1st, 2013, 9:09pm:
Oh boy, I really have to think about this one. The user agreement that we all agreed to when we signed up goes out the window again. I really hate the words, "We reserve the right to............"
I am really glad that I did not put all my eggs in this basket. You want us to work harder or we won't get paid as much as we have been getting paid? Is that the message here? I worked a little over time when you guys were trying to get the kiosk thing going. Did that pan out? I will wait until my next payment. If I do not meet the "Required" minimum. I'm out of here.


Ed to keep the door open to change is a necessity.  We either stand firmly and obstinate in our roots and fall against the winds of change or we remain flexible and nimble to adjust.  

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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #43 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 8:40pm
 
Quote from Ed_138263 on Jul 3rd, 2013, 7:43pm:
Quote from Mindy on Jul 2nd, 2013, 4:27pm:
Quote from Ed_138263 on Jul 1st, 2013, 9:09pm:
Oh boy, I really have to think about this one. The user agreement that we all agreed to when we signed up goes out the window again. I really hate the words, "We reserve the right to............"
I am really glad that I did not put all my eggs in this basket. You want us to work harder or we won't get paid as much as we have been getting paid? Is that the message here? I worked a little over time when you guys were trying to get the kiosk thing going. Did that pan out? I will wait until my next payment. If I do not meet the "Required" minimum. I'm out of here.


Ed to keep the door open to change is a necessity.  We either stand firmly and obstinate in our roots and fall against the winds of change or we remain flexible and nimble to adjust.  


 
 
 
You are kidding right.  "obstinate in our roots"  I think what you are doing is wrong. The artists here have made your business. Be content with the earnings you make from the inspiration of others. This site has grown, I believe, by word of mouth, more than any other way. If you feel you need to make a little more money, charge a small store front fee for those who do not make a minimum amount per month or lower the commission by 10%, but 50%, that is outrageous.  Those who have been consistently earning money for you and themselves, should be thanked, not put into a position of feeling like they owe you something. This business goes both ways. We cannot do it without you, and you can not do it without us. I truly hope that you will re-think your decision to cut commissions. I do understand what you said, "to keep the door open to change is a necessity." But to blatantly cut commissions by 50% is not just being flexible, it is a moral breach of contract and totally unfair.
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« Last Edit: Jul 4th, 2013, 8:42am by Ed_138263 »  
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Stacia_208183
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #44 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 9:59pm
 
I don't know if anyone else noticed, but the announcement contains this sentence: "Additionally we have plans to make it easier and more effective for artists to self promote." I'm intrigued for I'm supportive of anything that's "easier" and "more effective"! I think admin may have some nice surprises forthcoming. Roll Eyes
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #45 - Jul 4th, 2013, 4:36am
 
Ed, although I agree with most of your post, charging artists who haven't reached this new bar isn't fair either.  It's either across the board or not at all.  Why would you add yet another punishment on to the artists struggling to build their stores, or who are new and obviously will need time to reach this level, and all working just as hard who haven't made it there yet?  I've been here four years and I'd like to try to hold on and try to ride this out.  I did a lot of soul searching over the last few days and yes, I would like to think I have learned a lot and now have a bit more to offer - and with the continued community factor available through information resources being shared, yes, I've invested enough not to just drop this now.  Unless Mindy can tell us that we lesser artists are costing GCU business, then why would you propose that a new artist or one who has been trying to work at building their store and trying to make sales here be punished with a fee?  Is the fact that we loose half our earnings enough punishment?  Would this fee be removed when an artist finally reaches the new bar?  What about any artist having an "off" quarter?  Do they get charged for not making the threshold for that quarter?  
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #46 - Jul 4th, 2013, 6:23am
 
I really want to put this out there...my experience with GCU has been very positive from the beginning. I've had a shop here for, I think, 6 years, and this company and community has always been incredibly generous. I know the community blog is chock full of everything we can possibly need to be successful with our cards  on GCU. Contests, design resources, giveaways, critique clinics...And that information has always been freely given, by artists who have their own "businesses" to run. And the commission of .60 per card is generous and I have been grateful for that.  
 
This company made my "Card Shop" possible. Like everyone else, even though I have a lot of "art business" on my plate, I know that the reality of that business is that it requires flexibility and a lot of hard work to make your work sell. GCU's needs have changed as a company and now I have to see what I can do to grow my own business along with them.  Smiley
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #47 - Jul 4th, 2013, 7:07am
 
Sharon,
 
I just clicked onto your link and your store did not come up. I then, clicked on your name, and from there clicked on your link, and the same result occurred. You may want to check on this.  Thanks for your pleasant comment. I totally agree!
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #48 - Jul 4th, 2013, 9:11am
 
It seems with all the goings on that a bottom line is company profits first at all costs.  With little or no concern about the people that made it what it is.  My feelings about this company have gone from admiration and loyalty to disgust OVERNIGHT!  There is an arrogance here in the heirarchy that is very upsetting, and GCU is becoming just another place to avoid as an artist on the web.
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #49 - Jul 4th, 2013, 10:16am
 
I have a feeling we have not been told all of the details for these changes. Seems like a lot, all of a sudden to absorb and get used to. I'm going to sit back, wait for my 131 cards to be reviewed, and see how this all plays out. Good luck to all my fellow artists. Hang in there.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #50 - Jul 4th, 2013, 3:49pm
 
Quote from Sandra_133229 on Jul 4th, 2013, 7:07am:
Sharon,

I just clicked onto your link and your store did not come up. I then, clicked on your name, and from there clicked on your link, and the same result occurred. You may want to check on this.  Thanks for your pleasant comment. I totally agree!

 
 
Thanks for letting me know, Sandra. My old store link is still showing up as my signature in the forum--I'm trying to figure out how to update it--the updated signature/store link is current everywhere else??  
My store is:
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/SFernleafDesigns
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #51 - Jul 4th, 2013, 3:56pm
 
[quote author=Sharon_131320 link=1372702066/45#50 date=1372978163]Quote from Sandra_133229 on Jul 4th, 2013, 7:07am:

Thanks for letting me know, Sandra. My old store link is still showing up as my signature in the forum--I'm trying to figure out how to update it--the updated signature/store link is current everywhere else??
My store is:
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/SFernleafDesigns

 
 
I must have done something right because it's working now Smiley
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #52 - Jul 5th, 2013, 3:45am
 
I sold a card yesterday and the payout was 20 cents. Is it really possible to meet these new quotas? I know since my store is new with very few cards the answer is no, but for the larger more established stores, can you meet these new thresholds? For the 4th quarter at that rate I would need to sell 1,500 cards. This is not a negative question I am just curious if this is possible for people who have been here longer and have established shops, so that I know in the future that I should be happy with 20 cents a card or is it really possible to get more.
 
Also as the "pool" gets more diluted as more and more people join, it seems that it will be harder in the future to meet these thresholds as the sales will be spread out over more shops.
 
Thanks for any responses.
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« Last Edit: Jul 5th, 2013, 6:48am by Carrie_226123 »  
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #53 - Jul 5th, 2013, 7:08am
 
I will promote the heck out of my store, BUT, I'd like to have at least 25-30 cards reviewed/approved.  I have a lot of variety; i.e., art based on my photography as well as digitally created, BUT I'm still waiting for a good chunk  to be reviewed.  I'm not ready to give up yet mainly because I don't feel I can properly begin marketing with the number of cards reviewed so far... undecided undecided
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #54 - Jul 5th, 2013, 7:53am
 
Quote from Carrie_226123 on Jul 5th, 2013, 3:45am:
I sold a card yesterday and the payout was 20 cents. Is it really possible to meet these new quotas? I know since my store is new with very few cards the answer is no, but for the larger more established stores, can you meet these new thresholds? For the 4th quarter at that rate I would need to sell 1,500 cards. This is not a negative question I am just curious if this is possible for people who have been here longer and have established shops, so that I know in the future that I should be happy with 20 cents a card or is it really possible to get more.

Also as the "pool" gets more diluted as more and more people join, it seems that it will be harder in the future to meet these thresholds as the sales will be spread out over more shops.

Thanks for any responses.

 
Hi Carrie, it's absolutely possible and as you already mentioned it will take time. Sales should consistently grow from year to year. Corrie mentioned many years ago when I joined that it takes a good 2-years for things to really get rolling and that was my experience. I did all the things Corrie is writing about in her Marketing articles and many I still do.  During my first 2-years I spent 8-weeks creating and filling my store, then did a week of heavy promotion of my stores using all the techniques being mentioned in the blog.
 
In January 2012, 2-1/2 years after I opened my store, my sales tripled and I stopped spending so much time marketing.  This is not to say I don't maintain my sites, I do, or that I don't do social media, I do. I just no longer had to push so hard to make a name for myself. I had gone over the hurdle.  
 
So, new artists goals should not be how much they sell each quarter, but rather goals for filling their stores with great cards that have powerful Card Titles, Keywords and Artist Notes. That combined with heavy focus on marketing your work using Corrie's tips and seeing a steady growth pattern will bring you out on top in the long run.
 
If you don't see a steady growth in sales from year to year, then you need to re-evaluate what you're doing and make some significant changes.  Hope this helps inspire you to continue on  Smiley
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #55 - Jul 5th, 2013, 8:22am
 
Quote from Carrie_226123 on Jul 5th, 2013, 3:45am:
I sold a card yesterday and the payout was 20 cents. Is it really possible to meet these new quotas?

 
As I stated, I have about 8,000 cards in my shop. I have had this store open for years and I make multiple daily sales (as well as some bulk sales). I generally average $150 - $250 per quarter. If you cut that in half, no, I will not meet those new quotes. I promote a lot and I have my store linked to many websites. I am not holding my breath and I am still considering closing my shop. I have "nothing to lose" by staying but letting others get rich off my hard work and creativity while I have to work twice as hard for the same pay. I'd like to see these people get a 50% pay cut, see if they'd quit and find a new job. I'm willing to bet they would. What they are doing here is very harsh, they are biting the hand that feeds them.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #56 - Jul 5th, 2013, 8:44am
 
Crissy,
 
Wow, that is a lot of work to get 8,000 cards on this site and an extended amount of time with the submittal review time. Thank you for the honesty in your reply, I think it will help a lot of people evaluate where to focus their efforts. I was really excited about the site and have over 300 cards pending. I will continue to add to see how things go but am definitely going to put effort into my other sites as well. I was thinking about keep my cards exclusive here but with the current structure I will be looking at other avenues as others have mentioned.
 
Doreen,
Thank you for the encouraging note, I will continue to post cards but will be looking at other baskets as well, as you said it will take over two years to really get up and running on this site.
 
Thank you.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #57 - Jul 5th, 2013, 9:15am
 
GCU is charging customers more for cards (making more profit), but giving artists less. Reviews take 6 weeks or more and GCU dictates how the card should look (focusing on photography rather than concepts and the overall look of a card). How are we supposed to sell more cards??? I sold 8 cards yesterday and made $2. Sure I have nothing to lose but I also have nothing to gain. I sell more cards and make more $$ with Zazzle (who approves cards in minutes and does not dictate the look of the card). They allow each artist to set their own profit margins. So unfortunately, I have no other choice than to close my store. I think it was a poor business decision on GCU's part. Good luck everyone!
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #58 - Jul 5th, 2013, 11:52am
 
I'm sorry we will lose you, CimZah. Your cards are wonderful and I wish you luck somewhere else.
 
I'm afraid we will lose many good artists and that is a crying shame. I'm not sure what will happen to GCU. Seems like it was going so well. I wish we really knew the details of these drastic changes.  
 
1. Is the company in financial trouble?
2. Has the company been sold?
3. Are these changes to make profits look good for a sale?
4. Is this a way of cutting artists?
 
Companies should value their employees, not punish them. Cutting commissions to 50% is punishment. I'm trying to see the positive side to this, but it's difficult. Perhaps management can inform, enlighten, and explain what is really going on. We artists would appreciate it.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #59 - Jul 6th, 2013, 10:27am
 
If some of us should decide to close shop and I am still thinking on this...If and when we delete our cards and shop do our original designs get deleted out of your database too?  In other words can you continue to use our graphics?
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #60 - Jul 6th, 2013, 10:53am
 
I haven't closed my store yet because I'm not sure how I will get paid for recent sales? What happens to those funds after I close my account?? Thanks.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #61 - Jul 6th, 2013, 11:21am
 
Quote from _183235 on Jul 6th, 2013, 10:53am:
I haven't closed my store yet because I'm not sure how I will get paid for recent sales? What happens to those funds after I close my account?? Thanks.

 
That is my question too. I hardly even dare ask it. Having read on another thread, someone reported having 200(?) cards removed for not meeting guidelines, though they had been the artist's best sellers, I am afraid of having such a thing happen out of the blue.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #62 - Jul 6th, 2013, 12:00pm
 
Quote from Catinka_133492 on Jul 6th, 2013, 11:21am:
Quote from _183235 on Jul 6th, 2013, 10:53am:
I haven't closed my store yet because I'm not sure how I will get paid for recent sales? What happens to those funds after I close my account?? Thanks.


That is my question too. I hardly even dare ask it. Having read on another thread, someone reported having 200(?) cards removed for not meeting guidelines, though they had been the artist's best sellers, I am afraid of having such a thing happen out of the blue.

 
Artists have closed their stores for a variety of reasons over the years and I doubt that process has changed. I believe when you close you are paid for outstanding royalties within 30-days or so and of course GCU DOES NOT continue to use your images ... good grief they have a strict policy against we artists using material we don't have the right to use, they would never do such a thing.
 
As far as the cards being removed from stores 'out of the blue' ... GCU made the announcement in January of 2012, over a year and 1/2 ago, that we should be cleaning our stores of cards which do not meet the submission guidelines. That teams would be going through and weeding out cards which fail to meet those guidelines.  1-1/2 years notice IS HARDLY OUT OF THE BLUE.
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #63 - Jul 6th, 2013, 7:09pm
 
My understanding is no, they cannot, unless an order is already in process. Admin will probably chime in at the start of the week with the official answer.
 
Quote from Cara_131386 on Jul 6th, 2013, 10:27am:
If some of us should decide to close shop and I am still thinking on this...If and when we delete our cards and shop do our original designs get deleted out of your database too?  In other words can you continue to use our graphics?

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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #64 - Jul 6th, 2013, 7:43pm
 
Quote from Cara_131386 on Jul 6th, 2013, 10:27am:
If some of us should decide to close shop and I am still thinking on this...If and when we delete our cards and shop do our original designs get deleted out of your database too?  In other words can you continue to use our graphics?

 
Cara, no, they can not continue to use our graphics. What I would do, is delete all of your images first, then close the store.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #65 - Jul 7th, 2013, 9:49am
 
Quote from Cara_131386 on Jul 6th, 2013, 10:27am:
If some of us should decide to close shop and I am still thinking on this...If and when we delete our cards and shop do our original designs get deleted out of your database too?  In other words can you continue to use our graphics?

 
This is the 2nd time I've had a shop with GCU. The first time I did not have many designs up and I closed the shop in 2008. While my shop appeared closed, some of my cards apparently were still available for sale on other sites (BigDates?) and a few weeks later a friend of mine actually bought a card. He called me up to tell me it was a great print!! I was shocked and confused, so I asked where he got it and he showed me his order receipt. After I saw the card listed online, I emailed GCU to complain, they apologized and took it down.
 
How many sold during those few weeks? Only one that I know of.
 
It took about a month (if I remember correctly) but I DID get a check for the royalties (from that sale) from GCU. I would not have known about it had the person who bought my card not known or contacted me, so to me this experience did raise a concern.
 
I'm NOT saying it wasn't an honest mistake on GCU's part that my cards were available after my shop closed. I am not saying it happens often, I'm just sharing my experience. The reason I reopened my shop a few months later was because receiving a royalty check for that sale made me feel I can still trust GCU. However, I would advise artists to use google within a few weeks and make sure the cards are down, instead of closing up shop and just forgetting about it like I did.
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #66 - Jul 7th, 2013, 10:41am
 
Thanks for the heads up Chrissy.  This is interesting.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #67 - Jul 8th, 2013, 6:17am
 
its disturbing to hear that cards can still be sold by GCU after store and cards are deleted
HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?
IF THEY DID IT ONCE THEY CAN DO IT AGAIN
 
If you dropout search for your cards and verify GCU actually deleted it  
We no longer can trust them !
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #68 - Jul 8th, 2013, 9:15am
 
I can assure you all that your images are removed from all of our websites if you have chosen to close your store. We would not continue to sell one's image after their account has been closed.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #69 - Jul 8th, 2013, 2:01pm
 
Quote from _183235 on Jul 6th, 2013, 10:53am:
I haven't closed my store yet because I'm not sure how I will get paid for recent sales? What happens to those funds after I close my account?? Thanks.

 
If you choose to close your store please use the Cancel My Account tool on your Administrative Settings page:
http://artist.greetingcarduniverse.com/community/cancel.asp
 
If you have outstanding, unpaid earnings you should send an email to Services   @greetingcarduniverse.com  (no spaces between Services and @) requesting your payout.  Please include your artist / storefront id #.
 
Please note it can take up to 24 hours for your cards to be removed from all of our sites.
 
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #70 - Jul 8th, 2013, 5:08pm
 
Thanks Mindy! That's very reassuring to know.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #71 - Jul 9th, 2013, 6:44am
 
Hi, Mindy,
 
I just noticed that the artist price for cards has been adjusted to compensate for the new commission structure.  Thank you for doing that for us!
 
Penny Smiley
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #72 - Jul 9th, 2013, 9:09am
 
Yes Mindy, that is nice.  I appreciate that too.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #73 - Jul 9th, 2013, 12:54pm
 
I agree, the problem is for all of us, there were no warning signs before and it makes everyone want to know the truthful answers as to WHY??? I think we all would like to know why and not hear " It will help us all in the long run", we want solid reasonable answers as to why :
 
 
Quote from Gail_137747 on Jul 5th, 2013, 11:52am:

Seems like it was going so well. I wish we really knew the details of these drastic changes.

1. Is the company in financial trouble?
2. Has the company been sold?
3. Are these changes to make profits look good for a sale?
4. Is this a way of cutting artists?

Companies should value their employees, not punish them. Cutting commissions to 50% is punishment. I'm trying to see the positive side to this, but it's difficult. Perhaps management can inform, enlighten, and explain what is really going on. We artists would appreciate it.

 
I am just wanting to know the "real reasons" as to why, it would make things easier to deal with knowing the real reason for the card price increase and the decrease in artist commissions.
 
Charlyn
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CW Designs - Customizable Holiday Greeting Cards:
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/CWDesignsHolidayCards
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #74 - Jul 9th, 2013, 7:03pm
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #75 - Jul 9th, 2013, 8:14pm
 
I'm sorry, but up until this past year or so, it took no longer than one week for you to approve cards, and that was a trend for the last few years. I actually stopped uploading as many designs this year because it is taking so long to approve them. Your goal is a maximum of 4 weeks? When it was one week not so long ago? I don't understand how you can cut royalties in half and still say your company is "growing" when you state you've had layoffs and take months to approve a card.
 
Also, how about you save some money on the "2 free ipads" you are giving away on Facebook every few weeks? Since you can't afford to pay us, those are obviously coming out of our collective pockets. I think you are really taking advantage of every artist here. I'm an artist. I do actually WORK for a living, every day,  I work 12 hours promoting and illustrating most days, including weekends. That is more than your average 8- or 9-hour shift. I am not independently wealthy. My hard-earned money should not be paying for other people's iPads. I think others here will agree with me on that one. How about some reasonable giveaways?
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #76 - Jul 10th, 2013, 8:14am
 
One one hand, I understand your goals for these changes and why you made them. On the other hand, it can also easily be labeled as a classic case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Those who have the time, desire and skill to make this a full-time occupation (or almost) will probably do fine under the new rules. But those who just enjoy creating artistic works and want to earn a little pin money thereby, are getting screwed.  
I don't have answers, but feel sure the changes that have been made won't turn out to be the panacea hoped for.  
Thanks for listening.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #77 - Jul 10th, 2013, 11:34am
 
Quote from Chrissy_135289 on Jul 9th, 2013, 8:14pm:
I'm sorry, but up until this past year or so, it took no longer than one week for you to approve cards, and that was a trend for the last few years. I actually stopped uploading as many designs this year because it is taking so long to approve them. Your goal is a maximum of 4 weeks? When it was one week not so long ago? I don't understand how you can cut royalties in half and still say your company is "growing" when you state you've had layoffs and take months to approve a card.

Also, how about you save some money on the "2 free ipads" you are giving away on Facebook every few weeks? Since you can't afford to pay us, those are obviously coming out of our collective pockets. I think you are really taking advantage of every artist here. I'm an artist. I do actually WORK for a living, every day,  I work 12 hours promoting and illustrating most days, including weekends. That is more than your average 8- or 9-hour shift. I am not independently wealthy. My hard-earned money should not be paying for other people's iPads. I think others here will agree with me on that one. How about some reasonable giveaways?

 
The card review times have not been 1 week for around three years.  
 
As for the promotional giveaways these are part of our social media and acquisition programs.  To avoid getting into a discussion around what we spend on marketing promotions, why and what are other giveaway alternatives I'll just share the cost of a few iPads is inconsequential compared to other costs and expenses like artist earnings.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #78 - Jul 10th, 2013, 12:35pm
 
And an IPod is so much more fun when you win one, hope hope!
 
I see it as an incentive to work harder.  Who doesn't love to win a prize!  
 
It's a great thing even if I never win one, Mindy!  Thanks for the incentive!
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #79 - Jul 10th, 2013, 12:52pm
 
I can understand reinvesting to market more but not at such a high cost to the suppliers (aka - the artists) who provide you card designs to sell ( that would be otherwise blank cards) to the customers on your site.
 
 If you think of it like this : someone who has a min. wage job goes to work and gets paid for the hours they work for the day, correct? No one would go to work everyday if they weren't getting paid right?  
 Ok so if employees of GCU put in 8 hours of work, they get paid for 8 hours of work correct?
 
 How would you feel if you were told well if the website makes $150,000 every quarter you will get you full paycheck but if it doesn't you will only get half and you need to help promote more? Would you still want to work there or would you need a job where you get paid for the hours you work?
 
So now think of this:
Now we as artists put in 8 hours of work creating designs to upload to your website for the day, at the end of the day we "do not" get paid for the 8 hours of work it took to create the designs we uploaded to your website and "will not" get paid for those 8 hours of work until those designs sell over and over again for us to actually get paid for the 8 hours of work it took to create them not including any expenses of supplies to create the designs etc.
 
Now with both thoughts in your head, how would you feel as an artist/designer when you don't get paid til the design sells ( if it sells bc there is no guarantee that it will sell) and then your earnings are cut in half, and you are expected to promote more for half of what you were earning bc the company wants to do more marketing that may or may not bring in more revenue (bc customer sales are not guaranteed unless you have something they want and even then still no guarantee they will buy)
 
How would you feel? Would you feel valued? Would you still want to put in the energy to continue to create new designs or would you move on and work where you will actually get paid for the work you do?  
 
Please know, I am not trying to be argumentative, I just want to show you through my eyes what I see and feel, thank you for listening and I do hope you can understand how it feels to be on this end of it all.
I thank Nasser for giving everyone the next quarter to try to get better organized for the change.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #80 - Jul 10th, 2013, 12:57pm
 
I mean Ipad
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #81 - Jul 10th, 2013, 7:43pm
 
The card review times have not been 1 week for around three years.  
 
As for the promotional giveaways these are part of our social media and acquisition programs.  To avoid getting into a discussion around what we spend on marketing promotions, why and what are other giveaway alternatives I'll just share the cost of a few iPads is inconsequential compared to other costs and expenses like artist earnings. [/quote]
 
"a few iPads is inconsequential compared to other costs and expenses like artist earnings."
 
Mindy, Are you saying that our earnings are just a business expense to you???
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #82 - Jul 10th, 2013, 9:36pm
 
Ed, that is not what Mindy is saying. Of course our earnings are a business expense,  I doubt any of us could get our head around what it costs just to keep the internet site and the cost associated with promoting. I've been here a long time and it is true that every year, sales increase.  I don't promote, so how do you think that is possible?  It is from the efforts of GCU!  
 
 Sometimes you have to make tough decisions to get to the final goal.  I feel sure this was a very tough decision and they did not take it lightly.  I think the vast majority of the artists here would agree that over the years Mindy especially has jumped through hoops above and beyond to help us be successful.
 
If they want to get the juices going by offering an iPad for the design of the month winner, all the better.  Let us small time artists have our jollies while we try to win an iPad.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #83 - Jul 22nd, 2013, 1:57pm
 
Quote from Cori_146275 on Jul 1st, 2013, 4:50pm:

Mindy you commented in a post, "THESE CHANGES FOLLOW A BASIC PRINCIPLE - WORKER HARDER (& SMARTER), EARN MORE."   We can work harder by getting more inventory out for the public to see but if it is not approved faster it defeats part of the purpose to work harder.

 
This is one of the reasons I stopped adding new cards.
Whilst I too like many of you will live with the commission cut I am afraid that like Terry I will no longer be adding new cards.
 
Whilst I can understand having to economize it just doesn't seem fair to cut commisions by 50%
 
If it wasn't for the many many artists who upload their creations GCU wouldn't be in business so surely chasing away artists isn't the answer.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #84 - Jul 23rd, 2013, 5:14am
 
Nevermind I was having a moment but figured it out myself  Roll Eyes
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #85 - Jul 23rd, 2013, 6:48am
 
I have read through these posts and this question has not been addressed.
 
Is this a correct assumption:  
If minimum earnings thresholds have not been achieved for any given Quarter, earnings will be left to accumulate until a minimum threshold for payout is achieved in a subsequent Quarter.  
 
For example Q1-2013 $50, Q2-2013 additional $60, Q3-2013 additional $70, which means Q3-2013 payout $180 check will be sent to the artist.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #86 - Jul 23rd, 2013, 9:19am
 
You still get paid every quarter.  The advantage to meeting the threshold is that you get the higher commission rate, thus double your money.  
 
So, if you can make  enough sales to meet $25 min. to be issued a check, you will get a check every quarter. The difference is only in the AMOUNT of the check if you don't make the threshold.
 
Hope that helps.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #87 - Jul 23rd, 2013, 11:01am
 
Thanks Trish for the reply, but just for my clarification...  
 
Mindy noted two-tiered quarterly earnings structure, but she detail the Premium earnings and threshold structure.
 
(and yes we would all strive to be premium earning artists)  
 
But is the first tier which was mentioned in the announcement, much like the status quo:
i.e. for the standard earning artists, the quarterly check thresholds remains as $25 earned based on 10% or 0.35c commission per card sold.  And earnings can be cumulative from quarter to quarter until min $25 is earned, in which case a check would be issued?
 
Have i got it straight now?
Thanks again.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #88 - Jul 23rd, 2013, 11:10am
 
Yes, you've got it right.  You may 10% of whatever the card sold for with the most being 35, and the earnings carry over if they don't meet the minimum $25.  You can also set your payments higher, if you like a fatter check.
 
Hope that helps!
 
Welcome to GCU!
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #89 - Jul 24th, 2013, 6:45am
 
Wow, this is a joke right?!  
 
I am already having 30% of my GCU earnings deducted due to the bizarre tax rules. Now I have to take a 50% cut in my commission?!  
 
One of the reasons I signed up with GCU is because I will not participate with a company that slaps on quotas.
 
These thresholds are ridiculous because they are arbitrary amounts decided solely by GCU.  
 
I do not buy into the argument that I should be grateful that GCU provides a vehicle for artists to sell their wares. This may have been the case 5 years ago, but not now. There are many other venues that provide these services for free or low cost. GCUs commission rate is now 5-10%. That is not a good thing.
 
GCU expects me to be ok with:
- provide/create the products they sell for profit
- commit time and money to promote the products
- having no control over discounts provided to customers (thus affecting my commission)
- waiting 4 - 8 weeks for cards to be approved  
- being blind sided by changes being implemented  
- letting them decide on arbitrary "thresholds"
 
I find it interesting that in the artist FAQ, GCU says this:
 
 "Where do the card buyers come from?
A12:      Cards buyers come from sites that are in the 'Powered by BigDates-Solutions'ť network. Greeting Card Universe is the exclusive greeting card provider for BigDates. You'll enjoy marketing and site traffic that these other sites employ. You don't have to lift a finger! Click here to see "Powered by BigDates-Solutions" sites. Buyers also come from search engines like Google, etc."
 
However, outside of the FAQ, we are told "Lastly, do not despair, meeting the quarterly thresholds is realistically within reach for artists who are willing to put in the extra effort."
 
I also saw on the FAQ:  
 
"How much money will I earn?
A14:      You will earn up to $ 0.60 for each of your paper cards sold. Artist payments will be made thirty (30) days after the end of each calendar quarter if the amount owed exceeds twenty-five dollars ($25). You can increase your minimum payment amount. Click here for Payment Information in Account Information."
 
Based on the new commission structure, the only way to receive $0.60 commission on a sale is if we reach the threshold by the end of the quarter. This is certainly not clear in the FAQ.  
 
If I were deciding whether to sign up with GCU, the faqs paint a very different picture than what is reality.
 
I have 2400 cards on GCU. Based on my sales, I would be able to meet the thresholds. However, I think that GCU is not conducting themselves in good faith and I cringe at the thought of what will be coming next (ie charging for "premium" accounts, charging for "premium" services and tools, etc). I know that if I leave, my spot will be filled with others and GCU's bottom line will not be adversely affected. If anything, they will save money by not having to pay me full commissions when I meet the thresholds.  
 
I wish all those remaining at GCU the best of luck and great success with their artistic endeavours.
 
Lisa
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #90 - Jul 24th, 2013, 7:19am
 
and remember, you don't even have control over what even goes into your stores.  All submissions must be made within THEIR guidelines of marketability therefore eliminating every artist's decision to choose what work they wish to submit.  
 
I'm just adding stuff as I see fit, I've started a blog, but believe me, it will be when I feel like it - not because GCU is requiring me to do the marketing for the products they are taking the bulk of the profits on.  There has been no insight on exactly what it is the overhead costs are - I have no idea why I have to give up part of my commission and let them keep it when I'm producing exactly the same kind of product even though sales might be less.  
 
THAT I will not understand.
 
I would love for GCU to tell those of us not meeting this threshold how is it we are costing GCU money and entitling them to keep the part of the payment that otherwise should be mine when the products produced are exactly the same as the high ranked sellers?
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #91 - Jul 24th, 2013, 7:52am
 
I actually feel bad for well established artists on GCU. I say this because they will soon feel like they are being held hostage to GCUs whims. If things continue to go the way I think it will, established artists will have invested so much time/money/energy to GCU, they will feel that they have no choice but accept the changes as they come.
 
I have worked very hard to get my store to 2500 cards. If GCU decides to arbitrarily charge a fee based on the number of cards in a store, what should I do? Lets say they decide that they will charge $2.99/month for stores with 2000-5000 cards and $9.99 for those who exceed 5000. Is it worth it to me to pay this "nominal fee"? Or do I just close shop? The more cards I have, the harder this decision will be.
 
What about paying a "nominal fee" for improvements or tools that will potentially improve the exposure of my cards? Artists with a lot of cards will feel that all of their hard work will be wasted if they do not opt in.
 
The current FAQs confirm my suspicions that this could easily become reality for GCU artists.
 
Q1:      Does it cost anything?
A1:      No, your artist account is completely free.  As we make improvements we may offer some advanced services and features at a nominal fee.  You will be clearly notified if and when these are made available.
 
Q27:      Is there a limit to the number of cards I can offer?
A27:      No, there is not a limit at this time. In the future, depending on usage there may be a limit or a nominal fee for a premium number of cards offered.
 
Lisa
 
 
 
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #92 - Jul 24th, 2013, 8:00am
 
considering that it takes 2 months or better for cards to be reviewed, it will be a LONG time before I end up with the quantity you have.  And considering the path with which GCU is going, the fact that they have broken my trust in cutting my commissions in half with NO notification of changes and setting an amount I HAVE to now meet in sales to get the higher pay AND asking me to do more work on top of it, it's really hard swallowing this.  Honestly, if the fee were reasonable, I'd almost go in for it like a yearly membership and be done with it - but at least not under the pressure to do all they are now asking and trying to make products to fill my store.
 
I don't know what the answer is, but right now, I can take it or leave it - until they decide where GCU is going as a company, and until they do whatever it is they are going to do to make this company thrive, I just can't sink a lot of time into this, and as I said, I'm not sacrificing time away from what is making me money.  If they can tell me I am COSTING GCU money just because I am not a high volume seller, then maybe I'll make some permanent decisions on my membership here.
 
I am sure the big sellers are going to just go in on it - after all, there is another thread honking the praises of GCU, some of which I do agree and some I do not - not now anyway.
 
It's a day by day thing for me.  As I've now concluded, I'll do the best I can and that's all there is to it.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #93 - Jul 24th, 2013, 8:09am
 
Lisa and Donna, I absolutely agree with the remarks you are making in the post right above here. I'm only a beginning artist on GCU, and I didn't let the recent changes let me shy away of making a real start and continuing to upload my work. But I am worried about the same points you mention, Lisa - and I too would really appreciate more openness and dialogue from GCU's side about statistics they used to base their thresholds on, overhead costs, business year reports of previous years, and future plans... More communication about this would definitely give me a sense of appreciation and partnership - instead of the insecurity and lack of trust caused by the suddenness and onesidedness in which decisions have been taken now.  Huh
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #94 - Jul 24th, 2013, 8:17am
 
the one-sidedness of GCU has me VERY concerned. The secretiveness of how this business is functioning is starting to send up red flags that perhaps most of what is touted isn't true at all.  
 
I really would prefer to see open communication between Admin and the artists - much MORE than has occurred in the past.  I think if there had been more openness to begin with, these changes would have been easier to swallow - and given fuel to many more to want to give more to make GCU thrive.  As I am concerned with the way it stands now, they might be doing some marketing and the printing and the reviewing, but I'd love to see a side by side cost per card and know what exactly GCU gets in the end for profits that are making it where only some of us (those meeting the threshold) get to have 50% MORE in commissions from those who do not.
 
This one point is sitting in my craw and I just can't wrap my head around.
 
YES, I am well aware of the encouragement and advice given to meet with success, but with that comes some trust in the business, and I'm not feeling that trust right now.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #95 - Jul 24th, 2013, 10:14am
 
I completely agree with all you have said Donna.
 
It is funny that GCU feels it unnecessary to communicate appropriately with the artists that provide the products they sell. I also have to chuckle when GCU gives the impression that we need to help them as they deal with "growing pains". They are no longer a "start up" and should have their business model in place.  
 
With the amount of revenue growth they have experienced, you would think that the artists would be the last to be trampled upon.
 
Here is a quote from 2010:.  
 
"Our Christmas cards started selling as early as July this year which made us quite optimistic on strong 3rd and 4th quarters. This November our sales grew 104% over last November. Leaps and bounds over the estimated online sales growth average of only 13% this year according to research firm comScore” shares Rosso. “Even considering our discounts, we still posted 82% growth on net earnings and a staggering 760% growth of year-to-year sales on Black Friday"
 
And one from April of this year:
 
"One hour local pickup has been a very popular feature with Greeting Card Universe web site customers for over six months, leading to a 15% percent increase in sales, and helping the company continue to achieve between 50-100% annual growth rates since 2008"
 
Unless stated otherwise by GCU, I can only assume that they are not suffering from the recession as many others are. They are continuing to grow despite the recession.  
 
Hmmmm.
 
Lisa
 
 
 
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #96 - Jul 24th, 2013, 10:21am
 
all the more reason to not trust what they claim as being the company in trouble.  To me, and especially now after your cited comments to the press, I'd really question the honesty value set by the people running the show here.  This to me is just another means of putting more money into their pockets.  You cannot tell people at large how incredible your company is and then expect the artists providing you with the products leading to such growth in sales.  Sorry, just not buying it.
 
And I know from many of the other posts by disgruntled artists, many feel the same way and then there are those that are just going to sugar coat this.
 
As I said, for me now, my focus is on what is making me money - this is an afterthought now.  Until GCU regains my trust, I cannot be expected to work harder if you cannot show me WHY you had to cut my commissions supposedly because your expense lines are bigger.  
 
Communication is vital at this point in time.  And doubtful we will get any further answers or insight.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #97 - Jul 24th, 2013, 10:40am
 
Quote from Lisa_133761 on Jul 24th, 2013, 10:14am:


Here is a quote from 2010:

"Our Christmas cards started selling as early as July this year which made us quite optimistic on strong 3rd and 4th quarters. This November our sales grew 104% over last November. Leaps and bounds over the estimated online sales growth average of only 13% this year according to research firm comScore” shares Rosso. “Even considering our discounts, we still posted 82% growth on net earnings and a staggering 760% growth of year-to-year sales on Black Friday"

And one from April of this year:

"One hour local pickup has been a very popular feature with Greeting Card Universe web site customers for over six months, leading to a 15% percent increase in sales, and helping the company continue to achieve between 50-100% annual growth rates since 2008"


 
Lisa, I think this is very interesting. If these quotes were made either in public or on the forum, would you please be willing to link us to the source? - thanks a lot!  
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #98 - Jul 24th, 2013, 10:53am
 
here's the April post http://www.internetretailer.com/2013/04/25/greeting-card-universe-launches-mobil e-greeting-card-service
 
and another with a headline of "Record Growth"
 
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/12/prweb4844144.htm
 
 
This is all public stuff.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #99 - Jul 24th, 2013, 12:21pm
 
Quote from Donna_137698 on Jul 24th, 2013, 10:53am:

 
 
Thanks Donna! I really find it interesting to read this within the article context  Huh
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #100 - Jul 24th, 2013, 12:55pm
 
Thanks for the articles, I did not realize they were part of such a big corporate entity. I thought they were a start up like Etsy.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #101 - Jul 24th, 2013, 12:59pm
 
that's why this whole situation is even more disheartening.  It doesn't make sense to cut artist commissions in half if the company is making public statements as to what their "profit" percentages are.  
 
I'm sorry to anyone who thinks all I do is complain, but I just see no logic behind this - the equation is not balanced. Huh
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #102 - Jul 24th, 2013, 1:04pm
 
Donna, just a thought. Maybe the reason they are growing is the increase in spending to promote and advertise. Nassar mentioned that in response to people questioning this on the Forum. Not sure where on the Forum it was, though.  Roll Eyes
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #103 - Jul 24th, 2013, 1:06pm
 
Sanda, eye roll aside, but really - to just all of a sudden drop commissions in half?  Sorry, I just don't get it.
 
A little communication can't be much to ask, really???
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #104 - Jul 24th, 2013, 1:12pm
 
I believe there has been a lot of communication in regards to this topic. Both Mindy and Nasser have answered many if not all questions. Here is a link to Nasser's post in which Sandra is referring to:
 
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/forum/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1373421546
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #105 - Jul 24th, 2013, 1:14pm
 
The eye roll was just meant to be a questioning look. : )  
I can see why this is upsetting. You have a lot of great cards, Donna.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #106 - Jul 24th, 2013, 1:14pm
 
KC, with all due respect, there was NO communication of the commission restructuring at all prior to it occurring.  That's the lack of communication I am now referring to.
 
And Sandra, my apologies, I've gotten the eye roll before from folks usually meaning something nasty.  My bad if I misinterpreted.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #107 - Jul 24th, 2013, 1:43pm
 
Thanks for finding the links Donna. I was going to post them, but needed to step out.
 
Regarding the link provided by KC... I never mentioned anything about the items listed in Nassar's post. I have not name called, assumed GCU was being sold, or thought that they were making money off of the interest my income earns while waiting for a payout.  
 
I have not, and will not insult GCU or any other artists. Also, my store is still open (I will make time to close it by the end of the week).
 
I do not agree with that post about the level of transparency that exists at GCU. Nothing was even hinted at about the commission cuts. The FAQs do hint at possible future fees though. Perhaps that is an attempt to be more transparent with upcoming changes.  
 
I could possibly understand "belt tightening" if GCU was suffering due to the recession. But would still expect some kind of communication.
 
Lisa
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #108 - Jul 24th, 2013, 2:31pm
 
Quote from KC_141411 on Jul 24th, 2013, 1:12pm:
I believe there has been a lot of communication in regards to this topic. Both Mindy and Nasser have answered many if not all questions. Here is a link to Nasser's post in which Sandra is referring to:

http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/forum/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1373421546

 
KC, it is true that as well Mindy as Nasser have tried to answer some of the questions, and I for one do appreciate their honesty and the time put into that - as I do appreciate the apologies Nasser made for not having announced those big changes a little timelier, and the decision to bring the threshold for the 3rd quarter back to 75 $ . I have been reading each and every forum post from the moment I joined GCU, and have done real effort to try and understand all the arguments I could find, from all sides.  
However, as far as I can see it, a lot of questions have *not* been answered - and clearly not adequately enough to really settle and appease the unrest and feeling of insecurity by many of the artists, including myself. I don't know how many are still left with questions, since there are only a few who clearly speak out, many are quiet, and there are a good number of artists who have spoken in positive ways about the present changes too.  
 
Also, while the answers given by Mindy and Nasser definitely were a step in the right direction, I think it's quite natural that they may be cause to further questions to clarification. The fact that Nasser closes his answer with :  
Quote from Nasser_16 on Jul 9th, 2013, 6:59pm:
[...]
This will be my last post on this topic, we will not be making any further adjustments.   Thank you for your understanding and support.
 and that you now only are referring back to that post, closes the dialogue again, even before it has really begun, and doesn't leave any space for further clarification. Or does it? If so, I would love to hear that, to be invited to really formulate my further questions, and to see that others get that opportunity too. If not, then to me that only confirms the one-sidedness of this decision, and the take-it-or-leave-it attitude behind it. And, let it be clear, for now, my choice has clearly been to take it, no matter what.  
 
Because, as I have said before, as a new artist here at GCU, these new conditions have not influenced me as much as many other part-time artists. It just means I will earn only half of what it looked like when I just started, and that it will take double as long for me to even make a chance to reach the quota.  
I have nothing to complain about the way I have been introduced and still am being coached into this whole venture. On the contrary, I really am very positive about all the support and help I have received until now. I have the deepest appreciation and gratitude for the personal contacts with moderators, reviewers and more experienced artists on the forum, I am learning a lot, and I value that more than I can say. That's why I decided to hang on, and to put all my effort into this and give it a real chance - at least till after the Holidays Season. Somehow, I really want to believe it can work, and if not, I don't want to be left with the feeling I didn't give it my 100% commitment.  
However, this friendly and supportive atmosphere in the personal contacts with staff and co-artists alike is so contrasting with the whole atmosphere surrounding those global changes - and that's what confuses me, and makes me doubt my own observations ... I just don't really know what to believe, nor what to expect next.  
And it honestly surprises me that there seems to be so little understanding and real willingness to help and clarify when it comes to the questions artists still have about those big changes in policies and commissions. While, no doubt, those speaking up are still giving GCU the benefit of the doubt, and are actually making a big contribution by asking critical questions and suggesting alternatives... Or do I see that wrong too?
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #109 - Jul 24th, 2013, 5:18pm
 
Unfortunately, I think that you are correct in your concern over the dialogue being ended. GCU does not want to address it any further.
 
There are a few truths that many artists do not want to see here:
 
- GCU is a business plain and simple. Yes, the community is wonderful and the artists are willing to go the extra mile to help each other out. But, at the end of the day the business' bottom line takes precedence over the artists as people
 
- Many artist feel like running GCU is a team effort. Although this attitude has been nurtured by GCU, it is not so. When it comes to business decisions GCU is in control and feels no compunction to include the artists. I agree that their business should be their priority, but do not agree with them fuelling the "we are all in it together" mentality.
 
- IMHO GCU does not need any more card designs (especially en mass for traditional categories). They have more designs than they will ever need. Even if no one submits new designs, and a bunch of artist leave, they will still have more designs than they will ever need. Thus, threatening to close a store will have little to no affect on GCUs bottom line.  
 
- Many artists apologize and justify GCUs lack of communication by saying that GCU provides an opportunity to showcase their art. In this day and age, GCU is not the only avenue for this. POD resources are available to everyone very economically. For many artists, they could buy an inkjet printer, some fine art paper and print their own cards. I have set up at craft sales and made more in a weekend than I make at GCU (even after paying for supplies and table fees). Some artists do this and just have GCU print the cards using the artist's discount. They sell at craft fairs, online, or to local card shops. Opportunities to showcase art is everywhere now. GCU is not doing anything altruistic here.
 
When I signed up with GCU, the biggest selling point was that GCU would be taking care of the marketing and I could just focus on design. Now they want me to design AND market (for half the commission). Not only that, it is absolutely realistic that they will soon start charging for "premium services". I would rather funnel my time/money/energy into selling my own cards on my own. Heck, I already have designs done and the best season for card sales is right around the corner.
 
Whether artists choose to stay at GCU or not, I wish everyone the best in their future endeavours. If you would like to keep in touch, feel free to PM me with a contact addy.  
 
Lisa  Smiley
 
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #110 - Jul 24th, 2013, 8:49pm
 
Well said Lisa. I agree.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #111 - Jul 24th, 2013, 10:08pm
 
Quote from Lisa_133761 on Jul 24th, 2013, 5:18pm:
Not only that, it is absolutely realistic that they will soon start charging for "premium services".


 
We have no intention of implementing anything like this.  This verbiage has been included in our FAQ for years (possibly since the site was created 6 years ago), but we've never seriously considered anything like this.  
 
Shaun
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #112 - Jul 24th, 2013, 11:26pm
 
Quote from Shaun_131054 on Jul 24th, 2013, 10:08pm:
Quote from Lisa_133761 on Jul 24th, 2013, 5:18pm:
Not only that, it is absolutely realistic that they will soon start charging for "premium services".



We have no intention of implementing anything like this.  This verbiage has been included in our FAQ for years (possibly since the site was created 6 years ago), but we've never seriously considered anything like this.  

Shaun

 
 
Thank you Shaun, for that answer and clarification.  
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #113 - Jul 25th, 2013, 3:26am
 
shameful we can't get more communication on the numerous other questions popping up.  I agree with Steppeland that it might ease a lot of tensions.  Yeah, I am very aware this is their business and the bottom line is of most importance, but sorry - I just cannot fathom why there was less than 24 hours notice on decreasing fees - the explanation was poor at best and the apology I accept but its not enough because of this them and us attitude now.  
 
Right now, I'm moving on.  It's obvious there is indeed a split between the providers of the products and the people making the bulk of the profits.  Show me how I am hurting this company that you can decrease my fees for being a smaller volume seller when the products are exactly the same.
 
But there won't be any discussion - it is a "take it or leave it" thing now.  Shame - real shame.
 
Lisa, I hope to take your advice and expand beyond GCU in time.  Belt tightening could easily have been explained months ago and very much acceptable.  
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #114 - Jul 25th, 2013, 4:38am
 
Quote from Shaun_131054 on Jul 24th, 2013, 10:08pm:
Quote from Lisa_133761 on Jul 24th, 2013, 5:18pm:
Not only that, it is absolutely realistic that they will soon start charging for "premium services".



We have no intention of implementing anything like this.  This verbiage has been included in our FAQ for years (possibly since the site was created 6 years ago), but we've never seriously considered anything like this.  

Shaun

 
 
Shaun - It is hard for me to believe that there are no plans to implement charging for "premium services". After all, there is NO mention in the faqs of the possibility of commissions being cut in the future, but here we are.
 
Lisa
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #115 - Jul 25th, 2013, 5:35am
 
Quote from Lisa_133761 on Jul 25th, 2013, 4:38am:


Shaun - It is hard for me to believe that there are no plans to implement charging for "premium services". After all, there is NO mention in the faqs of the possibility of commissions being cut in the future, but here we are.

Lisa

 
Lisa, it may true be that there are no plans for that at all right now, like Shaun said. But that doesn't mean it won't happen ... We've seen that things can be changed on very short notice. And no one of us will probably ever know how long ahead of time that was planned?!  Wink - And whether or not it was mentioned already for years in the FAQS, that didn't make a major difference either, isn't it? [sigh]  
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #116 - Jul 25th, 2013, 5:36am
 
Exactly.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #117 - Jul 25th, 2013, 6:42am
 
I rarely stop into the GCU forum, but I read about this discussion on another board. Wow, this is all very discouraging. I'd always had good feelings toward GCU, and Mindy has been extremely helpful and encouraging to me here, and she seems like a sincerely nice person. That said, GCU has gone the way of (seemingly) all PODs and pulled the rug out from under the creators who helped make it work. ALL of my GCU sales occur in Q4 (I focus exclusively on Christmas and Festivus), so I'll get hammered from the changes. I won't go as far to say I'll close my shop, but it's sad that the POD world is heading this way and that GCU is going along with it.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #118 - Jul 25th, 2013, 9:04am
 
Every time I get an email about a contest or a reminder that I need to work harder, I get sick to my stomach.  I'm closing my store because I can't in good conscience make money for people that don't respect me enough to pay a descent wage and in my opinion, are traitors.  This way of doing business has brought down civilizations.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #119 - Jul 25th, 2013, 10:19am
 
I completely understand your frustration Marie.  
 
I thought everyone would get a good chuckle about a conversation I had with my husband last night:
 
ME: maybe I should just stop designing cards and just sell them and get the referral commission. That way I don't have to spend hours designing and all the headaches with reviewer approvals and such. They are saying that we should be able to make the thresholds if we just work harder at marketing and selling anyway.
 
HUBBY: that might be a good idea. You won't make as much, but it is better than exhausting yourself for such a small artist commission.
 
ME: no, it doesn't work that way at GCU. Referral commissions are $0.50 per card. Artist commissions are $0.25 ish per card - depending on discounts, promotions, and bulk orders - then it could be less - unless I meet the threshold, then it might be more. So far this month I have sold 46 cards and it averaged out to be $0.24 per card. I would have to sell 7 cards per day to meet the threshold.
 
HUBBY: you're kidding me, right? Sales commissions are more than what the artists make? Are there thresholds for selling?
 
ME: there aren't any thresholds for selling.
 
HUBBY: what's there to think about? Obviously they don't want new cards, they just want salespeople.  
 
ME: hmmmmm
 
 
I guess it is so much easier to see clearly when you are on the outside looking in.
 
Lisa
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #120 - Jul 25th, 2013, 11:05am
 
you know, my mother said the same when I told her about this new deal.  She was sickened for me - asking us to do more for far less.  
 
Time to start looking locally for craft fairs.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #121 - Aug 9th, 2013, 4:17pm
 
9 pages of replies to sift through, so pardon me if this was already asked...
 
when i am looking at my earnings and payment report, am i trying to hit the $150 mark in the pending column to insure that i get $300?  i am trying to figure out how to know whether or not i am making the cut off or not by the end of the quarters.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #122 - Aug 9th, 2013, 7:11pm
 
Yup, that's about it. Except for this quarter. We got a reprieve. We have to make 75.00 this quarter to make 150.00. But 4th quarter, we have to make 300.00. Good Luck!
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #123 - Aug 9th, 2013, 7:13pm
 
thanks! i didn't get the update about the transition month they gave us. but, in general, i wanted to know how to read my reports correctly. very helpful. thank you for your reply!!!  Smiley
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #124 - Aug 15th, 2013, 10:20am
 
150 quarterly??
I wont see anything for at least a year.. No way do I make that..
Oh well, good luck everyone
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #125 - Aug 15th, 2013, 11:18am
 
The $150 is not what you have to make to get PAID, it is just the threshold you have to make to get the 'bonus' payment, you still get a check if your NET is over $25.
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #126 - Aug 15th, 2013, 6:11pm
 
Quote from Trish_136241 on Aug 15th, 2013, 11:18am:
The $150 is not what you have to make to get PAID, it is just the threshold you have to make to get the 'bonus' payment, you still get a check if your NET is over $25.


 
Oooh I see.. thank you Trish
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #127 - Aug 15th, 2013, 6:41pm
 
Yes, you still get paid when you reach 25.00, but you now have to sell at least 3 times the amount of cards you sold in the past, in order to reach that payout. This quarter i have sold 107 cards and my commission is 24.13. That adds up to 22.5 cents per card. That is a long way from the 60 cents I thought I was going to make per card. But, you know what, we are all subject to that one little phrase in the license agreement, "We reserve the right to change the terms of this agreement whenever we feel like it" You all know what that means. It means that the admins can change the agreement and if we don't like it, well, that is just too bad. Good luck folks.  
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #128 - Aug 21st, 2013, 4:40pm
 
 Ok, so I have to be honest ... I have not be a regular contributor to my store for over 6 months now (I had a couple major projects going on at my day job). My work load has eased up and so I took to checking up with my store.  
 
  I was a bit thrown by the immense reduction in commisions for the artists at GCU. I did not want to overreact to any extent until I heard everyone else's opinion, feelings etc. I also took to paying more attention to Mindy's original post in detail.  
 
  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and conclusion ... at this point GCU has made it very clear that 'they will not be addressing or discussing it any further'. My only concern (besides the reduction in earnings) is that if GCU is taking out money from the artists to continue promoting and advertising ... why is so much pressure being put on the artists to self-promote their stores? I know the benefits of actually doing this but I can only see this being possible with artists who work from home etc...  
 
 Despite the fact that the odds are against alot of the artists who can only contribute part time to their store (myself included) I am willing to give it a try. I have been with GCU for a couple years now and I have grown as an artist and made many great friends here. The experience has been great and I'm willing to stick around a bit longer.
 
Oh ... just and example of percentage loss on my own store :
 
I sold 100 cards today - the customer paid $199.00 - I actually earned $11.92
So I have a quite alot of work to do on my own to make the quota for this quarter. Wish me luck!!! And I hope alot of you guys hang in there and stick it out.
 
Oma.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #129 - Aug 21st, 2013, 9:41pm
 
Quote from Oma_132016 on Aug 21st, 2013, 4:40pm:
 Ok, so I have to be honest ... I have not be a regular contributor to my store for over 6 months now (I had a couple major projects going on at my day job). My work load has eased up and so I took to checking up with my store.

 I was a bit thrown by the immense reduction in commisions for the artists at GCU. I did not want to overreact to any extent until I heard everyone else's opinion, feelings etc. I also took to paying more attention to Mindy's original post in detail.

 Everyone is entitled to their opinion and conclusion ... at this point GCU has made it very clear that 'they will not be addressing or discussing it any further'. My only concern (besides the reduction in earnings) is that if GCU is taking out money from the artists to continue promoting and advertising ... why is so much pressure being put on the artists to self-promote their stores? I know the benefits of actually doing this but I can only see this being possible with artists who work from home etc...

Despite the fact that the odds are against alot of the artists who can only contribute part time to their store (myself included) I am willing to give it a try. I have been with GCU for a couple years now and I have grown as an artist and made many great friends here. The experience has been great and I'm willing to stick around a bit longer.

Oh ... just and example of percentage loss on my own store :

I sold 100 cards today - the customer paid $199.00 - I actually earned $11.92
So I have a quite alot of work to do on my own to make the quota for this quarter. Wish me luck!!! And I hope alot of you guys hang in there and stick it out.

Oma.

 
Oma, So you earned 19.9 cents per card. That's no where near 60 cents that we signed up for. I have a good one for you. today I had a sale for 250 cards, my commission 26.85. Please, one of you math minded people out there, correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that my commission was somewhere around  10 or 11 cents. This is sad and discouraging.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #130 - Aug 23rd, 2013, 4:13am
 
and let me get this straight too - GCU is in such financial dire straits (as per Mindy's previous comments) that they HAVE to cut artist commissions and yet can afford to have a special offer EVERY DAY which fetches them the same if not MORE money into their pockets but can't keep ALL the artists happy with a little financial incentive (and I say ALL because not ALL are affected by this mess)?
 
I just made another small sale - 19 cents per card I netted and the sale was made on yet another special promotion.
 
Does something stink really badly here or what?  No, I didn't sign on for this and certainly not to have to work ten times as hard for 50% less.  
 
And no, Admin won't be responding to anything further - they don't at all care - they got something really good - a large pool of artists they don't have to pay fairly at all - talk about total disrespect of their artists.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #131 - Aug 23rd, 2013, 12:35pm
 
Quote from Donna_137698 on Aug 23rd, 2013, 4:13am:
and let me get this straight too - GCU is in such financial dire straits (as per Mindy's previous comments) that they HAVE to cut artist commissions and yet can afford to have a special offer EVERY DAY which fetches them the same if not MORE money into their pockets but can't keep ALL the artists happy with a little financial incentive (and I say ALL because not ALL are affected by this mess)?

I just made another small sale - 19 cents per card I netted and the sale was made on yet another special promotion.

Does something stink really badly here or what?  No, I didn't sign on for this and certainly not to have to work ten times as hard for 50% less.  

And no, Admin won't be responding to anything further - they don't at all care - they got something really good - a large pool of artists they don't have to pay fairly at all - talk about total disrespect of their artists.

 
Do you have a specific question here?  We have done our best to respond to your questions and concerns but it doesn't mean that you'll be happy the answers.
 
We understand your need to vent and you have the right to your opinion.  However your continued judgement of our business decisions and lack of caring for our artist community is incorrect and tiresome.  
 
We've shared earlier on this thread that our intent of these changes is by no means for artists to leave our community but we understand that as we make necessary changes GCU will no longer be a good fit for some.  
 
If the terms and direction of GCU are no longer a good fit for you, you have the option of leaving.  
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #132 - Aug 23rd, 2013, 12:54pm
 
guess I'm just not seeing how this helps me when I've strived really hard over the last year to meet your new guidelines and worked on marketing and now all I see is a promotion every day, my sales cut into such a small part, and asked to do more.  
 
Mindy, many are still making the same comments - not just me.
 
Yes, I do have a choice.  I'll do my best to just stay off the forums from now on - heard ya loud and clear!
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #133 - Aug 23rd, 2013, 1:57pm
 
Would you have made those sales anywhere else? If you had, it would perhaps be sales in addition to, not, instead of. This is still money earned, no matter how little. The art, and the work of putting the art up here, is already done. If you have already done the work, it is still potential money to earn. All business investments one makes are risks. It is up to you to  assess what the potential risks are when you make investments, whether those be financial or time investments. Imagine the lobster fishermen in Maine, (where I live), who have to deal with greatly increased prices in diesel fuel this year. Last year they had a glut of lobsters in the market at the wrong time. Think of the farmers who have to deal with unpredictable factors such as drought or too much rain.  The paper greeting card industry is going through some hard times. It has been in the business news recently.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #134 - Aug 23rd, 2013, 3:03pm
 
Quote from Donna_137698 on Aug 23rd, 2013, 12:54pm:
guess I'm just not seeing how this helps me when I've strived really hard over the last year to meet your new guidelines and worked on marketing and now all I see is a promotion every day, my sales cut into such a small part, and asked to do more.  

Mindy, many are still making the same comments - not just me.

Yes, I do have a choice.  I'll do my best to just stay off the forums from now on - heard ya loud and clear!

 
Donna,
You've missed the point.  I'm not saying to stay off the forum.  I'm saying each artist in light of these changes has to evaluate if the GCU model still works for them.  You have to assess your time, investment, opportunity costs, body of work, expected returns, etc.
 
You are at that point of needing to decide do you stay or do you go.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #135 - Aug 23rd, 2013, 3:16pm
 
Mindy, you are missing my point - I don't get what GCU's business model is these days   cry crycry  As Randy mentioned, these changes that came with no prior warning are turning into a serious impairment to quite a few part time artists providing you with the same kind of products as the top sellers but are now punished for not being top sellers.  Some are complaining that even with them meeting the threshold, they are still not pulling what they would otherwise have.  
 
So, with another card just approved, I'll be a good little artist, shut up and stay off the forums.  
 
Last post - promise.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #136 - Sep 12th, 2013, 4:55pm
 
At some point the image selling industry in general will come to realize that they need to provide real incentives to artist to provide work.  There are just too many competing markets artist can sell in.  Including artist selling their own work directly without middlemen.
 
For me the extremely long review times and commission cuts has put GCU on the bottom of my options.  My time can be spent elsewhere with better results.
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #137 - Sep 13th, 2013, 2:36pm
 
Too bad Donna! Looks like everyone else is staying off the forums too. The last comment in the  'latest' column was 24 hours ago, if I read that right. the forums are important for business/site traffic I believe. We do not want to be losing traffic and interest here.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #138 - Sep 19th, 2013, 1:37pm
 
I'm embarrassed  embarrassed to have to ask because I'm sure it is in here somewhere and I just am not seeing it or I'm being a dummy.  When I look at my earnings report and it says I have $144.00 in artist fees and $148.00 in total commissions do I need to make $6 more or $2 more before the end of the month?
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #139 - Sep 19th, 2013, 1:54pm
 
Hi Rita, As I remember they brought it down to 75.00 for this quarter so you will be fine. Congratulations Wish I could say the same for me cry
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #140 - Sep 19th, 2013, 2:11pm
 
Thanks Cindy, but I'm still not sure if the amount is based on our artist fees only or on our total commissions.  Let's say I did $70 in artist fees and $10 in seller commissions for a total of $80 in total commissions.  Did I make the quota?  Would I be paid $80, $150, or $160?
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #141 - Sep 19th, 2013, 2:14pm
 
Quote from Rita_140577 on Sep 19th, 2013, 2:11pm:
Thanks Cindy, but I'm still not sure if the amount is based on our artist fees only or on our total commissions.  Let's say I did $70 in artist fees and $10 in seller commissions for a total of $80 in total commissions.  Did I make the quota?  Would I be paid $80, $150, or $160?  

 
I believe it's total earnings. If you look at your Earnings report, it's based on the Total Pending figure which includes referrals bucks. Smiley
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #142 - Sep 19th, 2013, 2:31pm
 
Ok, if I have one store and commission is $65 and another store with commission of $10, then I made the threshold for this month, correct? I would then be paid $150, right?
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #143 - Sep 19th, 2013, 3:44pm
 
That is the way I understood it. So Congrats to you!
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #144 - Sep 19th, 2013, 3:54pm
 
Thanks, Cindy.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #145 - Sep 20th, 2013, 4:23am
 
Quote from Sherry_205423 on Sep 19th, 2013, 2:31pm:
Ok, if I have one store and commission is $65 and another store with commission of $10, then I made the threshold for this month, correct? I would then be paid $150, right?

 
Sherry, I too understood that the earnings from both your accounts would be added to reach the threshold of 75.00 , so the amount of your earnings in both your accounts would be doubled then. However, I would expect that still two checks would be sent, one from each account? And if that indeed is the case, if one of those accounts doesn't reach the minimum of $25, you still may have to wait for that part of your earnings till the end of next quarter...  Just guessing...  
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http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/steppeland
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #146 - Oct 2nd, 2013, 12:27pm
 
Quote from Doreen_137017 on Sep 19th, 2013, 2:14pm:
Quote from Rita_140577 on Sep 19th, 2013, 2:11pm:
Thanks Cindy, but I'm still not sure if the amount is based on our artist fees only or on our total commissions.  Let's say I did $70 in artist fees and $10 in seller commissions for a total of $80 in total commissions.  Did I make the quota?  Would I be paid $80, $150, or $160?  


I believe it's total earnings. If you look at your Earnings report, it's based on the Total Pending figure which includes referrals bucks. Smiley

 
Correct, these are seen as the same thing under a given artist account - "total earnings" and collectively will be measured against the quarterly threshold.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #147 - Oct 2nd, 2013, 12:34pm
 
Quote from Steppeland_231500 on Sep 20th, 2013, 4:23am:
Quote from Sherry_205423 on Sep 19th, 2013, 2:31pm:
Ok, if I have one store and commission is $65 and another store with commission of $10, then I made the threshold for this month, correct? I would then be paid $150, right?


Sherry, I too understood that the earnings from both your accounts would be added to reach the threshold of 75.00 , so the amount of your earnings in both your accounts would be doubled then. However, I would expect that still two checks would be sent, one from each account? And if that indeed is the case, if one of those accounts doesn't reach the minimum of $25, you still may have to wait for that part of your earnings till the end of next quarter...  Just guessing...

 
Please see related announcement here:
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/forum/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1380672644/0
 
To answer your specific question assuming both stores set w/ a $25 minimum payout:
Store 1 = $65 standard earnings
Store 2 = $10 standard earnings
 
Combined earnings used to meet quarterly threshold = $75
Based on 3Q13 threshold of $75 = YES threshold MET  
 
Store 1 = $65+$65 = $130 premium earnings due  
Store 2 = no payment, $10 standard earnings rollover to 4Q13*
 
* Any earnings not payed and rolled over to the next quarter will AGAIN be combined to meet the next quarterly threshold.
 
Let me know if you have any questions.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #148 - Oct 2nd, 2013, 1:13pm
 
Thanks, Mindy, got it!!!  
 
Glad I met the threshold with the combination of my two stores. Now for next quarter. That's going to be harder, but I'm working at it. Smiley
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #149 - Nov 27th, 2013, 3:52pm
 
Important Correction - Rollover Earnings & Threshold Measurement
 
ONLY earnings earned within the current quarter will be used to meet the current quarterly threshold.   Rollover earnings from prior quarter(s) will still get rolled over, as they are earnings due to you, however they will NOT be used to meet that current quarter’s earnings threshold to achieve premium earnings.
 
Please let us know if you have any questions.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #150 - Sep 7th, 2014, 2:10pm
 
I just got a notice that I sold a card.  I had forgotten I even had this site.  When I looked at my account and found that I have sold 176 cards but only made $26.27!  I am out! Not worth the energy or time to update my account.  What a rip off!  Angry
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #151 - Sep 7th, 2014, 5:10pm
 
Dear Deborah,
 
I agree that the GCU royalties are very small and unfair for the design work we each contribute to our store fronts.  The positive factors is the superior quality of cards printed by GCU, but if you do find another online card site with the same quality printing and service AND paying fair royalty rates, I would so appreciate knowing what you found.  
 
Good luck and all best wishes,  Carolyn Grossman
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #152 - Sep 7th, 2014, 5:30pm
 
Hi Carolyn,
I use Zazzle and Fine Art America.  You can set your own prices and the quality is really good.  Best Wishes!
 
Quote from Carolyn_134621 on Sep 7th, 2014, 5:10pm:
Dear Deborah,

I agree that the GCU royalties are very small and unfair for the design work we each contribute to our store fronts.  The positive factors is the superior quality of cards printed by GCU, but if you do find another online card site with the same quality printing and service AND paying fair royalty rates, I would so appreciate knowing what you found.

Good luck and all best wishes,  Carolyn Grossman

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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #153 - Sep 8th, 2014, 5:41am
 
Deborah! That at least should mean you get to be paid - as you have now earned over $25, correct? Why not at least stay with what you have. You never know when you might make a large sale. And it costs nothing in further effort, fees, or upkeep.
Apparently the trend in any POD sites is toward 5% commission as there is so much POD competition out there now...
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #154 - Sep 8th, 2014, 12:36pm
 
Actually, Catinka, I've read the same thing about the push by many pod sites to bring our commissions down to a miserable level.  Yes, keeping inventory at sites like GCU that we've already spent so much time and effort to create and upload does make sense.  That big sale we all hope for MIGHT be right around the corner (the same things the compulsive gambler tells himself  embarrassed ).  
 
But the smart thing for all artists to do is to find sites that respect us and allow us to set our own commissions.  Abandon the places where we're not valued.  Pretty soon the POD sites that treat us with such embarrassing disrespect might come to their senses when the flood of new artwork, which THEY NEED, turns to a trickle.
 
And yes there ARE such sites out there where we can make more than 19 cents per card. Two have just been mentioned.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #155 - Sep 8th, 2014, 3:32pm
 
Quote from Deborah_156571 on Sep 7th, 2014, 2:10pm:
I just got a notice that I sold a card.  I had forgotten I even had this site.  When I looked at my account and found that I have sold 176 cards but only made $26.27!  I am out! Not worth the energy or time to update my account.  What a rip off!  Angry

 
Hi Debbi,
Considering that your last card was added over 3 years ago and your store, which you'd forgotten about, holds a mere 10 cards I was actually expecting your post to be a joyful sharing about effortlessly selling 176 cards.   Huh
 
Good luck to you with your other endeavors.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #156 - Sep 8th, 2014, 6:38pm
 
Wow! Only 10 cards and you did that well! I have only 15 cards and drag my feet so about putting more into it. Basically you are getting a royalty fee here whenever you sell a card. I believe authors make only  10% royalty fees on their books, unless they self publish? True, things are changing in terms of self publishing. but that I still a royalty on top of whatever you sell elsewhere. If GCU's market is a market you would not reach otherwise, wouldn't that be a good thing to also make these sales? You have already set it up. Gee, if you don't want the future possible sales, then maybe sign them over to your favorite charity.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #157 - Sep 8th, 2014, 6:40pm
 
Oh well - I just tried to find Deb's page. Seems to be gone already. 404
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #158 - Sep 9th, 2014, 1:25am
 
Well I love GCU   I think it's great place to get your card designs seen and sold. There is such a great community here and a tremendous amount of opportunity to learn.  
 
If I had one gripe it would be the reduction in royalty percentages paid to artists on bulk sales. That particular aspect I find very disappointing. If your card design is so good that someone wants to buy 100 or so of them, then it seems a real shame to cut the artists percentage royalties. The amount per card paid is already lower anyway because it's a bulk sale, so cutting the royalty percentage as well really is disappointing.
 
That said, I'm still a huge fan of GCU and nowhere else could I have had this type of opportunity to sell my designs on such a regular basis. Not to mention the card quality and service is excellent.  Smiley
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #159 - Jan 12th, 2016, 2:43pm
 
I've only made a few sales over the years - I sell cards here as a fun outlet for my work - so I've never met the threshold.  
 
I think this means I'll never get paid anything?
 
(It's around $16 right now.)
 
 Huh
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #160 - Jan 12th, 2016, 3:39pm
 
Haha! I did finally manage to get a check from GCU just a few months ago!  
 
Tracy do you have a website, or, better yet, a blog? You can write stuff and include a link or gcu widget to your various designs within your posts. Use the cards as they show on GCU as something to illustrate each blog post. I think it may be hard to get buyer traffic right from GCU or even google. It is possible to develop one's own regular traffic. If you were to  start keeping a blog, with a card within the post, you would be giving more chances for people to come across your cards.
 
I keep meaning to use this strategy but just don't keep up with frequent blog posts.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #161 - Jan 12th, 2016, 4:03pm
 
Quote from Tracy_135547 on Jan 12th, 2016, 2:43pm:
I've only made a few sales over the years - I sell cards here as a fun outlet for my work - so I've never met the threshold.

I think this means I'll never get paid anything?

(It's around $16 right now.)

Huh

 
Tracey,
 
The threshold is only there to offer 'premium earnings'. It has nothing to do with getting paid for standard earnings.
 
When you reach the payout you've set in your profile settings - $25 is the minimum I think, then you'll get paid.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #162 - Jan 16th, 2016, 6:01pm
 
Don't forget, Tracy, that you can use your earnings, however small, against your own purchases of cards. That's what I do as my sales are so small. It helps encourage me, to feel I am getting some kind of reward for my efforts, and I have been impressed by the quality of the GCU product and the speed of supply.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #163 - Jun 5th, 2016, 1:52pm
 
2. Incent artists to take an active role in self-promotion driving traffic and sales  
 
Hi -
 
Well, I realize I'm way behind the times, but just finally at the point in life that I have time to tackle this item.  I've read through various posts, but I'm not quite sure what I need to do.  I've had a link from my website (AZ-Artists.com - Details of Arizona) back since the time of the change, but that hasn't really seemed to make a difference in my commissions.  
 
Could you please advise more specifically what I should be doing?
 
Thank you.
 
Regards,
Ginger
 
P.S. - Thank you for the change that kept the storefronts free. I don't sell enough that I would have been able to keep mine active if there was a monthly fee.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #164 - Jun 5th, 2016, 2:39pm
 
Hi Ginger,
 
No, a link from your website won't be enough to see a difference from my experience.
 
Here is a place on the Community Blog where you'll see a section on Marketing which has good reads for you.
https://gcucommunity.com/artist-resources/
 
And if you do a search on the blog for Marketing you'll get many bits and pieces of value.
https://gcucommunity.com/tag/marketing/page/2/
 
Promoting yourself involves many things, but I've found that the first and most important steps are:
 
1- Great meta-tag data. This is CRITICAL to being found in today's SEO.
 
2- Keep your store alive weekly with new/improved content. Sites which are not fresh with new content at least weekly drop to the deep black hole of the bottom pile for external search engines.
 
Again, all this and more great articles on the blog on this subject.
 
Good luck!
 
Quote from Ginger_150679 on Jun 5th, 2016, 1:52pm:
2. Incent artists to take an active role in self-promotion driving traffic and sales

Hi -

Well, I realize I'm way behind the times, but just finally at the point in life that I have time to tackle this item.  I've read through various posts, but I'm not quite sure what I need to do.  I've had a link from my website (AZ-Artists.com - Details of Arizona) back since the time of the change, but that hasn't really seemed to make a difference in my commissions.  

Could you please advise more specifically what I should be doing?

Thank you.

Regards,
Ginger

P.S. - Thank you for the change that kept the storefronts free. I don't sell enough that I would have been able to keep mine active if there was a monthly fee.

 
 
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #165 - May 16th, 2017, 8:53am
 
I just joined a few months ago and am just getting rolling. My current commission is only 10%, so going down by 50% is huge and I suppose I need to re-think belonging. As newcomer, I guess it would have been nice to hear this at an earlier point and to be given some concrete suggestions about how to promote. As it is, being part of GCU will hardly be worth the time to post and the excessively long time for approval of designs.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #166 - May 16th, 2017, 9:28am
 
Not sure what you are saying has gone down by 50%. I believe this notice was from 7/10/13. Have commission rates changed since then? Aren't the commission rates still 10%?
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #167 - May 16th, 2017, 9:51am
 
Catinka is correct. Nothing has changed since 2013.
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Re: NEW - Earnings Modifications Effective 7/01/13
Reply #168 - May 16th, 2017, 1:04pm
 
Do you mean when the cards are on sale and the price drops, and so your % earnings drop too?
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