As most all of you probably already know, recently a Commissions widget
was released to Beta Testers. I've heard a lot of negativity towards this feature, specially because of the 20% that DA takes from the artist's earnings. But I've always thought that before saying anything about any feature on DA I would prefer to test it first, so I recently installed this widget in my profile offering some simple comissions and now that I've had the oppotunity to test it, here is my opinion.
First, the 20% deduction from your income. Yes I'm not a big fan of it either, in my opinion, the biggest negative of this feature.
I'm not an $admin or a developer and I'm not an economics expert either, so I don't understand the reasons for this deduction, however I know there must be a reason for it besides the obvious that DA needs money to keep itself running. Yes, knowing this doesn't help much, but at least if you see it from an unbiased point of view, you'll understand it's a necessary evil if you will, and it won't go away.
Maybe I had unrealistic expectations of how the widget would work when I first heard about it, because it really disappointed me for its simplicity.
I thought the process would be something similar to DreamUp
, a far more advanced commission system, where a client makes a request, the artist accepts and then an exchange of ideas and works-in-progress is made behind the scenes. Wouldn't be great if you as the artist could upload a WIP of the commission to your sta.sh and then your client gets notified automatically? "^Thiefoworld sent you a progress of your comission. [Approve] [Request Changes]" ... I dunno, something like that. What about the ability to set the payment beforehand, after the commission is done or half and half? That would be nice too. But it turns out the widget pretty much only serves to give you a message in your Correspondence which you can either accept or deny; if you accept the request the client gets charged with the amount of points you first stablished and that's it. If you deny the request.. well, I guess it doesn't happen anything
After that you still have to contact the client directly to deliver the final product. I don't really see much difference with this and sending a note requesting a commission (the traditional way) It saves you some time and as the artist offering the work, it guarantees you'll get paid, but that's it. Edit:
Well what do you know? It seems there IS a way to communicate with your client in a more direct way, through the new Correspondence page, very similar to group's requests. (dunno if this was just added or I was too stupid to notice it the first time )
Still not precisely what I was expecting, but definitely a good step closer!
However not everything is negative. There is a very good reason that made me think twice before discarding the widget.
Your earnings made through this widget can be later withdrawn via paypal (or as a check). Why is this useful for me? Because the great majority of people who request a commission from me usually wants to pay with points, sometimes it's the only payment method they have... and while they're nice and all, I usually don't accept points as payment, as I can't use points outside DA and I can't convert them to money either, so many of my potential requests must be declined because of this. With the widget my potential clients can pay with points and then I can convert those points to money and everyone happy! So, in closing
The widget is nice, but in my opinion still very incomplete. I know I shouldn't had expected it to be a whole new system and comparing it to a whole site like DreamUp isn't fair either, but I just wish it was a little more useful. The way it works now isn't that different compared to do it via note from the start, because at the end, you still need to send notes to comunicate with your clients and deliver the commission. However the ability to withdraw my earnings is a very important advantage, so while I know I would only get 80% of it, is nice to know I'll be able to use it outside DA.My personal veredict
if you take points as payment and don't mind keeping them or the idea of converting those points to money doesn't interest you, the widget is NOT for you. Stick to the old system because honestly there isn't that much difference with the widget and you'll always get the 100% of your income.
If you're like me who've always wanted to offer comissions here at DA with the ability to later use that money for something else besides DA stuff, and/or offer more expensive commissions, the widget could be useful for you, just consider you'll get only the 80% of your earnings.
What I personally plan to do in the future is mix both systems: offer commissions the traditional way for those who can pay via paypal from the start and give the option of the widget for those who don't have paypal. Sounds fair? Tell me it sounds fair