What are the advantages to selling on a marketplace like ThemeForest?

(Elliott Davidson) #1

Hi there, I’m doing some research and wondered what are the advantages to selling on marketplaces like ThemeForest?

I’m playing dumb as I don’t want my current thoughts to influence your answers.

(Leland Fiegel) #2

In no particular order, except the first “built-in audience” one (which is the most important advantage IMO).

  • Built-in audience. You benefit from the traffic funneled through all the ads and affiliate links pointing to that marketplace. I almost want to make this a ThemeForest-exclusive advantage, since most other marketplaces don’t sell nearly as well in comparison.

  • Built-in ecommerce. Much of the heavy-lifting in terms of taxes, international considerations, and file delivery is handled for you. Not necessarily a theme marketplace thing though. Something like Gumroad could work here too.

  • No need for a dedicated theme sales website. Sort of related to the above. I understand many don’t consider this an advantage, but if you’re not a dedicated theme shop (let’s say you’re a photography blog that just happens to sell a photography WordPress theme on the side) it might be nice to not have to worry about the infrastructure and technology involved in hosting a sales website.

  • Built-in social proof. At least on ThemeForest, you can see “verified buyers” comments…kind of like Amazon’s “verified purchase” reviews. This can be gamed, but it’s probably a little more credible than a random testimonial. I guess you could do this by embedding a Facebook comments widget on your sales website too, but the “verified buyer” part isn’t a thing with Facebook comments.

  • Built-in credibility. Getting approved on a reputable theme marketplace makes your products more credible by extension. It generally means the product has been reviewed in some way.

I’ll add more if I think of them. The #1 advantage is definitely the built-in audience, which you get access to for no upfront cost. Although you eventually pay for it with the marketplace’s cut of your sales.

(Elliott Davidson) #3

As always @leland an amazing answer thanks!

(Zackary Allnutt) #4

Everything leland says is true. But there are cons to those things too.

Like the rating system, customers can still leave reviews after support runs out so several theme authors are reporting blackmail attempts. Also now we are in control of refunds authors are having people buy and immediately threaten 1 star for refund. Ie get it for free.

(Leland Fiegel) #5

Haha, if Elliot asked for disadvantages as well, my post would’ve probably been five times as long. :smiley:

Tried to stick with just the pros since that’s what was requested.

(Elliott Davidson) #6

@ZorbixThemes & @leland the disadvantages just seemed to be a bit more obvious to me. Wanted to clarify the advantages though.

(Zackary Allnutt) #7

My post would have been much longer had he of actually asked for disadvantages :smiley:

I think though for advantages it pretty much comes down to exposure and reputation. You can get a massive amount of exposure only it doesnt take long for that exposure to die off so you. Really you have to go in with a bang and stand out straight away before you fall into the ether.

(Elliott Davidson) #8

Yes, I noticed that most these get few hundred sales at first and die a slow death.