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Oh hi, guys! I'm going to talk a little about points this morning. They're cute. They're fun to trade and deviants like getting them! But, I've wanted to write up a journal about this for quite a while now. It's a reminder of what points actually are and for artists to not grossly undercharge for their work. There's lots of tips out there to help artists settle on a price that is fair to them as creators and to their buyers, but I understand it's entirely too easy to undersell yourself. It's difficult to find that balance between making an actual profit and scaring off any potential customers! This is coming from an artist that still struggles with it herself.

It's a tiny bit easier to come to a decision when thinking in terms of real dollars. Unfortunately, I've noticed that understanding is lost when art is sold for points here on dA. And when a creator totally GETS it and charges a fair price in points, they're often told they're overcharging. But, for the most part, both creators and potential customers are guilty of losing their grasp on the actual conversion to real money from points.

One point is not equal to one dollar. It's super easy to see the enormous numbers in points and think it converts to a large number in dollars. A skilled artist might charge 1000 points for a full-body Copic drawing of your favorite manga character, and that SEEMS like a lot! When converted to real money, that's only $12.50. That is far from a fair price for something that will take several hours and expensive materials to create. All too often, I see artists being attacked over prices this SMALL because customers are only seeing the thousands of points. All too often, I see artists undercharging because thousands of points seems like a huge profit.

There are 80 points to $1. You can play around with the conversion yourself by using the tool in your "earnings" page. www.deviantart.com/account/ear…

Please educate yourselves. Buyers, please be aware of how ridiculous you are being when you fuss over 'adoptables' priced at 30 points ($.38). Creators, please please please be aware of how little you are actually making when you offer fully rendered digital portraits for 100 points ($1.25). Points are adorable and fun, but don't get wrapped up in their numbers and forget their actual worth!

:boogie:

Pointing by kris-wilson Pointing Contest by RyomaNinja pointing at things by jelden
Pointing out by V-3-N Pointing... by StreetWitch Stop Pointing Fingers On Me by Onceuponatime13

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:iconhearsegurl:
HearseGurl Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014   Photographer
Thank You For This. :)
Reply
:iconvixendra:
VixenDra Featured By Owner Edited Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
"A skilled artist might charge 1000 points for a full-body Copic drawing of your favorite manga character, and that SEEMS like a lot! When converted to real money, that's only $12.50."
NO, if you pay this artist 1000p, this artist will earn 10$!

1000p pay 10$, not 12.50$ >> sta.sh/01t7tzcw2xzx

Why are you skipping the truth DA? It's lying via not saying.


If you are a customer, then yes, you actually need 12.50$ to buy a  1000p commission. BUT you're saying that the artist would earn 12.50$ which is rubbish(delicately speaking), the artist would earn 10$.

If you make an article to explain how much the artist earns, your predictor is 100p=>1$. If you want to explain why the artist charges 'that much', you should reveal how much the artist earns, not just how much the customer pays!!!

(You know that I lost a customer just because of your poor, confusing information?
They tried to ripp me off, thinking I try to ripp them off! Why? Because the commission was to earn me 3$ and the customer had just points, but insisted to give me just 240p, so 2.40$ and didn't believe me the truth that it's not the payment I must receive for a 3$ commision and gave up commissioning at all, because misbelieved 240p is enough to pay 3$.
Because of your misleading dollar to point calculations that consider only purchasing the points but ignores purchasing sth with the points - which is what we're interested in)
Reply
:iconeaglespirit1:
eaglespirit1 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014  Student General Artist
Hi, I know your comment is old and you might already know better, but 1000 :points: really does equal $12.50. The difference is accounted for when you use the commission widget.
Da takes 20% of the profit when you use the widget.
Look at your screenshot, you put in 1000 :points: but: "Your earnings $10.00 OR 800 :points:". You lost 200 points as well as $2.50 (20%). There's the difference.
If someone pays you just by donating instead of using the widget, you wouldn't lose any.

Not that it matters, I still can't manage to get more than a couple dimes out of my art anyway :P
Reply
:iconeaglespirit1:
eaglespirit1 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Student General Artist
On another comment I read when you pay Da to get points, they take 20%. So most artists just charge $1.00=100 :points: to make up for it.

I try and collect these points so I can commission others, since I don't have the money too :P But nobody wants either my adopts or my drawings. And technically they're all less than $5.00
Reply
:icondiren-chan:
Diren-chan Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
How much would 16.000 points be if you convert them to dollars?
Reply
:iconvixendra:
VixenDra Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
160$
100p gives 1$, so the easiest way to count it is to cut the last two 0s.
In case of doubts you can check e.g. the commission widget. Mine is set to 10p so it should pay me 0.10$ (I have it just to link my commission info). To check another amount press '+' in your commission widget(just remember there is a maximum price limit:/), to the left you'll have the nr of points to set, to the right you get your actual earnings information.
The other way to convert I know about is to pay for a premium download, it's the same: 100p will pay 1$.
But because for one 1$ you can buy 80p, not 100p, It's rather a waste(of 20%!) to buy points for transactions, unless it's a premium membership, then you need e.g. 16000p or 200$, not 20000p or 200$. Seems it ignores this 20% loss just because things stay on DA and don't go to anyone else. But for any user, if one wanted to somehow get points converted and receive/give payment in $, 1$ is 100p, not 80p. Kind of complicated. Too much I believe, many people don't get the idea, and the staff doesn't like ot explain things well. And as I can see ith this journal, they skip the fact they take away 20%... "A skilled artist might charge 1000 points for a full-body Copic drawing of your favorite manga character, and that SEEMS like a lot! When converted to real money, that's only $12.50." NO, if you pay this artist 1000p, this artist will earn 10$! As I said, you can check e.g. in your commission widget. To save your time, I've already made a proof: sta.sh/01t7tzcw2xzx but you can check me if you wish.
Reply
:icondiren-chan:
Diren-chan Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the answers.
Reply
:iconvixendra:
VixenDra Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome. Actually, seems that the majority of DA users are confused about this all...
Reply
:iconmattsykun:
MattsyKun Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is why I only do adopts through DA. Because everyone's like "ERMAHGURD 2 EXPENSIVE 4 ME" and I'm sitting here facepalming. :I
Reply
:iconawsumz:
AwsumZ Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
Just out of curiosity, why did points get made at such a random amount anyway? lol. Even 100 points to equal $1 would have made more sense, but why 80? So random, no wonder people get confused, to be fair.
Reply
:iconplatinasi:
PlatinaSi Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've heard that 100 points actually do equal to $1, but when you buy them deviantART takes 20% of the money and consequently you're left with only 80 points D: that's the reason a lot of artists tend to use the 100 points = $1 conversion rate when doing points/paypal commissions- makes it easier for clients to do the math and at the same time the artist isn't losing any money XD
Reply
:iconawsumz:
AwsumZ Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014
100 points equal $1 if you use the commissions widget, yes, but if you're buying them or having them donated direct etc, then its 80 points to the dollar.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:la:

Yeah, it feels almost wrong to charge 1000 points for something...but, like, that's barely worth an hour of my time. Important to think about that, too, I think.
Reply
:iconparallellogic:
parallellogic Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014
~both creators and potential customers are guilty of losing their grasp on the actual conversion to real money from points.
Um, that's the entire reason the points system was introduced.  It's the same reason casinos use chips, arcades use tokens and Starbucks uses random names for their drink sizes.  Anything that makes it more difficult for a consumer to equate the quality of a product to a dollar value results in consumers spending more.  This tactic disguises the value of the money being spent and is a core topic in any microeconomics course.

The irony is that not only consumers undervalue the fake currency of points, but artists do too.  A distinct glut of artists and lack of consumers drives down the price according to traditional supply-demand economics.  The artists offering adoptables are mostly underage and don't have access to a credit card, making them more willing to do anything for any number of points - points have more value to them since they are so hard to obtain.  Many professional artists who maintain profiles here use dA as a secondary form of income so there is less pressure to charge higher prices.  So it should come as no surprise then that prices are lower on dA than in brick-and-mortar locals.

But if dA wanted to raise commission prices anyway, they could offer pictorial previews in the Commission Widget. When you select a category while submitting a deviation, the preview window shows artwork from that category to help you determine if you are submitting to the correct gallery.  Similarly, when an artist adds an offer to the Commission Widget, it could list other artwork being offered for a similar price to help artists determine whether they are charging too little for their art.

If you think the market is undervalued and you want to change artist-consumer behavior, you're going to need to change the tools they use to evaluate the market.

And it would be nice if the Commission Widget were easier for buyers to use parallellogic.deviantart.com/a…
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Similarly, when an artist adds an offer to the Commission Widget, it could list other artwork being offered for a similar price to help artists determine whether they are charging too little for their art.

Love this idea, although if everyone is feeding into the undercharging system it may not work out quite right P:
Reply
:iconparallellogic:
parallellogic Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014
True.  The only real way to fundamentally address the problem is to increase the number of buyers to increase demand.  However, with an unnecessary 20% mark up and two-week delay on payment, there's no reason to pay dA for the privilege of using points.  Anyone who is serious about commissions is using PayPal directly already.  Perhaps the reason dA commissions are so cheap is because those penny commissions are all that's left of the market after the big transactions use PayPal.
Reply
:iconastralseed:
Astralseed Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
In some communities on dA points are what people have, so allowing dA to get that 20% cut (most of us price our sales accordingly anyway) and waiting the additional 2 weeks for the payout works fine.  
Certainly it is ideal to not have the 20% and the 2 week issue, but when you can change your prices to make up for it, and your customer base does not have paypal, but they have points, it honestly does work out okay.  
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Unnecessary markup? I think any company would disagree with you there ;p

It is also a lot more convenient because, as someone mentioned, kids without bank accounts can't do anything else. So yeah, maybe that's part of it, but I really think people should go 'is one hour of my time really worth 100 points' regardless.
Reply
:iconzydaria:
zydaria Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014
Points are like little kitties. So cuti cuti cuti !! OMG by AddMedia
Reply
:iconelandria:
Elandria Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
:thumbsup:
Reply
:iconikue:
Ikue Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
One internet please! shakepoints 
Reply
:iconvixendra:
VixenDra Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
actually 100p will pay 1$... not 1.20$,
 1.20$ is how much one pays to buy 100p but 100p pay only 1$(to one's earnings).
I got a drama from a customer to-be who tried to argue with me to pay 240p for a commission worth 3$ (so I'd earn just 2.40$) because of this false 1$=80p... and so didn't buy the commission at all like if it was me who tried to rip him off. Please, don't spread that false calculation(it's false as a 2-way calculation - which is the way people actually use it)... Please make it 100% clear and SHOWN on top that it always works like: 1.20$->100p->1$->80p->0.80$->60p->0.60$... Majority of people don't get it and think 1$=80p both ways (that they purhased 80p with 1$
 meaning that 80p will pay 1$... which is not true, 80p will pay 0.80$ not 1$). They seem to be unaware of loosing 20% on purchasing points... (while one of the DA staff confirmed some time ago that the 20% loss is at the point of buying points not paying with them)

From the point of view of a person PAID with points it's 100p=1$
Only form the point of view of the person who purchased POINTS it's 100p=1.20$... which make them not understand the person above. Which causes even more issues of the kind this journal refers to.
Reply
:iconrenonevada:
renonevada Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"(while one of the DA staff confirmed some time ago that the 20% loss is at the point of buying points not paying with them)"

When you purchase points, $5 will get you 400 points in your points account. That is equal to 80 points per dollar.

There is absolutely ZERO fees in purchasing points.

There is only that 20% fee when purchasing Premium Content or Commissions.
Reply
:iconvixendra:
VixenDra Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Seems you all need to stick to one version. Someone didn't, I can't remember the name though. It was looong ago.

Anyway, 80p don't pay 1$, it pays 0.80$, 0.80$ is NOT an equivalent of 1$, and 800$ is definitely not an equivalent of 1000$.
In this journal entitled to too low prices artists charge for their work and customers undervaluing them too, THIS should be the focus: how much the artist IS PAID not how much the customer spent on purchasing points(which could be easly avoided if the customer doesn't want to pay 20% more - by simply not buying points for this).

And BTW I can't get it how can you still charge as much as 20%(no matter at which point exactly)... it's 1/5 of the entire thing! 10% would be much more reasonable - it's still much but far easier to bear from the pov of an user. Actually the only thing points make actual sense for I can think of is llamas in the llama trade section... if one cares about them and wants to have e.g. a gold one quite soon.(ah, btw, you have a kinda new(like maybe 3 months old) bug here: lt shows already expired offers even after refreshing, it never did it before(expired offers used to vanish immediately after refreshing, not they stay there), in some cases the box itself shows 'expired' in place of 'give'/'already given'. It's very annoying.)

And, hence I happened to have your attention for a moment: DA needs COLLABORATION DEVIATIONS and something to make notes more friendly to use: e.g. 'sort by Deviant'(showing all notes from a chosen user and only those, in chronological order) BADLY, currently making commissions through DA is one huge nightmare: both at the communication level and payment level if one decides to use DA for all this, and also is discouraging for collaborative projects(including commissions), which could have an amazing potential if encouraged(via starting with the suggestion I linked) both for art as well as the community as such. Not an april fools joke thing that vanishes after a day or two. Please, consider this before making up anything else. Thank you.
Reply
:iconrenonevada:
renonevada Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"Anyway, 80p don't pay 1$, it pays 0.80$, 0.80$ is NOT an equivalent of 1$, and 800$ is definitely not an equivalent of 1000$."

When purchasing Premium Content, this is 100% true and exactly what I have said above. :)

As far as the 20% fee, there is not much I can say further about that. It is what is charged.

If you see any bugs, please report them to the help desk. Remember to add any relevant links or screenshots to help illustrate the issue to help expedite the ticket.

Collaboration deviations would be cool, I agree. Product does look at those suggestions and has implemented others in the past.

As far as notes and using them for commissions, when a commission is requested you can comment directly on the commission correspondence message to keep all communication together in one place and can keep confusion to a minimum, especially when a buyer places multiple commissions at once. All replies will go straight to your message center line any other comment. You can view all commissions in the correspondence page, which will also show a tally of any comments on that request: www.deviantart.com/corresponde…
Reply
:iconvixendra:
VixenDra Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
But let's be honest: who uses money form their 'my earnings' page to buy PM(and most of all: planning to convert them back into points and loose 20% of them unnecessairly... after a 2weeks long wait)... One would rather ask for sending/donating points straigntly to their account... I'm rather talking about getting PAID, not spending it.

It's your, the DA staff's decision how high that fee is, nobody made you to make it as much as 20%, did one?;]

Maybe after my finals, unless it's been already reported. I'd need time for this and I'm wasting enough at the very moment^^;

I think collaboration deviations should be introduced asap, in a priority, e.g. before even more collaborations will get a DD with just one of the collaborators getting this feature and everything else resulting from it(like feedback, wathcers etc.)...

I don't use the commission widget and will not do unless sb wants to get rid of points they already have. 20% is a LOT to me and to customers as well, becuase it's them who'd have to pay 20% more, which may result in giving up buying a commission at all, and I can't afford that. I must keep my commission correspondence in DA notes. And even if I tried with not deleting the previous messages, some customers always delete these. And one of them is in my queue for months, she responds very rarely and I respect that. When she replies me after a month it's a nightmare to find all the prievious information and put things together. Time is too precious to waste it for digging for particular notes. And I bet a simple search widget there is not difficult to make - DA has much more complicated widgets than that. :)
And I don't mean commisison notes only, also personal ones(I reffered to commissions because of the topic of the journal commented). Sometmes you talk with someone from time to time with long breaks, and you'd like to get back to your correspondence if the person contacts you after a year and you need to remind yourself where were you, especially if they delete previous messages from their note. With the thing I'm thinking about you'd have the entire correspondence in a row, sorted chronologically, you'd just have to use the option and pick the user. There are lots of various situations when one would appreciate to have such thing. E.g.one could also easly check if they had already send sth to sb. E.g. A reminder, request, or whatever.
Searching engine in notes was already suggested multiple times.
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:iconelandria:
Elandria Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
SO.
MANY.
NUMBERS.

:stinkeye:
Reply
:iconterminartor:
terminARTor Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Jenn,

Is there any way to shorten the two week release time? I know it's for protection but sometimes the commission gets done in a day or two and then you wait... Maybe a client fund release button or something?

Thanks.

~Lu
Reply
:iconastralseed:
Astralseed Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
Oh, I really like this idea!
Reply
:iconsserenita:
Sserenita Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Professional General Artist
I don't bother selling point commissions anymore. I normally charge hundreds of dollars in the real world and i just can't see doing the same job for 10 bucks. Unfortunately people gripe if you charge more than 50 cents so its not even worth it.
Reply
:iconwesleyriot:
WesleyRiot Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Professional Filmographer
good journal! hope plenty of people see this!

I for one will not ever be accepting points as payment XD
Reply
:icontrippinxtremezebra:
trippinxtremezebra Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Student Filmographer
oh god! i love cyanide and happiness  <3

i am so glad someone made this. i dont use the point system at all, but ive seen so many people undercharge and stuff and i just get so annoyed. now i can finally have a reference to send people about this
Reply
:iconwdwparksgal:
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner May 30, 2014
:points: I've seen deviants "sell" custom pieces for a point. Not multiple points, but a single point. Definitely something has been lost in the translation! Thank you for creating a good article that can be referred back to!
Reply
:iconmeikahidenori:
meikahidenori Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
For some of us even charging a cheaper rate in real cash for our art gets us over loooked as alot of people only want your art for free. Just the fact they need to work out the exchange rate from us to au can frighten them off too which is rather unfair. Not everyone thinks the point system is fair and some of usneed the extra money on the side as our real world jobs dont cover all the bills. Iknow mine dosent my shitty boss underpays me a whole $10 an hour and money from commisions keeps me afloat and keeps me able to run these expenise prize giveaways on da contests for clubs. Sorry it the text in this is a mess the mobile version of da is not the greatest to use attimes.
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is why the arts community needs to promote maths literacy as well as artistic literacy...
Reply
:iconderklox-cloxboy:
DerKlox-Cloxboy Featured By Owner May 30, 2014
Oh, hi, Jenn.

Good journal.
Reply
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Professional General Artist
I've had someone completely refuse to do a piece for a points value equivalent to dollars, but when I said "ok well then how about you pay me via paypal it with be XXX amount" they went "ok!"

Weeeird. It's why I don't sell points commissions.
Reply
:iconsserenita:
Sserenita Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Professional General Artist
That is so strange that they will give you more cash! It's like they hear 5000 points and in their mind equate it to dollars. If you focus on the number it sounds like a lot but the value of it is a joke. As a professional, i cant risk my business and reputation selling art for pennies when i normally get hundreds of dollars.
Reply
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Professional General Artist
yeah. I found it strange too. XD
Reply
:iconartgyrl:
artgyrl Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Good post. I always wondered about the conversion of points to dollars.
Reply
:iconcassidypeterson:
CassidyPeterson Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist
Cheers. I sell most of my adoptables for 50 points or under because they were quick. I've got two adoptables that have the option of being bought for cash, and THEIR point price is equal to the cash price. Likewise, my commission price in points is roughly equal to my commission price in cash.
Reply
:iconkashimusprime:
KashimusPrime Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Adoptables from Traced Bases are pretty much worthy of 5-10:points: considering they're transferred through the Give Points option on a deviants profile page and not through the commissions widget. Especially if the members making those traced base adoptables are making points to earn subscriptions such as myself. Otherwise, yea I will charge 500:points:(5$) or 1,500:points:(15$) for commissions on the commissions widget as I can easily withdraw those points into my paypal. 

The only problem now is people unwilling to and begrudging over spending 15$ for a good commission BI 
Reply
:icondancing-kitten:
Dancing-Kitten Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Student Filmographer
Sure adoptables from traced bases are worth less, but I think y2jenn was probably talking more about hand-drawn adoptables. There are plenty that, while they still use the Give Points option, take about the same amount or a little more effort than say, a regular full-body portrait.
Reply
:iconkashimusprime:
KashimusPrime Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, I see now. 
Reply
:iconleomon32:
leomon32 Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Student Digital Artist
My problem is the charge DA took, that's way too much. I had commissions with points and with real money, both converted on paypal and bla bla bla. I have to say that with the grace time of 14 days plus the charge and the change... I really want my people to pay in $, no contest.
Reply
:iconkashimusprime:
KashimusPrime Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wait, they charged you a percentage to withdraw into your paypal? :U 

I don't get that percentage charge, something's wrong if they're charging for both points withdrawal and paypal withdrawal. 
Reply
:iconleomon32:
leomon32 Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I live in France sadly, whatever you do will f*ck you, it's not DA who charge me it's Paypal because they does Euro to Usd conversion and they take a fee. At the end I don't have much xD"

I will give you an example, I charge the same as points and paypal, with DA I receive 16$, with paypal I receive 18,92$, and of course the more the the commission is (2 characters for example) the worse the charge is xD"
Reply
:iconkashimusprime:
KashimusPrime Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh okay. I'm sorry that happens :c 

Totally unfair, I completely agree with that. 
Reply
:iconleomon32:
leomon32 Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Student Digital Artist
My fault, I live in Europe xD My only solution is to charge people more...
Reply
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