Envato is one of the popular and biggest marketplaces available for purchasing digital goods. You can buy starting from a piece of code to power packed themes on their marketplace. It covers the marketplaces like codecanyon, themeforest, PhotoDune, 3DOcean, AudioJungle, VideoHive, etc. This is kind of one stop solution for website owners to purchase variety of items using single account. However, there are facts normal website owners are not aware or overlook when purchasing items. In this article, let us share few reasons for you to stop purchasing from envato marketplace.
Did We Purchase Items from Envato?
The answer is yes, obviously. We have purchased handful of products from themeforest and codecanyon. So the experience we share here is based on the facts and not on assumptions. We have also mentioned the items currently available on the marketplace for you to verify the facts.
The reason we share to the readers is that you can learn from other’s mistakes instead of making mistakes yourselves and struck.
7 Reasons to Stop Purchasing from envato Marketplace
- Account lock out for PayPal dispute
- No product activation
- Author can remove the item anytime
- Author can combine products
- Duplicate or similar products
- Support on comment section
- Fake reviews
1. Account Lock Out for PayPal Dispute
Recently we have purchased Discy theme which is a replica of the popular Stack Overflow questions and answers concept. After two days, we found that the theme automatically login to the site after registration without the email activation from users. We have asked the author to check and after unconvincing answers, we have requested refund.
The author rejected the refund and we are pushed to go to PayPal buyer protection for getting $61 spent for this theme. The moment we filed a dispute with PayPal, envato locked the entire account. This prevented us to download or view the previously purchased items including item purchased on codecanyon. They will also ask you to close the PayPal dispute to take up the dispute through envato. In our opinion, this is threatening the buyer by locking the account and preventing from accessing the previously products.
It will take up to 30 days for resolving PayPal dispute and you will not have access to you envato account till the dispute is resolved. This is a bureaucratic attitude mentioning security reason and be aware you need to fight back after getting buggy products. It essentially means you need to spend lots of time which should not be the case for the buyer.
2. No Product Activation
Well, you may be wondering how product activation could cause issues. The products are sold under a regular license meaning you should use the purchased product on one domain. However, most of the products don’t have a product key activation. This leads to the following problems:
- You can purchase once and use on multiple domains. Many websites allow free download of the products sold through themeforest. It will be embarrassing to spend $50 and find the same product is available on other site for free download. If you don’t believe us, go to Google Search and search for “discy theme free download”, “disputo theme free download” or any other themes offered in themeforest. You will get the latest version in few clicks without spending a dime. The point here is that not offering activation API will make no difference between original and fake users.
- You can’t have automatic update and in some cases demo content also will not be available.
Putting in simple words combining the two points – envato neither worry about the originality of the author’s product nor worry about the protection of their buyers. On other hands, authors can file a simple DMCA complaint with Google to take down all those fake sites. However, they can’t do this since anyone can create another webpage and offer the item for free as it has no product key attached to link the usage.
3. Author Can Remove Items Anytime Without Notice
The author has full rights to remove the products due to various reasons from the marketplace. This looks good at the outlook, however, it happens without any notice to the buyer. The only way for you to know this fact is to go the downloads section and find the product is removed by the author.
- You have no information whether it was removed for security reasons.
- You need to decide on yourselves to delete the product or continue using.
- In most cases, you can’t consult with the author for free as additional support needs to additional money. And the products removed theoretically can’t have any support.
In our case, we have purchased AtoZ SEO tools optimization addons from codecanyon. Author removed this product from codecanyon as show below.
However he is offering the same product as a free addon through his website. In our opinion, envato should make clear to the buyer on the reason for removal to avoid security problems.
4. Author Can Combine Products
This is another problem that author can stop updating one of the products and combine the same product with another product. Let us explain with an example. Go to codecanyon and search for “flag counter” and you will find the item “Flag Counter – Advance Visitors Counter” tool offered for $23.
It looks fine when you look at first, however the truth is different. This item will not support the PHP 7+ versions. The last update you see on 15th May 2019 was kind of fake to show the product is updated. Now, look for another product from the same author “A2Z SEO Tools…”. The clever author simply combined the flag counter product with his SEO Tools product and offering as an addon on his website for $19. The combined product is a trending product and supports the latest PHP 7+ version. In our opinion, this is the responsibility of the envato to protect the buyer from such greedy authors. However, it seems they have no time to look into such topics.
5. Duplicate or Similar Products
Let us explain this with few other examples. We have two cases – Convert Plus and WP Bakery Visual Composer. These are the popular plugins offered through codecanyon for WordPress websites. After reaching certain popularity, authors decide to sell the products on their own sites instead of codecanyon. Here comes the problem – envato rules prevent authors from selling the product with the same name outside their marketplace. It’s like you need to work in single company for life long, you should not leave even you get better prospects.
Now, the authors duplicate the entire product and modify few features to sell with similar name on their own sites. Below are the examples of the cases we have mentioned:
|Original Name||Currently Sold on Codecanyon||Sold on Author’s Website|
|ConvertPlug||Popup Plugin For WordPress – ConvertPlus||Convert Pro|
|Visual Composer||WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress||Visual Composer|
It’s a pity that envato policies neither help customers nor help authors.
6. Support on Comments Section
Almost half of the products are outdated in the marketplace and not supported by the author. If you are looking for supported products then be careful to find how it is supported. Some items are supported only on the comment section of the product page.
This is one of the ridiculous ways of supporting for such a big marketplace. Let’s say, you have purchased a theme like Discy theme and getting PHP errors. The author only supports through comment section which you may not find before purchase. How can you leave the PHP errors with server details on the publicly visible comments section? When you notice thousands of comments, it is an indication that the author may support through comments. If privacy is your concern then be away from such products. It is also unbelievable that an author selling a digital good does not have an option to support through the envato email support or a dedicated website.
7. Fake Reviews
When you look at the reviews, it is easy to find many irrelevant reviews without having any idea of the product. Let us prove this with an example. Go to codecanyon and find the “Icon Generator” item. The author does not provide support from the day the items was available. However, you can see the below review mentioning 5 star for customer support.
Also, you can find other authors leave comments like “good product” to increase the visibility.
Big marketplaces like envato should have their own moderators to monitor the processes and purchases. This will help to resolve the issues and address the buyers with appropriate information. However, the fact is that envato lock out your account when there is a PayPal dispute and protect the author instead of buyer. This is evident as their business depends on the commission collected from the author. But the fact is that the money is coming from the buyer and not protecting them fundamental consumer rules will make them run away after few purchases.