Our Review: 

Not a lot of sales on this site which as of Nov 2016 appears to be stagnant.

Back in 1999/2000 there was a site called zden which allowed users to sell (and store) their digital work for z's which could be converted into money (that was the plan), the site was ahead of its time and it folded (perhaps it was too good to be true that you could just store your files for free) - I'm not sure of the details but I had some of my work uploaded there. You could upload pretty much what you wanted and set your price, and I mention it here because cutcaster reminds me of it. They seem to have formed a space where designers/creators/photographers and videographers etc. can show and sell their work, it's more than just "search for images of XXX"

At the moment I'm monitoring the results from cutcaster and as such recommend you focus your efforts on the sites in my top sites list in the microstockinsider recommended post. If you have some spare time (lucky you!!!) and some premium photography that you want to charge more than a couple of dollars for then this site might be worth an experiment.

2008: A very neat feature of cutcaster is that it includes an optional dynamic pricing algorithm which can vary the prices of your images or video to increase sales. It will be interesting to see how well this gets over the old "price too high and they won't buy, price too low and they will think you are selling rubbish" problem.  (2015 edit - clearly it didn't work) sites like Dreamstime have implemented price tiering, this type of feature can only be a good thing for contributors as it increases the return on 'in demand' images while still allowing sales of less popular images for low cost to users who do not want to pay the premium. Buyers who were attracted to low cost images may err for the more expensive image if they like it enough (a perceived sense of increased quality), especially if the difference is only a few dollars.

 

Conclusion

Very slow sales as of 2015 at cutcaster and now in 2016 uploads have not been working for at least 6 months. I recommend you do not upload (well at time of writing you simply cant!) to Cutcaster.

 

cutcaster

Site Details
Media Types (in addition to RF Images): 
This site accepts editorial images
This site accepts vector illustrations
(sort by agency)
Real US$ Cost of 1 Standard Image: 
2.84 (compare prices)
Referral Scheme: 
Yes - 10% of buyers transactions and 5% of referred photographers transactions for 2 years (compare rates)
Cost of a standard image (1600x1200) 2MP approx: 
2 Credits
Royalty Rate: 
40%, 50% on exclusive images (compare)
Cost of 1 Credit (basic): 
$ 1.42
FTP Upload: 

Address: ftp://uploads.cutcaster
Username: Cutcaster username and password

API: 
YES: Reseller (details cutcaster.com/help/api) (list all)
Site Statistics
Approx. size of photo collection (0 = no current estimate): 
2,600,000 Images (compare)
Alexa Traffic Rank: 
101792 (a measure of the site popularity, lower number is better)
Alexa 3 Month Change: 
18% (measurement of the increase of site popularity compared with three months ago, negative is a decrease)
Launched: 
2008
Community
Facebook: 
fan page link (list all)
Twitter: 
@cutcaster (list all)
Overall Rating: 
2/10 (compare sites)

john griffin's picture

Thanks for the write-up

john griffin (not verified) on Thu, 2008-07-31 03:15
Steven, great writeup on Cutcaster and happy to hear you have tried out the service. I am excited to hear your thoughts on the site after joining a few months back and wonder if you have had any sales or bids. I'd especially like to know if any bids have come your way and what you did if you got any. Cutcaster is really trying to be the first dynamic marketplace and the bidding is a big part of it. Thanks for any help and suggestions you can give us. I am always open to hearing good ideas and it looks like you have more than a few. John
Jake's picture

Just joined

Jake (not verified) on Wed, 2009-07-01 02:26
Hey Steven - as a budding stock photographer, your blog has been a great reference for me. I noticed this Cutcaster writeup was done a while ago, but I recently started uploading to Cutcaster and a few other major photo sites and have already seen some bids come through for my work. Just wanted to hear your thoughts on if you think the marketplace they offer really helps you not miss sales, and if it's still worth uploading an entire portfolio. Thanks! Jake
Steve Gibson's picture

Cutcaster Sales

Steve Gibson on Thu, 2009-07-02 00:57

That date was when I first wrote the review, sometimes I update the date to reflect the new review if there is a significant rewrite, normally not, so that date is not the last time it was edited. I try to keep all the reviews up-to-date with the latest stats and make sure my opinions are still valid.

I've been uploading to custacster, mostly because it has a very easy submission process (currently 280 images)/ Like you I had had a few bids early on, but nothing for almost 12 months. I think the bid concept may be flawed in some ways (most people want instant access or sales are lost) but it is also a relatively unique concept that some buyers may prefer - it's a satisfying feeling for some people to knock a price down and then buy, but you must consider if it's worth the time for microstock prices and in time in dealing with the bidding requests.

do let me(us all) know how you get on with cutcaster

Steve

 

Jake's picture

Hey Steve - Jake again,

Jake (not verified) on Thu, 2009-07-23 01:06
Hey Steve - Jake again, thanks for your response. I noticed on the homepage you mentioned YayMicro had siged up Yuri Arcurs, which I guess is a big deal. So I was going through Cutcaster's library and noticed he was there as well (looks like 14k photos). Just a heads up, b/c I wonder where else he's joined?? -- Jake.
Anonymous's picture

Yuri Arcurus "work"

Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 2009-09-12 14:19
Yuri Arcurs thinks all mickrostock sites were designed for him and his photo shooting team. Why this guy can't open his own site and negotiate sales there? Plus the photos are not even taken by him, he just put his name on other people's work.
Steve Gibson's picture

Financial Sense

Steve Gibson on Tue, 2009-09-15 23:03

Probably because despite what people think after paying all the bills microstock sites do not make huge profits on each sale. Yuri could cut out the middleman and make a LITTLE bit more money, but all that would create is yet another microstock site with acurs images and no buyers.

Microstock works because of the diversity of images available on each site contributed by many different photographers. "yuri stock" would cater for those people wanting to buy high key images of people shot in "ikea land" but leave others with limited choice. For many buyers a large microstock site is a one-stop solution to obtaining not just the main photo for a project, but also backdrop, vector graphics and supplementary images to use in a design, no single photographer can specialise in such a spread of illustration and photographic genres.

Yuri is a photographer, photographers usually don't make good websites – it would be expensive to pay to develop one. And while I wrote about setting up your own site http://microstockinsider.com/guides/web-business-stock-photographers and http://microstockinsider.com/guides/photo-cms-content-management-systems (it can be done relatively easily) it’s an uphill struggle to get traffic and sales, and manage the myriad of problems that running a website entails - better to concentrate on the business you know best (i.e. taking photos)


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