Are Themeforest and Envato a scam/fraud?  💥
This will be an in-depth look at how Envato (better known as Themeforest) interacts with their customers, partners, and even their theme authors. To be clear, Envato is the company which is divided into 6 platforms: Themeforest, Audiojungle, Codecanyon, Videohive, Graphicriver, Photodune. The best known, the one for themes, is Themeforest, the other platforms are clearly less known. Above you already saw that Themeforest has a customer rating of 1.58/5 which is still high compared to the 1.14/5 of the overall company Envato.
DOES ENVATO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ITS CUSTOMERS?
Let's start this investigation with the customers who buy themes and other products, are they satisfied or not? I'll tell you right now, practically all their customers are dissatisfied or worse. Take a look at the screenshot below of the 206 reviews they got on Sitejabber. They arrive at an average of 1.14/5. Knowing that one cannot rate lower than 1, a much lower score is hardly possible if someone from their own circle of acquaintances occasionally gets a 5-star through there.
I myself have purchased products from Themeforest for years and would still do so if necessary. However, I work much less as a web designer and I haven't bought anything there for months. However, I am going to unravel some of their practices here. For starters, if you buy a theme or any other product, its upgrades may stop for no reason.
ENVATO PRODUCTS THAT DISAPPEAR
What usually happens, however, is that you can no longer download the old version. The product simply disappeared like snow in the sun. Not as bad as 1 in 50 products would, but the truth is hard. Check out the image below and see how entire rows of products have this. Out of 7, 5 are no longer available. So wasted money. I must honestly say that I searched hard to make this screenshot to show you the most extreme. I bought these products years ago.
ENVATO LICENSES AND SUPPORT
Where themes like Divi and Astra have their product installed on as many websites as you want despite being much better themes, you are obliged at Themeforest to buy a separate license for each of your websites, which naturally quickly increases in prices.
In order to check you, your website is full of checkers that check whether you have paid for that site. This makes your website slower and often causes problems with upgrades of the themes. If something goes wrong you have to wait for support to help you which causes delays. Therefore, never buy themes that require a license.
They also try to save you money in terms of support. If you buy a theme, it comes with support for half a year, which is faster than you think, so don't wait too long with the construction of your website because it happened to me that my support expired before I even used the theme. Now the big hit, half a year of extra support costs almost as much as the standard theme price!
Nothing else comes to mind when it comes to cheating their customers, so we'll go into how they treat affiliate marketers below.
IS ENVATO RUNNING ITS AFFILIATES OUT?
I'll start by showing you what I've already earned with them this month, with the 238 unique visitors interested in themes that I sent there. View the screenshot below and see that the earnings this month are still at zero after 3 weeks. Strange because if I send so many people to Divi I make good money. I have 34 pages (x3 languages = 102 pages) advertising Envato's so-called best product, the Avada theme. Yet no one bought. But Avada claims to sell just as much or almost more than Divi. I still have at least 1500 pages in which other themes and products from Envato appear, but no turnover.
As an affiliate one has to have confidence, if a company wants to they can certainly manipulate the numbers. People only have a hunch but no proof, that feeling is very strong at Envato compared to all the other companies I write for. Below you see a list of 34 articles about Avada alone, those articles exist in Dutch, German and English, so a total of 102 articles.
ENVATO AFFILIATE CONDITIONS
I just deleted a lot of old mail. I wanted to show you correspondences with Envato here regarding the conditions for affiliates. You'll just have to believe what I write, affiliates who have known Envato for a long time will confirm everything. They used to pay 30% on money deposits, not on people who buy something directly. You got this commission just like that still only for the first payment of a customer. If, like me, as a customer of Envato, he then buys 120 other products over time, you will not get a cent more for that. Since most people buy something immediately and do not deposit money first, the chance that they had to pay you something is very small.
At the moment they say to pay on the first direct sale. They had actually recently increased the percentages from 30 to 40%, but that seems to be back to old levels. Doesn't matter, 30% or 40% of nothing comes down to the same thing. My income for a few years is something like 300 dollars I believe, ridiculous since with other companies it is above 20,000 dollars. Okay, enough about affiliations, don't fall for it I would say although there is a lot of search for their themes and one can find them use as a lure to sell good products, not that junk from Envato :)
IS ENVATO GIVING ITS AUTHORS A LEG UP?
I'm not an author for them myself, but I came across some things from authors that I'm going to show you here. Doesn't look good either, same common thread, suck the blood out. If they also want to sell their theme through their own site, they therefore pay 55% + tax of every sale to Envato.
Yes folks, I have to say that I have no further information about the authors, but this seems more than enough. Yet many authors decide to do business with them. The Envato marketplace is well attended so it brings them fame and some money apparently. If you read through below you will see a very bad review about Envato which is a direct scam or even worse but I have only mild bad experiences with them myself, they are at the very least very stingy let's say.
EXTREME ENVATO REVIEWS
You can read the reviews below and a small 200 pieces of them yourself at Sitejabber.