So I wanted to briefly blog about my first experience with market.Envato.com products. Envato is an online place to buy themes, plugins and code for website design. They are a giant in the market and are a subsidiary of ThemeForest.net. They began around 2006 and grew into a giant in just a few years. This blog is not to explain who or what they are. There are many places you can get more information about this company based out of Australia.
Well lets get down to business. What I found is they do not support what they sell nor do they offer much in terms of credits for downloading broken themes or bad code. We are just one in thousands of blogs that have had the same experience with buying a product from their website and hoping it will save time. Its quite the contrary because you will end up spending most of your time trying to debug the bad code that they sell you if you even have the skills to debug code in the first place.
I started to do some digging into who was writing the code and where the code was coming from. Turns out that most of the code is being developed in low paying developing countries such as India, Russia and China. Unfortunately for people who are not technical they have no idea how to fix already poorly written code and are usually stuck with broken themes from Envato and have no way to recover their money. If they try and get support on the actual theme they will run into language problems or a developer that does not support the theme. Keep in mind Envato Market is not responsible for code that does not work. They only sell you code that is their actual business model. After you get the code and try to install it and it does not work right that is your problem. Check out their policy it clearly states that they are not responsible for what they sell to the general public.
So in conclusion what I recommend for people who want to try Envato for the first time is two important things you need to do in order to protect yourself. First Envato and Paypal work hand in hand remember they are business partners. After all does Envato give you other options for payment? Do not be fooled by Paypal’s dispute policies you will not win using Paypal. The problems with using Paypal are endless but this blog is not about Paypal so read on. If you need to open a dispute against a charge for a theme that is broken you have to be sure that when you are redirected to Paypal for payment you need to use a credit card. Now Paypal knows that if you use a debit card your chances of payment disputes will be reduced significantly so they always default payment options to debit cards. Click on change payment options and select one of your credit cards on file. If you do not have one then add an actual credit card on file. Now you have protection from both Paypal and Envato market products. As soon as you have any problem with Envato simply call you credit card company and issue a chargeback.
Now lets discuss what a chargeback does to Envato. First understand that Envato will freeze your account with absolutely no access to already paid for themes or plugins. All will be blocked.
So be prepared before you start a dispute. Download the packages and contact the developers you like before you start a dispute. Let them know that maybe you would like to work with them directly and tell them Envato no longer adds any value. I sure hope that developers start to think about getting rid of the middle man and working with their clients directly.
Envato is a merchant they have certain rights as a merchant to operate and they build a credit line as a merchant. Every time a customer does a chargeback on Envato it ticks their credit line. Thats right you as a consumer actually can effect this giant little by little. Eventually their merchant account will come under scrutiny and they will have less chance to even accept credit cards in the future. They know what they are up against thats why they hide behind Paypal. Take note I also find that American Express credit cards tend to handle disputes better than most. So it also depends on your credit card company but most are doing a very good job at protecting the consumer and its one of the great services that credit cards offer.
So thats it you want to protect yourself this is how you deal with companies like Envato. They are a giant and no one can fight them but little by little consumers can protect themselves from the destructive and ridiculous business policies of this pseudo scam. I know that some have pretty good experiences with Envato but overall if you Google Envato scam its just astonishing how bad the reputation of this company is. Keep in mind that downloading simple templates that are not full of Java scripts and complicated code usually are easy to create and do not contain many bugs. Its the complex expensive templates that have a 50% chance of working correctly and since quality control is now growing out of India your chances of good code are probably less than 50%. Good luck and I hope you find this blog useful and informative.