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Self fulfilled charge of 7%! Perhaps a change of name to the 'Inland Revenue' or IRS.

I opened my email this morning and couldn't believe what I was reading, I genuinely thought as it was early I was misunderstanding the content of the email.

Surely Zenfolio were not introducing a service fee for self fulfilled orders, the key words being 'self fulfilled'. So I as photographer win the client, take the photos, process the photos, get orders, produce the products, deliver the products and Zenfolio want their cut... for shame!

I would write a much longer and frustrated post to highlight my disgust and disappointment but to be totally honest I'm lost for words (which is amazing as Mancunians are not known for being word shy).

I think Zenfolio has just become Squarespace's newest and best friend.

As your company seems to be all about making money perhaps you should set up a squarepsace referral code to make some more money when your customers leave!

With regards but also regret,



  • I totally agree. How they can justify charging anything for that is beyond me. You pay for the service to have a gallery. Like you say - you have to find the client, do all of the work and pay for all of the products and they want to cream off 7% (and that's of the total!). Outrageous!
  • ESL PhotographyESL Photography Member Posts: 26
    This made my eyes water too (2.5% would have been much fairer in my opinion) but until there is better competition out there, I feel most of us will keep paying - begrudgingly in many cases I do admit!!

    Zenfolio does exactly what I want and need and while I've looked at other companies they fall short in various areas. So - you can blame people like me - why me? Because until a better company comes along I will keep paying.

    BUT - and that's in BOLD and LARGE letters ... if another company ups their game and competes well, then I'll be off. Until then, Zenfolio will keep my custom.

    Why? The biggest reason is they respect loyalty and I in turn will keep renewing my subscription for that very reason. It doesn't always come down to money at the end of the day.
  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,463
    @ESL Photography 2.5% may not even cover the cost for the merchant fee that Zenfolio pays to run credit card charges. Is Zenfolio not permitted to make any money on a feature they build into their platform which seemingly is much better than others (as you indicated)?

    There are other platforms that charge less but you are responsible for setting up your own merchant credit card account through Authorize.net for example.

    In light of the costs involved, do you have a % that would be fare to both you and Zenfolio? If there is no incentive for Zenfolio to allow self-fulfilled products then maybe they should just discontinue offering that service? Zenfolio is not a vendor but rather a partner in your business. I want them to be successful on reasonable terms and measured by my own success. In other words, the more successful I am at growing my business ... the more successful they become as well. I personally have no problem with that at all.
  • Simonkit1Simonkit1 North Wales, UKMember Posts: 13
    edited April 2017
    I can't believe more people aren't going mad about this, especially if you're based in the UK. I self-fulfill all my orders because the Zen providers in the UK don't supply the image ratios or print requirements I need so essentially I do ALL the work myself because the Zen service isn't up to the job.

    Now I find they're going to charge me 7% for the privilege. In reality this equates to at least a 200% increase in overall costs so Zen has quickly become too expensive, definitely time to look for another host... suggestions welcome!

  • ESL PhotographyESL Photography Member Posts: 26
    @Kevin Krows

    I accept what you say entirely and I was remarking on what I feel is, to use your word, reasonable. Just wondering if I've got something wrong here. If I post images up on to my site and fulfil my own orders and take the money myself I cannot see why this might cost Zenfolio 7%? I'm not against paying 2.5% and that's why I suggested that amount.

    I already pay an annual subscription. Any orders where I use Zenfolio providers I pay a fair rate and make around 50% of the profit, the rest going to Zenfolio and their printers or whoever.
  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,463
    Thanks for clarifying how you manage the payment / transactions. You may want to make your case directly with the management / executive team and ask them to review this. 7% is simply what they charge on ALL sales so they may just be trying to simplify the fees that they charge.

    As an alternative, you could simply remove the price sheet from the galleries that you self-fulfill and then include a message on your watermark to contact you directly for price and ordering information. I use to do this on my portrait work when the MPIX / MPIX Pro pricing was soooooo out of wack. Zenfolio has done a good job of cleaning this price mess up and reduced its fee from 10 to 7 percent. I now just have my clients order everything on-line and let MPIX handle everything else. Haven't had any problems and customers are very happy. I use the extra time (from not having to be involved in the order process) to build new client opportunities. That's a much more productive use of my time vs trying to save 7% on an order. Just my 2 cents worth.
  • Mike WhiteheadMike Whitehead Member Posts: 1
    So before i waste my time setting up price lists. I self fulfill every aspect of my biz , i have a 44 in printer , i have a canvas company that charges so low , i wonder how they make $$$ $28 for 40 x 30 thick canvas , shipping included . I am getting paid through PayPal ... do they still want 7% for this??? I'm already paying PayPal 3-4%... If this is the case i will just us them for the gallery and tell everyone to contact me to arrange payment and fulfill orders over the phone.
  • Yes, I agree! They are making their money from me by charging me the yearly membership fee. And I think it is totally fair to charge a yearly membership fee for the web and gallery resources they provide. But I don't think it is right to charge a fee on "self-fulfilled" products. We (the studio) are doing all the work on these orders. I actually came to Zenfolio a few years back because the other company I used did this exact same thing. I have let the management know of my frustration on this topic. I just hope they change it before we all go somewhere else! I know I'll be looking at my other options this year at WPPI.
  • Anyone who has been using Zenfolio for a while knows that this company does not put customer service first. Just read a few blogs and you will see that.
    They have a decent platform that gives it's subscribers just enough to keep them coming back - but no more.

    Their constant price increases are either a sign that they don't know what they are doing, or they are constantly focused on how to squeeze every penny out of it's subscribers. They don't even pretend to offer us anything new with their price increases. Take notice - they have NEVER offered anything to their customers as to what you will GET for the price increase, rather they tell us the increase is because, "we just discovered we weren't charging enough".

    Their "Feature Requests" blog is a joke in my opinion because if you examine what we subscribers want vs what they actually implement, you will see that almost every implementation they have done quickly have been ones that add to their profit and the implementations that don't add to their bottom line, take forever to get done if at all. This has been blogged about repeatedly. This is NOT customer service.

    Last point - this new 7% fee on self-fulfilled products is the sole reason I am actually writing in this blog. I rarely write in blogs. But this new fee is the last straw. Those who defend them by saying, "They have to make money too" are just ignorant of what online services cost. The core infrastructure is already up and running and was paid for long ago, they haven't added anything new that warrants a price increase. I dare anyone to point out what Zenfolio has added as a service that warrants a 7% price increase. The only costs they have is maintenance, and maintenance is software only goes down over time if you are doing it right.
    Take this example: ADOBE charges $9.99 a month for software and services that blow Zenfolios platform out of the water in terms of technology, upgrades, customization and integration with workflows.

    IF - Zenfolio were to ever offer a major website enhancement, then a price increase could be warranted.
    What people who defend them are missing is we already are paying for what we have!
    The $360/year they want a year for a self-fulfillment site is more than enough to cover their costs and give them a profit. The 7% is just a money grab. In my case, I will be paying them an EXTRA $1500/year out of my earnings that they literally had nothing to do with. I have already paid for the site and their clumsy shopping cart with the annual fee.

    NOT TO MENTION: When you and I subscribed for a self-fulfilled account, we were PROMISED no fees. That is what we signed up for and paid for.
    That promise should AT LEAST carry forward until the next renewal. BUT NO - every user will start being charged an additional 7% staring in May. When I told one of their reps that I thought my subscription should be honored until at least my renewal, he sent me a link to the agreement showing me that (paraphrasing) Zenfolio reserves the right to increase prices on anything at anytime.
    My Bad for assuming they would honor the subscription package I signed up for through to the end.

    Time to start the search for a company who knows how to balance customer service with what they charge...
  • Richard HistonRichard Histon Member Posts: 3
    Zenfolio have just tried to up my annual fee by 20% with only two weeks notice! One of their friendly advisers has managed to stop it, but I'll be ready to move if they try it next year, a great way to treat someone who has been loyal for five years.
  • SportraitsSportraits Member Posts: 1
    This has got to be a joke. Charging for SELF-FULFILLED orders? I didn’t realize until today. This is unacceptable and discouraging, feels like a slap in the face. Been a loyal customer for over 6 years and will likely be saying goodbye. So annoying.
  • Barbara JonesBarbara Jones Member Posts: 38
    That 7% is now rising by almost 3% to 9.90%............and Customer Support is still atrocious when an order goes wrong, which happens more and more lately.
  • A 10% tax on everything you sell? 7% was crazy high already, and a yearly fee. Anyone who does any kind of volume would be insane to pass along all that income to these guys. They should be lowering their commission, not raising it. I'm fine with the yearly charge for the hosting, storage, etc. But, the 10 percent tax is beyond reason to anyone trying to run a real business. Zenfolio must have decided to just be for small business part time guys and high-end folks who soak their customers. Good luck. We will not be renewing.
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