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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Weasyl Escrow Service

  1. #1

    Weasyl Escrow Service

    Hi,

    This is one of the things I wanted to write to Benchilla about while this was still up as a kickstarter, but I guess I'll bring it up in public here.

    I don't really have any huge reason to switch to Weasyl from any of the other art archives because I feel like it has more or less the same features. One thing I would really like, aside from an ad-service with a back-end control panel and demographic targeting, is an escrow service for commissions. This is beneficial as a whole to Weasyl financially if 0.5-1.0% transaction fees are charged for commissions.

    Escrow service could be implemented ideally as PayPal and Bitcoin, with Weasyl staff serving to moderate disputes. As someone who's been in the furry fandom for 15 years and has been ripped off numerous times by spotty artists, I would gladly pay a 0.5-1.0% fee to ensure that I was getting what I paid for. I would expect a heatware-style rating/comment system to also be implemented. This is more or less what that other artists/commission website (can't remember the name, it's not widely used) does, but to have it integrated into the archive itself would be ideal.

    If you guys are implementing this already and are pretty confident that you're going to make money on this website art archive venture, e-mail me and we can talk low-medium interest loans. Someone with a decent credit score will have to sign for it, though.
    Last edited by ultimate burrito; 11-04-2012 at 11:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Marzipan's Avatar
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    Sounds like a lot of work for a site that's just started up and running... really it seems like a whole different project in and of itself. And would put a lot of work in the staff's corner for not a lot of money back. I mean, if we're honest about how much commissions usually run in the furry community - let's be generous and do an average of $25 - one percent of that is twenty five cents. Twenty five cents going to multiple staff members that have to take time to mediate transactions and somehow have the authority to make someone refund a customer, or else - they ban them from the site? What would stop them from going to FA/etc where they don't have that much authority over business transactions? And still not refund the customer? I have no idea if Weasyl would ever get enough authority to do the refunding themselves via PayPal and Bitcoin, and seeing how much they're getting from each transaction (i.e. less than a dollar), I don't see the incentive to reimbursing people themselves for someone else's failures to keep a contract.

    I dunno, this site is way too young to really be getting much skimming off other people's commission work anyway... that site that opened recently that does this exact thing, acts as a middle-man for transactions for artists from FA/DA/etc... can't remember the name of it either. Blah. Anyway that might be a better bet for artists and commissioners that want something like that, I think. I dunno it just seems like a complicated project that I'd be wary of using. That's just my two cents though.

  3.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #3
    Didn't try, Succeeded Fay V's Avatar



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    Well the staff is aware of the idea, thanks for the input.

    I can't speak for the others at all, so please take this as just my opinion, but the concept seems larger than Weasyl at the moment. First, we're not really a money processor, we wouldn't have a way to get the money refunded for the user outside having the user file a paypal claim (as far as I understand it anyway). At most we have the authority to ban someone from the site for scamming others, which we may do without this service. But it seems the point of such a service is to protect buyers from shady sellers, which seems like it would be a lot of work that is beyond the current scope of the staff.

    Perhaps in the future when we are larger, have a more hardy staff, and are more stable something like this can be considered, but right now it seems like a lot of work being the middleman for little benefit.

  4. #4
    This idea sounds similar to this site that I recently started using here: https://artistsnclients.com/ (seems to be offline atm)
    But you pay through them and the commissioner has to mark the commission job as "Completed" as well as give a satisfactory rating. Then the artist can contact the site admins/staff and receive their payment for the commission job and not any sooner.

    Though I see this being an issue with "Emergency" commissions (legit ones like vet or medical bills) so I'm sure people would complain about this or go elsewhere when they come across having to deal with situations like this.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RadioCatastrophe View Post
    This idea sounds similar to this site that I recently started using here: https://artistsnclients.com/ (seems to be offline atm)
    But you pay through them and the commissioner has to mark the commission job as "Completed" as well as give a satisfactory rating. Then the artist can contact the site admins/staff and receive their payment for the commission job and not any sooner.

    Though I see this being an issue with "Emergency" commissions (legit ones like vet or medical bills) so I'm sure people would complain about this or go elsewhere when they come across having to deal with situations like this.
    Yeah it works exactly as what OP suggested. It's all automated though, you don't have to talk to the staff. As soon as the job is completed, you click a button and your money is on your PayPal account in less than 12 hours. (Oh, and against client fraud, you can automatically watermark image files on upload. When the client completes the job, the watermarks are automatically removed. I quite like that)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by dr3w View Post
    Yeah it works exactly as what OP suggested. It's all automated though, you don't have to talk to the staff. As soon as the job is completed, you click a button and your money is on your PayPal account in less than 12 hours. (Oh, and against client fraud, you can automatically watermark image files on upload. When the client completes the job, the watermarks are automatically removed. I quite like that)
    Oh? I thought the FAQ said you had to contact staff for it, my bad C:
    I also like the watermark option as well! It's quite handy and I wish the site was a bit more organized tag wise, like Weasyl's trying to be xD

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by RadioCatastrophe View Post
    Oh? I thought the FAQ said you had to contact staff for it, my bad C:
    I also like the watermark option as well! It's quite handy and I wish the site was a bit more organized tag wise, like Weasyl's trying to be xD
    Yeah, I noticed the artists are not always very good at tagging their stuff on there. (But it's usable, is it not? The tagging system XD)

  8. #8
    Would be nice if Weasyl would incorporate some of that sites features as well, such as the commission type preview if they decide to make a page/tab just for commission information on a users page.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Fay V View Post
    Well the staff is aware of the idea, thanks for the input.

    I can't speak for the others at all, so please take this as just my opinion, but the concept seems larger than Weasyl at the moment. First, we're not really a money processor, we wouldn't have a way to get the money refunded for the user outside having the user file a paypal claim (as far as I understand it anyway). At most we have the authority to ban someone from the site for scamming others, which we may do without this service. But it seems the point of such a service is to protect buyers from shady sellers, which seems like it would be a lot of work that is beyond the current scope of the staff.

    Perhaps in the future when we are larger, have a more hardy staff, and are more stable something like this can be considered, but right now it seems like a lot of work being the middleman for little benefit.
    Well, the implementation would be similar to that of artistsnclients wherein you hold money deposited and it is released automatically upon whatever contract the artist/client puts forth, eg you would select from the radio button to get the commission within 2 months and that 50% of the cost would be given to the artist up front and 50% would be given by the client after they indicate to the system that the work is complete. This is 100% automated, much like paypal's payment system. The only time in which the staff here would be involved would be if one of the users opened a dispute, which is probably less than 1% of cases.

    Paypal's main problem is chargebacks that could expose you to fraud risk, but it's probably pretty minor. The unfortunate thing is Paypal fees... Bitcoin is totally outside of financial regulation at the moment and the implementation would be extremely simple: just have an address generated for a deposit that goes to a wallet and then have the wallet transfer funds when needed. As an escrow with Bitcoin all transactions are irreversible and you would be in complete control of your assets, but it also brings enhanced incentives for people to hack your servers.

    The average commission may be $25 which at 1% you'd get $0.25 from, but averaging the number of commissions I see per day on Furaffinity to 50, that represents $12.50 of revenue per day ($375/mo). It's not a massive revenue stream, but as the number of commissions grow it could lead to thousands of dollars of income per month as user confidence grows and you offer appropriate means to advertise people who want to obtain commissions. The base of the payment system could also be used to integrate things like printed t-shirts, magnets, and so on through a partnership with another website.

    I guess what I see as the major downside to Weasyl is, at present, its poor business objectivity. Everyone knows that Preyfar/Dragoneer has been sitting on a goldmine of advertising/escrow revenue that he more or less ignores with a website that has millions of visits per month. I'd like to invest in a furry art archive that was as monetized as something like deviantart, but so far I don't think any furry website has really stepped up to the plate.

    Do you guys have a design pipeline that indicates when new features will be implemented and how they would impact your revenue stream somewhere?
    Last edited by ultimate burrito; 11-05-2012 at 08:54 PM.

  10. #10
    Regular Marzipan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimate burrito View Post
    The average commission may be $25 which at 1% you'd get $0.25 from, but averaging the number of commissions I see per day on Furaffinity to 50, that represents $12.50 of revenue per day ($375/mo). It's not a massive revenue stream, but as the number of commissions grow it could lead to thousands of dollars of income per month as user confidence grows and you offer appropriate means to advertise people who want to obtain commissions. The base of the payment system could also be used to integrate things like printed t-shirts, magnets, and so on through a partnership with another website.
    I think that's the problem, though... Weasyl is just in Beta status, there's probably not even five commissions done through the site daily right now. I think right now the site should just focus on its main goals, which would be to be the best gallery site it can be, so it can even get the popularity that would make something like an escrow service feasible. Maybe then it can think about it, but personally I feel like it might be too much... it's another whole website in and of itself being put into the works.

 

 

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