Sadly, one of my favorite inexpensive go-to stock photo websites, Dollar Photo Club, has sold out to Adobe and are closing down their website on April 15, 2016. This means that all my remaining 63 (out of 100) credits I paid for two months ago to dollarphotoclub.com will no longer be able to be used on their website. Of course, they are "giving" us a "great" alternative to signup for their purchaser, Adobe Stock, Adobe's latest attack on our bank accounts, which is a stock photo "subscription" service where I pay $9.99 a month for up to 10 downloads, and pay every month regardless of whether I use the 10 credits or not. And guess what? The credits don't roll over each month, so it's use it or lose it, but keep paying Adobe money every month for eternity.
What's the Alternative?
The reason I'm writing this post is to share an alternative stock photo site similar to dollarphotoclub.com: Stock Photo Secrets. These guys offer a 99Club deal where you pay $99 once a year for 200 photo downloads. So that equals 50 cents per photo download, not a bad deal. From my initial searches, it looks like their photo selection is not as great in quality or quantity as dollarphotoclub.com, but they do have a pretty big database of images so I hope it will suffice for a lot of my small budget design client needs. Also, they are not as evil as most companies are becoming and they currently DO NOT auto-renew your account every year, so you don't have to worry about forgetting you signed up and auto-billed $99 every year.
To check out this Stock Photo website and signup, click here.
Bonus: If you signup for the $99 for 200 downloads, you can also use "helpme10" to get 10 more image credits free.
My two cents:
I am very sorry to hear that Dollar Photo Club sold out to Adobe (though I'm sure the Dollarphotoclub.com people are quite happy with their payday/retirement). I have asked Dollarphotoclub what they suggest to get our money's worth out of my already purchased credits, however, it looks like the only option to signup and pay Adobe for their $9.99 monthly subscription. I don't want to buy a subscription with Adobe, I just want to use the rest of my 63 credits that I've already paid for – so I've asked them how can I do this once dollarphotoclub.com closes shop on April 15th, 2016, next week. I don't currently have needs for all 63 image credits in the coming week, so I've asked Dollar Photo Club if there Is there a refund available for unused credits since I paid for them, and do not want to pay for an Adobe subscription to use the credits I already paid for. Or, I've asked if there is a free Adobe Stock subscription that will allow me to use the rest of my credits without having to subscribe to Adobe's monthly fee.
I am frustrated that nearly every service these days is trying to get us on a subscription plan, I want to pay as I need stuff, not pay every month indefinitely. Adobe is bad enough that I have to pay them for my Adobe Software Suite every month (they don't even send me email receipts or bills) – and I don't even own the software. That means if I stop paying Adobe's monthly fee, I no longer can use the software, regardless if I've paid $1000's to them over the past few years! I used to own and upgrade my Adobe Suite every 2-3 years for around $600, but now, I have to pay them $49.99/month forever and I never will own the software. It's like leasing a car forever, but if you stop making payments, they take your car away, despite that you may have paid for the car's value 10 times over. A disappointing, greedy trend, for sure.
I'm glad that this new stock website has surfaced as an alternative, but I fear that they, too, may sell out to Getty or Adobe Stock – It's likely just a matter of time. Think positive, think positive!