As part of the evolution of WordPress themes, Theme Authors on Themeforest Marketplace are experimenting with new pricing. You can see the price jump from $59 to $225 for a regular license of a premium WordPress theme. Authors are suggesting that they are checking the water with these experiments. These new pricing schemes started in September 2016 when Themeforest allowed WordPress theme authors to set their own price. Now it’s more than a month, so I thought sharing a sales performance report^ based on number of sales with new pricing schemes will be a good idea. Based on this report (and the upcoming ones), theme authors can make a good decision about the pricing.

PILE Theme (price changed from $59 to $225)

PILE theme by Pixelgrade got so much attention because of the very first sharp increase in price. Theme’s author changed pricing from $59 to $225 on September 22, 2016. Here is the timeline showing development related to price change and number of sales for PILE theme on Themeforest.

  • Total Sales till Sep 21 with price set as $59 – 1,584
  • On Sep 22, Price Increased to $225 from $59
  • Number of Sales in First 30 Days after Price Increase – 25
  • Total Earning* in first 30 Days – (25 x 225) = $5,625
  • Number of Sales between October 22 and November 03, 2016 – 6
  • Based on no. of sales till now, expected number of Sales in 2’nd month – 18
  • Expected Revenue from PILE Theme in 2’nd month of Increase – (18 x 225) = $4,050

*Earnings and revenue are from total sales and not the earnings of the author only as Envato will keep a cut out of it.

Note that, before increasing the price to $225 on Sep 22, the number of sales in last 30 Days i.e. between Aug 22 and Sep 22 with price tag of $59 was 77. It converts to the fact that last 30 days earning from PILE theme with $59 was $4,543.

So based on the above information, we can conclude that in first 30 days with the new price of $225, the number of sales obviously tumbled down by 67% but the earning increased by 24%. After that, the number of sales dropped again by 28% in the next month and so the earnings by 28%. One should note that a good coverage on popular WordPress news portal and blogs about PILE theme price increase helped the sale in first 30 days.

PILE Theme Sales Report

With the first report of PILE theme, we can conclude that the earnings are going to remain same but number of support requests will definitely go down as the total number of new customers have dropped.

5 Themes by Theme Author – Meydjer
(Price changed from $46 to $199)

Meydjer is a theme author on Themeforest with 5 premium WordPress themes named – Avamia, Eacero, MegaPholio, Axiom and Eagle. He increased the price of all his themes to $199 from $46 or $59 on September 24, 2016. As per the data extracted from archives, he is also not seeing any jump in revenue as he only managed to sell 1 or 2 copies of his themes in last 40 days.

Automotive Car Dealership WordPress Theme
(Price changed from $64 to $79)

Automotive WordPress theme is another case where theme author changed the price from $64 to $79. Based on the data extracted from Internet, the number of sales dropped by 20% but revenue remained almost same. This theme authors used to sell 170 to 200 copies per month before changing the price on Oct. 3, 2016. After the change in price, the number of sales in first 30 days are 136. It means, there is around 20 – 25% drop in number of sales per month but because of the increase of $15 in theme price, the total revenue of 30 days remained almost same.

Conclusion

Based on the first report, it appears that the author driven pricing is good for the marketplace as well as the authors. Theme authors are getting less customers but the revenue remained almost same. Less customers means lesser support requests. Lesser support requests means better support to existing customers. But one should keep in mind that pricing is an important factor for a business. One can see a WordPress theme priced at 1 Million dollar on Themeforest, that is not going to help the author. And similarly, setting a very low price is also not going to help as that will increase number of customers and so will increase the pressure of maintaining a good after sale support and ratings. Here is what a community moderator on Enveto forums said,

So, end and end, pricing is a great tool for SERIOUS authors, and a great suicide tool for jokers. Either way, the marketplace and serious authors WIN

I hope the second report in next 30 days will give better picture of this new change on Themeforest marketplace.

^Sales Performance Report Data

Themeforest shares the number of sales for each theme on theme’s page. This report is based on the data available in public domain about the themes. For the past sales data, you can use Internet Archives pages to extract the archived version of the theme’s page and cross verify the data.

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