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Buying on the Envato Market is WAY harder than it should be

Having recently purchased an item off the Envato Market I was surprised at just how hard they make the whole process.

The expectation of consumers is a few clicks to select, pay for and download an item – but the Envato Market is nowhere near this simple.

Before looking at what the Envato Market does – let’s consider making a purchase on eBay as a first time buyer (no eBay account).

  1. Find item
  2. add to checkout
  3. checkout
  4. register + login
  5. choose PayPal for payment – login, confirm amount, billing/shipping detail
  6. purchase

Now compared to the Envato Market –

  1. Find item
  2. add to checkout
  3. checkout
  4. register + login
  5. add billing details
  6. purchase … but wait – there’s a $2 surcharge to pay, but you can instead transfer credits and not pay a surchage
  7. cancel checkout
  8. go to account and find credit transfer
  9. Confirm email before adding credits? OK – wait, still not email, try again – done !
  10. return to credit transfer … only accepts increments – $20, $30, $40, $50, $60 … that’s annoying my item is $59 and credit expires after 12 months
  11. add credit – choose PayPal for payment – login, confirm amount, billing/shipping detail
  12. purchase credit
  13. return to item
  14. add to checkout
  15. checkout
  16. now I have two items!
  17. remove original item
  18. choose credit for payment
  19. purchase + download

So purchasing on the Envato Market was three times harder than it really should have been and left me feeling rather disappointed with the whole process and cost me MORE than the actual item cost.

Let’s take a look at the issues here …

Finding the item

I just want to point out how difficult it is to actually find what you want on the Envato Market.

Every product I looked at used pictures of text – I can only assume that there are formatting limitations placed on sellers that force them to do this but it has massive implications for searching for key features.

Instead of using keywords to search for the features I was after I had to manually read through each item that was remotely relevant to find the one I needed.

This also has obvious SEO implications – Google can’t index the words in pictures which meant all my product research initially let me AWAY from the Envato Market.

Untrustworthy worthy review system

If items has only five star reviews – chances are the seller is refunding the purchase for people that have left a bad review. Why? Because it removes the negative review from the system.

This makes the review system completely untrustworthy because you’re only going to hear the positives about the item.

$2 surcharge – the hidden cost

I full well accept that payment processing is not cheap – but adding a surcharge should not be the answer.

It’s like running any business, the expenses need to be factored into the cost – NOT ADDED IN AS A HIDDEN COST AT TIME OF PURCHASE.

Confirming email address

Very rarely have I seen issues with a ‘please confirm your email address’ message not coming through – but with Envato the first one didn’t come through for at least 5 minutes – that’s 5 minutes where I, as the customer, may have just chosen to give up leaving a lost sale for the seller.

Credit increments

They don’t promote the credit increments as a way to avoid the surcharge – but a quick Google showed that many people have taken this path. But it still leaves you with a “surcharge” in the form of a dollar or so that you most likely wont spend before it expires.

Their credit increments come in 10’s – from $20 to $100. However, after looking at hundreds of items I didn’t see one that was being sold in any of these values. The majority were an odd number like $47 or $59.

So no matter how you cut it – you’re paying a FEE to pay for your item. Keep in mind, this isn’t passed onto the seller and is ON TOP of the commission they make from the sale.

Credit expiry

Any credits you have on Envato expire after 12 months and there’s no way to transfer it back to you before this happens.

Imagine if PayPal decided to expire your balance after 12 months!

Tax file number

When adding my billing details to my Envato account I saw a tax file number field – fantastic, that’ll be great on the invoice.

I pop it in, click save – “sorry this is in the wrong format” — but it was the correct format as provided by the tax number register – ## ### ### ###

Instead I had to save it with NO SPACES which IS NOT the correct format – ###########

A small gripe – but this is a meant to be a high quality market place. Forcing users to enter their tax file numbers in the incorrect format only because you insist spaces aren’t valid is not very reassuring. 

After purchase support

With any digital market place support is critical – however as far I can tell the Envato Market completely does away with this.

Instead I found myself directed to the developers website, registering another account and submitting a ticket to link my sale on the Envato Market to the support request.

I can see now why so many requests for support were placed in the review and comments sections – because there is none !


Envato does not provide any automatic update system or notifications.

Whilst you may be entitled to updates for a limited period after the purchase – you won’t know if there is one unless you constantly check the product page for any updates.

It’s possible for a seller to bundle the item with their own update system, since their using the Envato system to distribute their item, it’s highly likely they have their system for distributing updates.

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One comment on “Buying on the Envato Market is WAY harder than it should be

  1. Envato is the absolute worst place to spend your money for sure. So many hack-job ‘artists’ and sub-par quality digital goods. There is some good stuff there, but it’s amateur hour for sure.

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