I have been a customer of iStockPhoto since 2004, in fact I am looking at my first welcome email that they sent me in October of 2004. I signed up using a promotional deal from an advertisement on a website and was able to purchase 20 credits for $10! That amounts to only 50 cents per credit, an incredible bargain at the time. For the next three years I continued to purchase credits from iStock at the standard price, 1 credit for $1.00.

That all changed in 2007 when, for the first time, they raised prices and I started paying more than $1 for each credit. First, they raised prices to $1.30 per credit. Later it was raised to $1.43 per credit. Most recently, they charged me $1.46 per credit. In five years they raised the price per credit by almost 50%! Now, a price increase of 50% isn’t that big of a deal taking into account inflation. Unfortunately, the cost per credit price is NOT the only increase I have seen.

Not only did iStockPhoto raise pricing on credits, they’ve raised pricing on images as well. Until four or five years ago it was possible to locate and purchase a high quality image that was typically priced at only one credit for the smallest available size. With today’s iStockPhoto, those same images are priced at 3 credits or more! When you factor in the increase to the amount of credits it takes to purchase an image, the reality is iStock has raised prices by almost 338% in only five years! An image that used to cost $1.00 now costs, on average, $4.38.

Needless to say iStockPhoto has been a fantastic service. I really appreciate the ease of use of the system, how easy it is to locate the perfect image for almost any project, and the depth of their image collection. With that said, all of their price increases have me looking at other options. iStockPhoto is no longer an affordable solution for most small to medium sized publishers and designers.

I have searched for competitors in the past and every time the available options always came up short. Services such as BigStockPhotoDreamstime, Shutterstock, 123RF, and others have fallen short for me in one or more important areas when doing a comparison. Most alternatives to iStockPhoto are:

  • just as or more expensive,
  • lacking in quantity of stock images,
  • charging bloated monthly subscription fees,
  • or difficult to use.

Since none of the available competitors have ever matched the total package that iStockPhoto provides I stuck around through all of the price increases. Until now.

I have finally found a suitable replacement for iStockPhoto that accelerates in every area, including cost. When I did a full on comparison of istockphoto and Fotolia, I really liked what I saw. Just like iStockPhoto, Fotolio provides a huge collection of stock photographs to choose from. Similar to iStock, they also have stock video and vector images. While I don’t use stock videos very often, it’s nice to know that the credits I purchase can be applies towards more than just stock photography and I can purchase video when needed for my projects.

As a long time iStockPhoto user, I can tell you that Fotolia satisfies all of my needs. I’ve only been a Fotolia customer for a few months, but I can say with certainty that the beat iStockPhoto on selection of stock photos, quality of pictures, and service. Most importantly, they dominate iStockPhoto on price! To show you some sample math, at my current package spend I am buying credits from Fotolia at only $1.08 per credit. In addition, the same quality of images at Fotolia are priced at only 1 credit whereas the same image at iStockPhoto is 3 credits. Remember, credits at iStockPhoto for my package purchasing are $1.46. In a nutshell, the same photograph at iStockPhoto costs me $4.38 and at Fotolia it’s only $1.08!!

Do you feel like you’re paying too much for stock photos through iStock? If you are searching for an alternative to iStockPhoto you can’t go wrong with Fotolia. Feel free to visit them yourself and evaluate price, selection of pictures, quality, and service. The only thing at this point that I miss from iStockPhoto is the ability to search for stock images based on color wheel. For 4x the cost per photo I can do without!

Click here to visit Fotolia or the graphic below.



Posted By   @    8 July 2012
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Jul 10, 2012
3:21 am
#1 Julie Anderson :

I love iStockphoto for their quality photos. I get these photos at cheap price because I used iStockphoto promo codes, which I got from CouponRefund.com

Apr 27, 2013
2:42 pm
#2 Ben H :

Try http://www.zoomyimages.com – Easy to use, accurate search results, and standard low cost pricing on RF images.

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