28 Jun 2007 Clearing Out Old Photos

Taking out the Trash, Skip ODonnellOnce the portfolio of a microstock agency reaches a respectable quantity, the agency can afford to raise the quality standards of the new photos they accept. But how do they improve the quality levels when lesser quality images were accepted in the past? And do they remove poor quality images even if they sell?

Here’s how some of the top microstock agencies are dealing with this issue.


iStockphoto address photos that haven’t been sold for 12 months and fall below the current technical standards. These photos are moved to the ‘Dollar Bin’ where they are made availabe for one credit at any size. After four weeks in the dollar bin without any sales, the images are deactivated. Contributors are notified by email whenever an image is moved into the Dollar Bin.


At Fotolia, images with no sales in the preceeding 18 months were removed from the database during the V2 upgrade to their website. See Fotolia’s blog article on the topic.


Crestock are moving through their database removing images with low resolution and quality below their current standards. Contributors are being notified of which images are being removed. See the Crestock news article.


  • Dreamstime are developing a more sophisticated system, but meanwhile contributors can donate their non-selling images to the free section.
  • LuckyOliver are assessing buying patterns and finding that images sell for content rather than quality.
  • BigStockPhoto do not have a program to get rid of low selling images but are considering purging some in the near future.
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