I recently sold this crazy photo of myself (I was dressed up for a charity event with a disco theme) and I was really curious to see where it might show up.
A Google images search took me to this site called SpiderPic.com
and there it was - with a watermark -among hundreds of other images stripped from stock agency websites.
This was not the purchased image, but I'm like, what the #$%## is this SpiderPic?
Looking around the site I found that "SpiderPic is a price-comparison search engine for Stock Photography"
Basically its a search engine for stock photography with the ability to compare prices. As you know, as your stock images become more popular, they increase in value. SpiderPics finds the lowest price for that image.
So guess what? If you sell the same across the multiple stock agencies, you have the potential of shooting yourself in the foot as tools such as SpiderPics are used. Instead of getting a decent price for your bestselling images, you might be giving them away for pennies to someone who would have willingly paid a high prices if it were not for the "discounted" option.
You are also basically the screwing the agency that is selling your image at a higher price. In other words you're taking your Rolls Royce and willingly putting it on sale at Walmart!
When I used to work in the magazine business I was always sickened by the sales people who never seem to be able to make a sale without giving away a deep discount. What kind of sales person is that? A monkey could make sales like that. Selling images for the lowest possible price is same, it takes no skill - only the willingness of the contributor to allow it.
I hear a lot of complaints from contributors about how the agencies keep lowering their commissions and making it harder to make a buck in microstock but contributors have to take a large portion of the blame when they set up their own images to compete on price.