No, There is Nothing Wrong With Selling Skins!

Monday, August 18, 2008 by Island Dog | Discussion: OS Customization

Over the weekend we had a little flamefest going over a skin, and one of the comments was basically trying to trash people for selling their skins.  Now since I posted a warning about a 3 month ban from WinCustomize if any other trolling was going to continue, a certain person decided to go to my personal blog and send me an e-mail to my personal account about it.

The e-mail:

“So you think that there's nothing wrong with selling skins between $4 and $5 a pop, uh. Everyone of you is ripping off the the american public. Do you know how much money it takes to make a simple song? Do you know much mp3 files cost? I get them for 10 cents a piece, and yet songs take a hell of a lot more time and money to make, than your skins, and your selling them for more than what a gallon of gas costs. You need to wake up, and look around you. You obviously don't know what the hell is going on in this country right now. You got the nerve to sell some desktop skin for the price your selling for. You Spencer Scott are very little piece of the problem we have in this country, you Spencer Scott, are very good example of an asshole.”

My first reaction at this e-mail was a very good chuckle.  I then read it again and wondered what this person was really thinking.  Trying to compare .mp3’s to skins really made no sense to me, but then I realized probably what they were saying, and then once again realized this person had no clue about skinning.  Let me explain something to this person specifically.  Making skins is not easy, and making professional-type skins is much, much worse.  A high-quality WindowBlinds skin can easily take months to complete, so what really is the PROBLEM with selling a skin?  Nothing at all, that’s what!

I work with many of our Master Skinners here on WinCustomize, and I think every one of them also creates plenty of free content that is also released, so not only do I not have a problem with someone selling skins, I encourage people to buy them as well and support these works.  WinCustomize will continue with the Master Skins programs, and if you have an issue with it, you can contact me via the WinCustomize or Stardock e-mail. 

Better yet, lets have a discussion about the selling of skins.  What is your opinion about it?  Do you buy skins?  So instead of following me around the internet, step up and post some reasons why someone should not be allowed to sell something they have worked countless hours on.  I really can’t wait to read the communities opinions, especially from this commenter (which I do know who you are ). 

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Reply #1 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:13 AM

I then read it again and wondered what this person was really thinking.

He wasn't.

This person is clearly a non-thinker.

Since he's not named I can freely say...he should be extremely careful about having ANY sort of attempt at cognitive thoughts....chances are they may rob him of essential brain breathing unaided...

Reply #2 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:15 AM
After doing some long winded calculations, I have estimated that my income from skin sales versus amount of time spent on them is about 10c an hour.. If I add in the free skins I have made... around 20 WB's and 25 VS, I have made approx. .05c an hour for my work.

For someone to say we're taking advantage of people, or in some way ripping them off.. to me.. is absurd.
Reply #3 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:22 AM
I think selling skins is just fine and the price should be what the skinner wants to set. That's not a new concept when it comes to business.

I have brought some skins, but not for just the sake of buying skins. It went to support a charity at the time or to support the skinner.

When I look at discussions like this, or rants in some cases, I am alwasy amazed at the actual bottom line. If you don't want to buy skins, don't, really very simple. There are still lots and lots of free skins available in the Gallery Libraries with new ones added everyday.

It's nice to know that there are people out there who feel they are looking out for the rest of us from being ripped off. They just need to understand that the majority of the public are adult and are capable of making a decision based upon logic.

Now down to more important things, I can not find the right sock that goes with the left sock that I have on. This just may ruin my whole day.   

Reply #4 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:23 AM
You can't 'rip someone off' if they knowingly buy a skin. The answer? Don't buy them! The wonderful skinners that display their work here often have tons of stuff for free, and a few for sale. I applaud the dedication of these professionals, working for peanuts.

Reply #5 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:28 AM

I have made approx. .05c an hour for my work.

I just KNEW you were overpaid....





No-one outside the 'industry' really ever understands...

Reply #6 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:29 AM
oh, i expect, mike, john, dani, renato, lasse, tim, irb, and the other people whom i consider to be the top-level skinners to make skins for me at no cost. since it only takes them a weeks of their time instead of years or decades. you know, they could've spent the time making the skins with their families instead but since they insisted on using that time for me, i want the skins for free.

ok, in all seriousness, whoever wrote that email message you referred to is a complete fool to think that selling skins is wrong. i think i'll call microsoft and tell them i want my os and office apps for free. maybe i should go to the grocery store and let them know i am to eat their food without paying for it. wait! i'm going to tell my cellphone service provider that their service is now free. i can save a lot more money to use on concerts, comedy clubs,  and computer upgrades that way!

a nickle an hour, john? it's impossible for a jags fan to be that worthy, buddy. GO COLTS!
Reply #7 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:30 AM
It's not about what kind of effort goes into a product. It's about a free market economy. If you don't like the cost of something...

Reply #8 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:35 AM
I hate to even interject this into the convo but I was contemplating even increasing my next WB an extra dollar.. inflation , cost of living, food prices, gas, all going up..

Dunno yet..   
Reply #9 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:38 AM
Supply and demand.  Learn it.  Live it.

No one is taking anything from you buy selling anything.  I'd appreciate the emailer not speaking for the American people and me.  Buying and selling is GOOD for the economy.

Reply #10 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:46 AM
I'm happy to shell out a few bucks here and there for a great skin. It gives me a nice piece of art, because that's what it is, and it gives me an opportunity to say "Thanks" to the artist that spent their time making it.

Again, it all comes down to this, some people want everything for free. They don't want to work for it, they don't want to pay for it. They just want it. Nobody is forcing you to buy it. If you don't want to, don't.
Reply #11 Monday, August 18, 2008 11:58 AM
Are we having *THIS* discussion again?

Wow , score another one for the idiots that don't understand Business 101

Failed troll by the unnamed troll is , well . fail.
Reply #12 Monday, August 18, 2008 12:16 PM
In relation to the work involved Master skins are incredibly inexpensive. This concept of "free" is always amusing to me as if anything worth having was ever truly free. Somebody is paying somewhere for everything. The exchange of dollars for services/goods is a blessed event.
Reply #13 Monday, August 18, 2008 12:19 PM
My 2 cents!

1st...As a skinner I don't buy every master skin!
(however I have bought quite a few that were to good not to have both visually and technically correct and of course had to look at how they were built!)
As a skinner I aspire to be the best I can so for me sometimes it's all about learning![/quote]

2nd...I recently read a masters post that said he had over 400hrs in a skin and still not finished!

3rd...I finished a shin recently and with no over estimate I put in the description
[quoteI started this skin approx.18 months
ago.I massaged this skin so many times I have gotten hand cramps!LOL So after a ton of fonts
& shading techniques I am finally happy enough with the effect to upload it!

I have a wife and three kids and own my company, I love skinning so you can imagine even if your not in that position how hard it is to find time to skin like that!

John said basically .5 to .10 cent/hr I believe it!The best skins take lots of time!

I my job I make good living usually average $60 to $80 hr when on the jobsite ,I wish I could skin full time but I fear there is no way I could turn out enough work to do it!

The masters that sell skins really (I don't believe) come out for all their time and even at 10$ an hr that master skin I mentioned above would be worth over $4000.00.

Long story short in no industry in the world can you get the best in any given field for .10 cent/hr.

I closing MASTERS you make em we will buy em.Those who won't can take what they get for free.Ironically enough this is probably the same kind of person who would not leave a nice comment on a good skin but would leave a nasty one if they did not like it! Not the kind of customer I would want anyway.

Reply #14 Monday, August 18, 2008 12:55 PM
If we are to give some credit to the comparison of mp3's vs skins then let's compare apples to apples. Independent artists recording, producing and distributing their own songs are more of an accurate comparison. Realistically I suspect they make as little as a master skinner. Personally I doubt any of the masters would have a problem with making 10 cents a skin if every skin sold a million copies or more. Mind you I can't fathom any "legal" place selling songs for that. The transaction cost alone would be three to five times that even with strong volume.
Reply #15 Monday, August 18, 2008 12:56 PM
The amount of work that goes into a skin is unbelievable and for one that is "Master Skin" worthy it takes even longer. What's wrong with someone being compensated for thier time and trouble?

I wonder if those who are complaining have any idea of the cost of the software that it takes to create some of this stuff. Adobe Creative Suite, 3dsMax, Vue, and some of the plug ins are expensive and are just some of what I've bought just to be able to persue this hobby.

Those complaining must be clueless to the cost of these and the amount of time spent learning the programs it takes to supply them with thier free skins.

Personally, I'm all for the Master skinners being able to sell thier skins. I also hope one day I will be among thier ranks.

As for those who are complaining about buying a skin, try making your own.
Reply #16 Monday, August 18, 2008 1:09 PM
I bought a few Master Skins but do I feel ripped off? Nope, not at all!

Did I get value for my money?? Yep, sure did... each and every one is a treasure!!

Did anyone twist my arm to buy them/part with my cash??? Nope, I liked what I saw and was more than happy to pay the going price.

Will I buy any more? Hell yeah, there's quite a few I've had my eye on and I will eventually get them all.

Do I appreciate the skinners time efforts and talents?? Sure do cos I'm still cutting my 'skinning' baby teeth and know that countless hours of time and dedication go into the learning process, long before even the first freebie skin can roll off the production line... much less a professional quality skin for sale, some many years down the track.

So should skinners get paid for professional/quality works?? Absolutely! Doctors, lawyers and countless other professionals get paid for their time and efforts, talents and dedication, etc... and so should skinners.
Reply #17 Monday, August 18, 2008 1:22 PM
I haven't the time or the talent to make my own skins; other people's are certainly going to be better than mine! So I don't mind paying. Someone has obviously done some work so why should they not charge? It's not like it's hugely prohibitive for most parts of the world with computers and you shouldn't need very many anyway - one usually suffices for a while at least. Perhaps a legitimate gripe is that the skins included with OS are not that great. But then again, if they included some better ones that would undoubtedly cost and a new OS costs rather a lot already. If you didn't like a packaged skin, you'd then be complaining that you have paid for something you don't want.

Some people obviously have way too much time and no way near enough common sense if they complain about the cost of a purely decorative piece of art that has no inherent function and that they are not forced to buy in the first place. Surely there are more important issues to meditate upon.
Reply #18 Monday, August 18, 2008 1:25 PM
I dance.  I don't get paid.  I stop dancing.  People rejoice.

Reply #19 Monday, August 18, 2008 1:37 PM
Ahh sorry bout the email man, had a bad day...
Its just... $4.99 for something like vstylers sexy, or mikeb`s sirus... i dunno, i think its an outrage.

Elsius Saint
Reply #20 Monday, August 18, 2008 1:49 PM
Truth is I put too much time in updating skins made by the skinners I've made such as Mike Bryant and vStyler to even want to share them. Being the famous creator of the Reactor windowblind that put me on front row until vStyler put me out of business; I've put so much time on this skin that I would have to charge $50 or more for it. I've become a teaser instead of a skinner because I want more than I would be getting. Skinners do deserve every penny for their works.

The Maker of vStyler and Mike Bryant

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