Selling on WrapBootstrap: The good and the bad

A few months ago I designed and developed a bootstrap admin theme called ArkAdmin and started selling it on WrapBootstrap.

WrapBootstrap was my first choice because I bought a few themes from there before and had a good experience with the website and how easy it was to find what I was looking for. I also chose them because they were offering a bonus for posting a theme  in the admin category of $150.

The commission for an exclusive item was about the same as on themeforest so there was no point in debating which was better since I did not have any experience in selling any kind of product before (on or off these marketplaces).

It took about one week to have the item approved and available in the marketplace. For a first theme it sold good enough to be able to maintain the theme and not consider the time invested in creating it a waste. Also having been through both processes of WrapBootstrap, as a buyer and as a seller I managed to get more familiar with what are the good and bad things of the platform.

What is good about WrapBootstrap:

  • One of the good things about it is how easy it is to find a theme that you like, well designed and is suitable for your project. There are also great designers or developers that have created some very amazing bootstrap themes.
  • Has a decent number of visitors and buyers. I usually get over 5000 unique visitors per month on the demo page of my theme and they can easily identify my theme when they want to come back.
  • The commission they offer for sellers grows for an exclusive item from 55% to 75% based on the number of sales that you make.
  • They provided the promised bonus of $150 after one month after approving the theme.

The bad things about it:

  • It takes a long time for the owner(James) to approve any update you make to your theme. I am currently waiting to have my last version of the theme approved for three weeks now. A friend of mine also wanted to add his theme to the website but he waited for over four weeks and even though he contacted James multiple times over the email he got no answer back. He decided to move it to theme forest in the end.
  • They have no way to promote your theme within the marketplace. No matter how good your theme is the number of themes displayed on the homepage is limited. If you don’t have customers for a few days your theme can drop two or three pages and your visitor count will drop considerably.
  • There is a one way communication with your customers and that makes getting feedback for your work very hard. You have no idea who bought your theme unless they contact you first and ask for something. You know only the license key for the new purchase, without knowing which user bought the theme.
  • Everything is up to you to make your theme more attractive to your potential buyers. Given the lack of features the 65% they get out of each sale for a non exclusive item or 45% for an exclusive one seems to me way over the top.

I think that most of these problems can be easily solved with a bit more focus on customer support and on the people that actually made WrapBootstrap what it is today. There are multiple websites similar to what they are offering, but none as successful. It would be a shame if the designers and developers would move away because of lack of proper support like many other mismanaged services out there.

Selling a product online can be hard enough even without the extra hassle and limitations of the marketplace. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you go with one service or another.

If you have any suggestions on how to bring more value to the platform or you would like to share your own experience, I would love to hear from you.