New Photobucket fees and terms affect eBay and Amazon sellers

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You may be familiar with Photobucket. It is a photo hosting service that is used by sellers on Amazon, eBayEtsy seller and others. And it’s clear that today many of those users are unhappy.

What do we know? It seems that Photobucket, previously free, has decided to move to being a paid-for service. That in itself is, perhaps, an understandable, commercial decision. A top notch new Photobucket service will cost $399 a year. (That’s not necessarily an outrageous fee if you rely on their hosting.)

However, what is clear, is that the way Photobucket has approached this transition is outrageous. It seems that, with meagre notice and announcement, they have switched off their service overnight meaning pictures used on third-party sites like eBay and Amazon are now currently unavailable.

That means if you use the Photobucket service to host your images on eBay and elsewhere they are no longer visible. Sellers have said they have spent a good deal of time remedying the situation in haste. The sudden nature of the change has led critics to call it a “ransom demand”. Here are some tweets:

A very modest announcement was made on June 26th about the new terms. See that here and the terms here.

Photobucket was very much a “go to” service for eBay sellers a decade and more ago. They offered vital pic hosting and also some neat merchandising features that some retailers utilised. It was always bigger in the US than the UK but many British early adopters did use Photobucket. It’s difficult to say how many serious eBay and Amazon sellers use it in 2017. Not very many, would be Tamebay’s estimation.

Have you been affected by this change of policy?

6 Responses

  1. Yep.. we used their site to upload Amazon listings via flat file – checked Fridays upload to find big black bos on our Amazon listings stating “upgrade your account” – then had to spend 2 hours manually upload photos individually to the amazons major PITA.

  2. This is appalling. Whilst those using images for ecommerce at least you can say that online sellers are making money (however little) and so profiting from the service, it still feels like extortion to change your terms with so little notice.

    What’s even worse and tantamount to blackmail is to remove images from all old blogs, Facebook, twitter and other social media and personal websites and replace them with what’s in effect an advertisement for photobucket unless users (some of whom may sadly be dead and have no earthly means to pay) cough up $399.99 per year. Those images can never be recovered as it’s likely impossible to edit old posts.

    It’s also backdated change! I mean what sort of service posts an announcement on June the 26th to tell you they changed their terms as of June the 20th? Do they think their users are time travellers to know they’re being held to ransom for $399.99 six days before they were notified?

    Any one still using photobucket should seriously consider their options and pay a couple of quid for photo hosting on their own web server – you don’t need a website to do this, just buy a URL and pay for cheap hosting.

  3. Photobucket must be failing, desperate and about to go bust to pull such a move. Help them towards bankruptcy by cancelling any subscriptions and don’t give them a single cent

  4. Does seem they targeted users who linked their Photobucket account to the popular market vendors, I have – HAD – a standard free account taken out over ten years ago which I stored photo’s to be shared with others. Upon checking it was still fully working . . I could even still use the “image linking” controls to add a stored image to a new page I created to check if I could do so.

    However another standard free account in another name that I did use for eBay listings when I used their shop templates before it all changed must have recognised this usage and I could hardly get past the pop-up notices attempting to sell me paid for accounts.

    You’ll note I earlier said “HAD” accounts? I downloaded those photo’s stored that were needed, deleted ALL albums and library content and then closed BOTH accounts. I felt that this retrospective move, though it did little to hurt me, should be equally rewarded by voting with my feet . . . if enough do so then they get to learn the hard way about the responsibilities of providing “cloud storage” and honourable customer service.

  5. we’ve used photobucket for a few years now, paying for our subscription since the bandwidth of the free account would never cover our ebay listings.
    hearing of their attitude towards customers (free or otherwise) like this, we’ll be looking for a new host for our images now.
    we’re paying £10 a month, our images still seem to be live for now, from what i can gather (they’re not exactly clear in their ransom demands, in fact this is the first I’ve heard of it, not even received an email from PB) that’s wrong and we should be paying £40 a month or getting cut off like everyone else.
    i dont like being in a leaky boat that throws other people overboard, i’ll get off at the next stop please.

  6. I had no knowledge of this but on 28th June I paid for the $99 100plus plan (annual). Since then, nothing! No change to my Free plan and despite Facebook, Twitter and direct contact with Customer Service (haha) still Nothing. I had an acknowledgement message on 28th stating they would contact me shortly. Photobucket need to define their version of “shortly”. I have opened a PayPal dispute. Shockingly bad way to ask/demand money.

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