Completion of Guaranteed Contests

April 27, 2009

One of the big goals that we had for last week’s major launch was to improve the way in which Guaranteed Contests are completed.

For the most part, Guaranteed Contests draw greater commitment from both customers and designers, resulting in a lively contest that produces a fantastic result. In a small number of cases however, our customers (for whatever reason) don’t award a winner and the contest drags on well beyond the 7 days. We understand the frustration this causes for the designers that worked so hard on their entries, so going forward, we will be taking a more active role in reminding, encouraging and assisting our customers to pick a winner and complete their contest.

Failing this, any Guaranteed Contests that are still left unresolved will be locked and (two weeks later) the prize money will then be evenly distributed to all designers who entered the contest (providing they have at least one win under their belt). We know it’s not an ideal result for everyone, however we think this is the best way to reward those that took the time and effort to put an entry in.

For designers that entered Guaranteed Contests launched prior to April 21st and are still waiting for customers to choose a winner – rest assured that we haven’t forgotten about you! Our support team will be actively contacting each of these customers to assist them in concluding these contests under the normal process, as this is ultimately the best result for all concerned. We will be letting them know that they have only 7 days to pick a winner – any contests still unresolved after this time will be locked and the prize will be evenly distributed to the designers as described above.

Thanks again for your patience and please bear with us a little longer as we go about closing the loop on unresolved contests!

77 Responses to “Completion of Guaranteed Contests”

  1. Designer Says:

    Nice Change,

    This should also be continued in the future.

  2. hoshimo Says:

    i really appreciate the work you guys are doing. i remember when i first started designing here, us designers would say “oh .. a contest ended and there was no winner? yeah expect a quarter of the contests that you enter to be like that.” and to think that now i can rest assured that now there is as much commitment from the CH as there is with me spending time on my designs for them. its exciting to see the direction that 99designs is going! keep up the great work.

  3. Discosmiter Says:

    What about private contests? If contest has expired – it will become invisible for all users – including ones that had entered that contest?
    How will that be handled?

    What about health status of guaranteed contests? Shouldn’t health reflect not only guaranteed contest – but CH activity and feedback?

    Anyway – great news for all designers who are waiting for some conclusion on unfinished guaranteed contests…

  4. Brand0n Says:

    this will be nice…this contest http://99designs.com/contests/20148 ends 2 weeks, 2 days ago and no winner yet , but the status is a healthy contest, How it can be?

  5. Alex Bilusic Says:

    Thank you guys for considering everyone’s wishes so far.
    I find this about compleiton of guaranteed contests a great improvement.

    However, I am still wondering what will you do about complaints regarding the new design handover process, you know – that thing about uploading the master files and then waiting that the CH reviews them… How long can this waiting take, is there a time limit?

    Thanks.

  6. divinemonarch Says:

    What will be done about wating on the Guaranteed Prize? I am currently waiting on the funds to be credited to my account! The handover was completed, the CH downloaded the master files, yet it still says waiting on approval. The CH has requested other work from me, i.e., biz cards, letterheads, etc. but I have not been credited the prize! After they download what else needs to be done, obviously the CH has no idea about this process as she obviously has approved but not through you? Im confused! I thought this was to protect us, but all it seems is that a CH can basically get a logo and just “not approve” and still use the master files??!! This in no way speeds up the handover process.. I’ve written the staff twice about this in the last week, to no avail, and I am waiting on a “guaranteed” prize with no credit to my account… :(

  7. Josh Says:

    We created a pay-on-win contest that ended last week. I want to assign a winner but now the button is missing to do it. Plus, my creative brief is now blank. I’m assuming this has something to with the recent system change.

    How can I assign a winner now for a pay-on-win contest? Can I get my creative brief back so I can reuse it for other contests? I am logged in as the corret account and am assuming this is not user error on my part.

    Thanks.

  8. hoshimo Says:

    oh and another thing i really like thatll save us all hundreds in the future. no more paypal fee. thank you x10

  9. Bombardierbob Says:

    Like Alex above mentions, how are you going to address the issue about the handling of the master files with the contest host? Just cause you say they don’t have the copyright till they approve of it, they can take the master and get their money back and the designer is left out in the wind. Also what guarantee the designer has that the master files are safe on your servers? You now become liable for the master files and any loss to the designer.

    Just how are you going to address this?

  10. Alex Bilusic Says:

    @Bomnardierbob; it’s not completely true – a couple of days ago, I have won a contest, and the copyright transfer agreement is virtually signed BEFORE the file handover.
    However, I have uploaded the files 3 or 4 days ago, and it says there that the CH is “still reviewing the files” – and I see he hasn’t been online since then.

    So, technically (I am not saying this WILL happen, but it COULD happen, which is for me a good reason to worry about)
    -> the CH has the opportunity to download the master files and then, while “reviewing them”, to disappear from the face of the earth :D

    I am wondering how could this be solved in a better way. Perhaps the “old” sistem of payment before files handover would work better? It could make both the CHs and the designers happier. It is still a guarantee to the CHs, but now to the designer, too.

    So what I am suggesting is;
    – maybe to leave copyright transfer where it is now (before file transfer)
    – then payment
    – then the master files handover.

    Hopefully the 99design staff guys will consider all options, because now the designers as we can see are still a bit too worried, and with a good reason. And being worried, it’s hard to work properly. :)

  11. Bombardierbob Says:

    Alex I agree and hope they come around and ether go back to the way it was or come up with something better. But til then the host should never have access to the master file till they pay cause no design firm in the world would hand over their master files to the client cause of the risk of theft and copyright issues. The client needs to say what they want file form and if they like what they see then they pay then they get the master file with the copyrights. Right now the guarantee is not 100% for the designer point of view. I have yet to enter a contest as a design till this issue is resolved.

  12. Alex Bilusic Says:

    Yes, it’s an issue too, we discussed it in the previous blog entry comments section, but as I recall no news about that. I hope the 99design guys haven’t accidentally overlooked it :) The general conclusion in the comments was that it is unfair and, if I may say, unprofessional to handover the raw master files without beying paid first. It doesn’t work like that IRL.
    But as this blog entry’s title is “Completion of Guaranteed Contests”, I think we can comment on that, too.

    So…Por an example… The CH whose design contest I won hasn’t logged in for 3 or 4 days, and I don’t know if he actually downloaded the files I have uploaded or not.
    There’s another proposition: Could you add something, like a notice or a flag, which will confirm if the files have been downloaded or not? And be viewable to both the designer and the CH?
    I know that my files are O.K., but how can I be sure? :)

  13. Bombardierbob Says:

    Here is my opinion as a designer, a host selects the winner, the host pays the winner then the designer gives them the master files after payment. This whole guarantee business is quite frankly a joke and huge risk factor to any designer period. Right now there is no guarantee to the designer what so ever. Sorry but I can’t trust people I do not know personally from 99designs or the host. Pay me and you get the files, period. Funny that several other design sites that are thriving. Why the change to this dangerous format? Till this issue is addressed and fixed I will not enter contests and will pass the word of caution to others and they will pass it on till something is done. Myspace & Facebook and Twitter are great ways to get the news out fast!

  14. divinemonarch Says:

    This is the 3rd time I have written in regards to contest http://99designs.com/contests/20324 in which I recently won. The CH has approved the files, twice now, yet it still says she is reviewing. What is the hold-up? I have yet to get ANY response from the 99designs team. I posted in the “Guaranteed” blog addressing this issue and apparently it was not “approved” to be posted? I have written the staff twice on this issue to no response or regard to my questions. When the CH approves the files, I was under the impression that “funds will be immediately transfered” to be paid out on PayPal. This is very disconcerning as with this new process it seems that there are several complaints from contest winners. This process is now longer and a little shaky. If I could please be responded to in regards to the hold-up. It would be appreciated and professional. This has never happened with any other contest I have won, and with this being a “Guaranteed” contest its a little upsetting. Thank you.

  15. divinemonarch Says:

    ?

  16. Anthony Rubenstein Says:

    Hi guys,

    First of all, great site. I’ve had a few issues as a buyer that I’ve wanted to pass along:

    I’m running multiple simultaneous contests, 2 here one at your competitor CS. I chose to do that to experience both sites and communities.

    A couple of issues here: As a buyer, I think it would be better for me if you would give a discount on 99D’s fees when a buyer signs-up for multiple projects at once. I would have just put that into the prize funds anyway, and the artists are the ones providing the extra service here. In fact my needing to repeat the process to add the second project and pay again causes me more work and takes me more time so really 99D is providing me less service in that case. I should be able to start multiple projects and pay fees for them on a declining scale according to how many multiples.

    Secondly, I paid extra for a short contest fast track because I needed the work done according to an external timetable. In the end I regret doing that because I ended-up extending the project because I liked the submissions that were coming in and felt like the artists works were getting better and I was learning more about how it should or could look too. I realize that extending was my choice and so I forfeited my extra fee based on that, so I’m not arguing for the fee back. What I do question is why 99D takes the fast track fee when its the artists who are having to work faster, not 99D. Shouldn’t it be a fast track bonus that goes to the contest winner?

    Finally, I have a question about how the artists feel about extending contests. I’d like to extend my contest again, for the same reasons as before, plus now I’ve got a complication on my end and could use more time. I posted a question asking the artists to please weigh in on that on my contest’s comment blog but nobody commented. Do the artists get offended by extensions like “hey I worked my but off to get that in on time, and now you’re extending?”

    Again, over all I’m happy with the site and certainly thrilled with the quality of work, I just wanted to get these issues out into the discussion.

  17. hworks Says:

    Really appreciate your actions over the closure of guaranteed contests!

    About the other matter, I think the handover issue is being ignored. I thought you guys were going to come up with an even better solution. The issue is clearly at the stage of ‘winner awarded, files uploaded and no deadline or commitment to review the files on behalf of the CH’. Its scary as hell to have my vector files available to the CH. Cmon staff, please dont overlook this so easily. I think everyones concerned.

  18. lynrite Says:

    I too am waiting for the CH to log back in and approve final art files for my winning design.

    I uploaded the files 6 days 19 hours ago. CH logged in 6 days 7 hours ago, so I guess he has downloaded the final art files; though, there is no way to determine if he has downloaded them or not. In the former Design Handover process it clearly revealed if files had been downloaded or not, but now it doesn’t.

    Also if Ch has prepayed 99designs and has downloaded the final art files, he may assume that’s it, and that he’s all done, then what????

    So I definatly agree that something needs to be done about the current Design Handover process – it’s unclear and it’s far from what is considered standard proceedure.


  19. Sit tight, there will be a post about this later today. I’m pretty sure we have a solution which will make everyone happy.

  20. Alex Bilusic Says:

    Same here as in lynrite’s case.
    I uploaded the files 5 days, 11 hrs ago
    CH last login was 4 days, 7 hrs ago
    So, I assume he downloaded the files.
    In the design handover area nothing new, says he’s still reviewing the files.

    One more issue; when I looked a couple of days ago, the contest entries weren’t visible because it was a private contest, not even visible to me. A standard message appeared saying “The entries aren’t visible anymore” etc.etc.
    But since yesterday, I can see all the entries again. If you need more info about that contest, contact me via email and I will give you a link, I don’t want to post it here since it’s been a private contest.. I suppose that is because of some technical problems and wish you luck to solve it soon.

    And yet another idea (I’m creative these days :) ):
    Would it work that, since all contests have been prepaid now, that when the CH downloads the master files we get paid automatically?
    And if there are any issues/problems with the files or to be ore specific with the particular designer, CH could contact 99d and file a complaint.
    Those complaints (evidenced/argumented, of course) could then be visible in the designer’s profile, the same way as now the CHs are “ranked” in their profiles.

    I’m sitting tight now, sorry for being such a pain in the *ss :D

  21. Bombardierbob Says:

    I look forward to the solution to this issue here…
    As this can make or break a great site and draw up
    bad blood with designers real fast…

  22. Max Says:

    I have ran a contest on 99Designs and was planning to run many more. Today I noticed that not only do they force to pay up front (I am ok with this) they add a mandatory $15 “Prize Handling Fee”. I am starting to think their changes are not for the designers or contest holder but for there own profit. ….sigh.

  23. Jude Says:

    I think all the issues brought about here are fixed already. There is a 7 day deadline for contest holders to approve a design if not its automatically approved.

    so the maximum approval time will be 7 days.

    My only request to 99designs is to make payouts quicker (including western union) 5 days or 10 days is way too long

  24. Bombardierbob Says:

    @99 Designs Team

    Hello, so the end of the day passed and on to the next
    one already so where is this solution to the issue or
    was that rhetoric? Oh I know you meant, you meant later
    today as in any today that might work for your solution
    to be presented.

    A Real Solution;

    Solution is simple, there is to be no master files
    exchanged or downloaded till payment is received. The
    host hast to specify the file type they want during the
    contest phase. When a Winner is selected they review the
    image then if they like what they see they pay for it
    then designer passes the master file to the host and
    that is that, done.

    Another Suggestion, stop mucking around with the system
    that was working great and concentrate on features that
    will are needed.

    Question;

    What do you do with the Master files after the contest
    is over with and everything is paid and concluded? Cause
    legally their are potential issues here from a designer
    and host point of view. So what do you do with them or
    handle them when everything is done?

  25. Bombardierbob Says:

    Question: Why the change to handle the Master files? Transfer of files in the past was easy between designer & host, so why this change? Sorry this is not a matter of good faith or trust here but security concern.

    Say the host doesn’t like the image file and decides to close the contest with no winner even after picking a winner does this give you 99designs to hold or keep the design as long as you see fit? You did not pay the designer so the master file should never be in your hands period. With the day and age worms and hackers the master files are not safe on any server or truly guarantee. What measures are taken with the handling of our files on here?

    I think the master files should remain with the designer till he gets paid then they get transferred period. Nothing less is just not safe!

    ~Bob

  26. Dormouse Says:

    I agree with BombardierBob. I would really like a see a resolution to the issue at hand.


  27. Jeez you are a pain Bob :) I’d suggest if you are designing secret plans for the NSA that you use some sort of encryption or secret handshake. Although, frankly, your files are likely safer on our servers than they are on your local PC.

    The resolution we are working on is to add back the automatic payment of designers upon first upload. The funds are automatically released after 5 days, or when the contest holder approves them. This will apply retroactively to all contests, so you can understand we want to make sure we’ve got it right.

    What we are working towards is really tightening the timeframes involved in a contest, so you guys as designers know what to expect and when you will get paid. This means less risk for you guys. Contests will run for 7-14 days, there will be a review period after of 7 days (with a possibility to extend to 14) and then a Design Handover period which will be a maximum of 5 days. All of these timeframes will be better explained to contest holders with reminders and various other help mechanisms. More soon.

  28. Alex Bilusic Says:

    This has just brightened my day (or to be more accurate, night, since I’m in GMT+1 timezone :D ):
    The resolution we are working on is to add back the automatic payment of designers upon first upload. The funds are automatically released after 5 days, or when the contest holder approves them. This will apply retroactively to all contest

    Thank you guys!
    I’ve got my fingers crossed upon this one.
    Promise I won’t be such a pain when you solve this. :)

  29. Bombardierbob Says:

    Lachlan Donald,

    First off before my files are far safer where they are on my Mac than your servers ever and that don’t take a rocket scientist to understand that. The way you set this up on here with the new changes is the host gets the files and can get his money back and you get the files too with little to no protection to the designer.

    Now with your broken English response and I quote it here;

    The resolution we are working on is to add back the automatic payment of designers upon first upload. The funds are automatically released after 5 days, or when the contest holder approves them. This will apply retroactively to all contests, so you can understand we want to make sure we’ve got it right.

    Do mean the designer will get paid first after being selected then they transfer the files over? Cause your first sentence wordage can be interpreted badly.

    Also how long will it take to get this fixed time table, a day, couple days, a week, month, year? I think we like to know before we jump back on and create designs once more on here!

    ~Bob

  30. Dormouse Says:

    So from contest start to finish it could take over a month to receive payment? I liked winning a non-guaranteed contest and seeing that money the day the contest ended. Guess you can’t please everyone, though. :(


  31. You took me far too seriously Bob, and I freely admit I’m not a rocket scientist :) You’re absolutely right, I could have been clearer in my phrasing.

    When a designer uploads a file, a timer starts. If after 5 days, the contest holder has not approved payment and a dispute hasn’t been lodged, payment is released to the designer. This is now the case as of a few hours ago.

    Lastly, there is no possibility of a refund after the files have changed hands, we are very clear about that.

    @Dormouse In the old system you had to wait a fixed period of 7 days before the funds cleared. Now you will receive the payment in a maximum of 5 days, potentially instantly if the contest holder approves it. Everything we are doing is speeding up how quickly you guys are getting paid, that’s one of our primary goals here!

    The average contest should run for 7 days, the contest holder will quickly choose a design, the designer uploads the files and the contest holder approves the file. This can happen within 8 days of the contest starting. If you request PayPal payment, there is a good chance you will be paid within 9 days of entering the contest. I’d say that is pretty quick.

  32. hworks Says:

    I accept this, see no problem in it as of now.

    Its different from how things were, but its fine. Knowing that the money is already with 99designs was comforting enough, and a commitment of when it shall be paid makes it perfect (kind of disarms the lethal CH review instability). The master file transfer becomes a non issue with the timeline in place. The entire commitment seems to peak at the pressing of the winner button by the CH. If the CH isnt really happy and has minor issues in the winning design file, I guess most winning designers are professional enough to provide their service to refine even after the contest is closed. Paypal with a ‘no-transaction’ fee and instant crediting on 5 days or on a CH review is also amazing.

    Thanks Lachlan (and the rest of you guys), its very nice to see that you addressed the concerns that were borne of a necessary sequence of changes to the website. Big yes from me!

  33. Jun Says:

    Previous week I win a contest and with CH deal really fast all small details. Since then (8 days after files transfer) I still can see “The contest holder is reviewing the final design files. Nearly done!” and “2. Transfer Files – Waiting for 99designs to approve”

    How much long will I need to wait? Do I need to ask CH to contact you too?

    I really start to think it is better to participate in not guaranteed contests to avoid such problems.

    Hope someone will took this serious as my previous note to 99desings was left without answer.

    Thanks

  34. Alex Bilusic Says:

    I agree with hworks, especially with the part about most designers being professional enough to do the requested minor changes after declaring the winner. For everything else, the most logical solution would be to allow CHs to give “ratings” to individual winnig designers regarding their uploaded files quality and professionality.

    Thumbs up, guys! And thanks for this improvement.

  35. LukeSF Says:

    Good news! I like the new approach towards payment. Great job, guys!
    Though one more thing I used to ask you – could you consider MoneyGram as another option for money transfer? Same world spread and process as WesternUnion but charge less. Would be really good for designers who can’t receive money via PayPal

  36. Jun Says:

    Hi,

    I’m writing here for the second time today (my previous post is missing and don’t know why). Issue is standard. Since the new system for design hangover started I won a contest, finished all the necessary arrangements with CH, uploaded all files and … received nothing. As it passed more than a week I first contacted CH to see is there anything he didn’t do but his answer was NO. Than tried to contact 99designs without success. Now I’m wondering what to do and who to contact. Please, help or at least tell me how to proceed in a future.

    I like your site very much and wish to continue to participate in it, but it could become a waist of time
    if there is no chance to receive payments after winning a contests.

    Thanks,
    Jana Ivanova

    • wassim Says:

      Hi jun.. did u have a solution for your problem ?
      i have the same problem.. so maybe you can assist me if you had your problem solved in a certain procedure..

      thanks you :)

      • Jun Says:

        Hi wassim,
        If I remember correct the CH contacted 99designs team and the problem was solved within a day or two. All my e-mails where ignored or berried deep into the tons of correspondence 99designs support probably received. So … the solution is one – ask CH to contact them and don’t worry.
        Since almost a year I don’t have any problems of such kind.

        :) Good luck!
        And sorry for my English

      • wassim Says:

        thank you jun :)

  37. Fermina Daza Says:

    I just have to notice that there are less designers on 99designs, and you have a whole bunch of unhealthy contests. Thumbs down for your “improvements”

  38. Uday Says:

    I appreciate potentially how this benefits the designers in terms of feeling more secure about payment but no one seems to see how this system is a clever way to charge CHs fees which result in profits for 99Ds.

    From a CH point of view:

    1. This basically turns everything into the previous ‘guaranteed’ project format – 99 collects fees and distributes them. The only difference might be the timeline.

    2. The Money Back part is a ruse… The new system forces on CH a 10% prize handling fee which honest CH never had to pay before – This basically translates into less money for designers because aside from my posting fee, I now have to pay 10% to 99D simply to handle the contest. As an honest contest holder, I’ve always paid designers in whatever payment form they wanted and have no interest in a money back guarantee. What’s a lot more logical is that 99D takes 10% if they have to resolve a dispute and act as an escrow/arbitrator when issues arise vs. ladling on additional fees to otherwise clean transactions.

    I’m hoping 99Ds comes clean on this policy so CHs don’t end up paying designers 10% less than they deserve – And a rating feedback system of CHs and Designers would help people enter contests with eyes slightly more open than before.

  39. Kimvc Says:

    I’d like to know where all the contests have gone!? I am wondering whether the prepay system is putting people off from using the site (just a guess), there were more contests live over the Christmas holiday period than there are now. :(

    • Ollie Says:

      I would venture to guess those not willing to prepay would more likely end a contest without a winner.

  40. Paula Says:

    Very appreciate your doing on the matter.
    But what about CH that prepaid to 99designs the prize and then redraw or cancel the credit payment. As in the case of CH “[NAME WITHHELD] in the contest of – [NAME WITHHELD] – E-commerce site needs logo”
    Do you will distribute this money from your own pocket?


  41. hi Guys

    Nicely presented website.

    Just one comment… having just started here and finding I am spending a great deal of time complying with the Competition holder… I am wondering what is meant by “wins”. I hope you are referring to “STARS” and not WINS from previous competitions. Surely the STAR shows merit within the competition and draws the competitor to further commitment… prior wins in this instance seems irrelevant; or are we on the same page, and I am confusing Stars with Wins??

    Thanks, Simon

  42. Ollie Says:

    Will 99 notify designers when a CH has requested a refund for a non-guaranteed contest?

  43. Nate Says:

    I appreciate the change and may begin designing again here. Although contest 19025 that I entered is still unresolved after nearly 2 months past the end date. You should implement your new solution with this contest. Even after your badgering, the host still has not been seen for over three weeks. It’s clear that a winner is not going to be picked. It is completely unfair to all of the designers who entered and we should be compensated with something for our time.

  44. HePiMeN Says:

    So, what happens with “healthy” contests like this one?

    http://99designs.com/contests/18524

    And the other issue that comes to my mind lately is: On what grounds did the CH get a refund for this contest?

    http://99designs.com/contests/21345

    The contest is refunded, the comments and entries are invisible, I can’t even add my entry to folio and you decided you will refund the contest. And there was at least a dozen entries which were not good enough for a winner, but TOO GOOD for a lousy 300$ fee.

    And the cherry on the top is – this CH’s profile says he’s awarded $501. $300 to himself alone.

    I think when CHs have a ratio of awarded/held contests 50% or lower, their contests shouldn’t be “healthy” from the beginning already.

  45. Stanley Says:

    Hi,

    I’m just wondering if anybody else had this issue I’m facing right now: I’ve won a guaranteed contest and the CH contacted me and said he would send an email with some minor changes next day. A week passed and nothing, so I contacted him and said he is busy but I’ll have the email in a day. Another week passed so I contacted the 99D staff and they said they will contact the CH. Since then another two weeks have passed and nothing.
    Now I’m a bit confused with what I should do. If I upload the files as they are then the CH will not approve it. If I don’t upload the files then I have to wait who knows how long to get the prize of a guaranteed contest.

    Any ideas are welcome and I suggest to the 99D staff that they pay more attention to these “small” details.
    Also this is a proof that getting payed after I’ve uploaded the files does not work well.

    Regards,
    Stanley

  46. Alex Bilusic Says:

    Is the 7-day-period during which the CH has to pick the winner been extended to 14 days now?? I can’t find any info about that in the help/FAQ section, but I saw in two contest which have recently ended…

  47. Kelly Says:

    I’m wondering about the new 14 day review period as well. I can’t find any announcement that it was going to be extended or any reasons why. I thought one of the reasons for all the changes was to speed things up?

    The way it is now, a contest can take two weeks to run, then two weeks for review, and then 5-10 days for payment once the uploaded files are approved. We’re looking at more than a month! No wonder the webpage design contests are seeing fewer and fewer designers.

  48. hworks Says:

    the review period never really mattered. i’ve not seen a single CH adhere to it strictly. ultimately, its their own urgency. some chaps award minutes before the contest ends, and some immediately after. most award within 3 days. lots are committed and do come back after 10-15 days too. and then there are the deserters… the fact is nothing technically happens after 7/14 days, its just a soft deadline.

  49. Kelly Says:

    Still, this seems to be a direct contradiction of the statement made in this blog “…We will be letting them know that they have only 7 days to pick a winner – any contests still unresolved after this time will be locked and the prize will be evenly distributed to the designers…”

    Unless I’m mistaken, this adds another week that designers have to wait to be paid should the CH abandon a guaranteed contest.

    Also, speaking of guaranteed contests, it appears that there is now a requirement that a contest must have at least 10 entries before a contest can be guaranteed (for first-time contest holders). What is the reasoning behind this? It seems very counter-productive to me, and may even be a Catch-22 type of situation.

    A lot of the top-notch designers won’t enter contests that aren’t guaranteed. So that means, typically, the first 10 entries won’t be of the best quality. A lot of contest holders won’t guarantee a contest until they receive entries they would seriously consider choosing to win their contest. So that means they’re going to be less willing to guarantee the contest and/or more willing to abandon the contest because they’re not getting the best results.

    Neither of these moves seem to make much sense in light of what has been said about the direction 99Designs is moving to better the whole process. Could we have some elaboration please?

  50. loquaz Says:

    Yeah… since when do CHs have 14 days to make their decision? Yet another handicap for the designers around here.

  51. Dormouse Says:

    So, when is the “completion of guaranteed contests” supposed to take place? Lock the contests and distribute the money!

  52. LukeSF Says:

    14 days term is really kinda suprise… Out of the blue and with no explanations… Funny things are recently happening here….

  53. hworks Says:

    im also quite concerned about the closure of unawarded guaranteed contests. cmon guys high time. i think you mentioned so many ‘immediates’ in the beginning of this post. im also tired of sending reminders to staff. lets see it happen. anyone listening?

  54. illumina Says:

    1 month since this was published. Nearly 3 months since this contest ended: http://99designs.com/contests/18694
    My thoughts? Sharing the prize between everyone? No. Sharing the prize between the designers with the highest ratings? YES.
    Are you doing enough to resolve these contests? a BIG no. There arent THAT many contests with no winner announced. I’m feeling like the designers here just arent being looked after the way they should. After all, without the designers, you dont have a website, or an income. we all work to please a contest holder, very often receiving no acknowledgement, many times designs are copied from other designers and nothing is done. I’m really beginning to lose faith in 99designs, and I’m out of patience with that contest too.

  55. Toby Says:

    Curious to know if anybody who has entered a guaranteed contest and had the CH disappear without choosing a winner has seen their contest awarded by any of the methods outlined by 99designs here?

    Illumina, I agree 100% with you. Though I may be biased, as I’m the only designer with a star rating in unawarded ‘guaranteed’ contest http://99designs.com/contests/17583

    Oh, also, I have no previous wins. This would have been my first. So by 99designs method, I’ll see no prize money what so ever, even though as I’ve mentioned, I was the only designer to receive a star rating by the CH.

  56. fbarriac Says:

    This is so unfair!
    A guaranteed contest is closed today!

    http://99designs.com/contests/22834

    It means thas here on 99designs a guaranteed design is not so… guaranteed.


  57. @fbarriac: That was an inappropriate contest. It was removed as a result.

  58. Alex Bilusic Says:

    Hello Adam,
    How about this one here, it’s guaranteed and I’ve reported it a couple of times – but still no answer.
    http://99designs.com/contests/20148
    It ended 10/04/2009. Thanks…


  59. @Alex Bilusic: We are retroactively addressing contests such as the one you linked to, as well as other contests that were guaranteed prior to this blog post. It takes time. Thanks for sticking in there.

  60. HePiMeN Says:

    Or this one, even older…

    http://99designs.com/contests/18524

  61. Paul Annesley Says:

    HePiMeN: we’ve been working on wrapping these up today – there’s a lot to it, but it’s coming together. Thanks for being patient :)

  62. Alex Bilusic Says:

    Since there’s no other blog post I could referr to, I’ll ask here.
    I know I’ve participated in about 150 contests.
    But now as I look in my profile, it says I participated in 74. Where could half of the contests go? Or are you archiving some, but I couldn’t find any info?
    Thanks a lot for your answer.
    Regards,
    Alex (“babakonda”)

  63. canyonos Says:

    This contest ended in February…

    http://99designs.com/contests/17953

  64. joberaad Says:

    Quote: “I am starting to think their changes are not for the designers or contest holder but for there own profit. ….sigh.”

    100% agree!!!!!

  65. HePiMeN Says:

    I liked the idea of only being able to see contests you didn’t withdraw. That’s why it said you only participated in 74, Alex. My profile said I participated in 38 or so… ;)

    99designs, maybe you should implement a dropdown menu in “my contests” area so designers can choose between let’s say All contests, unwithdrawn contests, won contests, 5* entries contests, unfinished contests etc… ;)


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