GPS Log – Price Tag

iPhone users really have come to expect a bargain.  Odd considering how much cash they forked out for the phone.  But so many people discounting their Apps in a desperate bid for popularity (it’s based on downloads, not downloads * price, which encourages $1 apps), the prices are generally undervalued (that – and there’s a lot of crap on the App Store).

I’ve had 2 people now review the free version of GPS Log (albiet with overall positive reviews) asking for a lower price.  But it’s only $10.  I’m trying to think of computer software I have bought for less than that, and I can’t.  I’ve bought a dozen small utilities over the years, from screen capture tools, to newsgroup software, all in the $25 range (sometimes US).

lwb@sg writes, “Excellent GPS software. It’s easily one of the best geotagged-related programs I have tried on iPhone. If the full version is more reasonably priced, I would not hestitate to get it!”

So it’s better than all those other shitty apps.  But it costs more than them.

hmm.  lets think about that for a minute.

It’s better.  But it costs more.  That’s because it’s better!  Maybe if those other devlopers were working on their apps full time they would be better too – but then they would also want more money, because hey – you have to pay for the food you eat!

So I don’t get it people.  Reward quality with purchases, and you will encourage more quality.  Set the bar at $1 and expect 8 pages of crap on your iPhone.

The thing is that you can’t make up for the low price with volume, unless your App has mass appeal.  If GPS Log was $1 I would have the same number of people interested – but perhaps a small fraction extra would buy it because they are unwilling at the current price.  But I would need 10x more purchases to make up for this!  I know GPS Log doesn’t have mass appeal – I never intended it to – I want it to appeal to a small group of users who need the extact features it provides (such as me), and thus are willing to pay $10 for the privilage.  So far this seem to be working.

I’m asking for $10 – and I’m keeping it that way.

6 comments on “GPS Log – Price Tag

  1. I’d be curious as to how the marketmight shift if it were priced at $5 or even $8 or $9. We all like to think that they are crazy pricing things at $4.99, but it does seem to work (that’s why they do it after all). Dropping a digit from your price may make the difference needed to encourage a purchase.

    It may be worthwhile testing the waters with different price points. Another way to encourage people to pay is to demonstrate commitment to “free” upgrades. I know that I’m willing to spend more on a product now if I am satisfied that it will do more in the future.

  2. I have thought about experimenting, it would be interesting. I don’t want to screw over my current customer base – I would be annoyed if I payed $10 for somethign only to find it was $5 a week later. Perhaps in a few months I might do a sale and see what happens.

    You’re right – it may encourage a purchase. BUT, say for $5 would it encourage twice the purchases? My guess is no. Once somebody has decided that they /need/ a product, then the difference between $5 and $10 I don’t think is the biggest factor. For travellers, the cost of GPS Log is probably going to be the smallest cost of the lot – think of all the travel guides, adapters, bags, and crap you buy – not to mention the tickets!

    I’m actually on the whole happy with how GPS Log is selling – perhaps this customer did not buy it – but others certainly have, and none have complained yet!

    I’m certainly committed to further improvements, it’s part of the deal you get with GPS Log – I sort of state this on the buy page, and encourage people to submit their comments to me in a way they can form a discussion. I’m a little reluctant to detail too much however for fear people may regard it as an incomplete product, and it gives my competition a head start.

    I wouldn’t assume that just because people have dropped their prices means that it works. I think you’ll probably find there are a great deal of developers out there who are pretty dissapointed with how their product has sold (note however that there are a great deal of really crap products out there). Unless you have a product with mass appeal – $4 is a steal.

    Did you read this article? It’s a very interesting read.

  3. That really is a good point about the free upgrade committment, perhaps I should think about being more open.

    What sort of wording would get your interest when you were reviewing products to buy?

  4. I just spent $1200 at the AT&T store for iPhones for me and my sweety. Came home, started looking around and what all I could do with it, found a few bike computer apps, they recommended a bike mount, so I bought one for $23 including shipping, but when it came to looking at the apps themselves, battery life was always mentioned as an issue.

    Searched a little bit more, found GPS Log and it looked like it did a heck of a lot of what I wanted in a tool to work into my blogging workflow. Downloaded the lite version, realized that 5 points was barely enough for me to evaluate the software, and spent the $10.

    On the one hand, I want to say “what sort of cheapskate thinks $10 is high?”, given that I just dropped a thou and a quarter on toys, on the other hand… well… these are people used to spending it a buck at a time on songs, so maybe up GPS Lite to handle 10 locations and sell that for a buck, and keep the full version at $10?

  5. Hey, thanks for your feedback.

    Out of curiosity, what features couldn’t you evaluate with just 5 entries? I can increase it, but I figured most people would be able to work out if it did what they need with 5, and then buy it :) There is no way to move entries from the LITE version to the FULL, so I also worry if I give people too many entries they will have trouble getting their data across when they buy it.


  6. After using iPhone for a few more months, browsing a few more apps, I realised $10 is not that unreasonable. There are actually quite a few $5-$15 priced apps that I hadn’t noticed before. I don’t know why, but when I first got my iPhone all the apps I tried only cost a few dollars for the full versions. Maybe that was because the ones with the most downloads are the really cheap ones (makes sense really) so they end up in the top 10 lists.

    If you are still getting complaints about the price, maybe it’s a marketing issue? I wonder what makes people think something is worth $10? Would they think it was worth $10 if it looked fancier? Or if it wasn’t an iPhone app? Or if you claimed to be a large company specialising in GPS equipment?

    If I actually had a need to use it all the time, I’d be alright with the price. But if I was going to just play around with it as a cool toy, I’d think that’s overpriced, in which case I’d get the lite version (if only I’d known about it!)