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View Full Version : How is this app the #2 paid in Finance?




admanimal
May 23, 2009, 03:00 AM
This app appeared out of nowhere the other day onto the top paid Finance apps and is currently #2:

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=312212634&mt=8

Something smells a little fishy...



dougdawson
May 23, 2009, 01:33 PM
This app appeared out of nowhere the other day onto the top paid Finance apps and is currently #2:

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=312212634&mt=8

Something smells a little fishy...

Hmm, never tried to count out a register before? Smells more like a company suggestion than a fish. If you deal with retail money management systems enough (I won't use the acronym here,) it sounds like a decent app.

Doug

IBITF
May 26, 2009, 11:13 AM
To be honest, this is not a insult, but the French store doesn't require many downloads to reach the charts. So I'd imagine a company made everyone buy it they could get and that shot them up then people buy it because OMFG it's the number two app

admanimal
May 26, 2009, 12:21 PM
There are three reasons that I think the developer of that app is up to something weird.

1. The app has been in the top 5 or so in Finance for over a week now and it still only has 2 reviews (neither of which are written).

2. The app's original price when it was released was $19.99 (!), and then shortly after it was dropped to 99 cents. Then one week later the price was raised to $4.99, only to be dropped back to 99 cents the same day. I think the developer is somehow buying a bunch of copies at the higher price which then appears to push its ranking higher once the price is lowered again.

3. The developer's other app is a $19.99 fart machine.

Compile 'em all
May 26, 2009, 12:33 PM
There are three reasons that I think the developer of that app is up to something weird.

1. The app has been in the top 5 or so in Finance for over a week now and it still only has 2 reviews (neither of which are written).

2. The app's original price when it was released was $19.99 (!), and then shortly after it was dropped to 99 cents. Then one week later the price was raised to $4.99, only to be dropped back to 99 cents the same day. I think the developer is somehow buying a bunch of copies at the higher price which then appears to push its ranking higher once the price is lowered again.

3. The developer's other app is a $19.99 fart machine.


Hate to say it but you have no idea what you are talking about.

The change of pricing is very typical from devs that suddenly get an app in a top list. They bump up the price hoping they make more money only to realize it is selling less units. So they reduce the price again...etc.

About the reviews, they mean nothing (zero,1, or 300). Some apps in the top 10 PAID in canada have less than 20 reviews.

admanimal
May 26, 2009, 12:57 PM
Hate to say it but you have no idea what you are talking about.



I know enough about this category to know that something unusual is going on. My app has been in its top 10 for the majority of time since the App Store opened. I monitor it religiously and know that what is happening with this app isn't normal. Maybe the developer is innocently doing whatever it is he is doing, but it is definitely causing unusual results.

dougdawson
May 26, 2009, 01:42 PM
There are three reasons that I think the developer of that app is up to something weird.

1. The app has been in the top 5 or so in Finance for over a week now and it still only has 2 reviews (neither of which are written).

2. The app's original price when it was released was $19.99 (!), and then shortly after it was dropped to 99 cents. Then one week later the price was raised to $4.99, only to be dropped back to 99 cents the same day. I think the developer is somehow buying a bunch of copies at the higher price which then appears to push its ranking higher once the price is lowered again.

3. The developer's other app is a $19.99 fart machine.

I just looked at the app again, and it doesn't have any reviews at all that I can see, in the US App Store. Are you referring to some other store? What country are you referring to?

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get reviews for an app if you 1) don't allow anyone affiliated with your company, either by employment or relation or friendship, to review the app, and 2) don't allow your testers to review the app? It's all a clear conflict of interest. But you knew this. Only one in a hundred unaffiliated users ever review a paid app, on average. Maybe.

Provide more details and perhaps we'll get some context.

Doug

admanimal
May 26, 2009, 02:17 PM
Provide more details and perhaps we'll get some context.




OK I will explain in detail what I noticed starting at the beginning. Everything I describe applies to the U.S. App Store.

1. On May 17th, MoneyCounter appeared out of nowhere somewhere around the top 10 paid Finance apps (don't remember the exact position). I say "out of nowhere" because although May 17th was its first day in the app store, the app's release date is set to April 11th, which means it did not appear in any of the new releases lists (either in iTunes or the App Store app), which is usually key for a new app to get noticed.

2. Once I noticed #1, I looked at the app to see if it was awesome enough on its own to get noticed and move up to a top spot. It's clearly not. I know "bad" apps often get ranked in other categories, but Finance is far less fickle. I haven't seen the app advertised anywhere, either.

3. It has no reviews that appear in iTunes and 2 reviews (for a total of 2.5 stars) that appear in the App Store (these are both U.S.). My app was #1 in Finance for a couple weeks recently, which means it should get at least 250+ downloads a day which inevitably leads to at least a dozen or so reviews per week.

3. Given 1, 2, and 3, the app has still been moving UP the top paid list. It was as high as #1 on May 23, and seems to have settled on #2. Again, this wouldn't be weird for an app to move up the list once it appears in the top 20 or so, but the app is not appealing to the average user at all. Maybe it is useful to a small number of people, but not enough to make it as popular as it appears to be.

4. The price changes I mentioned earlier seem to correspond with the app's ranking changes, but that could be coincidence.

5. The guy's other app is a $19.99 fart machine called yFart. On May 24th he also lowered the price of that app to $4.99 briefly before raising it again to $19.99. All three written reviews for this app call it a "scam," although those users sound a little confused.

It wasn't my intention to make a big deal about this, I just thought it seemed weird and figured other people would too, but I guess it's not as obvious to someone who isn't obsessed with the Finance category. :D

Compile 'em all
May 26, 2009, 03:04 PM
why does changing the app pricing bother you so much?

Many many devs I know of (not me though :D) try to play around with the price hoping some clueless dude would hit the buy button.

admanimal
May 26, 2009, 03:24 PM
why does changing the app pricing bother you so much?

Many many devs I know of (not me though :D) try to play around with the price hoping some clueless dude would hit the buy button.

Normally of course it wouldn't, but given the other weirdness it stood out as a possible explanation for what I was seeing.

srl7741
May 26, 2009, 03:39 PM
As a consumer only if i see an App in the top 10 with no reviews it's a red flag to me. I will watch it, read about it etc but will not download it free or not.

I count on download numbers/reviews/web site information along with several other factors.

I have another question tho? If a person gives away say...100 promo codes and the app is downloaded 100x does this effect the ranking?

admanimal
May 26, 2009, 03:46 PM
I have another question tho? If a person gives away say...100 promo codes and the app is downloaded 100x does this effect the ranking?

I've wondered about this too. Of course I've given away some codes for my apps (probably less than 30 total) but this has always corresponded with a new update, which usually bumps my rank anyway. So it's impossible for me to tell if the codes made any difference.

dougdawson
May 26, 2009, 06:26 PM
I've wondered about this too. Of course I've given away some codes for my apps (probably less than 30 total) but this has always corresponded with a new update, which usually bumps my rank anyway. So it's impossible for me to tell if the codes made any difference.

Sales from promo codes are considered the same as paid sales, by Apple. The only difference is, the developer doesn't get paid for them (for eternity.)

And no, they don't make much of a difference generally, it's just an opportunity to get some additional exposure and feedback, FWIW. I'm not sure if we're going to do it again.

Doug

admanimal
Jun 4, 2009, 10:13 PM
OK now I am 100% positive that I was right about this app. It has finally dropped precipitously to #54 but the written reviews all talk about the app mysteriously appearing on people's iTunes receipts without them buying it. The same type of reviews appear on that guys other app; he must be involved in some kind of gift card/itunes account scam.