Rip off software prices in UK

Discussion in 'Community' started by Zaid, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. Zaid macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2003
    I got a bit pissed off this evening when looking at software prices in this country, so I decided to put together this table to see how much we were being ripped off.

    Product		Price USD	Price GBP	Price GBP	Implied 	Source
    				incl VAT	ex VAT		Exchange
    Acrobat 6.0 Pro	$449.00		£ 464.13	£ 395.00	£ 1.137		Adobe Website
    Creative Suite	$1,229.00	£ 1,115.09	£ 949.00	£ 1.295		Adobe Website
    Photoshop CS	$649.00		£ 605.13	£ 515.00	£ 1.260		Adobe Website
    InDesign CS	$699.00		£ 715.58	£ 609.00	£ 1.148		Adobe Website
    Illustrator CS	$499.00		£ 511.13	£ 435.00	£ 1.147		Adobe Website
    Keynote		$99.00		£ 79.00		£ 65.18		£ 1.519		Apple Website
    MS Office X Pro $499.95		£ 429.00	£ 353.93	£ 1.413		Apple Website*
    iLife		$49.00		£ 39.00		£ 32.18		£ 1.523		Apple Website
    Mac OSX Panther	$129.00		£ 99.01		£ 81.68		£ 1.579		Apple Website
    FileMaker 7 Pro	$299.00		£ 219.00	£ 180.68	£ 1.655		File Maker Website
    *(MS Website did not have suggested sterling price, USD Price $499)					
    Historic Monthly Average Exchange Rates	
    Pacific Exchange rate service (University of British Columbia) 
    Jan-02	1.4326		Jan-03	1.6173		Jan-04	1.8237
    Feb-02	1.4231		Feb-03	1.6076		Feb-04	1.8684
    Mar-02	1.4231		Mar-03	1.5826			
    Apr-02	1.4431		Apr-03	1.5741			
    May-02	1.4599		May-03	1.6228			
    Jun-02	1.4840		Jun-03	1.6610			
    Jul-02	1.5564		Jul-03	1.6227			
    Aug-02	1.5356		Aug-03	1.5933			
    Sep-02	1.5565		Sep-03	1.6157			
    Oct-02	1.5576		Oct-03	1.6794			
    Nov-02	1.5705		Nov-03	1.6912			
    Dec-02	1.5859		Dec-03	1.7508			
    I'm not sure how US prices are quoted but I've been told that they are quoted excluding Sales Tax. UK prices are however quoted inclusive of VAT, so i quoted the price excluding VAT. (If the US prices include Tax, it would only make the discrepancy even greater)

    The implied exchange rate is the exchange rate that would equate the US and UK (excl VAT) prices. I tried as far as possible to use the manufacturers own recomended retail prices.

    The exchange rate Apple seems to be using seems to be the prevailing rate at the end of 2002. Ok maybe this needs updating, but its not nearly as bad as Adobe; god only knows where they're pulling those rates from.

    Interestingly Filmaker 7 uses the rate from about 6 months ago. This seems fair enough.

    OK I know there are factors that i've not taken into account, differing advertising and distribution costs, etc. but I can't imagine they'd have that big an impact. When the price difference in Adobe CS between New York and London is greater than the price of a flight between the two cities, something is wrong!

    So whats the point of all of this? OK I understand that companies dont want to have to change prices every day, and nor should they. But when large discrepencies creep in, and the change in the rates seems part of a long term trend (declining dollar) then maybe every once in a while prices should be updated. They should also be based somewhere near reality when the product is launched (When was CS launched?). Unless of course companies are trying to scalp the public, nah...

    Alternatively, quote software prices in 1 currency all around the world. (maybe the currency of your biggest market)

    Ahhhh I don't know I'm trying to say here, just that it needs being said.
  2. billyboy macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2003
    In my head
    With education discount you get some far better deals. iLife for 29.00 for example
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
  4. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2003
    Well the education discount from Apple only seems available to students in the US. I've not got a clue about the edu discounts available to British students.

    Potentially if none are available, this makes the situation even worse for British students.

    I'd not considered the the education discount since it's not applied to me for a couple of years now, and I don't imagine it applies to the majority of software customers either.
  5. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    I got my PowerBook G4 on an edu discount (I live in London). But you have to be 18+ in higher education or a teacher at a school/education institution.

    I have noticed it is mainly the creative apps that are the biggest rip offs. I remember when Quark XPress 6 came out, the UK price was so high that you could fly to the US, stay in a hotel for the night, pick up a copy, then come home and it would still work out cheaper than buying it from the UK. :confused:
  6. aswitcher macrumors 603


    Oct 8, 2003
    Canberra OZ
  7. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2003
    Yeh thats still almost the case for Adobe CS (the whole suite that is). You could get a day return to New York (no hotel:) ) and pick it up for less than the price in London. If someone needed a few of these, it would be well worth actually going to new york to buy them. I wonder how many people are actually doing this?

    (Didn't know about the student discounts as I was a never a student over here, its good that they're available in the UK too)
  8. Sabbath macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2003
    The edu discounts are even more of a joke than the regular prices. For example Panther costs $129 and £99 without education discount. Then with education discount it cost $69 and £69. Similarly for iLife its $49 and £39 but with education discount its $29 and £29. I just find it really annoying that not only do we get ripped off on the exchange rate but then they offer bigger edu discounts in the states too. Not to mention the even lower edu prices people seem to get through their campus stores.

    My campus doesn't even have any macs for student use, let alone somewhere to buy them from.
  9. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    The UK education store is here .

    True it doesn't actually apply to most people though apparently it covers full and part-time students. Apple UK is so inept I doubt they check much...
  10. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    ssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhh... or they might realise that non-students make dandy use of that ineptness as well... heheh

    What Apple need to do, is dynamically adjust and set the prices on the 1st of each month taken from the average value of currency from the proceeding month, that way we'd get a fairer deal.

Share This Page