The reason I probably won't buy any App over $.99

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by crazylegsmurphy, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. crazylegsmurphy macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2008
    No price protection!

    I was just looking through the store and I see so many users who are livid because they just spent $10 on an app that dropped to $1.99 a week later.

    Some might argue that this is the way of the world, but I think if you want to encourage people to buy apps/music online you have to make them feel confident that they're not getting ripped off.

    There are already some apps on there (tetris, Pacman) that shouldn't be the price they are, but I refuse to buy $20 worth of classic arcade games for fear they'll drop in price to $.99 in a week.

    So I say to all of you, unless it's something you REALLY want, you may want to stick to free/cheap apps and let Apple know that they should offer a 30 day price protection plan for all apps you buy.
  2. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    The price protection idea is very interesting. I also refuse to purchase any app form the App Store until the price has dropped. They all drop eventually so, unless I absolutely need something right away (I don't have any examples so far), I am going to wait.

    However, if Apple introduced price protection, I would be more willing to purchase new apps.

    Any idea of how we could persuade Apple to introduce price protection??

  3. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

    May 5, 2008
    Mainland Europe
    Nothing other than boycotting the apps above a certain price methinks. As long as enough people buy the more expensive apps, it isn't going to happen.
  4. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    If you don't judge an app to be *worth* $10 don't buy it. If it drops to $1.99 a week later you are not being "ripped off". You found a product you liked and decided the price was fair and you bought it then. If you decided at the time the app was only worth $1.99 then you should wait for that price or buy something else.

    Apple can't offer a "price protection". Apple is not selling you the applications, the developer is.
  5. crazylegsmurphy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2008
    I'm not sure if boycotting the expensive apps would help with a price protection so much as it would just help bring the cost down on most of the apps to a more reasonable price.

    Quite honestly there are very few apps that I have seen that justify the $10+ mark...and that especially goes for games.

    I personally would have no issue buying apps at a reasonable cost $7.99 (it would have to be awesome) if I could feel confident it wouldn't drop in a week.

    I think the best way is to perhaps leave feedback on their website, or if you notice a price drop then contact Apple and voice your concerns. Explain that when that happens it makes you less likely to want to spend money on apps, and it encourages you to "wait out" the price.

    If I walk into Bestbuy, or Futureshop, or even Wal-mart and buy ANY item from them only to find it has dropped in price within 30 days (or if I find it cheaper somewhere else) all of those stores will refund the difference, give credit, or return the product without question.

    This has been done for years for one reason....customer confidence.

    If apple isn't selling the Apps, then there needs to be some other form of customer protection on the site. It is a rip off when you spend money on a product and the price drops within a reasonable amount of time. The reason is that you're now being penalized for your purchase where as the people who waited get the good price. It says to all customers that it pays to wait, and waiting means less gets sold, and more apps have to cut the price just to sell any....and this isn't fair to the developer.
  6. kicko macrumors 65816

    Aug 26, 2008
    The idea makes sense but its actually working backwards. An app should be .99 or free then as it gains popularity it should increase in price. Now that people can only review if they purchase the app it forces developers to offer discounts or offer it free in some cases just to get feedback from users. I feel once a app has proven itself then the price tag can be put on it. The other issue i see is that apps need to have demo versions. Who would buy something at $10 or more on a guess in hopes that the app is good. I have also noticed more apps have some sort of lite or demo versions now as well.
  7. crazylegsmurphy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2008
    Interesting thought. It does make sense in a way, but it also penalizes the people who aren't "on the ball".

    Say a really cool app comes on there and you would like to get it, for whatever reason you don't want to charge your credit card $.99 (and that's a legit concern for some) so you wait a week until you pay off your last that app is $10+.

    It would kind of create a "feeding frenzy" attitude on the site and I'm not sure that would be the best for all.

    I DO agree however that all apps should have a time trial, or a demo version of some sort. There are a few apps I have on my phone that I would buy for a few bucks because I actually use them all the time. Many however I have deleted quite quickly and would be upset if I had paid $10 for them.

    I think the reason why the price protection method works is because it kinda forces the developer to set a price that is more fair from the start. If a developer sets a price of $10 and they sell 2000 copies then great, but it also says to them that if they drop the price to make more sales (within a short amount of time), they risk having to refund all that money minus the difference in price.

    Price protection would make devs think pretty hard about what price they want to start their apps at. They can always go up in price if they add more features, update a lot, and such, but starting high and dropping down is risky.

    Currently, it's not....they can jump the price all over the map if they want and there isn't anyone to protect the user from this.
  8. spamdumpster macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2008
    Um, no, silly, it's not predominantly because of customer confidence. It's mostly because they have a 30 day return policy.
  9. edrex macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2008
    So if the price drops on the 31st day you own the app you won't feel ripped off?
    I think a short period of time to "return" an app is the way to go... I would think any user should know within 24 hours whether they want to keep an app or not. Heck, 2 hours would even be fine with me. Just give me enough time to open the app, see what its all about, and make my decision.
  10. crazylegsmurphy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2008
    That's the same thing basically. You're giving your customers peace of mind because they know they have options. There is a difference between 30 day return, and price protection. Most people know they can return a product within the 30 days, but price protection is the same thing (in the buyers mind) as saying, "If we, or someone else offers a better price, you don't have to pack up your stereo system, bring it back in, return it, re-buy it at our store or the other guys, just to get the difference back"

    Well, maybe on the 31st day...but I mean, there is a reasonable time frame, and 30 days is pretty reasonable.

    Ya, a return policy would work as well perhaps. It's basically kind of the same, only what happens when you return the app? Are you able to re-download it at the reduced price?

    I guess it's basically the same thing, in some ways.

    Perhaps a credit system is the way to go. Maybe you buy like 300 credits for $50 or something and you can switch out as many apps as you like in a 30 day period or something.

    So if I used 10 credits on Pac-man, and I decided to return it before 30 days was up, then I would gain my credits back. If it was after the 30 days then those credits would be gone.

    If the app's price dropped within that 30 days then I would get the difference back in credits. It's really the same as money, only difference is that with credits you could download and test as many apps as you could possibly handle in that 30 day window, but come the end of the month you have your apps chosen (or none and retain the credits).

    If you want, you restock your credits next month and do the same....I'm sure there is flaws in that plan, but I'm hungry and my turkey sandwich is sitting here staring at me! :D
  11. Sputnik 57 macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2008
    When I was in school, they called this "skim marketing" and it often applied to the latest technology (e.g., paper, when we went away from stone tablets ;)). The idea is that there are early adopters out there that will pay a premium for the product to be the first to have the latest and greatest. It is a small but very profitable market. By releasing the product at a high price, the seller can "skim" the profit from these people who are willing to pay a premium to be out front. After those sales decline, the price is reduced for sale to a broader customer base that won't pay the premium.

    If you aren't willing to pay the premium price, and are willing to wait for the lower cost, that is fine. Don't blame the market for extracting as much as possible from those who are willing to pay for early adopter utility. Sounds like $.99 is your threshhold. Not a bad buyer strategy for apps that are just for fun.

    If I managed the Rolling Stones, I would put tickets on sale a year in advance for $5,000 a seat, telling everyone that ticket prices would drop every day. That way I would capture the premium prices from those for whom $5,000 (or $500, or whatever) is a deal for Stones ticket. As it is now, the scalpers go in and buy up seats and score these profits.
  12. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    Um, yes, silly .... a 30 day return policy increases customer confidence. :)
  13. Eso macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    You won't buy anything over $.99 because more expensive apps will decrease in price, but what will you do when all your $.99 apps get discounted to free?

  14. objectuser macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
    So the actual value of the app to you right now is not part of the equation?
  15. ajwchin macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Losing a dollar in rather insignificant. Losing $8-10 is a different story.
  16. Loonytik macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2008
    Returning apps wouldn't work in my opinion. The developers wouldn't put out anything if they were refunding money all the time.
  17. citrate macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2008
    Price Promise is the way forward in my opinion. I'm not sure how long Developers have to wait for their money at the moment but it's not unreasonable to ask them to wait 30 days after each sale for the money to come in. If within that 30 days the price drops, the user gets the reduced price, and the developer won't have to give a refund because they never had the money in the first place, it just means that they will get less when the 30 days are up. This wouldn't be very difficult for Apple to implement.
  18. buccsmf1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2008
    i've simply found that most apps aren't worth more than a dollar. if you're willing to sift through a lot of crap, you can find solid games that are free or $1. i've bought a few $5 and $10 games that are terrible. I think iphone users care more about graphics that they can show off to people around them than actual gameplay. If you've noticed, nearly every game the has good graphics has at least 4 stars. Asphalt 4 is a great example, solid graphics, terrible gameplay, iphone users love it because they can say, "hey look at this, I'm driving a bugatti on my iphone, it's awesome"
  19. Stepper macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2008
    North London, England

  20. Zimmy68 macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2008
    In my opinion, you pay what you think the app is worth.

    They are coming out with a Monopoly game for the iPhone that I am interested in.

    If they sell it for $10 or lower, I will buy it. Anymore and I will wait.
    If I buy it for $10 and they sell it in a month for $8, I wouldn't cry a tear.
  21. pavvento macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2007
    I don't think this is nearly as important as trials. As another poster said, if I buy something for $10 and think it's worth it, it doesn't matter what anyone else can buy it for, it's worth the $10 investment. Obviously I'd rather have it for $1.99, but if you get $10 worth of value from it it's not a big deal.

    The problem I have is buying something for $10, or even $.99 and it being awful, and then hoping the developer will refund my money. Apple lets you preview songs and movies, why not apps?

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