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Pricing question (again)?

http://www.visualasp.com/treeview.asp?TB=2

This looks like a really nice treeview, esp since it offers node-specific context menus:
http://www.visualasp.com/vcdl/treeview/treeview_context_menu.asp

The problem is the pricing structure - they want $99 for the component, keyed to run on a single domain. If you want to run it on a single server, multiple domains, it's $249. If you want to include it in a commercial distribution, it's $498.

Does this seem *really* steep for a single component, especially when a similar (though lesser) component is already available for free from MS?

I'm thinking the pricing should be $25, $50, and $98, or just plain old $98 for the component, period.

I'm going to drop them a note about pricing, but wanted a sanity check here, first...

Thanks,
Philo

Philo
Monday, April 21, 2003

$500 for a tree is absolutely insane. :(

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Monday, April 21, 2003

Seems more than a little steep to me, too.

Ron Porter
Monday, April 21, 2003

my lawyer charged me $47.50 to send a fax. so, $500 for a tree view sounds reasonable to me. if they can sell it at that price, more power to them.

choppy
Monday, April 21, 2003

So, here we are again.  If they dropped the $498 price down to $98, would they sell at least five times as many?

I would say in this case it is a safe bet.  These guys are smoking dope.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Monday, April 21, 2003

In this case it's even more critical - at $500 the only press they would get is bad press. IMHO unless you're one of the juggernauts (Crystal, Remedy, etc) then in the software component business a huge part of your business comes from word of mouth.

I also think in the "critical software components" business you can win a LOT of impulse sales if you're under the $100 price point - you want to be at the level where a developer has no problems pulling out a credit card at 3am to simply finish a deliverable. ;-)

Philo

Philo
Monday, April 21, 2003

I don't have any ideas about how to price something, but I know some business guys who wouldn't buy a "98$ download", but if its 500 bucks, "it must be good".  Honestly, I don't care HOW good a component is, if its 20 bucks, i'm going to think some guy did it in his spare time for fun.  Now, I still might use it, but only after I decided it was very well built.  Something about a 100 dollar piece of software just says "high quality", especially to someone who isn't a programmer.

Vincent Marquez
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Vincent, there's some very, very good software available for $30. Check out Ultraedit, Winzip, CuteFTP, etc.
IrfanView is free, and should be in every power user's toolbox.

Mind you, they were all "garage baked" applications. That does not mean they're no good. IMHO that often makes for better software, since they were designed by one person with a vision and user feedback, instead of being designed by committee and sales.

And two critical things to remember in establishing a price for components:
1) No developer only buys one component. You want to be in the shopping cart, not set aside for something better
2) If you're trying to access the corporate development arena, then a CTO has to look at your price x the number of seats he needs. $30 x ten or fifteen developers is petty cash. $500 x the same number means a purchase order and debate over whether or not it's worth it.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Maybe it's got some difficult-to-code feature that's important for some ISV's or inhouse teams. If so, $500 is nothing.

Lots of places will pay anything up to $10,000 for genuinely useful tools that meet a business need and save them paying for extra developer time.

Also, if there's only a small market, and the product is useful for that market, it's better to charge a higher price so you can stay in business. All other things being equal. Selling 100 items at $5,000 is better than 1,000 at $50.

.
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

>>Selling 100 items at $5,000 is better than 1,000 at $50.

Of course it is, you make 450,000 more dollars.

Whapow!
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

[These guys are smoking dope. ]

Maybe they smoke high grade, that would explain the price.

trollbooth
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Ask if it  does what we need and is it of excellent quality and reliability. If so, then look at whether buying the component would save money - how many hours would it take us to implement? 40 hours at $60/hr? That's $2400 cost, so $500 is a bargain and buying is a no-brainer. Even if it costs more in salary than would cost in-house, buying might enable us to shave 40 hours off the schedule and put that developer to work on some other critical part of the project. At the same time, we might be able to buy the confidence that it is well-tested and stable and won't give us trouble, unlike the brand new code from our own developer.

Comparing components to shrink wrap software like Winzip isn't appropriate. That's something else entirely. Buying components gives us intellectual property rights to embed and distribute, something that doesn't come with shrink wrap consumer software.

Dennis Atkins
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Considering I just made a tree that seems to be of comparable function in a few hours, I guess I'm worth a lot more than I thought I was. :-D

*makes notes to increase contracting price for the next contract*

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Dennis just hit it on the head.  You guys are being too literal.  You aren't just buying a component - you're buying time, you're buying convenience, and you may be buying sales, if the component is distributable and provides a feature that compels users to purchase your product.

Norrick
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

How soon will you eat the costs?

You can eat all the costs up front, after you broke even on all time and component cost, its free.  So the question is how long will it take to get there and once there how long can you sell for free?

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, April 23, 2003

You guys are treating the component likes it's "magic pixie dust". Components take time to understand and adapt. They have quirks, limitations, and bugs. All of this takes time, too. You upgrade the system and they stop working, so you have to file a report and wait for an upgrade, or not upgrade the system.

Third party components aren't magic. They don't just show up on your door step, get unwrapped, and mystically integrate themselves perfectly into your codebase.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, April 23, 2003

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