On my Kickstarter campaign there was a recent comment regarding the pricing of my plugins. I have been giving this some thought recently and I thought I might also share my remarks on the board as well:
I agree that there is certainly an argument that I charge too little for these plugins and I have wrestled some with this problem. Others have also privately messaged me or emailed me with similar remarks and recommended that I bump my prices, sometimes tenfold.
The current reasoning behind my low pricing structure can be summarized with the following points:
1.) All of these plugins are currently in a developmental phase. Unfortunately, I have not been able to exert my full time efforts at this development so progress has been slow. I find it hard to charge a “fair amount” for a product that in my mind is still flawed and imperfect. My “todo” list is currently about 60 items and written out covers about 2 pages. To charge a “professional” price requires that one provide a “professional” service or product, I don’t feel like I’m there yet.
2.) I have looked at some of the competition such as Pluspec and others who charge considerably more than I do. Again the sophistication of the their product exceeds my own so the price differential is warranted. But more importantly I’m not a huge fan of pricey design software, that is what has led me to SketchUp in the first place. The SketchUp community in general has adopted this mindset (in my opinion) and I don’t feel that they would get behind an expensive solution.
3.) I am also trying to keep the plugin within the reach of the casual user (DIY’er), someone who simply wants to model up a single house or garage for their own personal use. In some cases the trial version of the plugin(s) will work for that but I have recently limited it quite strictly so any serious design work will require a registered license.
4.) I have also considered a subscription model, but my own distaste of that licensing mode has kept me from going down that road. Once your purchase a software you should be able to use it indefinitely as it stands. Additional payment should only be required if you are requesting an update or added functionality.
5.) What better way to discourage copy cats and the competition to price it too low as to make it worth their while. No one in their right mind will try to recreate what I have done with trusses when the payback is so little and the effort is so large.
With all of that being said I do think that the sweet spot, which still meets the requirements of the above points, may still be a bit higher than what I am currently charging. I need to find the correct amount to charge so that the above points are carefully balanced with the fact that I need to be able to justify the amount of time and effort I spend in developing these products.