What to Do When Customers Tell You “Price is Too High”

If you’ve read my articles in the past, you might remember to avoid the first mistake: dropping the price. If you have an expensive product or if your customers are saying “the price is too high” – you can drop your price, but – before you do that take a look at this alternative option:

Let your customers make the product payment in parts: For example, not many of us are eager to buy $100 modeling tool, but what if you could get the tool by paying $10 per month? In western countries $10 per month is nothing, but paying $100 one time might not be available for everybody.

This type of pricing works everywhere: if you have $500 product, why not try giving customers option to buy the product now and pay $100 for six months. Or perhaps $50 for 12 months?

There one problem that you might consider: some people might stop paying you after the initial payment. But that problem is there anyway, whatever your price is. If you are selling games or services, there’s always the possibility for people to make false orders. Some people are giving money back guarantees as they know these dangers. The money back guarantee is given for the reason to help honest people making the purchase. This type of split payments are done exactly for the same reason: to make sure those who want your product can afford it.

The most secure way for partial payment pricing is naturally when your product (or service) is online or uses some online method for checking the product license. When you check the license online, you can easily make sure pirates cannot use the software for long if they try to fool you: you simply disable their accounts if you see something suspicious.

In shareware industry, the standard price for games is $20. Have you considered pricing your game $30 and then charging $5 monthly (for 6 months)? People might not want to pay $30 at once – but they might be interested in getting the game and pay you later.

I bet it would’t hurt to try.

And for more information about product pricing, take a look at previously written article: 18 Approaches for Setting the Right Price For Your Game.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. @none: Well, not everybody carries a credit card that can be paid in small payments (for example here in Finland major credits cards give you 30-60 days time to pay the full amount)… so it’s not always there. And even then, some people might prefer paying small amounts monthly using paypal or something.

  2. Thanks for reminding me, I may try this with my game framework.

    When I worked for http://www.merlio.com we offered finance to some customers. Here’s how it worked: when demoing the system to them (price range £2000 to £40000) I would gauge how capable they were about paying and if they just agreed to the price or haggled a bit I wouldn’t mention finance. If they were on the brink of buying but not quite and I could find the right deal (or they mentioned finance themselves) then I would talk to them about finance. We got around 25-30% up front (which covered our costs) and then the rest over the year. Quite a few people took us up on this. A few people were a bit tricky to get the money off but we at least knew we had covered our costs, increased our customer base and word of mouth advertising potential.

  3. To offer a lower price we added bundles to Toribash, it has worked out really well. Now 1/4 of every purchase is in some sort of bundle.

  4. When people buy online they use their credit cards and can pay their debt in small monthly payments, so that’s already there.

    I thought of something called FAIRWARE, where you get to choose how much you think is fair to pay for the product, of course you have options, you don’t let people freely choose, you can have $10 $15 $20 $25 $40 the ones choosing the lower than $20 prices must explain why they are paying less that the desirable $20 tag, either they are poor (like me ;)) or they think the game’s not worthy, etc.

    I dunno if that would work but it’s worth giving it a try, I have seen indie games where people is even donating money to free games, why wouldn’t they pay a fair price? The indie comunity is different from the commercial one, people know how hard is to get a game out there and they appreciate your work more… So it may work, but who knows…

    I’m talking about indie games but not casual portal match-3 puzzle games, of course…

Comments are closed.