Family packs

I rolled out “family pack” pricing for “Wii Transfer”… over the weekend. I had to make changes to my custom PayPal integration scripts to support it, and I also modified the product page to use a simplified checkout (no standalone store page). Pretty straightforward.

I was less sure about pricing. A quick survey of other Mac developers yielded results like these (normal price / family price — all of these are for 5 users):

“Radioshift” $32 / $59

“Yojimbo” $39 / $69

“Hazel” $21.95 / $39.95

“iLife” $79 / $99

“Bento”… $49 / $99

“TextExpander” $29.95 / $44.95

“MoneyWell” $39.99 / $69.99

Additionally, some companies don’t have a family pack, but offer discounts for multiple copies:

“Acorn” $49.95 / 2+ (20% off)

“On The Job” $24.95 / 2+ (20% off)

“BusySync” $25 / 5+ (10% off)

“Transmit” $29.95 / 10+ (10% off)

So 5 copies is the standard for family packs. My original idea was 3 copies for $29, so I threw that out. Five copies for only 50% more seemed way too cheap, especially since Wii Transfer is already the least expensive software of any company I found. True, this is “free” money — most customers don’t buy more than 1 copy anyway — but on the other hand they are getting 5 separate serial numbers. Unlike Apple’s iLife (which has no serial numbers), or Radioshift and BusySync (which allow a special serial number to be used on multiple computers), Wii Transfer’s URL bookmarking feature requires each copy of Wii Transfer to have a unique serial number to identify the computer.

I think customers buying a family pack are exceptionally honest. They are going out of their way to do the right thing. But at the same time, it needs to be a fair enough price that I’m not losing anything if a few customers decide to share their “extra” serial numbers with a friend.

In the end I settled on $39 for the 5-copy family pack, essentially double the normal price of $19. The Bento pricing model convinced me that it was doable, even if percentage wise it’s slightly higher than other products. I’ll be watching stats over the next month to see how well it works. “Decisions are temporary”… I’m not afraid to change the family price or drop it altogether if it doesn’t meet my expectations.

Manton Reece @manton