Guten Morgen Ilja,
hope you got some rest last night. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic and becoming part of the discussion.
Since you quote some of my remarks and I can feel between the lines you may feel offended or hurt by them: please accept that those who currently express their concern about the new pricing are mostly self employed, too, just like you. So you do not necessarily need to explain to us what it means in terms of time investment to run a business and the pressure this creates to be successful with it. That’s certainly true for most of your regular GS clients. I, personally, finished work after midnight last night… and started at 7:30 AM.
I thought I had made it clear in the last posts already, but maybe it wasn’t clear enough: I am not against a price increase at all, I am definitely willing to pay more, even much more if required, to help keeping this business and product alive.
My complaints were about the licensing model you chose and the lack of options. I still see (just like Federico) that there is a huge gap between the old low-priced single payment upgrade and the “all we offer” subscription… that includes costly services that many here won’t need or ever use. I understand that it might be a frustrating experience for you, because I imagine you put a lot of energy and time into the sync feature and were hoping it would help you increase the potential income. I still see that it is a really welcome feature for some here, but not for all of us. Plus, you force a licensing model on your professional users that most don’t like. I feel that in summary you could end up making more income (or sales) by adjusting the licensing options better to demand (I feel that there is some demand for a solution that would fill the gap that not only I see).
Specifically regarding “blackmailing”: sorry, but I stand by this. I chose GS because a) it runs on the Mac and b) it allows me to work offline if required, taking my eBay library anywhere I can take my Macbook. I can not list while offline, but I can prepare listings, edit images and descriptions and then bulk upload them later.
There used to be alternatives in the past, iSale for example, but can you name any other current product that offers these two features? I haven’t found any. Honestly, that’s why I feel blackmailed into subscription. Because, as you describe it yourself, GS is a niche product… and if you happen to live in that niche, there is no other choice. No other product, and as of right now, no other pricing plan than subscription.
I understand that you feel some of us are ‘demanding’ clients. Well… see that as a compliment, please. Demanding clients are probably demanding in any regard, not just concerning their eBay tool. Still, they are your clients, so you obviously served them well in the past. We all have these kind of clients, and I guess we all get a little bit annoyed about them. Still, these demanding (or even ‘difficult’ if you prefer) are what allows to separate us from the competition: you’re running a successful business if you even make those difficult clients happy in the end.
In that regard you have been doing a great job. GS is a fantastic product, it helps many of us to make their daily business easier.
You have described subscription as ‘controversial’ yourself. I think the past few days here have proved that point. I have general issues concerning subscription (for example I never really understood the ‘free updates included’ part… I would prefer to see that there are actually updates happening and then based on new features offered make the decision myself if the update is worth further investment for me), it also comes with practical issues. You’re coming from the same country, with a 3-person business I am sure you’re not doing accounting yourself. So you are likely charged for that by the amount of work (usually the number of documents) you send to your tax consultant. I have the advantage of running a business that is not too complicated in terms of tax issues and that allows me to do accounting and tax declarations myself, at least for now. Still, having to process an invoice just for the subscription service every month not only costs money (the actual subscription fee), but also time. And that must be the case on your side too… at least for your German or even EU clients you will have to send monthly invoices.
I still see that you could in summary keep more clients if you offered an in-between solution for high-volume sellers that do not need or want the sync-service. As already mentioned, I am very open to paying a lot more for a traditional single payment license. To give you a number you can discuss: 100 to 150 EUR/USD for a major Pro version upgrade? Yes, I would be in. It would be helpful to hear from others if they could accept that price level, too.
Completely ignoring that wish (that has been coming not only from me, but others here, too) honestly still feels like a slap in the face. And not only my face, but your own too. There is an obvious demand here for something different than you plan to offer. Coming from your current, active clients, so the ones that brought you here and currently help you running your business, give instant feedback on issues, wishes, new features, whatever. You can not get closer to your clients and their wishes than in this forum. Ignoring these wishes, with the risk of actually losing the support of these long-standing clients, by pointing out that you need to make the business generate more income for it to be sustainable, honestly sounds bizarre to me.