New GarageSale 8 Pricing

I thought about this for quite a while…

Typically, I am old-school buy-it-own-it for software. Being a Macintosh Software engineer for nearly 30 years. Monthly subscriptions are now becoming the new normal, even Quicken is doing it.

BUT… The value of GarageSale to me is FAR beyond the price I have paid for it. I use this software all day, every day.

FOR ME… The benefits I receive from this software FAR exceed and outweigh the new $14.99 per month cost. And if you sign up for a year, it is a one-time payment of $149.99/year.

I simply could not run my eBay business and make my living/income without it!!!

This equates to less than 1 penny/cent per listing per month!

I pay much more than that for eBay listing fees (10 cents per listing), eBay final value fees ($$$ per item), eBay Store (5 cents per item), PayPal fees ($ per item), USPS Postage fees ($$$ per item), shipping labels (3 cents per item), shipping envelopes (10-20 cents per item), empty boxes (50-100 cents per item), bubble wrap, foam peanuts, rubber bands, packing tape, printer paper (1 cent per item), printer ink ($30 per month!), etc, etc, etc…

And, my eBay store is $60 per month… In the Grand Scheme of Things (Total Picture) GarageSale is a very small cost!

I have paid for and been happily using the GarageSale v8 Beta for over a year, and simply can not image going back to v7…

I would be very happy to pay more, $25-$30 per month, maybe even $50 per month given the benefits!

Neal

Neal Trautman
Macintosh Software Engineer since December 1983
co-inventor of U.S. Software Patent #5,241,625
ex-Lead Software Engineer for Netopia Timbuktu Remote Control product for 17 years…

Thanks Neal, for the open words. The important words in your text are: FOR YOU, the pricing is ok. That doesn’t mean it is for everyone. My request in the other thread was not: don’t switch to subscription. My request was to offer an alternative for those who don’t want subscription (but are still willing to pay more for a Pro version), and to not put the financial load of new features, that not everyone will need or use, on every subscriber.

Look at Phaseone. They offer both for their image library/editing software, every client is free to decide and pick what fits their needs best. And I am sure that this gives them a lot more customers than they would have if they only offered subscription.

You are right that 15 EUR a month is not much for a professional service. True. Still, it is a lot more than GS used to cost in the past. And it is one more thing that feels forced on me, but I do not necessarily want or need. To give you an example: at my local eBay site (ebay.de), I am forced to subscribe to a shop if I don’t want to pay insanely high fees per sale (on top of the recently increased fees, going up by 50% in the category I more or less exclusively sell). A shop subscription is only possible if I accept Paypal as a payment method. Which means: I have to calculate in those fees, resulting in higher prices. There you have two examples of monthly or even per-item fees that I do not need, nor want, but I am forced to pay if I want to continue making a living from this business. Things like this add up. And are not necessarily ‘peanuts’ for every business.

GS Pro now falls into the same category. I prefer to be able to decide myself if I want a certain feature or not and then pay for it (or not).

The approach here does not offer me that choice. In fact, if I want to continue using GS (currently the only usable offline listing tool for the mac), I have no other choice than paying a price that is increased by several hundred percent.

– Markus

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@Freedolin if you prefer paying a more expensive one-off subscription instead of a monthly plan, why don’t you opt for the yearly plan as Neal suggested? This way you would go in pair in a few years, more or less. I said “few years” because I suppose that in 2 years GS will be changed a lot and you will need to download a new upgrade, and pay it. So isn’t it about the same? Or the problem is just the increased payment amount GS is now requiring? If this last is the problem, I really suggest you to check any other app solution and you will see GS is definitely the cheapest usable one if you list a lot and have many thousands active listings…

Anyway, mine is just a personal opinion, I agree with Neal’s thoughts although I understand that such a change might create a bit of disorientation after so many years of GS use. I was expecting this for years and now I am glad to pay GS for what it worths, apart all new features…

It’s not that simple, I’m afraid. Subscription requires me to pay for services that I honestly don’t need. In this case this includes free major updates (where I would prefer to choose myself if the update offers enough reasons to spend the money or not) and in this particular case also the synching service, that no doubt required lots of time programming plus setting up and maintaining the backbone. I have no use for it, still, with the Pro subscription I can not opt out.
Plus, subscription requires you to pay for updates now already, every month, even though you don’t know when and if they happen. And if you actually want or need the updated version later. That’s an issue with every subscription service.

And yes, I am also a little upset about the price increase. Do the math yourself: the last two paid upgrades were announced in 2010 (GarageSale 6, upgrade price 16.99 EUR/USD) and 2016 (GS 7, upgrade price 19.99 EUR/USD). That gives an average upgrade cycle of 4.5 years, with upgrade pricing increasing from below 20 EUR/USD to a whopping 674,96 USD. That’s a price increase of 3376 %.

As I stated earlier: I am willing to invest more, even a lot more than the past 20 bucks every 4.5 years, for continued support and development. Even though I barely ever needed the support… the software was running great for me, not something you can say for many apps these days.

But I am slightly upset that offering a paid pro version that does not require subscription and allows to opt out from new and maybe not wanted services isn’t offered or obviously even considered. I feel I am not asking for something impossible or even remotely complicated. The codebase for a fixed price license is already there. And even two separate versions, for private sellers and commercial sellers, existed in parallel in the past (GS Basic)… which honestly somewhat contradicts the point Ilja made about the main clients. GarageSale has always been a tool targeting professional sellers, at least in the recent years.

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I see and understand your thoughts although we speak from two different point of view. I only say one thing more about this matter: doing the math you suggest, which I have been doing for years, I ask my self how it is possible to run a business with so little fee (GS team, please apologize my very personal consideration). The only way is having a very large number of users, I think. And that was ebay 10 or more years ago!! But today?

  • thousands and thousands professional sellers have gone away from ebay for infinite reasons I don’t list now, looking to new leader marketplaces, especially in those (generally) more profitable and diffuse businesses (not collectables…)
  • ebay hub seller already does a large job if you are a business user who does not want perfection in listings
  • little and private sellers do almost everything from phone. Let me say we are in smartphone era (so many people stare seeing a boy working on a computer and not a phone! Sigh…)
  • eBay policies and costs obligates lot people to limitate collateral costs (like managing apps)

So I suppose there are no more so many active users as before. Is this wrong?
I like GS, I earn with GS, so I support GS and want GS to develop. This is why I opted in without hesitation although I don’t like at all subscription policy exactly as you.
This is my basic view of this matter from a mere commercial sight.

Have a nice evening
Federico

We are definitely on the same page here, and I pointed that out several times already.

I agree to everything you said about the way eBay has changed. It’s obvious for anyone who has been doing business on eBay for a while (I’m in my 19th year on the platform). However, this has been a continuous development over years, not something that has happened suddenly in the last few months. Just like you I assume that the number of licenses likely no longer allows iwascoding to run the business as they did in the past (even though it obviously was possible to run it successfully with the low prices until now, since they are still in business).

I guess so far only commercial sellers have been part of this discussion, so let me try a different idea: imagine one of your clients approaches you and points out that he likes your shop, but feels there is a significant gap in your portfolio, that you could fill easily and without much effort, which would allow you to attract more clients and make additional money. Would you consider offering what he suggests or would you tell him he’d better buy from your competitors?

– Markus

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It depends if the solution worths it. I mean, if almost everyone move to a unique payment, you have to calculate and compare what’s better, if more people who pay less or less people who pay more. I am not on GS team side so I really can’t do this kind of count. You should evaluate how many business sellers use the app, how many people list large quantities of good, how might would use synch… not an easy and immediate matter to analyze… From my side, I am always used to offer a wide portfolio but this is a very different matter, here we are talking about a service, not a good, and this changes a lot the situation.
If you really want my only personal doubt about this new policy, it’s the 50 listings limits for the basic plan. In my opinion it’s too low, it’s like a “demo period” number. If I were on their side, I would evaluate to fix the amount of monthly listings for basic plan to the number of free monthly listings allowed by eBay for private accounts. For example: eBay allows you 100 free listings per months, you can start 100 listings per months with GS 8 basic. If you want to list between 100 and 300, you might have a another pricing, and so on. This would make much more sense (for me) and would point to that special category composed by little and private seller. If you have a business profiles, it’s likely you can afford a more expensive plan, which is anyway the cheapest around the web for high listings amount with professional tools.
Hope this will make sense. That would be great to hear where the 50 listings limit came from, @ilja . Why didn’t you consider different pricing depending on listings number/month (like many other listing solutions already do)?

Federico

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What is the service you are talking about, just for curiosity

Thanks
Jedi

Meant one-off subscription payment, just corrected, sorry.

I’m another non-business seller just selling off personal items and downsizing. I have the same comment as another that 50 items/month is not enough. While I have sold zero items in the last couple years (and happened to come to this forum looking for help on new eBay stuff when trying to make a new listing for the first time since 2016…), I sell in spurts. I may sell 100 items then nothing for a year. While I could sign up for Pro for one month a year, that seems silly to me. So count me in looking for an in-between solution.

Question: How are the 50 items counted? If I post 50 good-till-cancelled items one month and none sell, can I post 50 more the next month? Or does Garagesale count that as 100 items (since they are all still active). If I can post 50 new items a month regardless of whether older items are still listed, I can live with that.

PS Many business sellers post endless quantities of the same items, but only have one listing per product…

Good point. I happen to be a commercial seller of used items. Which means, that the quantity in my listings is always 1… or in other words: every item I want to sell means another listing. That’s why I easily reach that limit. A commercial seller selling new products might have less than 50 items in his or her portfolio, still list and maybe even sell hundreds or thousands items a month but never reach the 50 listings per month limit.

Listings count resets every month independently if you sold or not the 50 listed the previous month, so you can list other 50 ones.
Concerning the other matter, yes I do list only one-of-a-kind items and this is why I also think 50 is a bit too limiting…

Since the topic of pricing has been come up a few times, here is a little explanation why we are going to increase the price:

The income we generate from GarageSale license sales for the last few years only covered around 20% of what our company of three needs to stay in business.

We believe thats mostly due to factors beyond our control: Most causal sellers (the user we initially targeted) are fine with eBay’s mobile tools and the eBay website isn’t as bad as it used be. Also, many sellers moved to other platforms (various classified sites, Amazon, etc.)

To keep this company alive, for the past few years Paul, Kristian and me have been contracting at day for other companies. At night and during weekends with been working on GarageSale: continuously integrating eBay’s and Apple’s changes, handling user support, fixing bugs, etc…

But at some point we came to the conclusion that the amount of work has become too much to handle for us and our families.

So, either we are able to increase to amount of money we are making with GarageSale, so we can cut back on consulting jobs – or we discontinue GarageSale entirely. Hence the price increase for GS 8.

Keep in mind, that GarageSale is a niche application, with only a few hundred active users (some of which a very demanding). That means the cost of maintaining GarageSale has to be split among only these few users. Naturally, you might need to pay a little more compared to non-niche mainstream applications.

To summarise we are not trying to rip anybody off, “slapping our users in the face”, or “blackmailing our users”. We are just trying to stay in business without working crazy hours.

Knowing this, you should ask yourself if the value/time saved that GarageSale provides to you really isn’t worth those $15/month we are asking for.

PS. It’s 10.30 PM now. Arrived at the office at 9 AM this morning.

@ilja as you know I am totally on your side (happy to pay more) and the idea of discontinuing GS would be devastating. I only feel to give an advice (just take it as an external view).
From my business sight, asking more money is not always the right way to make more money. The situation you exposed was exactly what I supposed to be. Anyway consider that 50 listings/month would seriously risk to cut out the little ebay seller. This little seller would anyway bring you little money, and that’s better than nothing (isn’t it?). In fewer words, you should take in consideration to differentiate your offer. I mean, not two solutions A = pay little and have very few and B = pay more and have everything. From a mere managing sight, that’s not a good choice… There should be also solutions C, D and E (and more, if the case…) which let you focus on a more potential wide range of sellers. The “big” seller would pay anyway the highest fee to use all functions and that would cover the expensive cost of the app, but this way you would also have an income from those little ones that would be otherwise excluded (and would otherwise bring you nothing). I don’t know if planning a differentiate cost plan would mean further costs for you, but you really should reconsider it… hope this makes somehow sense for you.

This is for a totally honest suggest. You know I love GS and will be happy to pay also more, GS is german quality :slight_smile: . …

Have a nice day!
Federico

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Thanks for a really good explanation Ilya. Although my selling is that of a hobbyist, I am also now happy with the pricing. Life would be much harder without GS.
DAVID

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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.

– Markus

Hi Markus,

Sorry, but we will not be offering any other pricing options than the ones we already announced.

We already discussed this matter internally ad infinitum, and we are going to stick with it, even if it means losing some customers. There’s no point in selling software at a price point so low, that makes the business model unsustainable.

There’s no way we can make everyone happy – no matter what price we’ll set, some people will always be unhappy.

We did some research, and software that includes a comparable feature set to what GarageSale offers, doesn’t even have a plan starting as a low as $15/month, – and I’m not even talking about a full-featured product:

As I said above, I don’t see this happening. We’ve done this before, and betting the company on our ability to ship a major upgrade in time before the money from the last upgrade runs out – all while trying maintain the current version and supporting its users-- , is something we are not going to do again. We tried this with GarageSale 7, and it didn’t work out.

This sounds like a very strong indicator that providing a comparable product for a flat fee is not a sustainable business, don’t you think?

Suggestion:

Keep the new pricing model as planned. For volume listers the cost is insignificant.

However, for ‘light’ users, increase the monthly allocation of listings from 50 to 100. That allows smaller or occasional users to still list at a meaningful level.

Result: Occasional users don’t move away, power users carry on as normal as your new revenue model remains intact.

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Well, thanks for the clarification, even though I am honestly disappointed.

Dewabit starts at 5,90 EUR per month. And it offers modular pricing, depending on the amount of auctions needed. Etope lister also has a 4,90 EUR/month plan (for private sellers).

Which confirms my doubts about subscription services and major version updates (see above).

I think this primarily sounds like the niche for macOS eBay software was too small to offer sustainable business for more than one solution, and just the best one survived (GS). I don’t see the connection to what licensing option you prefer to offer. Flat fee could be as sustainable as subscription or a mix of both. It’s just a question of adjusting the price level.
However, I personally don’t think the market will shrink further. In fact, with TurboLister officially gone now and on the other hand SwiftUI and iPadOS on the horizon, there should be new opportunities that are not covered so far.

Last question, before I let go of all this: will GS8 be able to handle an unlimited number of templates (without listing them). If so, I might consider upgrading for 19.99, just to keep all my templates available (and list through eBay directly).

– Markus

I can sympathize with your current situation. Im up at 5am and don’t go to sleep until 11 or 12 at night. It takes a toll on you, and what used to be fun, no longer is fun and enjoyable. I won’t presume to know the amount of hard work you put into this project but I do know I’ve been thankful for the work that you guys do.

Its your software, you can choose what it is and how much to charge for it. It really is a great piece of software and has saved me hours upon hours of work. you guys really do deserve a lot of credit for everything you’ve done. even though I will not be continuing to use GS into version 8 I wish you the best of luck.

Now, saying that, I do need to get this off my chest. It probably will be my last visit to support/comments anyway…

I feel this could have been handled a LOT better than simply increasing price astronomically such as this. You could have dropped the UpGrade price and only kept the full $40 price, had a 2 year development cycle with lower expectations for huge advancements. I would certainly have paid $40 every 2 years for general speed and bug patches with smaller added features. Maybe taking on a huge task such as Synching wasn’t needed and focus on Inventory (SKU), order management such as a text box to add PayPal fees manually, analytics, preview mode could certainly used some love for basic text editing along with tables. or, the standard version with 100 Listings max. That would have kept me as a paying customer, its better than losing my business completely don’t you think?

Ive been a loyal customer for years now. We are what gave you a chance to succeed in the first place. To drop us in favor of higher income users is really degrading. You had a number of options to try and increase revenue before pricing the small seller out of your software. Thanks for not trying to help us.

Oh, I really do have to say “some of which a[re] very demanding” was very inappropriate to say about your users in a open forum like this.

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